A February city of Austin Planning Commission decision paved the way for taller, denser development in North Austin.

The commission approved a code amendment creating a new zoning for the University of Texas’ J.J. Pickle Research Campus, the 475-acre scientific facility at 10000 Burnet Road south of the Domain.

The property will now fall under the North Burnet/Gateway Regulating Plan, which provides a path for taller and denser development than previously allowed in the area. The plan, adopted in 2009 to guide zoning districts and development standards in the area, covers the 2,300-acre North Burnet/Gateway Zoning District, which also includes the Domain, which also recently got a height bump approved.

The City Council recently approved rezoning for a 121-acre tract of developed land in the district southeast of the Domain, currently the location of Gateway Shopping Center, Arboretum Crossing shopping center, Stonebridge One offices, and residential buildings. That rezoning increased the maximum building height from 180 feet to 350 feet and the floor-to-area ratio from 3:1 to 10:1.

The new subdistrict for the Pickle campus is designated for Research and Sciences Mixed Use, allowing buildings of 120 to 491 feet in height depending on their participation in the planning area’s density bonus program. The new subdistrict designation also allows housing development if it's approved under a conditional use permit.

Planning staff reports indicate that construction of Capital Metro’s Red Line commuter stations at Uptown ATX and McKalla Place for Q2 Stadium have led to increased development interest in the area, which the amendments are intended to facilitate.

The City Council is scheduled to review the Pickle campus amendment for final approval on March 7.