West Austin Neighborhood Group

Preserving and Protecting West Austin

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    Neighborhood Plan Open House — March 4, 2010 (LCRA Red Bud Center – 3601 Lake Austin Blvd.)

    February 11th, 2010
    by admin

    Neighborhood Plan Final Open House — March 4, 2010 (LCRA Red Bud Center – 3601 Lake Austin Blvd.)

    We have concluded the zoning portion of Neighborhood Planning and await the scheduling of the Open House for the purposes of reviewing the plan prior to submission to the City’s Planning Commission.  The date and location of the Final Open House for the Central West Austin neighborhood plan will be on Thursday, March 4 from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the LCRA Red Bud Center (3601 Lake Austin Blvd).  The meeting will be an open house format where you can go to tables and provide feedback on the draft plan.  As no formal presentation will occur, please feel free to come at a time that is best for you.  Staff will be available to help you.

    At this stage of the process, City Staff has prepared and posted drafts of the “Transportation,” “Land Use,” “Neighborhood in Context” and “Parks, Open Space & the Environment” chapters for the plan at  http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/planning/neighborhood/cw_austin.htm#Draft%20PlanPlease review these drafts to make sure there are no errors, and attend the Open House to provide feedback and make corrections.

    The  draft plan chapters reflect a lot of work and captures many of the points the community made during the process.  But the drafts must be improved if this plan is to help us preserve our neighborhood.

    Those of us in the neighborhoods on both sides of MoPac who have been working on the Plan for the last several years have submitted detailed comments and have proposed changes to the  draft plan during the process.  For example, our revisions to the “Transportation” chapter are posted at Neighborhood Stakeholder Revisions to Draft Transportation Chapter _March, 2010_, and our revisions to the “Land Use” chapter are posted at Neighborhood Stakeholder Revisions to Draft Land Use Chapter.

    Without attempting to capture all of the details, here are some basic points the City needs to hear regarding the land use chapter.

    1.  The Staff’s language in the Plan that “new office, commercial, retail or multi-family development should be located along the edges of the neighborhood” sounds safe enough but “edges” is too vague to provide a meaningful guideline and to the extent its meaning can be gleaned from the Plan it includes locations most of us would not want to see new development.  It is also unclear whether “new” means a commercial or multi-family use on a property not now being used as such or whether it refers to redevelopment of existing commercial sites. We spent months developing a Future Land Use Map to establish the location of future land uses.  Accordingly,  we recommend  that development or redevelopment of existing commercial or multi-family property should be in accordance with the Future Land Use map  adopted by the community.  Any new commercial or multifamily development should  be located on the State School or the Brackenridge properties if they are developed (as opposed to existing residential areas).

    2. The current draft of the Land Use chapter is a good first step but it needs to do a more complete job of reflecting neighborhood interest in preventing increased traffic and parking on neighborhood streets and in guarding against potential negative effects of future redevelopment of  W. 35th Street properties on the abutting single family homes. We also need additional language to more fully express our concern about the impact of  redevelopment of the commercial properties between 34th and 35th Street on the school and the neighborhood.  The language in the Plan should be revised to more fully and clearly make these points.

    3.  The current draft of the Land Use Chapter should include the Brackenridge Tract in the Plan and reflect the community’s stated preferences for the Brackenridge Tract.

    Please attend the Open House to provide feedback on the drafts.  You can also take an on-line survey at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/XQ3GVZ8 where you will be shown a summary of the Plan and given an opportunity to comment.

    This is an important chance, maybe our last chance, to review and comment on the final draft plans before the plan is presented to Planning Commission and City Council.

    For more information , please visit the Central West Austin Neighborhood Planning website at http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/planning/neighborhood/cw_austin.htm (a new website which does not have all of the information posted that was previously available), or contact City Staff by calling Paul DiGiuseppe at 512-974-2865 (paul.digiuseppe@ci.austin.tx.us) or Carol Haywood at 512-974-7685 with any questions (Carol.Haywood@ci.austin.tx.us).

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