Site Plan Development in the City of Austin is hard. I would be hard pressed to find someone who would disagree with that statement. The number of departments you have to get to review and approve your project adds layers of complexity, not to mention all the codes that you have to review and comply with.
We have had success using the Development Assessment provided by the City of Austin to identify potential site challenges early in the project. This process has a cost, but can get a project off to a much better start.
Something relatively new that developers need to be aware of is Atlas 14. This FEMA study can drastically affect your project. It could lead to redesign of your project’s drainage infrastructure, even if you have complied with the current rules.
What is it? Basically, Atlas 14 indicates that Austin can receive 13″ of rain in a 24-hour period, up from the current rate of 10″. This 30% increase has the effect of putting properties in the 100-year floodplain in the 25-year floodplain, or putting properties in the 500-year floodplain in the 100-year floodplain. For more reading, see this ABJ Article.
Because drainage is already one of the most scrutinized and important aspects of the design review process, and because significant civil engineering efforts are invested in these drainage design solutions, this new standard could be a crisis for projects under design that do not take this into consideration. Not to mention added cost for the developer and potentially reduced usable area.
If you would like to study how this will affect your property, or would like to insure you are prepared for the coming changes, please speak with one of our drainage engineers at PLACE Designers.
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More to come soon. If you want to get in touch please let me know! Thanks for reading!