City Council approves South Austin affordable housing development with caveats

City Council voted to approve the first reading of a rezoning request, with Council Member Vanessa Fuentes adding directions. (Maggie Quinlan/Community Impact)
City Council voted to approve the first reading of a rezoning request, with Council Member Vanessa Fuentes adding directions. (Maggie Quinlan/Community Impact)

City Council voted to approve the first reading of a rezoning request, with Council Member Vanessa Fuentes adding directions. (Maggie Quinlan/Community Impact)

A proposed apartment building in South Austin that will back up to Beacon Ridge homes is moving ahead despite some pushback from neighbors.

City Council voted to approve the first reading of a rezoning request for the proposed property location, but also directed the city manager to look into transportation needs in the area and report back to the council by Jan. 12.

The council will need to approve two more readings for the project to move forward. The rezoning request would change the area's zoning from designated land for single-family and condominium to a moderate to high density multifamily zone.

Council members Vanessa Fuentes, Sabino Renteria and Kathie Tovo all added at the Oct. 14 City Council meeting that, while they approve the plan for a four-story complex for now, the proposed 10% affordable housing in the complex will likely not be enough for their future approval.

Developers propose turning the 9-acre property at 8401, 8403, 8405, and 8407 S. 1st St. into an apartment complex with a 45-foot buffer between it and neighboring homes’ backyards. The area combines three vacant lots and one lot with a building.


Fuentes, representing District 2, where the development is proposed, said she likes the placement along an Imagine Austin corridor near the future light rail transit Orange Line. She also said she understands concerns that developments should follow infrastructure changes rather than the reverse.

“I hear my community when they talk about infrastructure need first,” Fuentes said. “Watershed will be going through a community visioning plan where they will be going through community feedback to hear infrastructure needs.”

Fuentes moved to direct the city manager to summarize proposed plans and recently constructed transportation improvements, identify transportation needs that are not addressed in recent improvements, and review drainage plans in the area.
By Maggie Quinlan

Reporter, Southwest Austin/Dripping Springs

Maggie joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in July 2021 after a year spent covering crime, courts and politics at The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, near the border with Idaho. In Southwest Austin and Dripping Springs, Maggie covers education, business, healthcare, transportation, real estate development and nonprofits. Prior to CI, she graduated from Washington State University, where she was managing editor of the student newspaper and a section editor at her hometown newspaper based in Moscow, Idaho. Maggie dreamed of living in the Austin area for years and feels honored to serve the communities of Southwest Austin and Dripping Springs.