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Austin Oaks development needs more trees, says city

Committee to examine plans for removal

Long-examined plans for a 20-acre, mixed-use development in Northwest Austin need to include a way to keep more of the property’s existing trees before they move forward, the Austin Monitor’s Cate Malek reported Monday.

The proposed project, called (yes) Austin Oaks, has been under review since 2014, according to the Monitor; current plans call for the removal of 283 trees, 238 of which are not protected by the city, from the site, it added.

At its Sept. 21 meeting, the city’s Environmental Commission elected to ask a committee that includes representatives of the Urban Forestry and Development Services departments find a way to preserve more trees in the development, according to the Monitor.

Located at the intersection of Spicewood Springs Road and MoPac Expressway, the project will include office, retail, restaurant, hotel, and condominium space, as well as 11 acres of parks and open space, Malek reported, noting that the project has faced opposition from nearby residents and neighborhood associations on many fronts, including building height.

Malek also reported that property owner John Ruff’s attorney, Michael Whellan, has stated that mitigation for tree removal through planting of larger trees is part of the plan.

Environmental Commission fears Austin Oaks PUD will threaten too many trees [Austin Monitor]