Benny Boyd

Council denies zoning request

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The Lockhart City Council voted on Tuesday to deny a zoning change request that would have allowed for the construction of a duplex on 2.7 acres of property located on North Pecos Street.
The 2.7 acres is part of a 68-acre tract and is not currently a separate parcel.
Residents both in favor of and against the zoning request were on hand at the meeting to voice their concerns before councilmembers took action. Proponents for the zoning change argued the request would have minimal impact on the area, while those against it argued that the roadway was too narrow to support additional housing and could potentially open up future development in an area they hoped would see little change.

Thomas Blauvelt, whose father owns the 68-acre tract, said most of the people who live by his property support the proposed changes. Blauvelt added that he would reside in one of the duplex’s two units.
“None of the neighbors who are opposed actually live next to my house,” said Blauvelt. “Every single neighbor I’ve talked to, except the few who are opposed, support the changes.”
Blauvelt added that the duplex, which would be approximately 2,400 square feet per unit, would cost between $350,000 and $400,000 to construct and would likely be rented out to more wealthy tenants. He noted that he would eventually like to develop more of the 68-acre tract for future residences.
Councilman John Castillo said he worried that bringing in an expensive development could potentially lead to gentrification in the area.
“When you build a quality home, they’ll tax people out,” said Castillo, noting the impact east Austin has felt from increased property values. “These are people who have lived in those houses for two to three generations. They’re on fixed incomes. It could present an issue that could drive those people out.”

For more, see this week’s edition of the Post-Register

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