Today, City Council voted to indefinitely postpone the approval of the baseline zoning for The Grove. For more information about the importance of baseline zoning on this property, here’s some information from today’s Austin Chronicle:

“There’s a subtle but important step in the Grove at Shoal Creek development at today’s council meeting: Item 4, establishing baseline zoning for the entire 75-acre tract – which has never been zoned because it belonged to the state until recently. Most of the adjoining neighborhood is zoned as single-family SF-2 or SF-3, so the thinking is that most of this tract should have base zoning no denser than that, especially because the transportation access is so poor. Of course, ARG Bull Creek, Ltd. intends to build a planned unit development much denser than that; the whole point of a PUD is to override the base zoning, to create a development that’s superior to the few hundred tract houses you’d get in SF-3.

So, why quibble about the base zoning? Largely because of the affordable housing component. In whatever PUD plan is approved (see “Game of Zones,” p.16), the developer will have to provide a set amount of affordable housing, either on-site or as a financial contribution to housing elsewhere in the city (see “Bonus Points for Affordability,” Oct. 2). The amount of that contribution is based on the increased density (and profit) afforded by the PUD, compared to the base zoning. So today’s discussion has nothing to do with what ARG will finally build on the site, but a lot to do with how much affordable housing they’ll have to provide. And remember: Those who will doubtless be arguing today for denser base zoning are asking not for a more compact city, but for a more profitable city with less affordability.”

Full article here.