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Below is a brief timeline of recent documents, community input, and Commissioners Court actions related to the Palm School.

  1. On April 12, 2018, the Commissioners Court received the Historic Structure Report for the Palm School building.
  2. On May 8, 2018, the Commissioners Court created a Palm School Advisory Board and approved the board's charge. The charge was the following: "to draft recommended covenants for deed-restricted sale or long-term lease of the Palm School property, considering its significant cultural, historic, and real estate value." The Advisory Board was composed of three representatives, with each one bringing expertise in one of three areas: historic preservation, real estate, and community history. The Court also authorized a new appraisal for the Palm School site.
  3. On June 19, 2018, Travis County staff hosted a community meeting and conducted a survey. The purpose of the community meeting and survey was to gather input on preservation priorities, preferred community uses, relationship to Palm Park, and new development.
  4. Between June 2018 and January 2019, the Palm School Advisory Board met and created draft restrictive covenants for the sale or long-term lease of Palm School. (An overview of the covenants can be found in this presentation given to Commissioners Court on June 4, 2019.)
  5. On April 3, 2019, Travis County staff hosted a second community meeting, with the purpose of gathering input on the restrictive covenants drafted by the Advisory Board, and conducted a survey.
  6. On June 4, 2019, the Commissioners Court received a presentation from Travis County staff, and voted to adopt restrictive covenants for the Palm School site and direct the County Attorney's Office to finalize them for approval by the Commissioners Court. The vote included the Court's desire to allow Travis County residents to submit their suggestions for the restrictive covenants. Up until this point, the Commissioners Court had seen restrictive covenants in general form. The County Attorney's Office was directed to take the general form of the restrictive covenants and create specific legal language from it.
  7. On August 20, 2019, the Commissioners Court received a draft copy of the specific legal language, drafted by the County Attorney's Office, of the restrictive covenants for sale or long-term lease of the Palm School property. The Court then voted to open a public comment period so that County residents may review this legal language and make comments on it.
  8. From August 21, 2019-September 20, 2019, Travis County staff conducted an online 30-day public comment period for the draft restrictive covenants for sale or long-term lease of the Palm School property. During the public comment period, citizens had the opportunity to comment on the restrictive covenant language via email or in writing. Staff received approximately 250 emails during this public comment period.
  9. On October 22, 2019, Commissioners Court received public comments related to placing restrictive covenants on the property of Palm School at a regular voting session of Travis County Commissioners Court.
  10. On October 29, 2019, Travis County staff presented the final proposed version of the restrictive covenants for sale or long-term lease of the Palm School property at a regular voting session of Travis County Commissioners Court. The Commissioners Court voted to approve the restrictive covenants. 
  11. On December 17, 2019, Travis County Commissioners Court directed Travis County Economic Development and Strategic Investments (EDSI) staff to work with Purchasing on a non-competed, professional services contract to provide real estate and finance advisory services.
  12. On February 4, 2020, Travis County Commissioners Court approved a scope of services for real estate and financial advisory services for the sale or ground lease of Palm School.
  13. In March 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Commissioners Court directed staff to prioritize the Coronavirus Relief Fund expenditures. The Commissioners Court approved a pause on new PID petitions and continued the pause on Chapter 28 economic development program. Staff reported that it will pause its work on the Palm School and Expo Center during the pandemic unless it receives other direction from the Court. The Commissioners Court took no specific action on these two work areas.
  14. On June 29, 2021, Travis County staff presented an update to the public and Commissioners Court about the status of the Palm School parcel redevelopment project and requested approval to move forward with the sale or ground lease of Palm School including the restoration of the historic building and the redevelopment of the northern portion of the parcel to generate revenue to expand social services for Travis County’s most vulnerable residents. The Commissioners Court voted to direct staff to hold a community meeting to facilitate communication with residents before moving forward.

To view videos of Commissioners Court meetings where these presentations occurred, please visit the Travis County Commissioners Court meeting portal.

 

700 Lavaca, Suite #1560

Austin, Texas 78701 (Map)

Jessica Rio,
County 
Executive for
PBO

Travis Gatlin,
Budget
Director

Christy D.
Moffett,
EDSI Director

Budget Staff

EDSI Staff

Phone: (512) 854-9106
Fax: (512) 854-4210

TAX RATE: TRAVIS COUNTY ADOPTED A TAX RATE THAT WILL RAISE MORE TAXES FOR MAINTENANCE AND OPERATIONS THAN LAST YEAR’S TAX RATE. THE TAX RATE WILL EFFECTIVELY BE RAISED BY 8.7 PERCENT AND WILL RAISE TAXES FOR MAINTENANCE AND OPERATIONS ON A $100,000 HOME BY APPROXIMATELY $22.42.

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