Just wanted to share with you the latest information regarding the proposed Austin Oaks PUD development.
After the community meeting back in August the four neighborhoods who will be most affected by this development banded together after taking surveys from their perspective membership and formed the NW Austin Neighborhood Alliance. This consists of the Balcones Civic Association (BCA), Northwest Austin Civic Association (NWACA), Allandale Neighborhood Association (ANA) and North Shoal Creek Neighborhood Association (NSCNA). Our neighborhoods are the four corners of the intersection at Mopac and Spicewood Springs / Anderson. Each neighborhood surveyed their membership and responses were overwhelmingly 'NO' on the proposed Austin Oaks PUD development. Our newly formed alliance set a letter stating our position to the Zoning Committee, Environmental Board, Mayor and City Council. (see attached). You spoke out and said you did not want a zoning change that would bring thousands of more vehicle trips, more kids to already overcrowded schools and you did not want towering 17 story buildings and you desired to keep the current zoning.
The BCA as well as our partners in the NW Austin Neighborhood Alliance were approached again by the developer to inform us of a new plan for the development. We met last week anxious to hear what the new proposal would be hoping to hear about development under current zoning. The new Austin Oaks PUD development proposal was mostly the same with minimal changes to the three big problems of traffic, schools and height. What changed is they have reduced the number of apartments from roughly 600 to 300 and in its place leave that as green space with a park type area similar to what is at the Triangle Development at 45th / Lamar / Guadalupe. They also want to set up a 'trust' where .02% of the property taxes go to a fund if you will for improvements in our area. This trust is a slippery slope with all kinds of questions. And they did reduce the height of the towering buildings by one floor. Also of note, the COA mandates certain requirements with these type of developments. For example they have to spend $1 million dollars for traffic abatement. Problem with that is $1 million dollars doesn't build a new bridge over Mopac there at that intersection nor widen roads and add lanes. They also have to set aside money for parkland space, they identify Doss school playground as the location where they would spend this money. Not sure why that is, again there are slippery slopes here and a lot of questions. None more important however than why can't they develop that property under current zoning.
This 'new proposal' still asks for zoning change to PUD which still allows the towering buildings although they reduced the tallest by one floor. The 'new proposal' still sends kids to the already overcrowded schools in our area. The 'new proposal' only reduces vehicle trips by a couple thousand, still hovering around 18 thousand trips daily.
I do not see this as seriously addressing our neighborhood concerns but need YOUR input and opinions. If your position has changed let me know so I can fully represent our neighborhood. There is a possibility of another community meeting at some point and I have attached all the documentation we received at the meeting last week for your review. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask.
Join BCA today!
I received notice this morning that the Austin Oaks PUD will be on ZAP's agenda for 12/16. At that time the case will receive an indefinite postponement vote. This only means the case is delayed not withdrawn.
NWACA wishes to assure you that we continue to proceed exactly as communicated to our community regarding this matter:
To date, we have:
1. Conducted a Community Forum on the Austin Oaks (AO) PUD.
2. Conducted a survey to get the community's input on the AO PUD application.
3. Passed a NWACA resolution in opposition to the AO PUD, consistent with the survey results.
4. Communicated our resolution in opposition to the city staff and discussed our concerns with City staff.
5. Communicated NWACA's opposition to the AO PUD to the AO owner and the Drenner Group.
The Drenner Group asked for a meeting on November 17th with the leaders of the four neighborhood associations that border the Austin Oaks property to provide an initial response to the concerns raised by NWACA. In that meeting, the Drenner Group outlined various concepts and provided various documents, some related to the existing application and some relating to their possible subsequent proposal. NWACA heard the comments and:
1. Made clear that any proposal would have to be in writing, and preferably provide a consolidated comparison with the original application.
2. Made clear that NWACA was only listening to their comments and that any proposal would have to be taken back to the NWACA board and distributed to the community for community deliberation and input.
3. Any proposal would have to again be discussed in an open Community Forum.
Today we received a one page consolidated comparison of the original application and the proposed revisions. We are posting it here (Austin Oaks PUD Evolution.doc). We have asked if there are additional documents that would further detail or outline their proposal, and are awaiting a response. We will also provide to you any additional documents they send us. In the meantime, we are also posting copies of all of the documents that were provided by the Drenner Group at that meeting, some of which were explained to relate only to the original PUD application.
At this time, the NWACA Board:
1. Requests your feedback to this revised proposal concept.
2. Requests that all conversation remain respectful.
3. Will coordinate another Community Forum on the new proposal.
4. Will receive your feedback and develop a follow on survey to create a data supported response.
5. Will discuss all of the foregoing as a Board and develop the appropriate response.
Despite misinformation to the contrary, there is no negotiation process taking place. As representatives of NWACA, we are gathering and disseminating the information provided to us by the Drenner Group about changes they are proposing to make to their PUD Application. We will then gather the membership's feedback to this proposal and provide that to the Drenner Group in response.
As a reminder, back in September the neighborhood expressed the following preferences IF Austin Oaks is indeed redeveloped, under current zoning restrictions or as a PUD. These results were based on 683 total responses to the survey (also attached, in case your email program can’t display the chart below.
Please send any comments to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
As we work on this, we appreciate the ongoing support of our NWACA members. If you haven’t yet joined, or you haven’t renewed yet in 2014, please do so. You can either complete and send the attached membership form, or go to this link on our web site Join NWACA!!!!
Thank you very much for your support.
[Note: in case your email program does not supply the file attachments, this message and the attachments are also posted on our web site: www.nwaca.org ]
Posted by: "nwacaweb" <email@example.com
As we wait for the written formal offer from the developer about this past Monday's meeting with neighborhood leaders, let's all keep in mind that we need to be united against the developer in this rezoning case. One neighborhood cannot decide to negotiate on behalf of all of us. The families, businesses and schools on both sides of MoPac need to be represented, not just Doss.
The PUD REZONING is NOT a done deal. Don't fall for this rumor rhetoric. It's false.
Conventional zoning will work for this developer. Always know this.
SELLING OUT IS THE NEW KEEPING IT REAL : The Dallas Developer has Delivered Their Bribe "Offer" in Exchange They Want Their PUD Zoning for Austin Oaks.Read Now
Hello Folks - we've been quiet for a while waiting on the DALLAS DEVELOPER's next move. And there is movement as of this week. So here's our quick update from what we have learned.
1. A meeting was held on MONDAY NOV 17th between the 4 neighborhoods (Allandale, North Shoal, Balcones and NWACA) with the DALLAS Developer's consultants (DRENNER ET AL).
2. The "bribe" is on the table now and being formally WRITTEN UP for the 4 neighborhoods over the coming Thanksgiving holiday.
3. In response to the resolution the neighborhood coalition sent to the developer, they (the developer) are INSISTING (read: DEMAND) that their PUD ZONING BE GRANTED in exchange to the neighborhood folks accepting a little payoff ... a.k.a. buy-in money (in the form of a "community TRUST" fund) which will be SHARED by the FOUR neighborhoods. BUT, (there is always a "but") the TRUST will be managed by THE DEVELOPER and a TBD NEIGHBORHOOD "trust board of directors." Admittedly, the money being offered is a large, large sum; but it also has a stipulated CAP with no timeframe for when the total money will be available or the CAP reached.... (read: your expansion plan for DOSS won't happen for a DECADE while this developer slow-rolls us). It's important to NOTE: the money will be split by the four neighborhood groups, and thus, anyone thinking NWACA gets all the money is wrong. And you can forget that this money will come close to fixing the DOSS situation. And, BTW, no one is even advocating on behalf of MURCHISON -- whose crowding problem no one seems to care about right now... Lastly, it DARN SURE WONT FIX THE TRAFFIC problems that the project will CREATE (15K - 20K MORE CAR TRIPS per day is the developer's new traffic number) on our LITTLE CROWDED ROADS). The developer is only responsible for $1million in traffic assistance...this figure won't do anything about the bridges at Steck or Spicewood Springs/Anderson. Ohhhhhh!
But wait! We forgot to mention they "threw in" a few SWEETNERS ---
#1. They've added some "park space" on the Austin Oaks property (approx 2 acres) and
#2. New playground equipment and some landscaping for DOSS' is included as an immediate relief to the developer's inconveniencing of the neighborhood. The total investment for the playground is a generous $160,000. You can buy a lot of mulch and swingsets for $160K. Its cheaper than a wing. Meanwhile, the portables stack up and the kids eat lunch in shifts from 10 am to 2 pm at Doss and Murchison because our school cafeterias can't hold kids during normal lunch periods. Big sigh.
For all those who are resigned to giving in on the PUD here's a news flash: The rumored "WING" on DOSS paid for by the developer (in exchange for the PUD zoning you think you have to give him) is NOT possible with the TRUST money they're giving. $9 million dollars divided by four or even split in half won't build on what the schools need. And the $160K is nice for the playground, but its just sad to think you can sell out your neighbors and get a playground in exchange for 20,000 more cars a day on the roads.
ATTACHED are drawings of what the DEVELOPER proposes to "IMPROVE" DOSS... and a SKETCH of their little Austin Oaks PARK.
There are many details missing from the developer's "Offer" ... especially details about the traffic study not including the steck intersection, the total number of units planned (combined offices & residential), total retail space -- they are saying now 15 cool new restaurants will be included...but didn't adjust the retail figure, no renderings or 3D drawings to show elevation or height for looming perspective. Basically they are throwing our neighborhood under the bus and putting the 4 neighborhood associations in a very tight spot. If they agree to this...what does this say about the "values" of our neighborhoods and what they stand for? Acceptance and agreement on this little "offer" is yet to come... let's see what happens next. Write your neighborhood association president NOW if you want to let them know what you want them to do. Watch out for the "join and pay" requirement to be heard by the leadership.