A Quarterly Newsletter by Garrett-Ihnen
Q2: 2007 Austin, Texas
Georgetown Happenings .02
To provide timely, accurate and useful news and information of relevance
Leander—Update/New Hires .03
Meet GI Staff/Did You Know? .04
and importance to commercial developers and others involved in the real
City of Round Rock—Update .05
Customer Quotes/Tech Corner .06
estate development and construction industries.
City of Cedar Park—Update .07
AUSTIN AND THEN SOME
The City of Austin Land Development Code (LDC) is the city's prescrip-
and other basic aspects of planning. The Koch and Fowler plan included
tion for all matters affecting development. The code is infamous for its
a "modern" airport where Palmer Auditorium now stands.
unforgiving complexity and "cookie-cutter" requirements. Despite
The 1958 Austin Plan, crafted by Harold Wise and Associates,
decades of trying to keep up with, let alone guide, development trends
reflected an entirely different set of planning precepts. The list of
and pressures, Austin's ever more elaborate land regulations have
issues included economic development goals, parking requirements
only spawned a lot of drafting, painfully inflicted on the local
and a utilities plan. While the Council rejected the Austin Plan, it did
development community. The current LDC is an attempt to make
incorporate its largest sections on land use, circulation and
sense of the leavings and traces of years of land spats and market
transportation and public facilities into the 1961 Development Plan.
forces. It would help to take a brief spin back in time to see how the
Land Development Code has evolved.
Starting with the 1928 City Plan, Austin has undertaken six city-wide
"Austin Tomorrow was the first of the
comprehensive planning efforts along with a herd of special purpose
plans for downtown, the lakes, the creeks, the Eastside,
city's plans to be a committee project,
transportation and the like. Of the Big Five, only three have been
and its scope ended up being much
adopted as presented: the City Plan, the 1944 Moore Plan and the
1977 Austin Tomorrow Plan.
broader than any plan before it."
The fourth plan, the 1958 Austin Plan, which was rejected by the city
council in that year, formed the major basis of the Development Plan
that was crafted by city staff and adopted in 1961. This was later
The Austin Tomorrow presented the core of its recommendations for
augmented by sub-plans for watersheds, community renewal and the
adoption in 1977, and issued its final report (with implementation
controversial 1967 Expressway Plan. The fifth major planning criteria) in 1980. Austin Tomorrow is still the master plan in effect for
enterprise, the Austin Plan of the mid-1980s was presented to Council
the City of Austin, although it was not until 1985 that the city charter
with great fanfare in November of 1988, only to collapse under its own
was amended to require we have one. This was in response to this
weight and of those opposed to its 100 pages of land use rules. In the
amendment that Austin Plan later came to be. Austin Tomorrow was
end the Austin Plan became guidelines for development.
the first of the city's plans to be a committee project, and its scope
ended up being much broader than any plan before it. Austin
The 1928 plan, by the Dallas architectural firm of Koch and Fowler,
Tomorrow guides the reader through concepts like "impervious cover"
was shaped by two major contexts. One was the then-recent action by
and "native plant material."
the Texas Legislature that allowed cities to implement zoning and
subdivision controls; the plan included models for both, including five
Project and Business Development
zoning classifications—along with height and setback requirements—
suggested street widths and parkland requirements for subdivisions
A Service Engineering Firm
A commitment to excellence with the experience and expertise to make your vision a reality.
Leander –Positive Outlook Amid Growing Pains
Mayor John Cowman and the Leander City Council are currently develop-
This increase in area has not been completely without negative
ing a comprehensive plan for the area surrounding Ronald Reagan
response. During a June 7th meeting, the City of Leander annexed rough-
Whose land is it anyway? Georgetown City Council members voted
development director says that the project will help the city take major
Boulevard with the help of current landowners and citizens.
ly 375 acres in five areas in order to extend the ETJ. This increase in size
Tuesday, June 12th to add roughly 1000 acres of land, including
strides towards becoming an important player in the economic develop-
Comprehensive planning for the area would include locations for educa-
was met with large opposition from about 100 residents of the Gabriel's
Gabriel's Overlook subdivision, to the city's boundaries. The problem is
ment along the I-35 corridor.
tion, business and residences along Ronald Reagan and put into place
Overlook Subdivision (located east of the SH29 and Ronald Reagan
that the land is currently under Leander's control, which resulted from
a cohesive scheme for future growth. This plan is a reflection of the suc-
Blvd. intersection). This subdivision is now located within the Leander
action taken by the Leander City Council at their May 15th meeting to
he project will help the city take major strides
cess of the Transit Oriented Development previously planned for the area
ETJ due to the recent annexation and the 2-mile ETJ. Originally, the res-
in and around central Leander.
idents of Gabriel's Overlook hoped for eventual inclusion into
towards becoming an important player in the
The City plans to draft a development agreement that would lock in cur-
economic development along the I-35 corridor."
rent capital recovery fees to their current rate as an incentive to the sign-
The residents of Gabriel's Overlook intend to fight this recent annexation.
ing landowners. This agreement would allow for an estimated $12 mil-
As a way of showing his willingness to soothe the pains of growth, the
lion of savings in water infrastructure fees for future growth. The City
Mayor Cowan has given his personal cell phone number to the residents
The City Council was busy over the past spring with a variety of issues.
believes that the $12 million incentive is a relatively small amount com-
in order to resolve or discuss any questions they may have.
It held its first reading on the creation of a 545-acre Municipal Utility
pared to a potential increase in the commercial tax base in the Ronald
District, to be known as the 3B&J M.U.D., which will be located
Reagan Boulevard area.
partially within the City's ETJ—an area not currently serviced by the
City's public water and wastewater and infrastructure. An advanced
The Leander City Council passed an ordinance during a special called
– Aaron Pesek, P.E.
funding agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation was
City Council Meeting on May 8th which states that the City has grown
considered for the construction of the I-35 and Lakeway project. The
beyond 25,000 citizens. This allows the City to increase their Extra-
current crossing over I-35 at this location has severe alignment issues.
Territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) from 1-mile to 2-miles.
A mobility/feasibility analysis and study is being performed on the
planned Southwest Bypass from east Hwy 29 to west Hwy 29. Several
achieve a new and bigger city population of 25,215. By state law,
We're booming! Garrett-Ihnen recently
Nathan, his wife Sandy, and young son Tyler
construction plans. His experience with
when a city's population exceeds 25,000 people, its extraterritorial
hired three new folks to help with our
have relocated to Austin from Dallas, and we're
commercial site plans includes site dimension
jurisdiction (ETJ) grows from one to two miles. In the case of the
delighted to have them here.
control, utility layouts and grading plans. He has
Leander boundary change, about one-half of Gabriel's Overlook sub-
also designed street plans and profiles and
division fell inside the new Leander ETJ. The residents of the subdivi-
Steve Bornstein started his new career as a CAD
Nathan Knott joined our team as a Professional
slope maps for subdivision construction plans.
sion argue that they work in Georgetown, they shop there, their kids
Technician I on June 1st. He is currently attending
Engineer on June 1st and brings his expertise to
He has created Land Development CAD
play sports there and they pay Georgetown taxes. Georgetown City
intensive CAD training and will quickly be
our Commercial Division. Nathan has a wealth
standards and file structures and has trained
Manager, Paul Brandenburg, indicated that the city is not likely to pur-
up-to-speed and assisting our
of experience managing
new CAD drafters by sharing
sue any legal action or start boundary war with the City of Leander
amendments to the Georgetown Unified Development Code were
multiple commercial land
best practices and his
because it would be a stumbling block to future efforts by both cities
proposed and will be incorporated in the next version.
development projects. Recent
Steve graduated from the
knowledge of the latest
to work on economic development or regional planning.
projects include a sports
University of Texas (Hook ‘Em)
software. Thomas has an
In other news, Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Brokerage
The LedgeStone Group is rolling forward with their big plans to
complex, multi-phased resi-
with a degree in Government.
Associates of Applied Science
Co. recently announced the sale of Victorian Villages Apartments at
integrate their 28-acre proposed development, The Summit at Rivery
dential developments and a
He now resides in Austin after moving here from
degree from Texas State
708 W. 15th St. in Georgetown. The 98-unit, 39,200-square-foot
Park, into the rural area alongside the north San Gabriel River. The
281-acre golf course and housing community,
apartment community was listed at $2.95 million. An unnamed
Summit was envisioned as an ideal location for a hotel and commerce
as well as other commercial developments such
investment group, based out of Santa Monica, California, acquired the
Last, but definitely not least, Thomas Acosta
Thomas hails from Round Rock where he lives
center because of the ease of access resulting from the State Highway
as warehouse facilities, auto dealerships,
joined us on June 29th as a senior CAD Designer.
with his wife Norma.
130 improvements and because there are no high-end hotels or
restaurants and hotel sites.
He will be lending his extensive design experience
conference spaces in the area. The project will total close to 650,000
Garett-Ihnen would like to welcome our
– Steven Zobal, E.I.T.
Nathan is a graduate of Texas A&M University
to our Residential Division; he has designed
square feet and include a 6-story office tower, a convention center
("gig'em") with a Bachelor of Science in
new employees. Be sure to stop by and
residential conceptual and preliminary plans
that will have 300-400 rooms (8-10 stories tall), office condos and
as well as commercial and multi-family site
three high-end restaurants. Mark Thomas, Georgetown's economic
A commitment to excellence with the experience and expertise to make your vision a reality.
City of Round Rock–UPDATE
Get Up Close and Personal
with Garrett-Ihnen Staff:
City prepares to issue nearly $50 million for new projects
The sale of general obligation bonds and certificates of obligation would
At Garrett-Ihnen, we pride ourselves on being accessible and respon-
add a little fewer than 1.5 cents to the property tax rate.
sive to our client's needs. We welcome you to contact us directly.
The Round Rock City Council is poised this summer to authorize the final
issuance of bonds approved by voters in 2001, as well as certificates of
President and Senior Engineer
Project Designer III
obligation to fund new park and recreation projects. The 2001 bond
512.454.2400 Ext. 101
512.454.2400 Ext. 114
election authorized a total of $89.8 million for four categories of
projects: public works, parks and recreation, public safety and public
Jason Rodgers, PE
Project Designer I
1. Austin ranks as the safest big city in the US. In 2006 we had
Commercial Division Manager
512.454.2400 Ext. 127
19 murders. By comparison in 2006 Seattle had 125
The City issued portions of the $89.8 million in 2002 and 2004, in part
512.454.2400 Ext. 102
murders. In the 1970s when Austin was one third the current
to phase in the impact on property tax rates. The final $34.8 million in
population, it averaged 50 murders a year.
Residential Division Manager
512.454.2400 Ext. 110
2. 70% of the city's $600 million dollar budget is spent on police,
512.454.2400 Ext. 104
fire and emergency services.
General Obligation projects
3. Austin is one of the fastest growing big cities in the US. In
Among the general obligation bond projects are the following:
Permit Specialist III
1990, it was ranked the 27th largest city. In 2006 it was ranked
Business Development/Senior Project
512.454.2400 Ext. 108
• $11.6 million for a new city hall
512.454.2400 Ext. 105
4. For the past eleven decades, Austin has grown 3.5% in
• $6.8 million for a recreation center west of IH-35
Permit Specialist II
population each year, resulting in a population that doubles
Certificates of Obligations
Nathan Knott, PE
512.454.2400 Ext. 130
every 20 years.
• $680,000 for new trails
The City Council is considering the improvements to the sports complex
512.454.2400 Ext. 103
5. Mayor Wynn's forecast is a steady 3.5% population growth and
• $676,000 for new traffic signals
at Old Settlers Park to provide better facilities for local league play as
that we will once again double in size over the next 20 years.
• $3.4 million for the Creekbend Boulevard extension
well as to greatly enhance the City's Sports Capital of Texas tourism
Eric Villarreal, EIT
512.454.2400 Ext. 116
6. In 2006, Austin added over 25,000 new jobs.
program. The state-of-the-art ball fields will attract more tournaments,
• $2.6 million for reconstruction of Chisholm Trail
which draw teams from out of town and pump dollars into the local
512.454.2400 Ext. 109
• $5 million for neighborhood street improvements
economy. Other improvements at Old Settlers Park include additional
parking for the Rock'N River family aquatic center, and a rest room and
Stephen Zobal, EIT
512.454.2400 Ext. 122
modest pro shop facility at the tennis complex.
512.454.2400 Ext. 120
The partnership with the YMCA will result in the construction of a
general obligation (GO) debt is anticipated to add one cent to the City's
$6 million indoor aquatic center with both a competitive pool and a
property tax rate, beginning in fiscal year 2008.
Jevon Poston, EIT
512.454.2400 Ext. 106
recreational pool at the Y location on North Mays Street. City residents
The City Council is also considering authorizing $14.8 million in certificates
who are not YMCA members will have access to the facility at rates
512.454.2400 Ext. 121
of obligation (COs), which are paid back through property taxes but do not
comparable to what is charged at Rock'N River, which is currently $3 for
require voter approval. The CO funds will be used to make $12.5 million
ages 18 and older, $2 for seniors (ages 55 and up) and children 17
Joseph Koen, EIT
512.454.2400 Ext. 113
worth of additions and upgrades to the ball field complexes at Old Settlers
Garrett-Ihnen was part of a team
Park, and $2 million will be used in partnership with the YMCA to build a
512.454.2400 Ext. 131
community indoor swim center that includes a competitive pool. The COs
which won the Austin Business
are expected to add a little less than half a cent to the City's property
Make your point!
512.454.2400 Ext. 124
Journal's 2007 Best Real Estate
Project Designer III
Have a comment, question or suggestion? Let us hear from you.
512.454.2400 Ext. 115
Prudent planning will allow the City to pay off some of its higher-interest
Award as the Industrial Winner for the
debt early and refinance other existing debt, lessening the overall impact
Secured Climate Storage project.
of debt on future tax rates. The early payoff and refinancing are expected
512.454.2400 Ext. 100
Visit our web site:
to save taxpayers between $188,000 and $349,000 a year for the next
A commitment to excellence with the experience and expertise to make your vision a reality.
City of Cedar Park–UPDATE
WHAT OUR CUSTOMERS ARE SAYING
In Cedar Park, in the case of an emergency, the emergency call center will
call you. The system is called Reverse 911. Cedar Park has implemented
a new system where the 911 emergency call center will call you if your
"The 3D design work provided to us by Garrett-Ihnen at the
"Just received confirmation that Chicago Title has the document
property is likely to be impacted by an emergency event. Residents will
Shops at the Galleria project saved us considerable time and
and we are set to fund in a few minutes. We greatly appreciate
receive a call with emergency action instructions. The system began
undergoing testing in July and will be instituted for implementation in the
money. Instead of the 2 to 3 weeks it normally takes to imple-
you and your team's efforts and time this week, honestly could
ment design changes in the field, we were able to plug Garrett-
not have pulled it off with out you all. We enjoy working with you
Ihnen's design straight into the machine control systems in our
all and appreciate the level of thoroughness, awareness, can do
GPS dozers literally within hours of completion. Design changes
attitude, and service you all provide.
A week after the three recently reelected members were sworn in on June
28 to Cedar Park's City Council, Stephen Berry, of Place 2 and one of the
on large retail projects such as the Shops are a given and the
newly instated members, resigned for unknown reasons.
cost, schedule, and rework savings attributable to Garrett-
We look forward to a successful continuation and completion of
Learn more about Cedar Park
Ihnen's accurate 3D deliverables is immeasurable. They allowed
this deal, as well as others to come."
us to keep our equipment 100% productive at all times in a con-
Cedar Park, Texas is a rapidly growing community. In fact, Cedar Park has
The City of Cedar Park Bond Task Force has completed its evaluation of
grown over 400% in the past ten years. Population currently exceeds
stantly changing environment. Working with Garrett-Ihnen on this
THE PLACE Commercial Real Estate
projects and will recommend to the City Council that it approve the list of
38,000 people in the city limits; the city now attracts residents and
project was a pleasure."
projects that will result in a total bond package of nearly $75 million. The
enterprises from all over the world because of its uniqueness, close
list includes several road projects, a new city hall, and a recreation
proximity to Austin, and access to Central Texas lakes and waterways. For
center. If approved by the Council, the citizens will vote on the bond
more information on one of Texas' fastest growing cities you may find the
package in November.
following resources helpful:
Multi-Purpose Entertainment Venue
City of Cedar Park City Hall
600 North Bell Boulevard, Cedar Park, Texas 78613
The Austin Ice Bats have been looking for a new home, or bat cave, for
(512) 401-5000 www.cedarpark.tx.us
nearly a decade. Austin, Round Rock and now Cedar Park have all
Tech Corner: Leveraging Google Earth for Civil Engineering Projects
considered constructing a $30 million multipurpose arena to house the
The City of Cedar Park Code of Ordinances is accessible online through
professional hockey team. On May 23rd, the 4A Economic Development
the city's website or at: http://www.ctspublish.com/cedarparklp/
You can use Google Earth to spot potential developments, market your
Council considered three proposals from development teams that lpext.dll?f=templates&fn=frame_default.htm
project to clients, and even review site plans and subdivisions in an
included professional sports affiliates, venue management, constructors,
architects and developers. Each put their best forward to be chosen to
Cedar Park Chamber of Commerce
construct or manage the proposed arena. It has been assumed that the
At Garrett-Ihnen we can help you make the most of this type of emerg-
location of the arena will be on city parkland located south of Block House
1490 E. Whitestone Blvd. Bldg. 2, Suite 180
ing technology. We have the capability to "publish" your site or
Creek on the 183A Toll way. However, city staff has hired a consultant to
Cedar Park, Texas 78613
subdivision into a Google Earth file. This allows you to review in your
evaluate the location and other possible locations with respect to success
office, or even post the file to your web site for marketing purposes.
of the venue on a regional basis. Final action to move this project to the
design stage is expected to occur late this summer.
We can even add three dimensional buildings to your site so you can
see what the finished product might look like and how it fits in to the
surrounding environment before it is built.
Cedar Park –One of the Top 5 Towns for Families
McCormick Mountain, Austin, Texas
Check the "News and Events" section of our web site for some Google
In its August issue Family Circle magazine named the City of Cedar Park
Earth examples at www.garrett-ihnen.com. Then let Garrett-Ihnen help
as the fourth best places to raise a family, ranked only behind Castle Rock,
If you haven't ever used Google Earth (www.earth.google.com) now would
you make the most of this powerful new tool.
Colorado; Diamond Bar, California; and Morton Grove, Illinois. The maga-
– Steven Ihnen, P.E., President
be a good time to give it a try. Google Earth is a mapping tool that com-
zine, in conjunction with On Board, a research firm, considered cost of
bines maps and high resolution images in a simple, free interface.
living, jobs, schools, healthcare, air quality, green space and crime rates
– Conan Witzel, Project Designer III
in its selection.
While fun to play with, Google Earth isn't a mere toy; it can help you in
your land development projects as well.
Comments, questions or concerns, please contact Steven Ihnen with Garrett-Ihnen at 512.454.2400. Thanks!
Texas Registration No. F-000630
www.garrett-ihnen.com Email: [email protected]
3600 W. Parmer Lane, Suite 212
Garrett-Ihnen is a full service civil engineering firm in Austin, Texas that serves much of Texas. Over the past twenty
years, Garrett-Ihnen has developed a wide variety of projects, including municipal facilities and office space, religious,
restaurant and retail sites and multi-phased developments — from one-acre to five-hundred acre tracts. In addition, we
have the capability to design and permit civil site projects in the most stringently controlled regions of the state of Texas.
A Service Engineering Firm
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