DRAFT: Encourage redevelopment of mixed-use on corridor roads


The following is a draft resolution. Ask questions, offer suggestions, and share your thoughts so we are better informed and have a strong resolution for the final vote that starts this Friday Oct 27.

Encourage redevelopment of mixed-use on corridor roads

Heritage could accommodate significantly more housing, reduce sprawl, and protect our environment if we eliminate parking minimums for residences on our corridors. Under CodeNext the mixed-use zoning along Heritage’s corridors requires a minimum of one parking space for each residential unit. This makes many parcels unable to support mixed-use development because there is insufficient land to provide the parking needed for additional stories of residential over first floor retail, which has its own parking requirements. Parking minimums also force land to be used to house cars, not people, and free parking encourages car usage over other modes of transportation. A growing number of Austinites do not have cars, especially students and young professionals, and instead use bikes, ride-sharing, and mass transit. We should give developers the choice to provide parking-free housing where the market supports it.

Due to our neighborhood’s walkability and access to mass transit, in Heritage parking minimums should be eliminated in the mixed-use MS2A, MS2B, MU1C zoning (along Guadalupe, Lamar, 34th Street, and 38th Street) as a bonus for developers who provide additional improvements such as wider sidewalks and trees.

The Residential Permit Parking process should be available to neighborhoods who waive parking minimums. Residents of multi-family developments that take advantage of reduced parking minimums should not be eligible for RPP permits.

In addition MS2A, MS2B, MU1C zoning should have:

  • No multilevel structured parking on the exterior (must be wrapped by the building or underground)
  • No drive-throughs
  • Height step back to 35’ within 50’ of a triggering residential lot to be compatible with the 32’ height of R3C residential zoning


This is great; prioritizing people over cars definitely has my support!


I would not include 34th St in this statement, since I don’t like the mid-neighborhood multiuse designation (divides the neighborhood, creating a small island of residential homes). I do agree with the additional comments though.

Even though we have easy access to public transit, I have NOT noticed fewer cars in our neighborhood. Every stealth dorm resident has a car. I think this particular plan would backfire on us; the new mixed-use properties would not get fully rented and it would be necessary for every street to have Residential Parking Permits (which are a huge pain).


You’re right that we aren’t seeing reduced car usage despite Heritage being between major bus lines. The reality is that as long as parking is free and easy, most people will drive rather than use other forms of transit.

I think it’s unlikely that someone who owns a car would choose to live in a condo or apartment that has no parking spaces for residents when the other apartments in our area do have parking. But for the many students and professionals who do not own a car, an apartment over shops on Guadalupe in our walkable neighborhood would be desirable.

Under current parking minimums it’s simply not possible to build a 2nd or 3rd story of residential over shops along Guadalupe – there isn’t space on the small lots for the required parking. If we relax that rule, we can have more neighbors who love walking and biking living here for the same reason we love Heritage.


Regarding including 34th Street, the Heritage neighborhood plan we made in the 2000s has 34th Street as “mixed use/office” so that would not be a change from the current plan. We are simply saying that for residential we would support eliminating parking minimums to make development more people-centric and less car-centric.

Currently 34th Street has a lot of medical office buildings, which are fairly high traffic due to the patients coming in and out for appointments throughout the day. Residential would have lower traffic, and car-free residential would be even better. In addition residential along 34th would bring vitality and street life: people who would walk by our houses, shop at our stores, and eat at our local restaurants.

If I’ve misunderstood your suggestion, let me know. That’s what the forum discussions are all about!


Great idea! I know many students or recent grads without cars, and with Guad hosting many bus lines, this is a great idea. While a few residents might have cars and take their chances on the street, overall Heritage has a decent amount of street parking available and I think there’s room for a few more cars. I would never oppose facilitating mixed-use development on Guad because there might be a few more parked cars near my house.