Action Alert 🚨 : Sign Up to Oppose Lady Bird Lake Developer GiveawaysWe need your help! Please sign up to speak to the Austin City Council in opposition to Items 131 and 132 on this Thursday's July 28th agenda: https://cityofaustin.formstack.com/forms/austin_city_council_speaker_signup
You must sign up to speak at the link BEFORE NOON tomorrow, Wednesday, July 27th.
With tens of millions of general fund dollars and several acres of lake front park land on the line, we need all hands on deck. As you may be aware, the owners of the Statesman Property (305 S. Congress Ave) plan on building five high-rise towers up to 525 feet tall, along the south shoreline of Lady Bird Lake.
To do this, the developer has asked the Austin City Council to grant it a special zoning ordinance, in conflict with the City’s long-range planning efforts for the area. Normally, these special zoning ordinances known as “Planned Unit Developments (PUDs)” require the developer to achieve a “superior” project than what would be developed under existing city code, such as providing enhanced community benefits.
But, this developer wants US (the taxpayers) to shoulder this burden. This proposed PUD does not meet minimum standards for parkland dedication, right-of-way dedication, or the affordable housing requirements under the applicable ordinance.
The developer wants the City Council to shift these costs onto taxpayers and city future budgets, via a Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone, which earmarks general fund dollars to be spent in this small area of Downtown Austin and with waivers to required fees.
Enough is enough! Downtown has had enough. The City Council needs to require all the park land called for by the South Central Waterfront Plan and preserve city funds to invest in parks, libraries, and affordable housing across the entire city.
Please, help us tell the City Council prioritize park land, our general fund dollars and Lady Bird Lake for the needs of all Austin residents. Please sign up to speak and call in in Thursday to speak at the council hearing remotely (or attend in person).
We wrote a few weeks back on one of the very worst Planned Unit Development (PUD) zoning cases since the infamous Barton Creek PUD of 1990. The so-called “Statesman PUD” is back on the city council agenda for next Thursday, July 28, Items 131 and 132.
The Statesman PUD tract is 19 acres on the south shore of Lady Bird Lake, on the east side of the Congress Ave bat bridge. If approved as proposed it would include 1300 units of ultra-luxury condos, 1 hotel, 1.5 million square feet of office, and 150,000 sq. ft. of retail in a set of towers reaching up to 525 feet in the air. In effect, downtown would jump across the lake, with more development of a similar kind to follow along Barton Springs Road and Riverside.
Neighbors, environmentalists, park advocates, and fiscal conservatives are not really opposing the massive increase in density. Rather the owners—some of the richest people in the world—are demanding tens of millions of taxpayer subsidies for the project. They also want to cheat us out of park land that would, under standard city rules, be required to be dedicated to the public. To compound the outrage, they want to retain management control of the too-little-park-land they are dedicating while cutting off existing public access to the lake along the Congress Ave. sidewalk.
With your help and action by Councilmember Kathie Tovo the matter was delayed in June because there was no draft ordinance and a giant haystack of staff backup documents contained almost none of the needles of important details stitching this “welfare for the ultra-rich” scheme together.
Its back now on next Thursday’s agenda and we need your help again to have it delayed and then denied in its current form.
Please take a few minutes to send an email to City Council to insist that it be (a) postponed again until all of the public’s questions are answered,(b) all of the taxpayer subsidies are removed, and (c) all of the park land dedication normally required is granted to the public without the private developers’ retaining control and limiting access to this “public” park land.
Please also share this with friends, neighbors and family who might join in to fix this mess. Stay tuned and we will provide the link to speak at the meeting, in person or remotely, starting on Monday.
Here are the email addresses for the Mayor and council.
Save Our Springs Alliance is pleased to announce a unique fundraiser on July 16, 2023 curated by internationally acclaimed artist and musician, Ben Livingston. Parthenia’s Majesty: A Cinematic Voyage is an immersive, audiovisual experience at the newly established Rosette Theatre at the Baker Center in Hyde Park. The 90 minute event (one at 2PM and one at 7PM) combines nostalgic short films celebrating the unrivaled beauty and rich history of Barton Springs with music, art, and refreshments.
The screenings will include Brian Leonard's mesmerizing cosmic underwater light dances and four short movies from Karen Kocher’s “Living Springs'' series. The highlight of the event will be the breathtaking underwater feature, 'A:X (The Tonkawa Word for Water)' created by renowned neon artist and springs advocate, Ben Livingston, with a captivating live score performed by composer and pedal steel virtuoso Bob Hoffnar. Livingston’s ephemeral footage, combined with Hoffnar’s ethereal soundscape, will take attendees on an introspective journey, inspiring conservation and advocacy for generations to come. Guests will also have the opportunity to view a collection of water-inspired artworks by sculptor and New Yorker cartoonist Julia “Jul” Suits.
Sponsors include Gruene Hall, Jim Brand, MD, Magnolia Cafe, Mary Jane Nalley, Robin Rather, and Family, & Austin Classical Guitar. read more about this event here and click button below to purchase your tickets.
BUY TICKETS HERE