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Panel OKs less-dense zoning change for planned NW Austin project


Highlights

Zoning request next goes to Austin City Council.

Opponents of planned subdivision cited density, traffic safety concerns

A city of Austin panel recommended a zoning change that would scale back the number of houses allowed in a proposed development in Northwest Austin.

MileStone Community Builders had requested zoning changes for two tracts in the River Place area — one 40 acres for a proposed autism center and another 42 acres for a subdivision with 82 homes. MileStone previously said that proceeds from its purchase of the 42-acre site would go into a trust to help fund operations of the Autism Center Austin, a planned facility that would provide housing for residents and staff, along with educational, vocational and therapeutic programs for 40 or more autistic adults, according to its operators.

The city Zoning and Platting Commission approved the zoning change for the proposed autism center, but went with a city staff recommendation for a less dense housing project, with minimum lot sizes of 30,000 square feet, roughly half the size of a football field for each home.

The Austin City Council will have the final say on the zoning change.

MileStone Community Builders said its proposed subdivision would be in line with the majority of homes in the River Place development off RM 2222 and River Place Boulevard. MileStone said the zoning change would provide greater building flexibility and ensure the construction of the autism center.

MileStone said failing to get the more-dense zoning could put plans for the autism center project “in jeopardy.”

“We are disappointed with the vote… this definitely puts the future of the Autism Center Austin in jeopardy,” MileStone said in a written statement. “We are going to work hard to find a solution so we can build homes families can afford and a desperately needed center for adults with autism.”

Editor’s note: This story was updated to clarify the actions of the Zoning and Platting Commission.



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