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Dawson Neighborhood

Austin Planning Comm Approves Variances for Guesthouse Hotel

Image: APC Votes for Variances

The Austin Planning Commission debated SP-2015-0300, the compatibility setback waivers requested by KRUG/Guesthouse Hotel. They reached this item at 11:30 PM, and finished at 1:00 AM. Guesthouse Hotel had dropped the request to feature alcohol within 300′ of the Church in Austin, so at stake was the driveway and the pool positions.

Planning Commission Staff had recommended approval of the waivers. Click here for their review sheet, site plan diagrams and attached documents from Interested Parties in the neighborhood.

Many representatives from Church in Austin spoke against the waivers on the grounds of noise, safety and defending the heritage trees on both properties. They do not want the hotel driveway adjacent to their property line, nor the pool, due to noise concerns. Their primary fear is that the hotel will be incompatible with the church’s quiet atmosphere by being a disruptive party destination. They framed the issue as being about their property rights.

The Dawson Neighborhood Plan Contact Team representative was a no-show tonight, leaving Church in Austin itself awkwardly disclosing their lack of neighborhood support. On Monday, June 13, the DNPCT membership voted in favor of all three waivers.

The Planning Commission was ultimately sold on the waivers due to the reality that South Congress Avenue is already an entertainment district, and KRUG/Guesthouse Hotel presented reasonable solutions to each point of objection. They voted on the two waivers separately:

  • Driveway passed: 9 to 2
  • Pool passed 8 to 3 7 to 4 per Austin Monitor

Stay tuned, the Church in Austin may appeal, and The Guesthouse Hotel may ask for a waiver for alcohol sales in the future. Also note that the hotel design may change, as the land use design used tonight was not a final draft.

Please enjoy the 1:28 video here:

This article has been revised for clarity.

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