Austin Ranch to see further business growth, new pub coming to The Colony

Lorelei Day | | The Colony Courier-Leader

The Colony Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) discussed various items on Tuesday regarding the expansion and improvement of the city’s retail and residential developments.

Among noteworthy votes were the approval of additional land uses in Austin Ranch, approval for The Thirsty Growler pub to add a location and further building requirements for the Gateway District.

Austin Ranch

The board will recommend to the City Council text amendments that will add certain land uses to the Austin Ranch development. If approved, a health studio, photography studio, private recreation club or area, art or dance studio and a dog park will be allowed to occupy the area.

Austin Ranch contains commercial, office, mixed-use and single-family and multi-family homes. Planning Director Mike Joyce said Austin Ranch has seen significant growth over the past year due to Grandscape’s expansion, which includes Nebraska Furniture Mart, Hard Eight BBQ, Rock & Brews, Mi Cocina, Lava Cantina and many other attractions.

“It’s [Austin Ranch] one of the new and happening places in the city,” senior planner Surupa Sen said. “We look forward to developing it and having it as part of The Colony.”

The Thirsty Growler

A recommendation was made to the council to approve a Special Use Permit (SUP) for The Thirsty Growler.

“The Thirsty Growler [located within the Village at 121 shopping center] will sell a variety of craft beer, cider and kombucha for on-site consumption and to-go containers,” Sen said.

Star Liquor is located within 1,000 feet of the proposed location for The Thirsty Growler. Although it has been closed since 2012, Star Liquor’s SUP still remains active. Under city law, The Thirsty Growler cannot legally obtain its SUP until Star Liquor’s permit is revoked. The city has reached out to the previous owners and does not anticipate any problems with that course of action.

The council will now have to approve the commission’s suggestion to change the law that prevents any business that estimates 75 percent or more of its income from alcohol sales to be located within 1,000 feet of another similar facility to 300 feet.

If the amendment to the law passes, The Thirsty Growler will be able to obtain its SUP and move in to the Village at 121 shopping center.

Gateway District

Commissioners approved an ordinance revision to the Gateway District, the area within the S.H. 121 and Main Street corridors.

The revision will allow for retail, commercial and office developments at the South Colony Boulevard, Paige Boulevard and the southwest corner of Kisor Drive and Paige Blvd to be in compliance with the “enhanced development standards” that were modified in 2013.

The regulations for this area include:

Site design, landscaping, building design, public areas, pedestrian and bike standards, fences and service areas.

View original article at The Colony Courier-Leader.