One single-family development proposed for Olmos Park has cleared a major bureaucratic obstacle. The Olmos Park City Council on May 7 approved a special use permit (SUP) with several stipulations for Austin-based PSW Real Estate’s project. PSW wants to go ahead with the formation of an initial 17 single-family homes while replacing existing multi-family units on six lots on parts of East Olmos Drive. The company originally proposed 18 houses. The city must rezone the property from apartment district, and must review upcoming design specifications from PSW to ensure they meet the set conditions before construction begins.
Many Olmos Park residents have presented concerns about drainage, traffic, parking setback distances, and compatibility with the surrounding architectural design in PSW’s proposal. Alas, after several long meetings about the proposal, a committee, that included the mayor and some local architects, worked with representatives from PSW to lay out compromised details on plat and lot characteristics, aesthetics and parking at the new development. PSW bought the initial 1.75-acre tract on which the first 17 homes would sit. The developer hopes to soon close on a nearby 2.5-acre tract on the same portion of East Olmos, where it plans to build a second phase of nine more homes. The entire PSW housing project would be subject to the special use permit and conditions.
Some who have criticized PSW’s proposal now see it in a more favorable light, but still others remain unconvinced. “We’ve gone through a long process to trust each other. (PSW) could’ve easily walked away,” Andres Andujar said at the meeting, according to a report in the San Antonio Express-News. Andujar, who’s been instrumental with recent improvements at HemisFair Park in San Antonio, was part of the Olmos Park negotiating committee on PSW’s proposal. Other residents said they remain unconvinced the project is in the city’s best interest. PSW co-founder Ryan Diepenbrock and council members such as Enzo Pellegrino said they’re hopeful the ordinance outlining the SUP stipulations will be fine-tuned to a point where the developer and the city can best balance each of their interests.