AUSTIN, Texas – Aug. 19, 2016 – ARG Bull Creek, the owner of The Grove at Shoal Creek, is pleased by the court’s decision to dismiss the lawsuit filed by a few households living near the project against the City of Austin. The Court dismissed the current lawsuit for lack of jurisdiction.
The Court also refused to consider the plaintiffs’ recent efforts to dictate to the City Council how voting on the approval of The Grove PUD should be counted in contravention of the City Code.
This decision eliminates an unwarranted distraction from the City’s approval process, and allows the Austin City Council to focus on the merits of The Grove’s zoning approval on September 22, and take a vote that is fully consistent with established governmental process.
While dismissed based on jurisdictional grounds, ARG contends the City of Austin has consistently and correctly interpreted and implemented state law and City Code with respect to the process of zoning ARG’s property, and that the City’s development review staff has consistently acted with professionalism and integrity despite tremendous pressure.
For more than a year, some individual neighbors have unsuccessfully been advocating first with the city and now the courts for a change in the voting requirements clearly established by state law and City Code that apply to The Grove. While ARG recognizes that the Court ruling means that the plaintiffs might re-file their lawsuit after the City Council takes action; instead, ARG sincerely hopes that these neighbors will join ARG in respecting the decision of the city’s democratically-elected representatives expressed by a majority vote, whatever that decision may be.
The Grove is a complex project, and we’ve worked hard to maximize public benefits while still ensuring that this private development can move forward with an unprecedented amount of affordable housing in West Austin, more moderately-priced Missing Middle housing, superior road improvements, vibrant and sustainable mixed-use development, setbacks that exceed code requirements, new pedestrian and cycling infrastructure, and increased parkland.
Even with this lawsuit, ARG has continued to meet with individual neighbors and neighborhood groups, totaling nearly 60 instances in the last 20 months, and to make substantial changes to our proposal in response to the requests and concerns we heard. We will continue to work cooperatively with city officials and those interested in finding reasonable resolutions to any outstanding issues.
After a strong endorsement from city staff and recommendation for increased density by Austin’s Zoning and Platting Commission in July, ARG looks forward to presenting our project to City Council, answering questions, and hopefully earning the approval we need to make this incredible project a reality.