The Real Deal


Proposed settlement between Stratus Properties and the City of Austin

The City of Austin and Stratus Properties are discussing what development regulations should apply to several parcels of land, totaling approximately 4,000 acres, owned by Stratus in Southwest Travis County.

The settlement proposal would address legal and other issues involving the Barton Creek, Lantana and Circle C Ranch developments.

Issues were presented at the Austin City Council meeting on Oct. 5, beginning public discussion of the issue. The Council took no action on the settlement.

Public hearings before the City Council are scheduled for 6pm Nov. 30 and Dec. 7. The Nov. 30 meeting is at Town Lake Center, 721 Barton Springs Road. The Dec. 7 meeting returns to the Hancock Building at the Lower Colorado River Authority, 3700 Lake Austin Blvd.

The proposal also will be presented to various city boards and commissions. The Board and Commission meetings begin at 6pm. Presentations have already been made at the Planning Commission (Nov. 14) and the Environmental Board (Nov. 15). The issue will go before the Water/Wastewater Commission on Dec. 6. That Commission meets at Waller Creek Plaza, 625 E. 10th, Room 104.


Term Sheet for Settlement Between Stratus Properties and the City of Austin

* Note: All exhibits are available in hard copy form from the Public Information Office, 124 West 8th St., room 208 or call 499-2220


General Provisions

A. Overall Development

1. All future development in the defined area must comply with applicable City regulations except to the extent necessary to implement the specific terms of this Agreement. The City and Stratus shall agree on a mechanism, which may include arbitration, for expedited resolution of any future dispute over the implementation of the Settlement Agreement. Stratus agrees that any future removal of the Development area from the City's ETJ, either because of litigation or legislation, will not affect the applicability of City ordinances or the enforceability of this Agreement.

2. With respect to impervious cover, Stratus will have the right to build the impervious cover up to the impervious cover percentages for the specific development areas listed below. All impervious cover numbers in this proposal are based on net site area, per the City of Austin Land Development Code provisions in effect on the date of this agreement. Stratus will grant the City a conservation easement giving the City the development rights not granted Stratus under this Agreement.

3. Stratus will grant the City an assignable option to purchase the 46-acre tract adjacent to the Nature Conservancy at an agreed-upon price when the Settlement Agreement is signed.

4. Stratus will provide public access to Barton Creek from public roadways at the two locations generally depicted on Exhibit "1".

5. Stratus will dedicate a public access easement for access along Barton Creek in Section L.

6. All new water quality ponds shall comply with current code except as specified within this agreement.

7. The City agrees, after reviewing all available stormwater studies, no regional stormwater management program fees are due in connection with development of the Barton Creek project.

ABC West Phase II
Code compliance as of effective date of Agreement, plus no fences or other structures in the Critical Water Quality Zone.

POD 9
Stratus will restrict POD 9 to five single-family sites, developed at less than 4% impervious cover based on gross site area, and leaving the balance of approximately 70 acres (which includes all creek frontage) undisturbed and part of the City's conservation easements. Prior to signing the Settlement Agreement, Stratus and the City will agree on building envelopes for all construction in POD 9 so that all construction will be in the least sensitive and least visible areas of POD 9.

Section E and Lot 1, Section ABC Midsection ("Lot 1")
Code compliance as of effective date of Agreement. A water quality pond has been constructed to serve Section E, in addition to certain other property. The water quality and stormwater detention benefits of this existing pond will be fully credited towards the water quality and stormwater detention requirements for Section E and Lot 1 under current code.

Sections H & I
1. For purposes of this agreement, the negotiated development parameters apply to Sections H and I as a "combined" development.
2. Impervious cover for Sections H and I will be limited to a maximum of 25% net site area.
3. The "base" land plan will be Stratus's land plan prepared in conjunction with the Fazio II golf course (attached as Exhibit 2), including the associated street and lot layout and areas of detached single-family units that will be permitted as non-single- family development.
4. Stratus will be able to relocate internal lot lines and/or the alignment of internal roadways to accommodate varying residential uses and to reduce encroachment into the water quality transition zones.
5. There will be no residential development allowed within the critical water quality zones, but certain street and driveway crossings will be allowed, the number and locations to be agreed on between Stratus and the City.
6. Residential development within the water quality transition zones will be limited to the following: Total Impervious Cover (ac) = (Area of Water Quality Transition Zone / 3) x 10,000 sf
7. Development in the "peninsula" of Section H shall meet the water quality treatment standards of SOS, and shall use nonstructural controls for individual drainage areas to the greatest extent practicable.
8. The six existing retention/irrigation water quality ponds located within Section H, Section I, and the Fazio II golf course, in combination with the use of flow spreading devices and vegetated buffer areas, will serve as Stratus's water quality control strategy for Sections H and I. Concentrated discharges of stormwater from developed areas shall be converted to sheet flow through the use of level spreaders, rock berms, terraces, and/or other suitable devices to the greatest extent practicable. Sheet flow from developed areas will be discharged through vegetated buffer areas to the greatest extent practicable.

Sections KLO
Code compliance as of effective date of Agreement, except that the overall impervious cover on these tracts will be limited to 17%.

Section M
Code compliance as of effective date of Agreement, except that impervious cover on this tract is limited to 9%, as per the submitted plan.

Section N
1. Section N will have commercial development, which could include office development with an ancillary component of research and development, multi-family development, resort/golf course development and retail development.
2. For that portion of Section N located within the City's corporate limits, the City will initiate the necessary zoning changes to authorize the land uses in Section N described above. Section N will be subject to the Hill Country Roadway Regulations. In addition, Stratus will agree to a 100 foot undisturbed buffer from the right-of-way dedication line (but allowing driveways, utilities, and other exceptions permitted under the Hill Country Roadway Ordinance), and building height limits of 28 feet on structures within 500 feet of Southwest Parkway.
3. For any golf course in Section N, Stratus will agree that no improved area of the golf course will be within 100 feet of any waterway except for golf cart paths across waterways, and areas specifically agreed upon between the City and Stratus. Stratus will agree that the 100-foot buffer will remain after the golf course is built, i.e., there will never be any irrigation, pesticide application, fertilization or construction on the golf course within 100 feet of any waterway, except in any limited areas specifically agreed upon between the City and Stratus. The golf course will be designed, built, maintained and monitored in accordance with a detailed golf course management plan approved by City staff and agreed to prior to the effective date of the Settlement Agreement.
4. The City will provide sewer service to Section N according to its usual terms and conditions, thus eliminating the need for Stratus to build another wastewater treatment plant on Section N. No effluent irrigation will be allowed on Section N. Stratus will not oppose the annexation of the entirety of Section N, provided such annexation and zoning is consistent with, and does not limit or otherwise affect, development on Section N permitted by Settlement Agreement. We recognize there are MUD issues that may need to be resolved with respect to annexation.
5. The City agrees that Stratus may construct two "sub-regional" retention/irrigation water quality ponds at the eastern boundary of Section N as generally identified in Exhibit 3. These ponds may be constructed within the critical water quality zones (including the main channels) of the affected tributaries, and will be characterized by the following features:
a. The ponds will have splitter structures that capture the initial runoff from a storm, and otherwise bypass up to the 25-year storm event
b. The ponds will be designed to retain, at a minimum, one-half (0.5) inch of runoff from the contributing drainage basin. The "capture volume" will be increased by one tenth (0.1) of an inch above the minimum one-half (0.5) inch of runoff for each 10% increment of gross impervious cover over 20% within the area draining to the pond.
c. The ponds will be designed to minimize excavation to the greatest extent practicable, and construction will be sequenced to provide for early rough-cutting of the ponds so as to help control sediment during construction.
Alternatively, Stratus may develop a system of retention/irrigation water quality ponds strategically located within the eastern three-quarters of Section N that serve smaller drainage basins, but which have the same design features as identified for "sub-regional" ponds above. These "alternative ponds" may not be located within the critical water quality zone, unless the City and Stratus agree otherwise. In addition to the use of ponds under this scenario, Stratus may use a combination of flow spreading devices and vegetated buffer areas to treat storm runoff that does not drain to the ponds.
6. For the western one-quarter of Section N that does not drain to the "sub-regional" ponds, Stratus will use a combination of flow spreading devices and vegetated buffer areas as the preferred water quality control strategy. Other structural controls may also be utilized to provide water quality treatment for this portion of Section N. This water quality control strategy will meet or exceed the level of water quality treatment associated with the retention/irrigation pond strategy used in the remainder of Section N as described above. Concentrated discharges of stormwater from developed areas shall be converted to sheet flow through the use of level spreaders, rock berms, terraces, and/or other suitable devices to the greatest extent practicable. Sheet flow from developed areas will be discharged through vegetated buffer areas to the greatest extent practicable.
7. Impervious cover in Section N will be limited to 25% net site area. The maximum number of multi-family units on Section N will be 1,200 multi-family units. For each multi-family unit constructed on Section N, Stratus will contribute $100 to the City's SMART Housing Program.

Narrow Streets at Barton Creek
Throughout Barton Creek, Stratus may construct narrow private gated roads utilizing alternate urban standards with waivers in a manner consistent with streets in Barton Creek Section J-2 and Section M.


Lantana

Stratus' remaining 452 acres will be developed in accordance with the following:

a. 270 acres currently zoned for single-family use will be converted to multi-family zoning and developed under SOS. A minimum of 20% of the multi-family development will be subject to the City's Smart-Housing Program.

b. The remaining 182 acres will be developed in accordance with a hybrid of the CWO and Williamson Creek Ordinances, consistent with the arrangement approved by the City and applicable to Lantana Phase 1, Section 2.


Circle C

A. Circle C West Phase II -- 535 acres. Circle C West Phase II will be single family residential, excluding apartments. SOS impervious cover limits will apply to Circle C West Phase II. Stormwater quality treatment in Circle C West Phase II will result in annual pollutant load removal rates equivalent to retention/irrigation with a water quality capture volume of 0.5" plus 0.1" for each 10% increase in gross impervious cover over 20%, as mutually agreed upon by Stratus and the City.

B. Balance of Circle C 1. Stratus will deed to the City that portion of Tract 102 that forms a northern boundary to the City's Prop. 2 land as generally reflected on Exhibit "4". Stratus will also deed to the City Tracts 112 and 109, as well as a fire station site not to exceed two (2) acres in a location to be identified prior to signing the Settlement Agreement.

2. The Remainder of Circle C will be developed consistent with the land uses reflected on the Land Use Plan. All development will be in compliance with the City Code. An impervious cover bucket concept shall apply to Circle C. The total available impervious cover to equal the sum of the available impervious cover from all tracts, calculated pursuant to the SOS ordinance. No single site shall be developed at an impervious cover level greater than 35%. Stratus can use the allowable impervious cover on the tracts to be deeded to the City pursuant to the bucket concept, i.e., the allowable impervious cover from that portion of Tract 102 conveyed to City and Tracts 109 and 112 can be used on other tracts, as long as no individual tract goes above 35% net site area. Tract 108 must be developed in strict compliance with SOS, i.e., the "bucket" cannot be used to increase impervious cover on Tract 108.


Circle C MUD Reimbursement Litigation

The City will pay Stratus $6.3 million in settlement of MUD Reimbursables litigation.

Source: City of Austin

Modified: 11/15/00 10:50:45 AM CST

If you have questions please email: Maria.Leatherwood@ci.austin.tx.us.

  • More of the Story

  • What's the Deal?

    The Details in the City's Proposed Settlement With Stratus Properties Are the Fine Print in the Term Sheet.

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