The Austin City Council’s Housing and Planning Committee on Tuesday recommended a streamlined application and rezoning process for the Colony Park Sustainable Community planned unit development, paving the way for the project to move forward it faced financing challenges last year.

Plans for development include 230,000 square feet of office space, 130,000 square feet of retail, 831 apartments, 1,072 single-family lots, and more than 48 acres of public parks and open space on of 208 acres of city-owned East Austin land 

“Colony Park represents one of our greatest opportunities to leverage public land to develop affordable housing and improve the lives of both current and future Austinites,” said Natasha Harper-Madison, council member and committee chair. “This community initiative is the culmination of decades of advocacy by East Austin residents and collaboration between city departments.”

In response to criticism of the city over long delays in moving forward, the city manager’s office created a “strike team” of department heads and technical experts to collaborate on the project.

The city set a tight timeline for the streamlined process, making it possible the PUD proposal could go before City Council on first reading on November 30. Staff's recommendations for meeting the timeline include authorizing the city manager’s office to process the application without the payment of fees and moving the application to the Planning Commission without seeking considerations or recommendations from any other committee.