The Grove at Shoal Creek

The Grove at Shoal Creek development proposed residential as well as commercial and office uses. Ethan Hill

Austin City Council voted Oct. 1 to initiate a code amendment change, which could affect The Grove at Shoal Creek proposed development in north Central Austin.

The resolution, unanimously passed by council, asks staff to address unzoned properties that seek Planned Unit Development, or PUD, zoning. The resolution states staff may craft language that would require a supermajority council vote, or eight of 11 council members, to approve some zoning cases.

Those zoning cases would be for when an owner of an unzoned piece of land applies for PUD zoning and is denied recommendation by Planning Commission or Zoning and Platting Commission. The supermajority vote is currently required when properties already zoned seek PUD rezoning and receive denial from either commission.

 Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo of District 9 was the lead sponsor of the resolution and originally instructed staff find  to make a supermajority vote occur for land that is unzoned and seeking PUD zoning. The approved version allowed staff to recommend other options to address unzoned properties.

Among the public comments during the council hearing, many residents referenced how the change would affect The Grove at Shoal Creek, which requested PUD zoning to help provide affordable housing. The 75-acre property where the project will be developed was purchased from Texas Department of Transportation. MileStone Community Builders, the property’s developers, proposed a mixed-used development for the site and applied for PUD zoning.

Under the possible supermajority requirement proposed by Tovo, should Zoning and Platting Commission recommend denial for a project, council would then need a supermajority vote to grant the application. Zoning and Platting Commission has not yet issued a decision on The Grove at Shoal Creek’s PUD application.

Unless The Grove’s PUD application is approved before this code change is made, Jerry Rusthoven, manager of the city’s Planning and Zoning Department, said the development would not be exempt from the requirement. The potential code amendment is slated to go before council’s Planning and Neighborhood Committee at its December meeting or as soon as possible, according to the resolution.

The Grove at Shoal Creek developers said they have no position on the resolution currently, but are reviewing it.

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