Oak Creek Village FAQs
I. General Questions
- How many people currently live in the 170 units?
As of December 31, 2012, the property was 98% occupied (2 vacant units out of 170 units). According to Management staff, approximately 638 adults live at Oak Creek Village.
- How have residents been informed of the project?
All residents received a letter about the proposed changes. A neighborhood meeting to answer general questions will be held on February 13 at 6 pm. Residents have access to two on-site managers and a hotline operated by Southwest Housing Compliance Corporation (a subsidiary of the Austin Housing Authority) for questions.
- What community benefits is the developer willing to commit to?
Since Oak Creek has been affordable for so long, the applicant is free to redevelop it as an entirely market rate property of 328 units. However, we are interested in keeping the affordable units open. While maintaining our goals of affordability, and keeping the existing neighborhood in mind, it would be better to redevelop in the way we are asking because it would
1) Shift the nature of the development by making it mixed-income
2) Increase the standard of living for those living in affordable housing
3) Make sure that the neighborhood grows responsibly
We’re concerned about the impact that increased traffic might have, so we are proposing to create driveway entrances on Oltorf/Durwood and/or South 1st Street, to keep traffic on main thoroughfares and out of the neighborhood.
4. What process would ensure that current residents of the affordable units to return to the new affordable units post-construction?
We will be following both federal and state rules that charge us with helping residents find temporary homes and most of the new costs they might incur. This includes utility deposits/hookups, moving costs, and any increase in rent due to their temporary relocation. While we want to return residents to their homes as soon as possible, we’re expecting to relocate residents for up to 12 months.
5. How many residents might be realistically projected to successfully return?
The relocation efforts I (Sarah Andre, project consultant) have been involved in have resulted in the vast majority of residents remaining at the project, often more than 90%. However, between people changing their minds, natural turn over, and a longer time away from the original property, some residents will choose to remain in their new homes. All residents in good standing (timely rent payments and behavior, i.e. no criminal history) will be given a priority to return to the property. Any vacant units remaining after all current residents have moved in will be rented to income-qualified tenants on a first-come, first-served basis.
6. What enforcement is done by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs?
TDHCA monitors projects throughout the construction period and annually for a period of 35 years. The owner will be required to submit reports on construction, relocation and lease-up and will undergo physical inspections of both the site and the tenant files. If an owner is found to be out of compliance and does not remedy issues in a timely manner they risk losing the tax credits (and therefore cash) and being banned from the tax credit program.
II. Proposed Zoning Changes
1. Why are you interested in changing the zoning to MF-6 with a Conditional Overlay?
We’ve included extensive details of the zoning change in individual questions below, but in general, the MF-6 zoning lets us build the building that we think makes the most sense. The conditional overlay means that we aren’t interested in building anything excessive. We’re asking for a zoning change from MF-3 to MF-6 for a few reasons.
We’re looking to go from 40 feet tall to 60 feet tall in a few places in the development. These increases would be kept away from Wilson Street and kept down-slope from the neighborhood. The rezoning to MF-6 would permit 90 feet, but we’re not interested in building that high and we’re asking for a Conditional Overlay to keep us to 60 feet. Other parts of MF-6 that we’re not interested in are the changes to impervious cover or set back entitlements.
Additionally, compatibility requirements limit heights along both the northern end of the site and in the southeast corner of the site. We’re not asking for a variance on these requirements.
If the zoning changes to MF-6, the City would be working towards the Imagine Austin plan by preserving existing affordable housing and directing density to an appropriate site. The proposed change is also consistent with BCNA objectives as articulated in Neighborhood Plan.
2. Under the proposed MF-6 zoning:
- What is the maximum number of dwelling units we would be permitted to build?
- How many units would be affordable/subsidized?
- How many units would be market rate?
- What is the anticipated mix of unit sizes (i.e. # of bedrooms & avg sq ft)?
The affordable portion of the site will retain the existing unit mix – 170 units configured as shown on the chart below.
Phase I – Affordable Unit Mix
||Number of Units
||Projected Monthly Rent
The Market Rate phase of the development would be mostly one- and two- bedroom units, with a few three-bedroom units. We’re still working on blueprints, but unless the site limits the sizes, they will most likely be the same as the affordable units.
- How many people do they anticipate residing on site at max occupancy?
We’re still working on the plans for the property. We typically estimate an average of 2 residents per unit, which would mean 820 residents on the market portion of the site and 340 on the affordable for a total of 1,160. Tax credit properties usually estimate 1.5 people per bedroom. This would result in 558 at the affordable site and then a varying amount at the market rate units. Again, we’re working on the market rate plans but we’ve included a few potential scenarios here.
Market Rate Units – Scenario 1
||Number of Units
||Average number of Occupants Per Bedroom
||Total Possible Residents
With an average of 2 persons per unit, we would have 810 occupants. With an average of 1.5 persons per bedroom we would have 1,014.
Market Rate Units – Scenario 2
||Number of Units
||Average number of Occupants Per Bedroom
||Total Possible Residents
Under this scenario, with an average of 2 persons per unit, we would have 810 occupants. With an average of 1.5 persons per bedroom we would have 962 occupants.
3. What is the increase in density they’re proposing?
There are few ways that we consider what density looks like in housing: units/acre, the floor to area ratio (FAR), and impervious cover.
- As-built, the current units/acre is 19.2, but the current zoning allows about 36 units per acre and we’re looking to increase that to 65.6.
- The Floor to Area Ratio – the ratio of indoor air-conditioned space to the site’s total square footage – is currently .408, it could be .75 under MF-3 (current zoning), and we’re working on what the FAR would look like for our proposal, but our focus is on the unit mix and our site plan.
- Currently 62% of the development is impervious cover. A rezoning to MF-6 would permit 80% impervious cover, but we’re adding a Conditional Overlay so that we’re only asking for 70%.
4. What is the increase in maximum height allowance they want? What would that look like to the adjacent properties?
We’re asking for a zoning change from MF-3 to MF-6 for a few reasons. We’re looking to go from 40 feet tall to 60 feet tall in a few places in the development. These increases would be kept away from Wilson Street and kept down slope from the neighborhood. The rezoning of MF-6 would permit 90 feet, but we’re not interested in building that high and we’re asking for a Conditional Overlay to keep us to 60 feet Additionally, compatibility requirements limit heights along both the northern end of the site and in the southeast corner of the site. We’re not asking for a variance on these requirements.
5. Would any variances to standard city requirements be requested relating to impervious cover, setbacks to adjacent properties, parking, or any other features? If so, what variances, how many, and what impacts would that have?
We are not interested in any variances. To utilize the increase in entitlements from MF-3 development standards, all required parking shall be provided on-site, and no variance shall be sought or granted for reduction in required parking. Parking shall be screened from view from neighboring properties and/or underground, except where indicated on the site plan. No off-site parking shall be allowed. In addition, we’re interested in working with tenants and BCNA to actively discourage on-street parking along Wilson and other neighborhood streets.
6. What is an example of another existing multi-family building in Austin with a similar density, height and size for comparison?
Similar developments include M-Station, an affordable apartment complex built at the MLK Station next to the rail road tracks, Wildflower Terrace, a 4-story development in Mueller, which is also a property with an affordable/market mix. There are a few “urban-infill” projects along South Congress and South Lamar, although they are more dense than what is proposed for Oak Creek.
III. Vehicle Trips and Traffic Flow
- What are the projected effects to vehicle trips/traffic flow? How many trips per day are generated by the current units?
We have started a Traffic Impact Analysis for the proposed site and there will be traffic counts for Wilson Street available in approximately two weeks.
- How many parking spaces onsite do they have now?
There are 330 parking spaces on site.
- What will the new development look like with a MF-6 zoning?
- How many vehicles associated with the current homes are estimated to park on streets in the neighborhood?
A traffic count is underway and we will have this information in about two weeks. However, we look forward to working with you on a way to maintain the current neighborhood.
- How many parking spaces do they plan to have?
There will be 285 spaces on the affordable portion of the site, with more parking as needed for the market rate units.
- Where do they plan driveways?
We’re planning driveways on Oltorf or South First Street. In the ideal, the Wilson driveway would remain at the southernmost part of the site for access to the development’s leasing office and the northern access to Wilson would be for emergency access only. If the project remains as-is or becomes a 328-unit market-rate development with no zoning change, the driveways will stay where they currently are.
- What would be the advertised addresses?
The address would remain 2324 Wilson Street.
- Could they limit most vehicle access to Durwood/Oltorf and/or South 1st Street?
Yes. Limiting vehicles to Durwood/Oltorf and/or South 1st Street is possible, if a complete redevelopment takes place.
- What max number of trips-per-day limit would developer commit to for access via Wilson Street?
Until a Traffic Impact Analysis is complete, including traffic counts, we do not know what our options for limiting traffic on Wilson is. We need an engineer’s analysis of the ability to enter and exit off of Oltorf/Durwood and/or South 1st Street before committing to changing the access.
IV. Environmental Protection
1. How would storm water runoff and retention, and water quality be engineered? How would the development interact with the creek area?
We are in the feasibility phase of the engineering work, but we anticipate using a detention pond to filter runoff before it enters the City’s system. In the proposed scenario, less rain water would run off into the creek than currently does.
2. What would be the obligations under the city’s Park Land Development program, or fee-in-lieu for parks facilities?
The applicant would be subject to the City’s parkland dedication fee-in-lieu requirements, which would assess a fee of $650 per residential unit, or approximately $266,000.00.
3. What infrastructure costs in terms of water/sewer/electrical capacity would be generated by the increased development? How would the developer propose to bear these costs so they are not imposed on existing city residents?
We are in the process of obtaining an engineering feasibility report and cost estimates that will tell us if there are off site costs such as utility work. Typically the developer, not the city, pays for any required upgrades.