Lamar Blvd. Development OK'd on first-reading

Residents in the Bouldin Creek neighborhood could be seeing a new apartment development after Austin City Council approved the first reading of an ordinance establishing Planned Unit Development zoning at 211 S. Lamar Blvd. The location currently includes a Taco Cabana.

Councilman Chris Riley supported the change at the Aug. 8 meeting.

"To me, the most important thing is having an inviting place right there that actually embraces the waterfront and welcomes the public," Riley said.

Steve Drenner, who spoke on behalf of the applicant, said the proposed project would be a 96-foot-tall apartment complex with retail on the first floor.

A 60-foot-tall apartment complex could be built on the lot under current zoning.

Cory Walton, vice president of external affairs with the Bouldin Creek Neighborhood Association and a member of the Waterfront Planning and Advisory Board, said he believes the proposed project does not provide a "harmonious interaction" between the development and Lady Bird Lake.

"Because of the climate we are in of growth and development, [harmonious interaction] is probably more important now than before," Walton said. "With this project, we didn't seem to be heading in that direction—rather, in quite the opposite."

Councilwoman Laura Morrison said she did not support the zoning change because she felt it was not in keeping with the community's desires.

"I believe we need to stand up and support the waterfront overlay and make sure that we really are fulfilling the vision that the community has, and I don't believe that this [PUD] does that," Morrison said.