Metropolis Council has accepted Deliberate Unit Growth (PUD) zoning on first studying for the 14-acre Central Well being web site at 601 E. fifteenth St., previously house to Brackenridge Hospital.
The zoning, if accepted on second and third studying, will permit tall and dense buildings on one of many largest redevelopment tracts in Central Austin.
Council first outlined its priorities for redevelopment in 2014 when it handed a decision to undertake new land use laws for the positioning. These laws have been nearly put into ordinance final yr within the type of an overlay, however Council members on the final minute mentioned they most popular PUD zoning as a substitute.
As soon as Central Well being, the proprietor of the tract, secures the PUD zoning, it should ship out a request for proposals to builders. As a result of the zoning waives top and ground space ratio limits, the developer would have freedom to construct as dense and excessive because it needs.
Dense growth will not be solely within the curiosity of Central Well being but in addition of property house owners who pay tax to Central Well being. The denser the event, the extra money Central Well being will make from the positioning, including a non-tax income stream to help its mission of offering well being care to underserved communities.
“The entire drive behind wanting density on this property is to offset the tax income to the taxpaying residents of Travis County that Central Well being could be amassing in the event that they didn’t have this extra income supply,” Nikelle Meade, agent for Central Well being, mentioned.
This yr, Central Well being will tax properties in Travis County at roughly 11 cents per $100 of property worth. This charge is comparable, for instance, to Challenge Join’s 8.75 cent per $100 valuation. The general tax charge for many properties in Austin is round $2.25 per $100 valuation.
Council Member Kathie Tovo raised considerations concerning the PUD zoning waiving some necessities of the Downtown Density Bonus program. This system, which supplies initiatives elevated top and density in trade for group advantages, normally kicks in when a constructing reaches a ground space ratio of 8:1. However on this case, this system would kick in solely after 25:1 FAR, saving the developer from paying the charges towards inexpensive housing sometimes required for FAR under 25:1.
“I can’t help that, a minimum of not in the intervening time,” Tovo mentioned, questioning the rationale for setting the density bonus baseline so excessive for this venture.
“We’re asking for the town to not take a look at this as you’d with a typical for-profit developer,” Meade mentioned, including that the inexpensive housing charges would simply be handed on to Central Well being, taking away funding for its “essential” service to the group.
Tovo additionally requested concerning the 100 on-site inexpensive items that the PUD ordinance would mandate. Jerry Rusthoven of the Housing and Planning Division defined that the developer of the positioning must reserve 100 inexpensive items, however the metropolis must pay for them.
Mayor Professional Tem Natasha Harper-Madison moved to approve PUD zoning with certain requirements set forth by the Planning Fee and Environmental Fee. The vote was 9-0-2, with Tovo and Council Member Alison Alter abstaining.
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