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Neighbors square off against Austin Council over NW Austin land tract

(image courtesy Lake Austin Collective)

 

Austin City Council will consider again giving concessions to developers who want to put up a big luxury apartment complex on 2222 and 360; and in doing so may be violating their own ordinance.

Some Northwest Austin residents are upset with Austin City Council's continuing to give developers preference over neighborhoods.  Neighbors banding together as the Lake Austin Collective say the city is again rolling over and giving the developers anything they want. "They were supposed to have two stories, now they have three."

The Scenic Highway ordinance in the late 80s gave protection to roads like 2222, including limiting building heights.  But last  year Council rolled back those protections for the tract without proper public notice and was found in violation of the open meetings act this year. Bailey says Council is willfully ignoring the Scenic Highways Ordinance in giving variance after variance and endangering the public. "They are getting extra variances in the flood plain. They're getting many, many impervious covers, so they can put pavement down. Then the runoff can go into Bull Creek and our water supply." 

Bailey says the developers are also being permitted to destroy dozens of trees including heritage oaks and excavating more hillside than the ordinance allows. The developers are getting variances that violate the Scenic Highway ordinance which calls for a 100 foot buffer of trees. The land owners got that down in a 1996 entitlement. "They had 25 feet, but no, they went for zero feet and got it. So now instead of driving down and seeing this beautiful highway, you're going to see a giant aparment complex and pavement, right on 2222."
 
The Lake Austin Collective successfully sued the City for violating the open meetings act when it granted similar concessions last year without proper public notice.

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