September 26, 2009

With friends like this

While Austin Mayor Leffingwell and Council Member Morrison stood up, some laid down.

This from Save Town Lake:

Austin City Council votes to ignore Waterfront Overlay

Despite the recommendations of the Waterfront Overlay Task Force and hundreds of calls and emails from Austinites like you who are concerned about reckless development in the Lady Bird Lake view shed, the City Council voted with Houston developer Grayco last night.

On a 5-2 vote, the Council gave initial approval for Grayco to build it's "PUD," despite that the proposed buildings violate the Waterfront Overlay ordinance.

Approval of this PUD sets a dangerous precedent for future "exceptions" to the ordinances that protect Austin's unique character. If the Council can overrule these limits with a simple vote, the sky truly is the limit.

Thank you to Mayor Leffingwell and Council Member Morrison

We would like to thank Mayor Lee Leffingwell and Council Member Laura Morrison for showing courage, vision, and leadership in the face of moneyed interests and voting against the Grayco PUD. Please support these officials who continue to uphold their promises to put Austin first.

Tell Council Members Riley and Spelman to keep their promises

This vote was especially disappointing because it would not have happened without the support of Council Members Chris Riley and Bill Spelman. Both members promised on the campaign trail that they would support the recommendations of the Waterfront Overlay Task Force.

Before the 2009 City Elections, when Austinites sent Members Riley and Spelman to the Council to represent them, the Austin Neighborhood Council sent all the candidates a questionnaire that included the following questions:

1. "Do you agree with the Waterfront Overlay Task Force (WOTF) findings that it is important to reestablish the waterfront overlay protections from the 1986 code that were removed in the 1999 plain English rewrite?"

2. "Will you push to codify and vote to reinstate the maximum height limits from the 1986 code such that they supersede any other provisions of the Land Development Code (including Planned Unit Developments (PUD) Districts, Planned Development Area (PDA) Combining Districts and Commercial Design Standards?"

3. "Will you oppose current rezoning requests if they violate the intent of the 1986 ordinance?"

Council Members Riley and Spelman answered "Yes" to all three questions.

Despite these campaign pledges, when first given the opportunity to live up to them, Riley and Spelman voted with the developers over the interests of Austin voters.

Riley's and Spelman's votes were, how do you say, aggravating
Mike Martinez - we're still holding out for hope
Shade and Cole - no big surprise, actually expected

So how do you think Perla Cavazos, or for that matter, Jennifer Kim would have voted. Guess we'll never know.

Seems, the tree-hugging, bleeding-hearts types who care more about fixing a community rather than tear it down are becoming less of a voice in this town. As they say, "That's progress".

Posted by Captain Kroc at September 26, 2009 08:15 PM

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