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The Planning Fee final Tuesday really helpful approval of a rezoning to permit a 126-unit multifamily constructing at 1200-1208 Springdale Highway.

The developer requests Vertical Combined Use (-V) zoning, which might enable extra items, on high of the present Neighborhood Business-Combined Use (GR-MU) zoning. The positioning is at present vacant.

With the prevailing zoning, the developer would construct 76 market-rate items. With VMU zoning, the developer would construct 126 items – 10 p.c of which might be inexpensive at 60 p.c median household revenue – atop industrial house. VMU zoning loosens constructing requirements and requires that no less than 10 p.c of items are priced at 80 p.c MFI. The peak in both situation can be about the identical.

The developer initially proposed rather more housing by combining two tracts and attempting to rezone each – one to Multifamily Residence-Highest Density (MF-6) and the opposite to GR-MU-V. However plans modified after the neighborhood affiliation fought the density throughout conferences with the developer. Now, the developer plans to construct single-family houses on one of many tracts underneath the present (SF-3) zoning as an alternative of a dense multifamily undertaking underneath the beforehand requested MF-6 zoning.

The VMU zoning request is for Tract 2. Tract 1 is slated for single household houses underneath present zoning. Photograph courtesy Davey McEathron Structure.

The VMU rezoning request provoked many neighborhood considerations, chief amongst them displacement and gentrification.

“This undertaking, as is, solely is in step with different tasks that exploited East Austin and contributes to the gentrification and the displacement by zoning,” activist Daniel Llanes stated. 

Alexandria Anderson of the Martin Luther King Neighborhood Affiliation stated, “The developer has no mitigation plan to forestall gentrification, displacement or additional elevating of taxes within the space.”

Neighbors additionally expressed considerations about flooding, visitors, constructing top and disruption of unmarked graves exterior the boundary of Bethany Cemetery, which is subsequent to the proposed undertaking. An archaeological survey commissioned by the developer confirmed no proof of unmarked graves on the positioning.

The neighborhood affiliation is circulating a petition towards the rezoning, which town nonetheless has to confirm. A legitimate petition, which requires the signatures of 20 p.c of property house owners inside 200 ft of the positioning, would power a 9-vote supermajority at Metropolis Council for the rezoning to be authorised.

Commissioner Solveij Rosa Praxis, appointee of Council Member Vanessa Fuentes, sided with the neighbors. “I really feel we should always respect the enter and energy of residents within the East MLK neighborhood,” Praxis stated. “They don’t wish to see an extra 50 items at market charge due to the strain that creates, displacing present residents within the space.” 

“I don’t suppose that denying the -V accomplishes something that the neighborhood expressed concern about,” Commissioner James Shieh stated. With present zoning, Shieh stated, “We don’t get any affordability. We don’t get extra housing, which we desperately want.”

The fee voted 8-1 to advocate GR-MU-V zoning with assist for the items inexpensive at 60 p.c MFI.

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