Leander City Council approved a rezoning measure that makes way for a new office building with the potential for apartments on the second floor. At its Aug. 16 meeting, council rezoned 0.388 acres on West Willis Street despite some feedback from residents about rain drainage problems in the area.

Urban Planner Pix Howell said although there is a legitimate concern about drainage in Old Town—where the plot is located—the property's tax revenue would help pay for improvements.

"And the site plan requires a detention so they won't be contributing more runoff," he said.

The rezoning request was approved unanimously by the Planning and Zoning Commission, and then by council. The undeveloped property is in the transit-oriented development and must adhere to SmartCode—a form-based code used in urban design.

Council also approved concept plans for Connelly's Crossing, 51.89-acre mixed-use residential development behind the Leander Public Library on Bagdad and Old Quarry roads. The site includes space for apartments and various types of single-family urban homes. The Planning and Zoning Commission approved the plan unanimously at its Aug. 9 meeting.

At the same meeting, council approved the lowest-bidding contractor for the construction of Mel Mathis Avenue. Capital Excavation Co. will execute the construction for $5.41 million, although the Texas Department of Transportation will provide $4.03 million for the project. City Engineer Wayne Watts said Mel Mathis Avenue will take about 10 months to construct.

Aug. 16 also marked the first public hearing for the proposed 2012-13 budget and tax rate. The city's property tax rate is poised to remain 67.042 cents per $100 of valuation. There were no public comments on the issue.

Council will hold two more public hearings at 6 p.m. on Aug. 23 and 7 p.m. on Sept. 6, when they will take a vote. Both meetings are at Pat Bryson Municipal Hall, 201 N. Brushy St., Leander.