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.
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