Small living spaces bringing big change to Downtown Buda 

By Sahar Chmais 

An active adult planned development is coming to the city of Buda, located on the corner of Main Street and Sequoyah Street on North Loop 4. Motion to approve the development on first reading passed unanimously.

The Cantina Development proposes to build 76 small homes, up to 800 square feet per unit, for residents ages 55 and older. Rent prices for these homes range in the $2,000s and these homes will only be available for rent, not for purchase. 

Homes in Cantina are designed with nature in mind, so their structure will have some woodwork and will include numerous windows to let more natural light into the home. 

On this 6.5-acre land, Cantina Development will keep the “Great House,” which is currently the home on the property, as well as all of the trees. The “Great House” will be transformed into an amenities area for residents to gather for activities. The exterior of the house will not be changed, but the interior will be redesigned. 

The “Great House,” image provided by Cantina Development.

Although Buda City Council passed the motion on first reading, council members will review revisions and will potentially have more questions during the next meeting. 

Council had some concern about traffic and parking; Cantina will create a parking lot. As for traffic, Cantina does not expect its residents’ demographic to cause a large impact. Some examples provided to council include: residents living in these developments have less vehicles than single-family homes, residents also tend to go out less and usually avoid traveling during  peak hours. 

The Planning and Zoning Commission approved this development nearly one month ago, but its members also had requested an updated traffic  count at the intersection be included in the plat. The commission had also requested that Cantina’s on-site drainage features must be adequately shielded. 

While the city is moving forward with plans for the development, there is one neighbor to the property who opposed it. 

John McCormick submitted two letters opposing the development, stating the potential risks it could bring. 

“The proposed 76 living units on this small part of the original farm is inappropriate when you consider the 110 acres to the south was finished out as Sequoyah subdivision containing 120 homes,” McCormick wrote. “The tiny homes … are not placed on concrete foundations. They will be highly vulnerable to storm damage. The appearance of the homes will be unlike any of the surrounding area. Utilities will be provided by one water meter and one sewer tap from the city just as it is to the large apartment complexes.” 

McCormick also stated that significant areas to the north-west are prone to flood. 

Ultimately, staff approved this site development due to its economic productivity. 

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Sahar Chmais holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. She has been covering cities in Hays County for one year, touching on residents' struggles and successes, city issues, COVID-19 and more. Prior to reporting on the local spectrum, Sahar reported for a national news organization, covering gun violence. Sahar enjoys working as a local reporter because she gets to work with real people and their stories.

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