Paving the way in which for a proposed 31-story residential tower on the positioning of the historic Delta Kappa Gamma constructing at 416 W. twelfth St., the Planning Fee voted 11-0-1 final Tuesday to suggest the requested Downtown Blended-Use (DMU) zoning.

The circa-1959 midcentury-modern constructing, which is on the Nationwide Register of Historic Locations, serves because the headquarters for Delta Kappa Gamma Worldwide, a nonprofit that helps ladies educators worldwide. However burdened by the getting old constructing’s upkeep prices, the group hopes to money out and transfer elsewhere. Developer Stratus Properties plans to demolish the constructing and assemble a residential tower.

A number of DKG members spoke on the assembly and urged the fee to suggest the requested zoning change. Native preservation teams decried the proposed demolition. Whereas commissioners stated they appreciated the historic constructing, they have been swayed by the nonprofit’s pleas and the chance to supply much-needed housing downtown alongside a serious transit hall.

“That is our alternative to permit them to proceed to develop … and take full benefit of this property that could be a nice location for lots of houses,” Commissioner Greg Anderson stated.

Council will get the ultimate say on the DMU zoning, which limits buildings to  a peak of 120 toes. If Council approves the zoning change, applicant Michael Whellan stated he’ll apply for a Downtown Density Bonus, which permits extra peak in alternate for adherence to Nice Streets pointers, Austin Power Inexperienced Constructing requirements and City Design pointers. 

Plans for the tower present design parts that mimic midcentury-modern model and a “commemorative backyard area” as additional homage to the unique construction. Plans are nonetheless preliminary, Whellan cautioned.

As a part of the density bonus program, the developer would seemingly pay into the Reasonably priced Housing Belief Fund as an alternative of together with designated reasonably priced items within the constructing. Whellan estimated the fee-in-lieu would quantity to $500,000. Commissioners famous that the mission would additionally enhance town’s tax base. “There’s only a great quantity of worth investing on this,” Anderson stated.

The Planning Fee did think about zoning the positioning historic at its Tuesday assembly, however voted 3-8-1 towards, permitting the DMU vote to maneuver ahead. Planning employees had advisable the historic zoning – in addition to DMU zoning with a conditional overlay of 60 toes – with the intention to protect the constructing.

The Historic Landmark Fee tried to save the building late final 12 months – towards the proprietor’s needs – by pushing for historic zoning. A spot on the Nationwide Register doesn’t preclude demolition, however historic zoning by town would. To grant such zoning, a supermajority on the Historic Landmark Fee or the Planning Fee needed to vote in favor adopted by a Council supermajority vote in favor. 

However the HLC couldn’t get the votes. In December, it voted 8-0-2 in favor of historic zoning, simply shy of a supermajority. After the vote, HLC Chair Terri Myers allowed one abstainer to change votes, making a supermajority. Her efforts, nonetheless, have been in violation of Robert’s Guidelines of Order, so the unique vote counted. Council, due to this fact, will be unable to vote on historic zoning.

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