4 takeaways from the Leander zoning commission meeting Sept. 14

Concept plans for townhomes at the Enclave at Stewart Crossing.

Concept plans for townhomes at the Enclave at Stewart Crossing.

The Leander Planning and Zoning Commission addressed four cases at its meeting Sept. 14.

1. MASON RANCH


Commissioners approved a final plat for the second phase, section three of the Mason Ranch subdivision. The final plat contains 76 residential lots and two landscape lots on 24.72 acres, according to the agenda packet.

The Mason Ranch final plat was approved Thursday.[/caption]

2. VARIANCE CLARIFICATION


Joel Wixon of Kimley-Horn planning and design engineering consultants—on behalf of Parks at Crystal Falls II—requested clarification on a variance approved in December by the commission.

A block is defined in the city’s subdivision ordinance as a parcel of land completely surrounded by features like public streets, waterways or parks, according to the agenda packet.

Back in December, the maximum perimeter block length was 5,500 feet, City Planner Martin Siwek said. He said the proposed plat was over the perimeter block length without a break, and the zoning commission approved a variance.

City staff interpreted the variance to require a drive aisle connection through the property to allow public access through the block, according to the agenda packet. The developers requested clarification on the variance because they intended for the subdivision, located at 7740 Toll 183A West, to be gated, with gates limiting traffic through the property, Wixon said.

The commissioners were divided over whether to support staff’s understanding of the variance or allow the developers to continue as they planned.

Commissioner Marshall Hines said the road would not serve well as a connective route even without gates because it was not designed in a straight line.

Commission Vice Chair Jason Anderson agreed, but said they couldn’t change what was already constructed.

“I kind of look at this honestly as a learning experience, and it’s built, and the rest of it is being built, and now we know better what to be careful about next time,” Anderson said.

Approximately 250-275 people already live in the development, according to the developer.

The commissioners voted 3-3 on two motions, one supporting the staff interpretation and another supporting the developer’s interpretation of the variance. Commissioner Uryan Nelson said he decided to abstain from the vote because he was not a part of the original discussion regarding the variance in December.

Commission Chair Sid Sokol made a motion to refer the topic to City Council for consideration instead. The motion passed, opposed by commissioners Angela Means and Hines, with Nelson abstaining.

“[Council] can refer it back to us, if they so choose, with their comments associated with it,” Sokol said.

3. ENCLAVE AT STEWART CROSSING


The zoning commission approved a concept plan, preliminary plat and planned unit development zoning for approximately 20.7 acres located southwest of the intersection of Woodview Drive and Raider Way in Leander.

The gated community, called the Enclave at Stewart Crossing, is planned to include single family townhomes, according to the agenda packet. The townhomes will include detached and attached residences, along with community courtyard parks, said developer Todd Madden.

“The privacy piece of [having a personal yard] is being removed so that you get out there, go walk into the courtyards and you get engaged with the other residents,” Madden said. “That is to me the biggest reason that we have gated access.”

The commission approved the developer’s request without staff’s recommendation for a roadway connection to the west, Siwek said, but with the addition of a five-foot concrete pedestrian path. As the development also exceeded maximum perimeter block length, the path will break up the block.

4. EGGLESTON TRACT


Around 61.06 acres north of the intersection of CR 279 and CR 280 were rezoned from single-family rural and single-family suburban to single-family compact, single-family limited and local commercial.

According to the agenda packet, the rezoning is in anticipation of a residential subdivision and commercial developments on property that currently houses a single-family home.
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