The Austin Chronicle

Peace in the Grove?

By Michael King, December 4, 2016, 6:00pm, Newsdesk

City Council is scheduled to consider the Grove at Shoal Creek planned unit development Tuesday, during a special-called, second-reading meeting coincident with Council's regular work session. It might not be as contentious as feared, say BCRC neighbors and developer ARG Bull Creek Ltd.

Sunday afternoon, the Bull Creek Road Coalition and ARG Bull Creek Ltd. – the coalition of nearby neighborhoods and the developer of the property just southeast of 45th at Bull Creek Road – announced an agreement in principle on the major issues of dispute concerning the proposed PUD. (The two sides have been in mediation since late October.) Although the agreement remains tentative pending Council action – and pending city support for the details, including some financial support – it appears that the agreement is a breakthrough on a dispute that has bedeviled the nearby neighborhoods, Council Districts 7 and 10, and the Council since early in 2015.

The announced agreement addresses the scale of the development and its components, the amount of affordable housing units, nearby traffic mitigation, drainage issues and the danger of flooding, and even amplified music after completion. The BCRC and ARG posted the terms online Sunday afternoon.

Below is the summary of the agreement as posted by the two sides – although it is introduced on their websites somewhat differently by each group. In brief, BCRC wrote, “The agreement does not include all of the changes to the PUD advocated by the BCRC for the past 20 months, but we believe it addresses many important issues to the surrounding neighborhoods and advances multiple priorities in our campaign to #BuildaBetterPUD.”

ARG posted in part, “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.”

You can see the full posts here and here.


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.


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.


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.


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.

For more on the Grove at Shoal Creek PUD and City Council this week, follow the Daily News and this week’s print edition.

Copyright © 2019 Austin Chronicle Corporation. All rights reserved.