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On October 29, 2019, Travis County Commissioners Court (Commissioners Court) approved final restrictive covenants for the Palm School site that are meant to guide any future restoration of the building and/or development on the parcel. On January 24, 2023, Commissioners Court approved the following:

Jay Janner Austin American Statesman
Palm School, 2019. Photo credit: Jay Janner, Austin American-Statesman

Move forward with the Palm School concept planning process to include community engagement and a steering committee as outlined in the staff presentation, with the additional direction that the redesign efforts should be focused on preserving the Palm School property, in a manner consistent with its identity as a historic resource, that the space and reactivating the building to serve community-focused purposes, such as cultural spaces, youth programs, high-quality childcare, and community meeting spaces; be consistent with Waterloo Greenway’s mission to improve and reactivate Palm Park and enable that space to become again a community gathering place with recreational activities for people of all ages and abilities; and enhances and restores a seamless, historic connection between Palm School and Palm Park, with improvements that support such connection, so that the two adjacent public lands remain together within the same historic and cultural context and provide a gateway to the Palm District.

To accomplish these goals and help facilitate decision making for the restoration and reimagining of the parcel, the County is undertaking a Concept Planning process that will be informed by community input. (Note: Travis County owns Palm School; the City of Austin owns Palm Park, which is adjacent to the parcel on which Palm School is located.)


If you would like to be notified when new information about this planning process is available, please email us or call 512-854-9070 and leave a message that includes your name and contact information.

ABOUT THE CONCEPT PLANNING PROCESS

What will the Concept Planning process do?

On June 27, 2023, the Commissioners Court approved a charge for the Palm School Steering Committee. You can find the full charge here. A summary of the charge can be found below.
Concept Planning image

The Palm School Steering Committee (the Committee) will be an active partner in the Palm School Concept Plan development process and in efforts leading up to the restoration and reimagining of the Palm School property. The Commissioners Court approved the recommended slate for the Palm School Steering Committee on May 21, 2024. You can learn more about the individuals approved to the Steering Committee here.

Who will create the Palm School Concept Plan?

The Concept Plan will be drafted by a consultant that Travis County will hire. The consultant will review previous decisions and actions, along with historical, financial, and community engagement input about Palm School, including the City of Austin’s Palm District Planning Initiative. The consultant will also work closely with a new Palm School Steering Committee.

Stakeholders on the Steering Committee will represent perspectives relevant to the Palm School parcel, including but not limited to historical, cultural, real estate, and geographic perspectives. The Steering Committee Interest Form deadline was August 18, 2023. A selection team made up of County staff and other individuals reviewed all applications. The review process, including interviews of potential Steering Committee members, has been completed. The Commissioners Court approved the recommended slate for the Palm School Steering Committee on May 21, 2024. You can learn more about the individuals approved to the Steering Committee here.

What will the Palm School Steering Committee Do?

Working in partnership with the County’s consultant and staff, the Steering Committee will:

  • Provide input for the design of a community engagement plan that will be used to inform a Concept Plan for the Palm School property
  • Review and offer feedback on processes, plans, and materials created by the consultant leading up to and including the Concept Plan for the Palm School property
  • Review and offer feedback on processes, plans, and materials created by staff and/or consultants related to any restoration and reimagining of the Palm School property
  • Provide a consensus recommendation to the Commissioners Court on the community engagement process used to inform a Concept Plan and the Concept Plan for the Palm School property

For more information about the Palm School Steering Committee, click here.

Palm School Concept Planning Process Timeline

The Steering Committee Interest Form deadline was August 18, 2023. A selection team made up of County staff and other individuals reviewed all applications. That review, including interviews of potential Steering Committee members, has been completed. All recommendations must be approved by the Commissioners Court.

County staff are working to select a consultant for the Palm School Planning project. The Commissioners Court approved the recommended slate for the Palm School Steering Committee on May 21, 2024. You can learn more about the individuals approved to the Steering Committee here.

700 lavaca sm

Christy Moffett, Director

Amy McWhorter, Managing Director

700 Lavaca, Ste. #1560
Austin, TX 78701 (Map)

Phone: (512) 854-1161

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 3.5 PERCENT AND WILL RAISE TAXES FOR MAINTENANCE AND OPERATIONS ON A $100,000 HOME BY APPROXIMATELY $9.12.