Zilker Neighborhood Association
Austin, Texas 78704

Taco PUD

This is the project at 211 South Lamar Blvd (the southeast corner of South Lamar Blvd and Riverside Dr), formerly the site of Taco Cabana and is located within the Waterfront Overlay. In 2013, the City Council approved an ordinance changing the zoning from CS/CS-V to PUD and allowed an increase in height from 60 feet to 96 feet. ZNA opposed the ordinance because the height increase is inconsistent with the desire to prevent tall buildings close to the lake and park and because LDC § 25-2-144 (D) requires that "a PUD district must include at least 10 acres of land, unless the property is characterized by special circumstances, including unique topographic constraints." The City staff concluded that the site is characterized by special circumstances. ZNA believes this was flawed a conclusion, but the staff's justification is given in the Staff Report. In approving the height increase, the City Council also allowed condominium residential, multi-family residential, cocktail lounges (<5,000sf), and liquor sales (<2,500sf) uses, but specifically prohibited a number of uses (e.g., hotel use) that would typically be allowed in CS zoning and the Waterfront Overlay. Under the new PUD zoning, if the developers limited the height to 60 feet, all uses given in CS zoning and the Waterfront Overlay would be allowed.

On 20 Nov 2018, the developer submitted an application to amend the zoning ordinance to allow a previously prohibited use (i.e, a hotel) and to also change other requirements in the ordinance. Under the current PUD zoning ordinance, the developer can still build a hotel without a zoning change if the height is limited to 60 feet. The ZNA Executive Committee currently opposes the new application to amend the zoning ordinance since a 60-foot hotel can still be built without changing the zoning ordinance approved by the City Council in 2013.