Understanding City of Austin’s Fee in Lieu Sidewalk Requirements

Designing how an urban home meets the street is an important part of what we do here at Clark Richardson Architects and a big part of that intersection is the choice to build or not to build a pedestrian sidewalk in front of your home.   In 2008, City of Austin passed an ordinance requiring that any new residential home, or expansion of a home over 50% of its existing square footage must be in compliance with the City’s sidewalk ordinance.  Per CoA, There are three avenues of compliance outlined below :  sidewalk construction, fee in-lieu, or a waiver (from the fee and construction).

1) If you’d like to build the sidewalk simply depict its location on your residential plan review and a DS, or driveway-sidewalk permit,  will be generated with the approved building permit.  The sidewalk should be 4’ wide, 2 feet off the property line within the right of way.  The person who does the work must be licensed and bonded to work in the City’s right-of-way.   The permit is issued at 3701 Lake Austin Blvd between the hours of 9 am and 1 pm.

2) If you do not wish to install a sidewalk, you may qualify to pay into the sidewalk fund if your site:

a)is on a block where less than 50% of the lots have a sidewalk, b)is in a subdivision that does include a sidewalk requirement, and c)does not contain more than two residential units.

The sidewalk fee is $7.50/sq ft of sidewalk (a 4′ walk minus the driveway).  Please note that the fund is used to install sidewalks within the neighborhood which the house is located, but not necessarily in front of the house itself. The funds will be used to implement the adopted neighborhood plan, the City Pedestrian Master Plan, and to make connections to places such as schools, parks, transit, and the like.  If the money is not used within ten years, it can be refunded to you at your request.

3) A third option, a sidewalk waiver, relieves a site from installation and the sidewalk fee. In order to qualify for a sidewalk waiver:

a) The site cannot be in an approved neighborhood plan where sidewalks have been identified for installation/upgrade.b) The street cannot rank high on the City’s Pedestrian Master Plan.c) The site must be 1/2 mile away from any pedestrian generating use: a church, bus route, bus stop, school (public or private), park, community center, non-residential uses.d) The site’s land use and density should not be conducive to pedestrian access.



Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CRA receives 2017 Austin NARI CoTY Award for Treehouse Residence

Excited that our Treehouse Residence received a 2017 Austin NARI CoTY Award last week for the Whole House Renovation / Addition category.  See this portfolio link below for more on this addition / renovation to a 1930’s era Central Austin Bungalow.

Treehouse Residence Project Portfolio

Update: 2.01.2018: We’re also excited to announce that this residence was  awarded as a SW Regional Winner in the National NARI Coty Awards this month.

Posted in Clark Richardson Firm News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Project Portfolio: Avenue F Residence

Excited to share pictures of our latest North Hyde Park Residence on Avenue F with Peak Design Build LLC.

Clark | Richardson Architects was engaged to design a 2-bedroom, 2-bath main residence and detached guest house located in the North Hyde Park neighborhood of Austin, Texas designed for a client couple living on-site in an existing dwelling. A modern approach, that remained respectful of the existing neighborhood fabric, was paramount at all stages of the project.

Residents Brian and Jessica desired a home that would be welcoming and obliging to their frequent visitors. Their North Hyde Park Residence was conceived as a transition node between exterior and interior realms. A generous covered front porch, extending as a carport canopy, frays the volumetric edges of the main entry. An intersecting volume continues the low profile across the street edge, reducing the impact of the two story main volume beyond. The entry sequence is bracketed by two existing trees thoughtfully preserved by the site placement of the building, allowing the wrapping form of the entry canopy to frame the entry court, accentuated further by shifts of material as the massing recedes.

Avenue F Architectural Video

Avenue F Project Portfolio

Update 09.14.2017: Excited to have this project featured on the Contemporist! http://www.contemporist.com/guest-house-lap-pool-fire-pit-house-austin-texas/



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Project Portfolio: Central Austin Residence

Austin Architect - Hyde Park Architect-16

Sharing these great images of our Central Austin Residence completed with Mezger Homes in North Hyde Park, Austin TX.

Clark Richardson Architects took a staged approach to the design by providing a front living space volume that was one story and gabled and a setback rear two-story bedroom volume. The two were connected by a covered screen porch and the secondary spaces of the house like the pantry, laundry and powder room. From the street, in true Hyde Park style, a long porch greets the neighborhood punctuated by more modern vertical windows which penetrate the painted brick portion of the facade up into the vaulted space of the front living room as dormers. See our website for more about this project linked below:

Central Austin Residence Architectural Video Link

Central Austin Residence Portfolio Link

Update: 05.17.2017:  Excited to have this project featured on Home Adore, an architecture and interiors design blog.  https://homeadore.com/2017/05/17/north-hyde-park-residence-clark-richardson-architects/

Update: See this project on Dwell’s Featured Homes Page linked below: https://www.dwell.com/home/central-austin-residence-db0dd822


Posted in Austin Architectural Portfolio, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CRA Receives (2) 2017 Regional NARI CoTY Awards!


Honored to have two CRA projects receive 2017 Regional NARI Coty Awards for both Residential Additional and Entire House Renovation / Addition last week! The South Central region consists of 8 states including AR, AZ, TX, OK, NM, MS, LA and NV. Thanks also to AR Lucas and Steve Wareing / Phillip Just, GC’s for each project.

See more about these two projects on our website.

Posted in Austin Architectural Portfolio, Clark Richardson Firm News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Project Portfolio: Goldenwood Residence

Goldenwood Main House

Excited to share some pictures and an architectural video from our Goldenwood Residence;  a whole house renovation and addition to an existing home in Driftwood, TX .  The scope consisted of a complete interior gut of the existing kitchen, living and dining room, the addition of a new master suite at the ground level and a new landscaped entry concept at the front facade. The project reinvents the Texas vernacular with a clean modern aesthetic including custom built Pecan French Doors throughout, oil finished FSC certified white oak floors and limestone fireplaces.

See also our Goldenwood guest house for the first phase of this project.

Goldenwood Residence Architectural Video

Goldenwood Residence Portfolio Link

1.02.2017 Post Update: See our this project featured on the international style and architecture blog, Nonagon Style linked below:





Posted in Austin Architectural Portfolio, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Project Portfolio: Peak Lookout Residence



Check out Paul Finkel’s lovely architectural photos from our Peak Lookout Residence completed with builder, Todd Fletcher of Peak Design Build LLC!

The Peak Lookout Residence is contemporary, luxury home located in Lakeway, TX. The residence is positioned on a gently sloping site and oriented towards distant views. The linear parti frames outdoor spaces both to the north and south of the residence and works with passive solar principles and breezes to allow for an efficient green design. This is a 5 bedroom, 4-1/2 bath residence with a 3 car garage and ample pool deck for entertaining and outdoor living. The material palette is quiet but elegant, consisting primarily of stucco, stained cedar accents and anodized RAM windows through out.

Peak Lookout Residence Portfolio Link




Posted in Austin Architectural Portfolio, Clark Richardson Firm News, Green Building | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment