By Sahar Chmais
BUDA — Driving through Buda on Main Street, one of the first things that catches the eyes of residents and visitors is City Hall and small-town-charm architecture. Among that scenery will soon be the new Cantina Development which will sit across from Buda’s City Hall building.
Cantina will erect a development that will greet patrons with its modern historic look, staying uniform with the city’s charm.
On Tuesday, Jan. 5, Buda City Council unanimously approved the adoption of an Ordinance request to place a planned development on the 6.5-acre property located at the southeast corner of Main Street and Sequoyah Street. The approval came after months of deliberation and added demands for the Cantina Development to follow.
The development will have 76 active adult residential units limited to adults ages 55 and older. With nature in mind, the development will maintain all of the trees on the property and nearly double the amount of trees. The units will let nature in through large windows so adults can enjoy the scenery.
After Tuesday’s meeting, the council added a few demands and put some of their concerns at ease.
One of the biggest issues that the council faced is traffic levels. Zachary Hollander, a Co-founder of Cantina Communities, displayed several models to show how varying business models affect traffic.
A mixed-use commercial and residential project would create a 600% traffic impact greater than the proposed model, according to Cantina’s calculations. Of the several scenarios presented, the 76 housing units created the least impact on traffic.
“Comparisons for this property show that this would be a better solution than many,” said Council Member Evan Ture.
While Ture was convinced with this argument, he still advocated for resident concerns. Some residents worried about overflow parking. Cantina will provide the standard of two parking spots for any one or two-bedroom housing, but on average these units will have one car per household, said Hollander. He added that because they are exceeding the multi-family standard, he is comfortable there will not be overflow parking.
For ease of mind, the residential agreement will have an overflow parking stipulation. Council also requested of Cantina to reach out to five neighbors to the south of the property and offer them a pedestrian wall break.
Additionally, Cantina will have to pursue an easement for a trail connector to Bradfield Park, improve the downstream drainage condition by 10%. Cantina will also have to notify residents of the existence of Willie’s music venue which is 500 feet from the closest residential unit.
Council member Ture has also requested that Cantina adds the following three design elements to the front 15 units: side gables, natural materials and craftsman-style columns. He added that the rest of the units need to incorporate at least one of these design elements as well.
“We want to make sure the citizens and public are pleased,” said Council Member Ray Bryant. “We want to make sure you know that, and I think you do, this is very important and sensitive everybody will see it coming and going.”
Council woman Terry Cummings said she was very skeptical early on but she has also had a change of mind.
“I have a special place in my heart for working with seniors,” Cummings addressed the council, “and I appreciate that there is going to be more opportunity and variation in types of housing available to seniors here. The design of the project has really grown on me. I am not a modern aesthetic appreciator, but I’m really liking this now.”