Please speak out immediately.
Click here to send your email to prevent an illegal roadblock to The Grove.
Dear Supporters of The Grove,
We realize that most persons are not interested in unnecessary drama over The Grove at Shoal Creek. However, a recent effort by the Bull Creek Road Coalition (BCRC) has made this email to you necessary.
Here’s why this matters to you. Austin’s faces a long list of challenges: affordability, supply of housing, lack of multi-modal transportation and traffic congestion. Quicker implementation of the Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan would help. Attempting to stall approval of a smart, mixed-use development like The Grove at Shoal Creek, which has broad public support, does not help solve any of our city’s problems.
We think you deserve to know about the BCRC’s attempt to throw a new and illegal roadblock in front of The Grove, so you can speak out and help stop it.
The legal issue at hand is complicated, but the purpose behind the BCRC effort is clear. After reading this email, we hope you will agree and voice your support for The Grove as indicated at the end of this email. (Click here to send an email now to the Planning Commission.)
Here is the problem: The Grove is being planned on land that the State of Texas used to own. As a result, that land is un-zoned by the City of Austin for any particular use, like homes, commercial or industrial use. There is a clear legal and factual distinction between zoned land and un-zoned land.
We are working hard to follow the proper legal process to secure zoning on our land. Because The Grove is un-zoned, this is not a re-zoning case; it is an initial zoning case. The distinction between the two is significant both legally and as a matter of policy.
However, an effort led by Sara Speights, president of the Bull Creek Road Coalition (BCRC), proposes to undermine Austin’s legal code and erect an illegal obstacle to future re-developments on state-owned land and new developments on newly annexed land – including The Grove. The “illegal obstacle” is code amendment that is being proposed tonight as “Item C-13” at the City of Austin’s Planning Commission, and no other city that we are aware of has adopted such a code amendment.
Sara and the BCRC are putting political pressure on the City to ignore the law and come up with flawed legal interpretations to create this obstacle. They are calling on their supporters to support this bad idea by encouraging them to write to Austin’s Planning Commission to “please support Agenda Item C-13, the land use code amendment that will treat all PUD applications the same regardless of previous zoning.”
Item C-13 is not that simple. Sara’s description of the item ignores the fundamental legal and policy differences between initial zoning cases and re-zoning cases:
Despite whatever twisted legal interpretations the BCRC can push on the City, Item C-13 is plainly illegal. It is a violation of State law.
Item C-13 undermines current city processes and policies to undermine The Grove.
Item C-13 severely and adversely impacts the future implementation of the Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan — at The Grove and in other future instances on State-owned lands.
If passed, Item C-13 would empower just 3 council members out of 11 with enormous veto power over decisions to implement the Imagine Austin Plan or approve smart redevelopment on state-owned lands. That would be undemocratic and would undermine our new 10-1 city council system!
Clearly, the BCRC is urging passage of Item C-13 with the purpose of changing the rules and “moving the goal posts” on The Grove at Shoal Creek, as we are getting closer to seeking formal approval from certain commissions and City Council.
If you’d like to dig deeper into our legal arguments, our official letter to the Planning Commission is available by clicking here.
Item C-13 is on the Planning Commission agenda for Tuesday, January 12, 2016 at 6PM.
Please CLICK HERE to write ONE EMAIL that will go to all of the Planning Commission members and urge them to uphold current legal city code and vote against Item C-13.
You can find additional contact information for the Planning Commission at: http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/boards/results.cfm?bid=43
Thank you for your time and attention,
The Grove at Shoal Creek