Posted Thu, 12/07/2006 - 11:49am
Seems people are starting to notice we aren't all that thrilled about a 24-hour Wal-mart mega-center in our neighborhood. The top story in the Naked City column of today's Austin Chronicle says:
Quote of the Week
"The notice to the neighbors needs to let them know that something more than a site plan has been filed. It needs to be something like, 'All hell is about to break loose, so let's get ready.'" — City Council Member Brewster McCracken, on the way Northcross Mall neighbors were alerted to the incoming Wal-Mart
All hell has broken loose in the Northcross Mall area in the past week: Neighbors organized as Responsible Growth for Northcross are furious about plans to replace the aging mall with a Wal-Mart.
Read the full article here.
Posted Thu, 12/07/2006 - 12:40am
The Austin Chronicle's news blog (Chronic: Habitually Updated Buzz) just posted a link to us and our new web site. So, greets to all our new visitors. Thanks for stopping by.
See the article here.
Posted Wed, 12/06/2006 - 5:09pm
"Hey man, cool shirt."
Applause for David Tietz from the Communications Committee for setting these up.
We'll be printing our own as soon as we can, but if you can't wait, go get one (or two) here.
Thanks, Jason Meeker
Posted Wed, 12/06/2006 - 12:26pm
Make your opposition known at the December 14 City Council meeting.
We need people to hold signs and demonstrate our opposition to the current redevelopment plan on December 14 at noon. The demonstration will occur on the west side of City Hall, in front of the Council Chamber window. We plan to have media coverage of the demonstration and need as many people as possible to participate. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to let us know you are coming.
Posted Wed, 12/06/2006 - 11:32am
The Allandale Neighbhood Association has officially gone on record as opposed to the current Northcross Mall redevelopment plan. A position statement by their Executive Committee was released today. They declare:
After polling residents, meeting with representatives of Lincoln Property Company and Wal-Mart, touring the Wal-Mart under development at Four Points with Wal-Mart's land use expert, meeting with the Responsible Growth for Northcross representatives, and spending considerable time studying the matter, we believe the redevelopment plan that Lincoln Property Company has in the works will harm the quality of life and residential characteristics of our neighborhood.
The statement concludes:
Allandale Neighborhood Association requests the City Council to instruct City Staff to suspend the permit and site plan.
The full statement is posted here.
Posted Wed, 12/06/2006 - 2:38am
The Austin Chronicle has just broken an interesting story: Austin City Manager Toby Futrell has disclosed that she has a conflict-of-interest on Wal-Mart. The Chronicle news blog reported today:
[It] further boggles the mind that only three days before the Northcross site plan was filed with the city, Toby Futrell filed a conflict of interest disclosure statement with the city... naming Wal-Mart.
The article reports (somewhat tounge-in-cheek) speculation that this conflict may explain how Wal-Mart managed to get their site-plan approval unabated.
Read the full article here.
Dec 6 update: Wells has posted an update to the original entry. Are we sensing a small case of blogger's remorse here? (Just kidding...)
Posted Wed, 12/06/2006 - 2:28am
On Monday, the Austin American-Statesman printed an editorial recognizing that Wal-Mart has a problem on their hands. The editorial notes:
[Many] neighborhood residents from Crestview, Allandale, North Shoal Creek, Brentwood, Rosedale and Wooten are alarmed. They note that Northcross does not sit on a major highway and fear that area streets will be overwhelmed by more traffic. (The redevelopment includes a new three-story garage for 800 cars.) Wal-Mart is a 24-hour operation, and neighbors also worry about noise, nighttime lights, property values and crime. [...]
The editorial also recognizes that the failure to work with neighbors is a big problem:
There was widespread agreement at the meeting that the city, Wal-Mart and Lincoln Property Group should have done much more outreach to area residents about what was planned. But Wal-Mart didn't need or seek any zoning changes, so no city hearing was required.
This editorial is somewhat remarkable. The Statesman editorial board generally is not that friendly to neighborhood concerns. For them to even recognize there are problems with this development is nothing short of phenomenal.
You can read the full editorial here (registration required, expires after a week).
Posted Wed, 12/06/2006 - 1:36am
Welcome to our brand new Responsible Growth for Northcross weblog. We will keep you up-to-date with the latest information on the Northcross situation. So, keep informedâ€”add us to your list of daily must-visit blogs.