Leander P&Z OKs rezoning for potential daycare, residential development

Pat Bryson Municipal Hall hosts the Leander Planning & Zoning Commission meetings.

Pat Bryson Municipal Hall hosts the Leander Planning & Zoning Commission meetings.

Updated June 1 at 8:40 p.m. to reflect the Leander City Council’s approval of the first reading of the rezoning requests.

Posted May 25 at 10:04 p.m.

The Leander Planning & Zoning Commission approved recommendations for proposals for a potential daycare and residential development on May 25.

One proposal from the Journey Bible Fellowship requested to amend the current zoning for a 3-acre tract that sits next to the church on Journey Parkway from single-family rural to a planned unit development, said Leander Planning Manager Robin Griffin. The PUD would limit the use of the land, which falls east of the Catalina Ranch residential subdivision and is adjacent to Journey Bible Church, to a daycare.

“Their master plan for themselves was to potentially sell this off […] specifically for a daycare,” Chip Bubela, who represented Journey Bible Church, said. “They felt like it would go hand-in-hand with the church.”

A motion to approve the PUD was passed unanimously by the commission with a city staff-recommended modification to change the architectural component from type B to type A, which Griffin said is a higher architectural standard.

The commission also considered a proposal from Deerbrooke Land Austin, LLC, which requested to amend the Deerbrooke PUD district to replace the multi-family district with a cottage housing district. The approximately 262-acre PUD is located north of the Savanna Ranch residential subdivision and northeast of the intersection of CR 279 and Collaborative Way.

Other amendments included requiring rear-loaded garages in lots less than 50 feet wide, updating the lot width requirement, amending the lot count from 750 to 790 and allowing accessory dwelling units, Griffin said. These amendments incorporated changes to the Composite Zoning Ordinance in order for the development to become compliant with the ordinance.

“I’m a little disappointed by the fact that the language for the accessory dwelling units is only permitted on the lots served by rear alleys,” Commission Member Marshall Hines said. “I just can’t see the benefit to limiting to a particular lot size, large or small.”

The commission voted 5-2 to approve the request. Hines and Commission Member Uryan Nelson said they did not support the motion because of their concerns about the long-term benefits of limiting ADUs to a particular lot size.

Assistant City Manager Tom Yantis said that the limitation is in place not necessarily because of lot size, but because the place for a second dwelling unit’s parking on a property with a front-entry garage access could be in the driveway or on the street.

“I think they are more conducive to be built when they have alley access or large lots, which is why the composite zoning ordinance allows them on larger lots,” Yantis said.

The Leander City Council unanimously approved the first reading of the Journey Bible Fellowship’s request to amend zoning for a daycare during their meeting on June 1.

The council also unanimously approved the first reading of the proposal from Deerbrooke Land Austin, LLC, which requested to amend the Deerbrooke PUD district to replace the multi-family district with a cottage housing district.

A public hearing was conducted for both requests and no citizens spoke. Both proposals will be considered again during the City Council's June 15 meeting.
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