What should become of Strait Music?

A project that will improve the environment might not comply with city enviro rules.

The Strait Music Company is moving from its longtime home at the corner of Ben White & S. Lamar to a larger facility on Bee Caves Road. This naturally presents a great redevelopment opportunity at its current site.

The current site is technically separate but spiritually connected to a massive shopping center built in the quintessential 1980's style: single-story strip mall surrounded by a sea of surface parking.

All of this happens to be right across the street from a similar 80's era monstrosity: Brodie Oaks, which is going to be redeveloped into a dense, mixed-use community with far more green space and far less asphalt than its predecessor. Save Our Springs is still against it, but whatevs: it's an unequivocal win for housing, environment and culture. Hopefully the other side of the street will follow suit. I would certainly appreciate it as a nearby resident looking for other places to walk or bike to.

CSW Development wants to redevelop the Strait site into a mixed-use project with 319 multifamily units, 10% of which will be affordable at 60% of the area median income. The Planning Commission and City Council have granted the necessary zoning, but last week the developer's representative, veteran lobbyist Steve Drenner, was back at Planning Commission because of a regulatory issue that threatens to kill the project.

The problem is that most of the site is located in the Barton Springs Zone, which is subject to stricter development regulations per the Save Our Springs ordinance.

As you can see, there is a huge difference in the amount of allowable impervious cover between the two watersheds.