"At this time, I do NOT support the proposed Austin Oaks zoning change from the existing zoning to a PUD zoning and will not support a zoning change unless the Northwest Hills neighborhoods agree to a plan within the PUD that they feel is better for the community than what could be developed within the existing zoning."
Read the entire District 10 report on the Austin Oaks by clicking read more
Update on the Austin Oaks PUD Proposal
Many District 10 constituents have expressed their thoughts to me about the Austin Oaks PUD proposal and I want you to know that I appreciate every comment.
As a resident of Northwest Hills for over 30 years, I agree with the concerns of my neighborhood as we continue to discuss and debate this proposed development and how it impacts our community.
At this time, I do NOT support the proposed Austin Oaks zoning change from the existing zoning to a PUD zoning and will not support a zoning change unless the Northwest Hills neighborhoods agree to a plan within the PUD that they feel is better for the community than what could be developed within the existing zoning.
There are many current and upcoming zoning cases within our District, and it is clear that there is District wide interest in learning accurate information about the zoning process, zoning categories and uses allowed within each zoning category. Over the past four months our District 10 Council office has conducted Town Hall meetings giving opportunities for experts and city staff to educate all of us by providing facts and answering questions on District 10 policy areas. I announced at the recent Northwest Austin Civic Association (NWACA) Membership Meeting and at our last District 10 Town Hall that our next Town Hall meeting has been scheduled for Saturday, June 13th, and the subject will be Zoning. We have already confirmed that City Zoning and Planning staff will be available to conduct a panel presentation and will then answer questions from the audience in the same manner as our previous four Town Halls have been organized. This will not be a debate forum nor will it be zoning case specific. It will be an opportunity for all District 10 residents to ask questions and learn more about zoning. Hopefully that process will help neighbors make fact based decisions as they come together within their neighborhood associations and communities to discuss and debate the zoning cases affecting their neighborhoods.
Over the past three months, our District 10 Council has participated in multiple meetings with neighbors, neighborhood associations and the owner's representative, the Drenner Group. These meetings have included:
February 18th: My staff and I held a meeting in the Council Boards & Commission room which was attended by representatives of the four neighborhood associations (NWACA, Balcones Civic Association, Allandale NA and North Shoal Creek NA) impacted by this zoning case. In addition there were representatives from the NoPud group and other interested parties. We asked Jerry Rusthoven, from the Planning & Development Review Department, to join us to answer questions specific to zoning and development.
February 18th: On the same day, my staff and I also met with the Drenner Group in one of our Council conference rooms to get an update on the zoning application and the proposed development plan.
April 15th: I attended a very informative Balcones Civic Association (the northern section of Northwest Hills) membership meeting where Jim Duncan, a former City Planner spoke about the Austin Oaks PUD. It was a good meeting with lots of questions and discussion between the neighbors.
May 1st: I attended a meeting organized by Zoning & Platting Commissioner (ZAP) Rahm McDaniel with representatives of NWACA, including President Joyce Statz.
May 5th: My staff attended the monthly ZAP Commission meeting to listen to the update presentation by the Drenner Group and the comments from the ZAP Commissioners.
May 11th: Staff and I met with the Drenner Group in one of our Council conference rooms to get an update on the zoning application and review the most recent version of the proposed development plan.
May 14th: I attended the annual NWACA Membership Meeting which included an update presentation about the Austin Oaks PUD from NWACA President Joyce Statz. I spoke about my experience over the past four months as the Council Member representing District 10 and stayed after the meeting to discuss the proposed PUD with individual neighbors.
May 15th: My staff and I participated in another meeting organized by ZAP Commissioner, Rahm McDaniel to discuss the latest Austin Oaks proposal with concerned residents. The meeting was held in one of the Council conference rooms and included Northwest Hills residents, Ann Denkler, Madelon Highsmith; Debra Bailey, Jay Sands and Ben Luckens from the Balcones Civic Association; Kata Carbone from the Allandale Neighborhood Association; ZAP Commissioners Rahm McDaniel and Patricia Seeger; and Council Member Leslie Pool. The meeting included a presentation from Ann Denkler and Madelon Highsmith and good discussion from everyone in attendance.
From the numerous neighborhood Facebook posts and the phone calls and emails our office has received, it sounds like there is a lot of interest from the people living in the NWACA and the other three neighborhoods to talk, discuss and debate the Austin Oaks PUD zoning case. Our office is hopeful that all four neighborhoods impacted by the Austin Oaks PUD, will work together to have one large meeting for the community. The seven Bull Creek Road neighborhoods have done the same type of meetings, as they have worked together to educate and discuss options for the Milestones property rezoning on Bull Creek Road.
It is our understanding that some of the Northwest Hills residents have stepped up to start organizing a neighborhood meeting to specifically discuss the Austin Oaks PUD. The combination of this neighborhood meeting (to discuss and debate) and the District 10 Town Hall meeting hosted by the District 10 Council office (to learn about zoning from city staff and is mentioned above) will give the residents of these four neighborhoods great opportunities to learn, discuss and debate the Austin Oaks PUD.
Many concerned residents have also asked me what they can do to address and voice their concerns about the Austin Oaks PUD. I encourage all to:
1. Educate yourself about what the current proposal is and what can currently be developed within the existing zoning of the properties
For additional information and updates on the proposed Austin Oaks PUD, we encourage you to visit the Northwest Austin Civic Association website or the Allandale Neighborhood Association website.
2. Determine your position
3. Let all of the Council Members know your position by emailing or calling their offices (you can find all email addresses on the City of Austin website)
The Zoning and Platting Commission will receive another update and could possibly take action on the proposed Austin Oaks PUD application at their next meeting on Tuesday, June 16, 2015.
Thank you for caring and being interested. Please keep talking, discussing and debating in a positive, constructive way. This is how our neighborhood will end up with the best outcome for this property.