Last week we asked you to email Austin’s Mayor and city council to remove a proposed extension of SH 45 SW that would have connected the south end of Mopac to I35 that was slipped into the draft city mobility plan. Many of you did. Council Member Kathie Tovo moved, and CM Ann Kitchen seconded, to remove the road from the City’s plan. The motion passed unanimously, minus CM Renteria’s abstention.
Thank you to all who wrote, to CMs Tovo and Kitchen, and to all of the council for taking prompt action to keep I35 interregional truck and car traffic off of Mopac and the Edwards Aquifer.
Now we need your help again!
One of the very worst Planned Unit Development (PUD) zoning cases since the infamous Barton Creek PUD of 1990 is on this Thursday’s city council agenda. With PUD zoning, the applicant and City Council can throw out the City Code and write special rules for the specific project. It’s the worst kind of “let’s make a deal” that hides under the idea that a proposed PUD must be “superior” to development that actually complies with City code. Almost every time the proposal is inferior to standard compliance.
Please take a few minutes to read our letter to council (below) on the “Statesman PUD,” which covers the old Austin American-Statesman property on the south shore of Lady Bird Lake and next to the Congress Avenue bat bridge. Then email the Mayor and Council and tell them to vote “NO” or postpone the Statesman PUD until a date at least two weeks after the draft PUD ordinance is posted to the public.
Also, please consider telling them NO subsidies of any kind; NO water quality variances; and full dedication of park land required by city ordinances (and “land” that is under the surface of Lady Bird Lake is not actually “land” and does not count).
The only way a PUD won’t be a massive giveaway of both taxpayer dollars and standard city rules protecting water quality of the lake and dedicating required park land is if the PUD ordinance states explicitly there will be (a) no City subsidies of any kind (e.g. fee waivers or credits, tax refunds, etc.), (b) no water quality variances, and (c) all 9 acres of required park land on the lake are dedicated to the public and public management to mitigate the increased park land demand of building over 1300 units of ultra-luxury high rise condos, 1.5 million square feet of office, a hotel and 150,000 sq. ft. of commercial, with towers reaching up to 525 feet.
Here are the email addresses for the mayor and council.