Posts Tagged ‘environment’

Save Austin

Save Austin…

I wonder what the person who tagged this photo of people running and biking on the hike and bike trail was thinking? I don’t think it was merely copyediting the ad, which is for one of the new condo developments on Barton Springs Road near Zilker. I think it was one of those people who has also tagged bathrooms at places like Lovejoys – “Yuppies Out of East Austin” and the like.

What are we saving Austin for, or from? Well, I think it’s obviously a way of life that we’re trying to save. We’re also trying to save the beautiful natural environment. Wow, those are two really big things, to begin with.

One thing that really enfuriates me is the wonton demolition of existing structures – like the old Waterloo Brewing Company (more recently Fox and Hound), which was documented here back in March.

Maybe one way to preserve a bit more of Austin, or at least slow down some development and ensure that perfectly good materials don’t go to waste, would be a city requirement that certain buildings be disassembled, as opposed to simply demolished. Perhaps this possibility has been discussed? If there is any movement in that direction, please let me know – I’ll show up at City Council to support it, for sure.

Oak Hill whiners FLUMmoxed

So if you bother to move to the outskirts of Austin, you must be doing so to get a big house on a big lot on a quiet street, close to “good” schools, for much cheaper than Central Austin. If you do so, you have no right to complain that you can’t walk to the store.

Well, people in Oak Hill and Southwest Austin apparently want their cake and to eat it too. As much as I am an avid proponent of denser development and public transit, I find it disingenuous of the community leaders in that area to now start blaming the Save Our Springs ordinance for the fact that their neighborhoods aren’t (and may never be) more pedestrian friendly and dense.

Tomorrow night, the city’s planning staff will present the tentative Future Land Use Map (FLUM) and plan documents to stakeholders for one last discussion before the planning commission and city council vote on it. David Richardson, who lead the effort at the neighborhood level, complains to Community Impact that the SOS ordinance blocks any and every kind of good development because

landowners cannot develop or put impervious cover, which is anything from rooftops to parking lots, over more than 25 percent of an individual landowner’s property, in the area called the contributing zone.

Mr. Richardson complains that you can’t put in denser muliple-use development that would make walking and biking more appealing because of the “roadblocks” like this.

The SOS ordinance *should* be a roadblock. Its intent is to discourage development, which causes water pollution in the sensitive contributing zone and the more sensitive recharge zone of the Edwards Aquifer. If you want to live in a densely developed area, move to Central Austin!

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