Announcement of Agreement Regarding The Grove Planned Unit Development

ARG Bull Creek, Ltd. (ARG) is pleased to announce that after a 2-year, very public community engagement and discussion process, it has reached agreement with the Bull Creek Road Coalition (BCRC) over the BCRC’s concerns with The Grove at Shoal Creek project.

BCRC is a coalition of neighborhoods representing Highland Park West/ Balcones Area, Allandale, Rosedale, Bryker Woods, Oakmont Heights, Ridgelea and neighbors adjacent to the project on 45th Street and Idlewild. We are grateful to the BCRC Board for their hard work, diligence and cooperation in what has been a long and arduous process. We are also appreciative of the leadership of City Council, The Mayor, Council Member Gallo, and Council Member Pool in encouraging the parties to continue to work together.

While adoption of the terms of the agreement is subject to City Council consideration, the agreement includes substantial, difficult compromises by both parties and we are hopeful that the City will fully embrace the agreement. The Grove at Shoal at Creek will come before the City Council for consideration again on December 6, 2016.

During these past 2 years, we have participated in countless public and neighborhood meetings and held countless hours of discussions. ARG has listened to and incorporated the priorities of outstanding community organizations such as Westminster and Friends of the Grove. ARG has also worked very hard to earn the recommendation of the project by City staff and the Austin Zoning and Platting Commission (an official City planning board made up of citizens representing all City districts). We are proud that the City Council also adopted the vision of the project by passing the zoning request on first reading while additional discussions could be had. We are now very pleased to add to this long list of support, the agreement we have reached with the BCRC.

The agreement includes changes to the proposed PUD zoning recommended by staff and the Zoning and Platting Commission that were difficult for ARG to accept, but we believe it preserves the vision, vibrancy and viability of the project.

The main highlights of the agreement between the BCRC and ARG are listed below. ARG will be working with BCRC, City staff, and Council offices to work through the details of the agreement, make a good faith effort to receive its ultimate approval from the City on December 15th of this year, and ensure the objectives of the agreement are properly incorporated and executed in the PUD zoning ordinance language.

ENTITLEMENTS AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING

  • Retention of the 1,515 residential unit entitlement with a 25% increase in the number of on-site affordable for-sale and rental units and support for alternative City funding in place of impact fee waivers to help in providing that additional affordable housing. The 650 apartment unit cap will be removed to promote these increases.
  • A reduction of 25,000 square feet in office and 10,000 square feet in retail entitlements for a new cap of 185,000 square feet of office and 140,000 square feet of retail. The single retail tenant cap is reduced to 35,000 square feet and the allowable cocktail lounge (bar) entitlements are reduced by 33% to 10,000 square feet maximum.
  • Greater restrictions on development within 75 feet of Bull Creek Road adjacent to the Oakmont Heights neighborhood including a 25 feet setback, maximum 35 feet height, two attached units maximum, and other associated development standards.

TRAFFIC AND SAFETY

  • The Jackson Avenue connection to 45th Street through two existing homes is eliminated.
  • An approximately 1,000 trip reduction in the total unadjusted trip cap.
  • A total of approximately $1.3 million in neighborhood traffic mitigation and safety improvements including sidewalks, traffic circles, speed tables, and enhanced crosswalks for Shoalmont, Oakmont Heights, Ridgelea, Highland Park West, and adjacent areas funded through cost-sharing between ARG and the City and constructed at cost by ARG. The exact scope of the improvements will be determined after feasibility analysis and consultation with the City.

DRAINAGE

  • An independent technical review of The Grove's drainage system will be completed by an engineer selected by mutual agreement of the Ridgelea Neighborhood Association and ARG to certify no adverse drainage impact to downstream properties.
  • A 10 foot drainage easement will be reserved along the shared property line between The Grove and Idlewild.
  • ARG places $50,000 in escrow for a Ridgelea Neighborhood Association escrow fund if needed for future claims related to drainage from The Grove.

PARKLAND AND NOISE

  • Total credited parkland increases to 14.48 acres.
  • A PARD-approved parkland management agreement that includes a management committee with two neighborhood representatives (1 resident in surrounding neighborhoods and 1 resident in the future Grove neighborhood) and provisions related to amendments of the annual programming plan.
  • Outdoor amplified noise cut-off at 9 PM Su-Th, 9:30 F-Sat, for commercial and parkland uses in the PUD.