Austin Condos Real Estate Blog

Funding for Feasibility Study of Proposed Gondola System Approved for $15K

A proposal that would add a gondola system to South First and Guadalupe streets gained momentum today after a regional mobility agency approved funding a feasibility study.

The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority board approved splitting the cost of the $15,000 feasibility study with the city of Austin and the city’s transit agency, Capital Metro. Each organization would pay about $5,000, and the Texas A&M Transportation Institute will conduct the nine-week study, said Jeff Dailey, the Mobility Authority’s deputy executive director.

“The object is to provide information on the strengths and weaknesses of this [proposal] for consideration for further study,” he said. “They’re going to look at research documentation, operations and maintenance costs of other systems and provide an independent, high-level assessment and also look at the effectiveness of it as a transit system.”

Other areas of study will include demand and capacity for a gondola system, environmental impact, safety issues and financing, according to Mobility Authority documents.

Board chairman Ray Wilkerson said the gondola system is an example of the other types of projects the Mobility Authority is able to consider besides toll roads. The organization was created to look at relieving congestion in a variety of modes, he said.

“Whether this goes further or not, I’m glad that this board is open-minded enough to start discussing other avenues,” he said.” … The fact that we are able to do that and [it] is part of our direction, then I’m in favor of moving forward with these type of items that come up more often to look for what we can do to relieve congestion in Central Texas.”

The Mobility Authority first heard ...

8-Mile Gondola System Proposed as Alternative Transport in Downtown Austin

Argodesign, the company behind the The Wire urban cable concept, is proposing a gondola system for downtown Austin that comprises an 8-mile long cable route from South First Street, Slaughter Lane North, to Guadalupe Street near the University fo Texas campus.

The concept is similar to gondola systems found in ski resorts, and the downtown project is proposed to be a high-speed, detachable gondola system that makes use of towers and stations above the city's roads. The proposal aims to provide a solution to downtown Austin's three current needs: alternative transport options, boost tourism, and bolster the Austinite's desire to preserve their novelty to "Keep Austin Weird".

But on the practical side, the Mobility Authority board of directors is gathering more information on the proposed project, while considering funding a viability study to see how to make it work. The viability study, if approved, will cost the city $15,000. The amount, however, is a money well invested since it will serve as a precursor to a more detailed feasibility study that could cost $1 million, and eventually a project that would cost between $290-$600 million.

To learn more about this developing story, please click the link to access the original article, or check out our blog for future updates. 


Want to Rent Out Your Condo? Check Out These City Council-Imposed Restrictions First

The Austin City Council is now regulating the short-term rental of homes that are not classified by their prospective owners as their homestead of main dwelling. 

Austin homeowners looking to rent out their houses for fewer than 30 days must obtain a license costing $285—$235 for a renewal—in one of three different categories, Type 1 and 1A, Type 2, and Type 3, depending on the type of property they will be renting. They also must pay hotel occupancy taxes.

Zaatari applied for a Type 2 license, which is for residential rentals the owner doesn’t claim as his or her main dwelling, or homestead, according to city regulations.

In November 2015, the Austin City Council placed a temporary moratorium on new licenses for Type 2 short-term rentals. In February, the City Council voted 9-2 to amend the law and implement new regulations for those rentals, including a ban on them by 2022.

The council’s new rules created an occupancy limit of no more than 10 related adults or six unrelated adults in a short-term rental and prohibited “outdoor assemblies”—weddings, bachelor or bachelorette parties, concerts, or “group activities other than sleeping”—from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Outdoor gatherings of more than six adults also are prohibited from the hours of 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. And the new rules allow inspectors to enter and survey properties “at all reasonable times.”

‘Silly Restrictions’

In response to the new rules for Type 2 short-term rentals, the Austin-based Texas Public Policy Foundation filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the regulations.

“The ordinances infringe upon the rights to...