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Proposed historic district stalls out at Landmark Commission

Aldridge Place plan discussion postponed after heated debate

A proposal for a new local historic district was the subject of heated debate at Tuesday’s City Historic Landmark Commission meeting, according to a Wednesday Austin Monitor story.

Residents of Aldridge Place—a small section of the North University/Central Austin area north of UT’s campus, just south of Hyde Park, and east of the also diminutive Hancock neighborhood—were met with challenges from (unsurprisingly) Commissioner Arif Panju when they presented their case, according to the Monitor’s Caleb Pritchard.

Despite the fact that, according to applicant Roger Binkley, a neighborhood team garnered support from 95 percent of the 75 percent of residents who responded to one of the team’s three separate attempts to contact them, Pritchard reported, Panju expressed concern about the 25 percent that did not respond.

The commissioner took issue with 75 percent of the neighborhood—which, residents testified, contains a mix of architectural styles and single-family homes dating back to the 19th century as well as a handful of apartments and duplexes—making lasting zoning decisions for 100 percent of its residents, according to Pritchard.

Panju and Commissioner Blake Tollet tangled over the issue of the decision’s effect in relation to CodeNEXT, a Land Development Code rewrite that has yet to be completed, Pritchard reported, while Historic Landmark Officer Steve Sadowsky received applause after stating his opinion that it would be unfair to hold the nomination hostage to the 25 percent of residents who chose not to weigh in.

After a motion to support the proposal failed to pass, the commission voted to postpone further discussion of the matter to November 21, according to the Monitor story.