We've just learned that on Wednesday, senior management from the
Development Services and Planning Departments met with
Milestone's lobbyist Jeff Howard and "negotiated" the end of the
Transportation Review staff (8-10 traffic engineers) were barred from
these negotiations. The work was done behind closed doors with no
technical expertise in the room.
The result? The transportation review has been abruptly aborted and
all of the traffic concerns have been magically resolved. It's our
understanding that the remaining reviews (zoning/environmental,
etc.) will be similarly pre-empted. Game over.
Adding insult to injury, this back-room "negotiation" also resulted in
the City agreeing to turn the single family home at 2627 w. 45th St.
into a STREET that serves the mega-development.
I've attached a photo to show you this house. Imagine for a moment
that the City could condemn the home next to yours tomorrow with
zero public process and turn it into a street on behalf of a billion-dollar
development. It's truly astonishing.
This all happened immediately after Rosedale hired a traffic engineer,
and at a point when review staff still characterized Milestone's TIA as
"incomplete and inaccurate". Staff really thought they might win this
one, then they were told to quit. The public process has been
corrupted, plain and simple.
It's positively uncanny that two of Milestone's most vocal supporters
were so insistent that they "trusted staff" to get the traffic right, and so
ironic that in the end, staff didn't get to say anything about it.
By perverting the public process, cutting back-room deals and
withholding public documents, Milestone/Topfer and its allies, along
with person(s) at the top of our City Government have declared an
all-out WAR on our neighborhoods, folks.
What can you do to help?
• If you have ANY connection to the news media, use it ASAP.
There's a scandal here, and someone should be brave enough
to tell the story. So far, the Statesman has had nothing but
praise for Milestone, but they buy a lot of advertising.
• Get a yard sign! We need to show solidarity with the folks who live
adjacent to this site in the cross-hairs of this mess. Here's the
sign request link: http://www.bcrcatx.org/contact-us/
• Hit the BCRC facebook page, "like" it, and "share" some of the
posts with your friends to raise awareness around Austin.
• Share this news with other neighborhood yahoo groups today.
You have my permission to cut/paste my message and distribute it.
Needless to say, I don't think anyone from the neighborhood needs
to attend Milestone's "Planning Meeting" on Wednesday at the
Austin Board of Realtors, unless they want to hear Garrett Martin
gloating about his victory over the hapless neighbors.
We'll have more later and at tonight's RNA meeting, at 6:45 at the
Yarborough Library on Hancock.
Thanks for your interest and support, neighbors! We may be getting
our asses kicked, but at least we're doing it together. This
neighborhood has a long and proud history of standing up for the
"little guys", and I'm happy to see that spirit lives in 2016 Rosedale.
w. 39 1/2 St.
*some assembly required