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Denial Is Not Just A River In Egypt

I have great news. Our permit application resubmission to Zoning was denied!

I know. You're thinking, how is that good news? The last time we chatted (or rather I ranted) about brick and mortar store progress, I said that Zoning is requesting for us to put landscape islands in the parking lot. Here is the background on why we do not want to do that.

In order to not have to including landscaping within the parking lot we need to receive an administrative adjustment from the Department of Planning and Development (DPD).

It turns out that unlike an Alternative Code Approval Request, like the one we had to submit for a fire code waiver, an administrative adjustment cannot be applied for outright.

First, the permit application with updated site and landscape plans must be submitted back to DPD/Zoning. They will review the geometry of parking and loading. When that is determined to be acceptable they will then provide a denial letter for any elements that do not meet the strict interpretation of the code (i.e. interior planting).

Here is where it gets interesting. DPD/Zoning typically will only issue the denial when they feel it is something they will ultimately approve. It's a very "no means yes" exercise. Only after the denial letter is issued, can we then officially begin the administrative adjustment appeal process.

We submitted the updated site and landscape plans on June 27. Our denial letter was issued Monday (July 17).

Depending on the issues under appeal, we will then need to notify adjacent property owners and the 29th ward Alderman via certified mail and then wait 10 days for them to object.

If no objections are received, DPD/Zoning will notify us of final determination on the appeal. If approved, we can then formally resubmit for final DPD/Zoning and Landscape approval.

The administrative adjustment application will be submitted this week. Because the loading dock juts into the parking lot, our architect requested that I draft a statement that store deliveries will occur outside of operating hours and not interfere with customer parking. You don't have to tell me twice.

Due to the nature of the landscape request, which is asking to move the fence to the property line rather than reduce the total width of the landscaped area, zoning may bypass the 10 day notification period and go straight to review for final determination.

Send all of your good vibes our way for a speedy and successful administrative adjustment appeal so we can resubmit our application final approval and permit issuance. As per usual, share this update with others, leave a comment, subscribe to our newsletter, and come see us at the Austin Town Hall City Market on Thursdays.


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