In a move which went against both neighborhood concerns and a current city development plan Thursday, Austin’s City Council granted developers permission to exceed height restrictions for a planned South Austin project.
Alliance Residential plans to build an apartment mid-rise on the current site of the RunTex store at South First Street and Riverside Drive.
Current code restricts the height of structures on the south side of Lady Bird Lake to 60 feet, but developers said the extra height is necessary to attract investors. Now with Council's permission, they are allowed to go as high as 75 feet.
Council Members Laura Morrison and Kathie Tovo say the project should not qualify for the changes.
"This is a project that is not going to be developed in accordance with our waterfront overlay,” Kathie Tovo said. “It flies in the face of our neighborhood plan, and I think those are both governing documents for how we develop our city."
Developers have agreed to create a bus rapid transit stop on South First Street, as well as a kiosk for the city's bike sharing program.
Both projects are currently under development.