_The Transportation Bond Subcommittee voted this week to allocate roughly $30 million dollars to be spent on North Lamar/Burnet. This is not the final number and the fight is far from over - the 4 subcommittees will now have to take all their recommendations, lump those together, and negotiate with each other to come up with a final bond proposal for the November election.
We did, though, want to let y'all know that we are one step closer to fixing the mess on North Lamar and Burnet, and that means we owe our community a huge thank you!
Although many people from the boards of our different neighborhood associations went down to talk directly to the bond commitee members these past couple months, what it came down to at the end was the community speaking up. You sent emails, you took the online survey, and you showed up for the bond package workshops - and you were so loud and so persistant, that the transportation bond committee sat up and listened.
We also wanted to let you know about some very important developments with the Imagine Austin plan. The Planning Commission passed the Imagine Austin Comp Plan Wednesday night with a vote of 7-0. This is a plan that is supposed to be a template for growth for the next 25-30 years, so it is critical that the needs and concerns of North Austin and North Central Austin are included.
Once again, we were heard!
Items 51 and 52, which were spear headed by Gabriel Rojas from North Austin Civic Association and Steve Zettner, from Sustainable Neighborhoods, were accepted by the Commission. Equally important was item 65, because this addresses some of the concerns we have all had about how existing Neighborhood Plans will fit into this plan.
If you are interested in what the changes were, the exact wording has been included those at the end of this email. (We would be happy to send a copy of all the proposed changes to anybody who wants to read them - please drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Which brings us to the Candidate's Forum on April 18th, which will be at St. Albert's on Metric. (just past ACC's campus)
We have had confirmation from 12 candidates that they will be there, including those running for mayor. We will also have the materials from the open house on the North Lamar/Burnet Plan available, so you can see where the study proposes this $30 million dollars of YOUR tax money should be spent.
The doors will open at 6:30, the forum will start at 7:00. After the forum, we have the hall until 10pm, so people can stay as late as they need to look over the maps and plans for the study.
In the past, the City has tried to duck behind excuses. They have said that North Austinites are not active, or engaged, or voting, so we don't deserve to be heard or have our needs addressed.
Its time to make it very, very clear to the City of Austin that they cannot hide behind those excuses any longer.
Please come, and please spread the word to your friends and neighbors! Let's stand up together on April 18th and show the City that yes, we are the community that can no longer be ignored!
editor, North Austin Community Newsletter
p.s. - we will happily find you a ride to the forum if transportation is a problem. All we ask is to please contact us by lunch time on April 18th, so we can coordinate with a volunteer to pick you up!
Dear Region 2 Austin Citizens,
As you are well aware, the Austin Police Department lost a member of our family early Friday morning. It was a horrendous blow that brought many of us to our knees in grief and disbelief. Officer Jaime Padron was not only a member of our APD family, he was a part of Region 2 which made it all the more personal.
By that afternoon many of you let us know with phone calls and emails that you shared our pain. Some of you came to the North Substation and placed flowers at the base of the flag and tied ribbons around the trees to show your support. You met with officers and shared hugs and tears. We were all touched by the show of concern that day.
On Wednesday we all attended the service for Officer Padron that brought fellow police officers from around the country to pay their respects. In addition to that there were firefighters, EMS, government officials and many of you were there as well. It was a sight unlike many of us had ever seen before. The show of solidarity and respect for Officer Jaime Padron was fitting, and impressive. I was never more proud to be an Austin Police Officer that morning.
As the procession left the grounds and started into Austin it was an amazing thing. The line of police cars and motorcycles seemed to go on forever. I was honored to be a part of the procession. I had no idea what I was about to see that afternoon. As we made our way down IH 35 I was shocked to see miles of people lining the highway and overpasses. Men, women and children of all ages were along the route, some holding flags, some holding banners and others just standing with their hands over their hearts as we passed by. There were 4 officers in my vehicle, all with over 20 yrs experience each, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the car at many points along the way. The love and support that you showed us along that route made each and every cop who witnessed it a better person that day.
We will continue to grieve the loss of our brother. In time, the pain will subside but the scar will never heal. But out of this tragic event was born a renewed passion for our chosen profession and an even stronger respect for this community. I can only echo the sentiments of every Austin Police Officer I’ve spoken to since Wednesday and say I’ve never been more proud to be a member of the Austin community than I am today.
On behalf of the Austin Police Department and especially the Region 2 Support officers:
Lt. Jessie Brown #2537
Region 2 Support
Austin Police Department
Information on how to help Officer Padron's family is also now available on our website:
please click 'read more' for the Imagine Austin wording.
_Imagine Austin Changes:
Item 51 - Chapter 4, activity corridor: Include new sentence at end of description: "To improve mobility along an activity corridor, new and redevelopment should per capita reduce car use and increase walking, bicycling, and transit use. Intensity of land use should correspond to the availability of quality transit, public space, and walkable destinations. Site design should use building arrangement and open space to reduce walking distance to transit and destinations, achieve safety and comfort, and draw people outdoors."
Item 52 - the Commission voted to designate North Lamar/Rundberg as a Neighborhood Center on the Growth Concept Map.
Item 65- pp195 & 198 The following text replaces the last paragraph on page 195:
The Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan recognizes and embraces all previous master and small area plans. As depicted on pages ### and ### of Imagine Austin, the comprehensive plan is an “umbrella” plan that serves as a guide on city-wide, cross-department issues to achieve the vision statement. Imagine Austin is not a plan that supersedes previous plans, but acts as a chaperon to the future projected growth of Austin over the next 30 years. During this growth period, inconsistencies between Imagine Austin and other plans may be discovered. Changes to the master plans will be addressed through a public amendment process by the City Council. Changes to the small area plans (e.g.,Neighborhood Plans) will continue to include public input from affected parties and will follow the adopted neighborhood plan amendment process. Changes to Imagine Austin should be addressed through the annual review.
As the City of Austin develops new master and small area plans, Imagine Austin serve as a guide to policy direction. In areas not covered by small area plans, Imagine Austin will serve as an instrument for developing plans and providing planning parameters. As with the Imagine Austin planning process, public involvement will be included that could potentially generate ideas and themes for