Austin Oaks Charrette

We have completed all phases of the Austin Oaks Charrette.

Final documents have now been posted below - the signed PUD ordinance and the associated exhibits (Land Use Plan). Background on the case since late 2015 is provided below. Background prior to that date can be found at this link: Original Austin Oaks Proposal.

The case came before City Council on December 15, 2016 for the first (of three) readings. After 3 hours of testimony and discussion, the Council passed a motion to "approve the Zoning and Platting Commission recommendation, which includes staff’s recommendations."

Second reading was held on March 23, 2017, and Council added a set of conditions to the submission being discussed: increased the number of residential units from 200 to 425; added 2 floors to a 7-story office building along Mopac, added 1 floor to a 7-story office building along Mopac, raised the height of the original residential building from 4 to 5 floors, removed the hotel and replaced it with an office building, added garages over the restaurants, added $800K to secure more affordable housing, added $826K more for traffic mitigation, identified 3 heritage trees to be saved, and set the traffic cap to 19,648 trips/day.

See the updated documents supplied by the applicant on March 31 and on April 4 for the land use plans that reflect these conditions from second reading.

At third reading on April 13, City staff pointed out first that the petition which had been filed was not valid, since by the time of the council meeting, only 15.17% of the surrounding neighbors were signatories. Council members heard the final public comments, and then made several amendments to the draft ordinance. They removed the additional floor on the original residential building (and accompanying garage), leaving it a 4-story building to accommodate 200 apartments. There are now 375 apartments in the plan, of which 10.8% (41 units) are to be affordable to renters at 60% median family income or lower. They also reduced the height of one of the garages along MoPac by half a floor, and provided for other uses besides restaurant on the parcels designated for restaurant (Financial Services, Personal Services, Pet Services, and General Retail - Convenience. Then Council approved the amended PUD Ordinance by a vote of 8 in favor, 2 opposed, and CM Pool out of town.

These updates incorporate these items: (i) the correct language for paragraphs 10 and 11 under Environmental Code Modifications (Council Member Pool’s motion), (ii) updated sheet labels to correspond with the ordinance Exhibit designations, (iii) an additional note for parking garage summary table because of the new limitation on excavation within 300 feet of the offsite springs, and (iv) a corrected open space exhibit to include all of the creek area that is being dedicated as parkland and recalculated area given the new residential structure (table and percentage updated).
2017-04-04 AUSTIN OAKS PUD
Updates were made to the first sheet of the land use plan set, adding two code modifications and adding Height in feet to the column in the upper chart labeled Maximum Height (floors/feet). Because the Council adopted the ZAP and staff recommendations, MSL has been deleted from the Land Use Plan.
AUSTIN OAKS PUD-2017-01-06
These files were submitted to City staff and City Council members, incorporating changes recommended by ZAP, with two exceptions: (i) instead of “employees” of AISD, the wording refers to “teachers” and (ii) cocktail lounge has been retained as a permitted use (although limited to no more than 5,000 square feet outside of the AO Hotel Parcel 6).

The Phasing Plan contains the traffic improvement timing and payments, as well as the additional requirements associated with construction of the Neighborhood Park and multifamily on Parcel 9.

Austin Oaks PUD Ordinance 12-7-2016

These materials were posted for the November 1 Zoning and Platting Commission meeting, at which the Austin Oaks PUD is item 3 in the public hearings of the agenda. Note that Backup Part 4 was a duplicate of Backup Part 3, so is not included here a second time.
These materials were posted by the Zoning and Platting Commission for the upcoming meeting, at which the Austin Oaks PUD is listed as Public Hearing item 6 in the agenda. Note that there are requests for postponement of the hearing; those requests are likely to be granted, thus a public hearing is likely to be delayed.
This memo was issued by the Austin Transportation Department, describing key elements of the TIA and providing their analysis and their recommendation for the 4 items to be funded as mitigation actions to handle the projected additional traffic.
The Land Use Plan was updated to include the Baseline for Determining Development Bonuses.

The Land Use Plan and Creek Plan also have an updated Erosion Hazard Zone Delineation based on the report and staff analysis.

The Park Plan – note 1 on both pages – has been updated to add a sentence to make it clear that after the redevelopment of the Neighborhood Park on Parcel 10, if the cost does not exceed $1,546,500, the remaining amount may be used toward redeveloping the Heritage Park on Parcel 8.

The Creek Plan has been revised to modify the restoration language in Note 1 and Note 3 per Staff’s request; Note 3 was updated to provide a 10’ buffer at the top of the West Bank of the unnamed creek to allow for a nature trail if the Parks Department should decide to place one there.

These documents were posted by City staff for the September 7 Environmental Commission meeting, at which the Austin Oaks PUD was to be discussed in a public hearing. The item was postponed to the next meeting of the Commission, based on a request from a group called Northwest Austin Neighbors.
Agenda - Env Commission 09 07
Zoning Memo with Exhibits
Environmental Memo with Exhibits
Watershed Presentation
This is the latest summary report of staff comments on the Spire submissions.
The City staff provided this consolidated set of comments regarding Spire's Update 4. It includes a copy of the draft ordinance from Spire that was submitted as part of Update 4, which is informational only. The office of the City Attorney will write the actual PUD ordinance.

Master Report - update 4
08-18-2015 Austin Oaks - TIA Review - FINAL
The City of Austin published this summary report today, a collection of the review comments from City staff in each of their areas of specialty. Austin Oaks PUD - Master Review Report to Update#3
Spire Realty provided this chart today, as part of Update 3, showing for each of the buildings on site the number of floors, building height, and top of structure elevation (mean sea level). Note that an error in MSL of building 7 was corrected here. Austin Oaks Heights
Spire Realty provided this TIA to the City of Austin today, as part of Update 3 for Austin Oaks.

Cover letter - a letter to Tori Haase, Case Manager, regarding the TIA. Letter to Tori Haase 4-22-16

TIA Report - 98-page report on the traffic impact, comparing current situation to phases of development through 2024, with many supporting diagrams and tables. TIA Report 4-21-2016

TIA Appendix - 1037-page document of supporting details. TIA Appendix

Spire Realty provided these materials to the City of Austin today, as Update 3 regarding the redevelopment of Austin Oaks.

Cover Letter - introduction to the files provided, a brief description of changes since the charrette, notes about the use of mean sea level as measure of height, and comments on how changes to an approved ordinance for this PUD will require action by City Council. Letter 4-21-2016

Update 3 - draft PUD ordinance of conditions that are proposed for the property, with attachments that include the legal description of the property in 5 tracts, the zoning designations, how each parcel is intended to be used as depicted in the Land Use Plan (LUP), a phasing plan for how parcels will be developed, permitted uses for each parcel, site development regulations, park plan (map), creek restoration plan (map), streetscape plan, tree plan identifying significant trees, and topography map. Update 3: 4-21-2016

Erosion Hazard Report - engineering report on erosion potential at the site [caution if downloading: 7MB file] - Austin Oaks Erosion Hazard Zone Report

Tier 1 and 2 Compliance chart - chart showing support for this PUD application in areas required (Tier 1) and optional (Tier 2) to be described for the City - Tier Chart 4-21-2016

After the charrette, neighborhood associations and neighborhood groups provided their responses to the charrette. Please see their web sites and social media for position statements, resolutions, and other comments. This page will not carry those comments, but be used as a reference site for materials of the Austin Oaks charrette process.
For a quick overview of what happened during the charrette, we offer this summary.
Austin Oaks Charrette Summary

The plan that was the outcome of the charrette: Preferred Plan for a larger view click here

On Friday morning the design team focused on fixing some typos in the Thursday evening presentation, including more of the 3-D modeling that is underway, adding transect perspective views, and clarifying the charts that describe the traffic counts. With the limited time on Friday morning, the 3-D model could not be completed, but work will continue on it after the charrette, and we will post the resulting model when it is ready.

The presentation at noon was a repeat of the Thursday night presentation, with the changes mentioned above, plus a slide about next steps. As the working group moves forward into the implementation phase of the charrette process, we will continue to engage with the neighborhoods, so that everyone can understand how the design will be realized with the support and direction of the zoning documentation for the re-development of Austin Oaks.

2016-02-01_Friday Presentation
[Please note, the email address with which to ask questions is incorrect in the presentation. It should be [email protected] ]

At the end of the session, Councilmember Sheri Gallo made some remarks, thanking everyone who had been involved in preparing and performing the charrette. She also read a proclamation that named today Austin Oaks Charrette Workshop Day.

Austin Oaks Charrette Proclamation -compressed

A neighbor left a comment after the noon presentation:
Friday comments

Using the feedback from Wednesday night's pin-up session, the design team evolved alternative E into a design that they recommended as the one for the community; it was titled the "Recommended" option. This option was posted for review in the Thursday night pin-ups, and a presentation went through this option in detail, showing conceptual designs for the unique elements in the option, as well as showing data comparing the Recommended option to the updated Code-Compliant design. Here are the presentations from Thursday evening.

Thursday all presentations

On Tuesday night, several attendees asked to be able to have a vote to express preferences for either the Code-Compliant design or the current alternatives being created by the designers. The charrette facilitator intended to do that in the table exercises on Wednesday night, but there wasn't time for those exercises with all the discussion and Q/A that evening. Thus, the vote was done on Thursday night. It was essential to do it then, so that the Final Presentation on Friday would describe the development plan coming out of the charrette. These are the ballot results:

Code Compliant Plan - 31 votes
Designer's Recommended Plan - 55 votes
Abstentions - 6

Many comments were posted with sticky notes on each of the the designs; those on the Recommended option were transcribed Friday morning. As Doug explained, if there are tweaks that can be made in the morning (for example, errors on the diagram, missing information), the designs might be adjusted. If no such changes are made, the team will focus on the 3-D model they have started and ensure all the details in the tables supporting the designs are accurate, in preparation for the noon Friday Final Presentation.

Thursday pin-up comments

Work today began several people creating summaries and transcripts of the feedback from Tuesday night, while the design team met with technical experts on transportation and environmental matters. The design team then discussed the summary of the ratings on the score sheets and looked at some of the feedback comments. The design team then went to work, reviewing further comment inputs as they were transcribed, visiting throughout the day with members of City staff who came by to answer questions posed by the team, and reviewing financial viability of the alternative designs with Jon Ruff.

The team created two designs (known as D and E) using elements and changes to the three alternatives presented Tuesday (A, B, and C), and they modified the Code Compliant plan, in response to the feedback. It was a lot to complete in one day, so the evening session had a late start and some items in the new alternatives don't quite match the tables in the slides [teams were working on aspects in parallel]. Because of the long and productive Q&A, there wasn't time for table-top exercises, so a show of hands survey was done on half a dozen aspects of the design. Those results will be posted here Thursday morning, after the pair of counters get time to cross-check their results. Meanwhile, here are the presentations from the evening session.

Joyce Statz Background Slides
Doug Farr Wednesday presentation and designs

Input from the Q&A and from the brief survey will be used by the team to create one design for Thursday night review, as well as to do a more complete job on the table of numbers that describe the characteristics of that design. Here is the data collected and comment count.

Wednesday Pin-up Comments
Wednesday Comment Counts
Wednesday straw poll

After meeting with Jon Ruff, the site owner, for a review of the market analysis, the design team spent the day creating three alternatives that could be reviewed by the public and tested against the objectives for the charrette. These alternatives were pinned up to the wall in the evening, for use during the public feedback session. About 100 neighbors came to the pin-up session, with many questions and a lively discussion. Feedback was gathered in two ways - for people who could stay, they went to tables to review the alternatives and vote on which segments were preferable, acceptable, or unacceptable. For those with limited time available, they put their comments on sticky notes on the wall charts.

This presentation describes the assumptions for each design, shows each alternative design, and describes the way feedback was collected at the tables.
Doug Farr - Site Design Alternatives

At one of the Monday sessions, people asked for an explanation of how trip counts were done. Jeff Whitacre provided some insights using a portion of this presentation.
Jeff Whitacre on Trip Generation

Feedback tabulated from the Tuesday evening session will be used to guide the work of the designers to create two alternatives for review and feedback on Wednesday night.
Summary of individual rating sheets from the 50 individuals who worked at tables or individually:
Tues rating summary
Verbatim comments from the 50 rating sheets and 3 other sheets of paper submitted by individuals, segmented into categories:
Tues rating form comments by category
Verbatim comments from sticky notes on the alternative concept maps on the wall:
Tues Concept Post-It Comments

Monday was a rich day of discussion and education for the public and the charrette designers, with 8 sessions that ran from 8 AM to about 9 PM. Included here are the presentations and discussion results from the day.

1. Review of Objectives, Strategies, and Measures
Doug Farr of Farr Associates facilitated a review of the draft OSMs posted several days ago, with lively discussion of many of them. Here is the result of the discussion, which will be on large posters at the charrette workshop site. Portions of the OSMs (especially measures) are expected to evolve during the week.
Final Draft OSMs_ as of 012516

2. Transportation 101
Jeff Whitacre of Kimley-Horn led a panel that included Scott James from the City of Austin Development Services Department; Eric Bollich, a traffic engineer with the City of Austin Transportation Department; Hector Tamez from TXDoT; and Roberto Gonzalez from Cap Metro. They discussed the current traffic situation and perspectives and plans of their respective organizations. Two presentations were made with slides, included here:
Jeff Whitacre - Transportation Demand Managementv2
Hector Tamez - TXDoT for TIA

3. Environmental Site Analysis
Sean Compton from TBG Partners, team lead for the charrette design team, led a panel of experts on environmental considerations: Adam Zerrenner from US Fish and Wildlife Services speaking to endangered species and critical habitat on the site (Jollyville Salamander has been found on the site in the past); Michael Embesi, City of Austin Chief Arborist for many years, speaking about protected trees and the regulations regarding those; Chuck Lesniak, City of Austin Environmental Officer, speaking about how environmental reviews are done by the City; and Marilyn Lamensdorf from the City of Austin's Parks and Recreation Department speaking to the availability of and need for parks in this part of the City. Beth Robinson from City of Austin Watershed Development was also present to answer questions. (Each of these spoke without slides.)

Sean provided an overview of the geography and use of the Austin Oaks site, using many images taken with a drone:
Sean Compton - Existing Conditions

4. History and Demographics
Ben Luckens provided a high level overview of the projections for growth in the area surrounding Austin Oaks in coming years, using data from the City of Austin demographer, as well as recent data about segments of the population and housing types:
Ben Luckens - Demographic Snapshot

Rich Denney, a Northwest Hills neighbor, provided a deep history of Spicewood Springs, based on his extensive history research:
Rich Denney - Spicewood Springs history, Austin Oaks PUD

Chuck Stahl from Barrow and Stahl Architects reviewed the development history of Northwest Hills, telling the story from his personal experience helping to develop the area:
Chuck Stahl - Northwest Hills History

Time constraints prevented Ben Luckens from presenting this Allandale overview, but we think it’s important background for all to see.
Ben Luckens - About Allandale

5. Market Analysis 101
Charles Heimsath from Capital Market Research described what goes into a market study and then described the Austin Oaks market area in terms of of the Apartment market, office market, and retail.
Charles Heimsath - Austin Oaks Presentation (2016)

Terry Mitchell of Momark Development reviewed the related nature of large issues facing Austin - transportation, housing, affordability - and how density addresses some of them:
Terry Mitchell- Housing and Other Factors

Stayton Wright from Cresa spoke about what tenants are looking for in commercial office at this point. Many seek locations that integrate live/work/play to support a quality life style. He spoke to how large and small companies ask for such sites, especially when courting the millennial workforce. (no slides)

6. Zoning 101
Jerry Rusthoven from the City of Austin Planning and Zoning Department provided basic training on Zoning and on what is meant by a PUD (Planned Unit Development).
Jerry Rusthoven - ZoningPresentation2016
Jerry Rusthoven - PlannedUnitDevelopmentProcess

7. Town Planning 101
Doug Farr reviewed the activities of the day thus far, and then gave an updated version of the Town Planning presentation done for the Vision and Values workshops. A much-discussed addition is slide 27, intended to show how trip counts at about 5PM are affected by including additional residential components on a site.
Doug Farr AustinOaks_TownPlanning

8. The Reference Plans
Sean Compton's team has been working on a "baseline plan" for the charrette for several weeks, one of the four plans we expect to see in the charrette. This one was done by using the current zoning on the 13 lots in the site, following the current regulations (with some improvements over what the developer is obligated to do). This is NOT a site plan that could be filed; this is a STUDY of a code-compliant site plan. The plan will be posted on the wall at the charrette site Tuesday morning and will be part of the presentation and pin-up review Tuesday evening. The information here does not yet include traffic counts; those will be developed on Tuesday.
Sean Compton Code Compliant Plan Conditions
Sean Compton Code Compliant Plan

Final set of Objectives, Strategies, and Measures used at the Charrette: FinalDraft OSMs_012516

Glossary of terms about charrettes and City of Austin land development: The Charrette Glossary

Final schedule for the January 24-29 Charrette Design Workshop: Final Charrette Schedule

Presentation used in the December 1 and 2 Information Meetings for the community: December 1 and 2 Charrette Info Sessions

Handout given at the December 1 and 2 Information Meetings: December 1 and 2 handout

Agenda for the January 12 Vision and Values Workshop: January 12 Workshop Flow
Information handout from the January 12 Workshop: January Handout
Introductory presentation by Ben Luckens
Presentation by Kareeshma Ali on Charrettes
Presentation by Doug Farr on Town Planning
Presentation by Sean Compton on the Current Austin Oaks Site
Some ideas to stimulate creative thinking about development of this site: What Inspires You

and here's the video referred to in the third slide: Ted Talk

Photos of the Austin Oaks site during a visit: Austin Oaks 12-16-19

Photos of the January 12 Vision and Values Workshop: Jan 12 Workshop

Vision and Values workshops were held for members of the community to provide their input about what they want to see and what they do not want to see in the redevelopment at Austin Oaks. In table-top exercises with 6-10 neighbors per table, they discussed and recorded their ideas in tables in seven categories. This input was used by the Charrette Working Group and Doug Farr Associates, to craft the objectives, strategies, and measures (OSMs) that go into the charrette workshop to evaluate the candidate designs that are developed for the Austin Oaks site.

OSMs going into the charrette: Final draft OSMs 01 21 2016

Scanned input from tables at December 16 Workshop: 2015-12-16 Matrix Results scanned

Transcribed input from tables at December 16 Workshop:2015-12-16 Matrix Results transcribed

Input about opportunities and constraints from one table at the December 16 Workshop: 2015-12-16 Opportunities Concerns

Scanned input from tables at January 12 Workshop: 2016-01-12 Matrix Results scanned

Transcribed input from tables at January 12 Workshop: 2016-01-12 Matrix Results transcribed

Scans of the charts with colored dots (cumulative from December 16 and January 12: Dot Results cumulative

Update on the development of Objectives, Strategies, and Measures: OSM Update January 8