Lucy Read Rezoning Memo

The memo below was originally sent to the Allandale Neighborhood Association in response to questions surrounding the possible rezoning of the Lucy Read site. To view the original memo follow this link

BACKGROUND INFORMATION
As part of the planning process for the new Rosedale School, AISD has submitted a rezoning application to the City of Austin. The proposed rezoning would allow the site to house a specialized pediatric medical clinic for children with complex needs. The district is currently in discussions with a medical provider to partner on this important feature of the school, which serves the district’s most medically fragile students.

For students who attend the Rosedale School, traveling is not always easy. Many of the children have to be transported in busses with special medical equipment. Having a clinic on site would mean one less trip families will have to make, which can often be dangerous for students. Pediatric patients with complex medical needs similar to Rosedale students would also be able to use the clinic. On a busy day, the clinic may see around 25-30 patients.

In order to have a medical clinic on site, AISD must rezone the current property. The current zoning is SF-2, Single-Family Residence Standard Lot and the district is requesting that the new zoning be GO-CO, General Office-Conditional Overlay. The district is proposing to remove most of the uses from the GO zoning district so that it can only be used for following:  

  • Commercial Uses
    • Medical Offices – exceeding 5,000 sq. ft. gross area
    • Medical Office – not exceeding 5,000 sq. ft. gross floor area
  • Civic Uses
    • Hospital Services (limited)
    • Public Primary Educational Facilities
    • Public Secondary Educational Facilities

The Zoning and Platting Commission made a recommendation to rezone the Lucy Read Site to be GO-CO at the May 21 meeting. The next step in the process will be a vote by Austin City Council, which is expected to take place June 20.

LUCY READ REZONING MEMO
Austin Independent School District Division of Finance and Operations
TO: Allandale Neighborhood Association
FROM: Matias Segura, PE, MBA – Operations Officer
SUBJECT:  Lucy Read Site Rezoning Q & A

Q: If Council approves the GO-CO zoning, what will AISD do with the property should they not be able to secure a contract with a medical services provider?

A: The school district will only build the medical services portion of the project if they have, or are very likely to have, a partner on board.

Q: If Council approves the GO-CO zoning and AISD constructs the medical offices as planned, how will AISD use the medical clinic space should a contract with the medical provider expire and AISD is not able to establish a contract with any medical service providers?

A: The most likely scenario is that the school would expand into that portion of the building.

Q: Is AISD allowed to contract with a ‘for-profit’ medical provider?

A: There is no prohibition on a for-profit partner, though the partners that AISD is currently evaluating are non-profits.

Q: At ZAP, AISD stated that they had been working with a non-profit medical services provider for several months. Can you identify this provider?

A: We cannot identify that party at this time.

Q: What is the total number of patients that will receive care at this facility?

A: The type of clinic that is being considered at this site provides specialty care for patients that have complex care needs similar to the student population at the Rosedale School. This highly specialized clinic is low-volume with average daily patient visits of approximately 15 – 20. A heavy day would have 25-30 appointments.

Q: What are the specific qualifications for a patient to receive care at this facility (i.e. age, AISD student, Austin resident, medical diagnosis, etc.)?

A: The patient would have to be under the age of 21 and have complex and multiple disabilities.

Q: AISD stated that this facility will serve as a “Regional Hub” for the types of services offered at this clinic. Can you describe what this means?

A: The clinical partner that is being considered has a long-term goal to provide services across the region through satellite offices that are located closer to the patients that need their services with the clinic co-located at the Rosedale School being the “Hub” where the clinical leadership will be located.

Q: Did the bond money approved for this school include a medical clinic?

A: The bond does not include this clinic.

Q: If the answer to # 8 is no, what AISD funds will be used for the construction of the medical clinic?

A: The medical clinic will be built using other capital funds.

Q: What is the proposed financial arrangement between AISD and the medical service provider to 1) reimburse AISD for the 1) construction of the medical clinic and 2) treatment of patients that are not enrolled in AISD?

A: This has not been finalized yet, it is part of the negotiated agreement with the potential partner.

Q: A 20,000 SF medical office is a large facility that has different traffic impacts than a public school. Would AISD agree to performing a traffic impact analysis and traffic demand management study as part of site plan review?

A: We do not believe that the number of trips that this use produces will trigger a neighborhood traffic study, but if it does, we will provide one. The Rosedale Project with the Clinic would be considerably less traffic flow than what is on site currently

Q: How will the number of spaces of parking be determined?

A: The number of parking spaces for the clinic is determined by City Code, Appendix A.

Q: Will a parking garage be required?

A: Design has not begun yet so building and parking configurations are not yet known.

Q: Will on-street parking be needed to accommodate the parking needs of the school and medical office?

A: The expectation is that all required parking will be provided on-site.

Q: AISD staff stated that constructing a driveway to Northcross Dr. was too cost prohibitive. What was the estimated cost for this option, and could the medical services provider cover the cost of this drive?

A: The reason we cannot provide a driveway to Northcross Drive is not due to cost, it is due to not having access to Northcross Drive. The Post Office site extends between our site and the Northcross right of way and it is very unlikely that it would be possible to obtain an easement across this federal property. Additionally, there is a drainage facility and accompanying easement between the site and Northcross Drive.

Q: Please describe the options for the financial arrangement between the medical services provider and AISD to pay for the construction of the medical clinic.

A: This is still being evaluated.

Q: What are the requirements for signage in neighborhoods and letters to neighbors for this re-zoning?

A: Notices and signage required for the zoning case are handled by the City Planning and Zoning Department.

Q: In reference to question #17, please provide documentation demonstrating compliance with these notification requirements.

A: This is also a question for City Planning and Zoning staff.

Q: How has AISD notified ANA of public meetings?

A: The bond communications team block walked within several blocks of the Lucy Read site and left letters and spoke with neighbors inviting them to the April 8 community meeting. That meeting was also listed on the calendar at www.AISDFuture.com.

For the June 10 community meeting, the bond communications team shared meeting details with the ANA president to share via social media and email blast. An email also went out to everyone that has signed up for project specific emails from Rosedale on May 28th. on Monday, June 3, the bond communications team block walked within several blocks of the Lucy Read site and left letters and spoke with neighbors about the June 10 meeting.

Q: What is the current total acreage of parkland at Lucy Read?

A: The site is 9.31 acres.

Q: What is the City-owned % of this total parkland per the ILA?

A: The City has a 25% interest in a portion of the Lucy Read site.

Q: Will the park remain in the same location?

A: The design process and coordination with the City of Austin will determine the orientation and extent of the park.

Q: Will the park be accessible to the public?

A: The open space on the site will be open to the public.

Q: What will be the size of the park after completion of the project?

A: We will not know until the site is designed.

Q: With the zoning change, is parkland use still allowed?

A: Yes.

Q: Would AISD be willing to formally dedicate the parkland on the Lucy Read site?

A: No.

Q: How many members from the neighborhood will AISD allow on design committee?

A: The Campus Architectural Team (CAT) consists of school staff, parents, Rosedale Foundation members and neighborhood representatives. Most CATs typically have 2-3 neighborhood members.

Q: Please provide any deed restrictions and restrictive covenants in effect for this property?

A: Attached.

Q: At the ZAP meetings, ZAP Commissioners discussed different ways of allowing the medical clinic without changing the property to a commercial zoning category. Please identify these options (i.e. ILA amendment, variance, P zoning), the approval process and timeframes for each.

A: We do not know if these other options have been confirmed as viable paths to achieve the medical clinic use under these circumstances. We have been told by Planning and Zoning Department staff, as well as the Law Department, that rezoning is the appropriate process. To answer your question about timeline and process, an ILA amendment is an undefined process so the timeline cannot be predicted. The process of rezoning to P and then proceeding through the conditional use permit process would likely take a year or so in the best case, assuming 6 months to rezone and 6 months for the conditional use permit. This timeline relies on the school district beginning design before even the zoning is in place.

Q: Why didn’t AISD consider LO or LR zoning which provides for medical offices but requires site development standards complimenting the neighborhood?

A: LO and LR zoning do not permit Hospital Services Limited. In the interest of assuring that all potentially needed medical service options are available to the students of Rosedale and other children with complex and multiple disabilities, we did not want to eliminate that possibility.

Q: Drenner Group stated that City staff recommended re-zoning as opposed to other options. Who at the City recommended this and what was the date of this recommendation?

A: The Planning and Zoning Department advised that rezoning was the appropriate path toward the colocation of this pediatric clinic. The Law Department has since confirmed this information as of May 21.

Q: Drenner Group referred to a provision of the land code that would allow for the medical office use with the current zoning if it comprised less than 10% of the total size of the school. What is the citation for this 10% provision?

A: The Code Section related to Accessory Uses is 25-2-891.

Q: Please provide a schedule for the permitting, design, bidding, construction, opening of the school and clinic with milestones.

A: The Design/Build Team will be procured in the summer of 2019. Design and community meetings regarding design will begin immediately following that process and through Sumer of 2020. Construction is planned to begin in the summer of 2020. The school is planned to open in August 2021.

Q: It is our understanding that the Lucy Read campus is currently dedicated to serve as the home campus for Doss Elementary until the end of the school year 2021? If so, this allows for more than two years before construction of a new Rosedale campus can begin. Please demonstrate that two years is insufficient to allow for an alternative to re-zoning the property in addition to the permitting, design and contractor selection?

A: Doss is proposed to be housed at the Lucy Read campus until construction begins in summer of 2020. Rosedale is planned to open in August 2021.

Q: Is there a design and construction schedule that must be met due to the bond funding?

A: Yes. In addition to the bond schedule requirements related to assuring that cost estimates can be met and the facilities can be built for the bond dollars that are approved, the current Rosedale School facility is not adequately serving the students there and AISD wants to put these students in a modern and appropriate facility as soon as possible.

Q: Has AISD selected the architect and builder of the new campus? If so, who are they?

A: Selection of the Design/Build team will happen this summer.

Q: What alternative plans does AISD have should the construction of the school and medical clinic be delayed?

A: The construction of the school cannot be delayed. If the medical clinic becomes a delay the school will have to be built without the collocated clinic.

Q: The school and medical clinic campus is much larger than the current Lucy Read school. Please provide a simple rendering of the proposed campus based on a 75,0000 SF school and 20,000 SF medical clinic and a simple layout showing general size and locations for offices, lab, patient rooms, meeting space, and space for other amenities required.

A: Because AISD has not yet begun the design process, we cannot show an exhibit that shows how these components will lay out.

Q: AISD stated that office hours will be from 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM. Are these times absolute or will there be events, emergencies or incidents that will trigger the need to open the clinic/school at other times including weekends? If there will be other activities, please describe the type of events, emergencies or incidents and their likely hours/days of operation.

A: We cannot predict emergencies, of course, but we do not foresee situations where the standard hours for the clinic will change. Similar to the school, there may be periodic events that will be held after hours or on weekends that would consist of things like family support clinics, annual carnivals, etc.

Q: Will the community be able to use the school campus for community meetings?

A: Yes. A community room is specifically envisioned as part of the campus so that community groups can use the facility.

Q: Should AISD sell the property, what types of commercial uses would be permitted?

A: The zoning would remain, so all of the uses would remain prohibited other than school, 20,000 SF of clinic-related use, and the other legally required uses that we’ve been discussing.

Q: Would AISD agree to enter into an ILA and/or restricted covenant with the City of Austin to re-zone the school back to SF2 (or other equivalent zoning within any revised land code) if 1) AISD is not successful in reaching agreement with medical services provider for pediatric care services required by Rosedale student population, 2) after school and medical clinic are in service, AISD cannot reach agreement with existing or new medical service provider for these same pediatric services, or 3) AISD decides to lease or sell the facility to an outside entity that uses the facility differently than what is currently planned.

A: The school district is discussing this now and is working toward an agreement to agree to rezone the property back to SF-2 or any other equivalent zoning if any time in the future the property is put up for sale.

Q: Would AISD agree to enter into a public restricted covenant with the City of Austin that mirrors the conditional overlays in the zoning case, i.e. the list of prohibited uses and the 20,000 square foot limit on the medical clinic? This would ensure that any conditions remain should the implementation of the upcoming new land development code result in the removal of conditional overlays from all zoning districts.

A: The school district is discussing this now and is working toward an agreement to enter into a covenant to mirror the conditional overlay.

Q: Lucy Read and Gullett Elementary schools together met the elementary school needs for the Allandale area. With Gullett Elementary currently closed to transfers and nearing capacity, and Lucy Read repurposed, what are AISDs plans to serve the growing population of young children in the neighborhood at the primary school level?

A: AISD is currently going through a school change and reinvention process that will identify opportunities to better support our students and staff. This process is slated to conclude with solutions in October 2019. Additional information can be found at https://austinisd.org/schoolchanges

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