Austin Environmental Commission OKs Updated Version of Development Plan Near Lady Bird Lake

The city of Austin is one step closer to redeveloping land near the Austin American-Statesman building, an area where many Austinites watch the South Congress Avenue Bridge bats fly, following the approval of a planned unit development, or PUD.

The applicant, Richard Suttle, is proposing an 18.86-acre PUD located at 305 S. Congress Ave., Austin, on the corner of South Congress and Lady Bird Lake, near the Austin American-Statesman building. The PUD will add trails, lawn space, a pier and a boardwalk area close to the shoreline of Lady Bird Lake.

Staff from the Austin Watershed Protection Department did not recommend the approval of the original PUD, citing multiple environmental concerns. The Austin Environmental Commission approved an amended version of the PUD that meets multiple environmental requirements and addresses those concerns. The PUD now moves to the Austin Planning Commission.

A PUD is a type of zoning that alters code requirements in exchange for other construction opportunities. PUDs are required to preserve the natural environment, provide high-quality development and innovative design, and ensure adequate public facilities and services, Environmental Program Manager Atha Phillips said.

A debate sparked between Phillips and Suttle led to the amended version of the PUD. Phillips said the original proposed lawn areas of the PUD would add and remove certain vegetation, causing additional erosion. Click to read more at