The North Burnet/Gateway area has long been referred to as Austin’s “second downtown.” A variety of amendments to its Regulating Plan—which aims to address growth and redevelop the area into a high-density, mixed-use neighborhood that offers more pedestrian, bike and transit access—was approved Sept. 12 by the Austin Planning Commission.

A closer look

According to agenda documents, some of the amendments include:
  • Creating a new commercial mixed-use subdistrict, which will increase the maximum allowable height and floor-to-area ratio of properties in the area
  • Removing square footage limitations for projects that will provide retail space to multiple small businesses, which will enhance the pedestrian experience
  • Removing requirements for buildings over six stories to have a 30-foot recession in the building facade to allow housing, retail or office developments more flexibility

Prior to the vote, Commissioner Greg Anderson added an amendment to allow outdoor sports and recreation—such as golf courses, swimming pools or tennis courts—to be permitted in the planning area.

How we got here

The regulating plan was first adopted in 2009. Austin City Council most recently approved several edits to the plan in February in which they voted to increase the floor-to-area ratio and maximum building height of developments in the area, which can now reach 491 feet, or about 30 stories.

What’s next

A public hearing on the new amendments will be held during the Oct. 19 council meeting. The updated Regulating Plan must be approved by City Council before it goes into effect.