Building and remodeling in Hyde Park requires adherence to a series of city ordinances designed to protect the historic and neighborhood character of Hyde Park. If your project is complex, it can require any of the following:
- A variance from the Board of Adjustment
- A determination by the Historic Landmark Commission
To help you negotiate your way through the process and successfully achieve a result that satisfies both you and the relevant city ordinances, the Hyde Park Neighborhood Association provides the Development Review Committee (DRC), a standing advisory committee of volunteers with expertise in these regulations and procedures. The DRC is not a legal entity; its is purely an advisory one and therefore in no way a prerequisite for any development project, but availing yourself of its resources can help you understand more clearly the process and the relevant regulations.
The Development Review Committee does not directly forward a recommendation for a development project to any governmental body. However, when appropriate or requested, the DRC will recommend to the Neighborhood Association Steering Committee that a particular project be presented to the membership for a vote.
Development Review Committee Process
Begin the process by contacting the DRC chair, David Conner, to put your project on the DRC agenda. The agenda for each meeting is published on the neighborhood listserv. This enables any interested neighbors to attend and provide their feedback.
If your project is simple or in its early stages, a few simple pieces of documentation – your survey, ideas, and photos – are sufficient to enable the DRC to provide comments that help you avoid an unnecessary expenditure of time and expense.
If your project is complex or in an advanced planning stage, bring as many of the following items as you can to your meeting with the DRC:
- A site plan with these elements indicated:
- Property lines and setback lines, including all setback dimensions
- Footprint of new additions and any new site items that affect impervious cover
- Location and dimensions of parking spots, as required by property
- Any trees with a diameter of 19 inches or more, measured four and one-half feet above natural grade.
- Impervious cover calculations, both existing and proposed.
- FAR calculations, both existing and proposed.
- Square footages of the existing lot, existing property, and proposed property.
- Existing and proposed floor plans.
- Existing and proposed exterior elevations, showing the McMansion envelope compliance and the total building height, or photographs of all sides of the property.
- Photographs of the exterior of the property.
- Photographs of adjoining properties, if your project requires a Certificate of Appropriateness.
- Knowledge of whether your structure is contributing to the Hyde Park Local Historic District.
The DRC can help you determine your next step: Do you need to take this project to a city office or a city commission or board for a determination? Is this project of sufficient magnitude – a rezoning, for example – that it should be taken to the membership for a vote? Even if your project is not one that requires referral to the membership, you can request a vote by the membership on the project. If you seek such a vote, the DRC forwards its comments to the Hyde Park Neighborhood Association Steering Committee, which in turn refers your proposal to its membership for consideration at a general neighborhood association meeting.
On occasion, the City of Austin requests official input from the Hyde Park Neighborhood Association for a particular case. If you are proposing such a project, the DRC advises you to invite the neighbors within a block of the project to attend the DRC meeting and to bring all your current planning documents. It can take two to three months for the HPNA to take an official position on a case, due to the time required for proper notifications. If the City of Austin has requested input from the neighborhood association, but there is insufficient time for the HPNA to consider the project, the Steering Committee automatically requests a postponement by the City of Austin.
HPNA Development Review Committee Members
The following individuals are members of the HPNA DRC. If you have any questions about the DRC, its process, or Hyde Park design and building guidelines and standards, feel free to contact the DRC Chair.
- David Conner, Chair
- Karen McGraw (advisory role)
- Wanda Penn
- Michele Rossomando
- Adrian Skinner