Proposed amendments to the Code of Ordinances to create three mixed-use zoning districts and to rezone much of downtown to the new districts will be presented to the Planning and Zoning Commission on Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 7 p.m. Click here to view the entire proposed ordinance. Some key updates from the last few months include:
An open house was held March 5, 2013 to allow citizens to meet with planners and discuss the proposed zoning changes for several parts of the downtown area. The display boards that were presented at the open house can be found here.
The MU-2 Residential to Limited Commercial Conversion area (originally along East Main and Georgetown Streets) has become a separate and distinct zoning district, known as MU-L (Mixed-Use Limited).
A few changes have been made to the boundaries of the districts since the proposal was presented at the open house. The geographic changes are as follows:
Properties along East Liberty Avenue between North Lewis and Georgetown Streets have been added to the MU-L district.
The residential properties on Lee Street, between Round Rock Avenue and Brushy Creek, have been included in the MU-L district.
Some properties along West Austin and West Anderson Avenues have been added to the MU-2 district.
The following is a comprehensive list of addresses with their current and proposed new zoning district. Click to enlarge.
In 2010 City Council adopted the Downtown Master Plan to serve as a vision for how to guide the redevelopment of downtown Round Rock. The Plan was created with significant public input in the form of public hearings, open houses, and interactive charrettes. The Plan contains a series of public infrastructure and zoning recommendations the City should follow in order to achieve this vision.
The City has completed many of the public improvements and has more currently under construction and in the pipeline. In the meantime, City Staff, with the help of a Working Group consisting of 13 downtown home and business owners, plus members of the City’s Planning and Zoning Commission and Historic Preservation Commission, has developed mixed-use zoning districts to fulfill many of the remaining recommendations of the Plan.
Proposed Downtown Zoning
The Downtown Master Plan recommended 10 “transect zones” that were a hybrid of traditional zoning and form-based codes (a code that focuses on the look of a building rather than on the specific uses inside the building). The transect zones covered downtown as well as areas extending north along Mays Street, past Palm Valley Blvd., and west to Interstate 35.
Staff and the Working Group agreed that having 10 different sets of standards in the downtown area was too much, and the minor differences between each zone were too confusing. As a result, it was decided that it would be best to initially focus on a smaller area and consolidate some of the transects into three mixed-use zoning districts. Doing so will make it easier for business owners, home owners, potential developers, City Staff, and everyone else to understand, interpret, and apply the regulations.
MU-1 (Mixed-Use Historic Commercial Core) Purpose: to establish areas of mixed land uses primarily devoted to combining low to moderate density commercial development with limited residential uses. MU-1 seeks to become the retail, restaurant, and entertainment district for downtown Round Rock with an active and pedestrian-friendly streetscape, and with residential or other uses on upper floors of multi-story buildings. The design standards encourage development that is compatible with and complementary to the existing two-block National Register Historic District, while not trying to imitate it. Location: the Historic core of downtown plus roughly the immediate block surrounding it. Draft:MU-1 District Regulations
MU-2 (Mixed-Use Downtown Medium Density) Purpose: to establish areas of mixed land uses primarily devoted to combining moderate density residential development with moderate density commercial development. MU-2 seeks to become a true mixed-use neighborhood with many housing types that are located in the same building as or adjacent to commercial and office uses. The MU-2 district encourage greater density in buildings that are located close to wide sidewalks and contain ground floor non-residential uses, creating a neighborhood where residents can live, work, and play while reducing the need to drive everywhere. Design standards will encourage more creativity and variety in building style. Location: the existing southwest downtown, lots along West Austin and West Anderson Avenues, and areas in the “Flat” and along Brushy Creek. Draft:MU-2 District Regulations
MU-L (Mixed-Use Limited) Purpose: to allow single-family and limited commercial uses in structures that are residential in style. In keeping with recommendations of the Downtown Master Plan, the eastern part of downtown will remain primarily single-family residential, but some commercial uses may be appropriate for streets that see heavier traffic. These uses include office, bed and breakfast, limited personal services, and boutique and artisanal shops. Such uses are not permitted to build new, commercial-looking buildings; they must convert an existing house or build a new residential-looking structure and conform to standards that ensure their operation is compatible with abutting single-family houses. Location: lots that front on East Main Street between Burnet and College Streets, lots on Georgetown Street from East Main Street to Brushy Creek Drive, lots on East Liberty between Lewis and Georgetown Streets, and the single-family properties on North Lee Street south of Brushy Creek. Draft:MU-L District Regulations
Downtown Supplementary Use Standards Certain conditions that apply to specific land uses in the MU-1, MU-2 and MU-L zoning districts are described in the Supplementary Use Standards. See p. 35 of the proposed ordinance for the specific amendments.
Adoption process The proposal to amend the Code of Ordinances is scheduled to be presented to the Planning and Zoning Commission on Wednesday, May 15, 2013, at 7:00 p.m. at City Council Chambers in City Hall, 221 E Main St. If recommended for approval, it will then be presented to City Council in a series of meetings beginning June 13. There will be a public hearing at each of those meetings during which anyone can provide comments.
Share your comments If you’d like to submit comments outside of the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting or City Council meeting, please use the box below. All comments will be forwarded directly to the inbox of City planners working on the zoning. Additionally, if you wish to speak with planners by phone, you may contact Joelle Jordan (512-218-5422) or Bradley Dushkin (512-671-2728).