News and Announcements

Our letter to City Council

Posted Tue, 04/03/2007 - 11:23pm

April 3, 2007

Honorable Mayor Wynn and Council Members,

Responsible Growth for Northcross (RG4N) would like to convey our positions on the following two items scheduled for the April 5 City Council agenda:

Item 29, relating to creation of a Charter Revision Committee.

RG4N supports creation of a Charter Revision Committee in order to open a public dialogue about the city manager form of government under which Austin currently operates. Our interest is to explore shifting more authority to elected officials, who are more accountable to the citizens, in order to ensure that the rights of neighborhoods are adequately taken into account in development matters. At this time RG4N takes no position on the other issues that have been discussed relating to charter revision.

Items 25 and 38, relating to City Manager performance and compensation.

Under the current City Manager’s leadership, the site plan approval process appears to be badly managed. For example, City staff did not follow city requirements in approving Lincoln Property Company’s site plan for Northcross Mall. In addition, City staff admitted at the December 14, 2006 Council meeting that not only was the required notice on the Northcross site plan faulty but that all such notices have been faulty for years. Such a mistake reflects quite poorly on the City Manager’s performance.

RG4N requests that the Council consider this issue in the City Manager’s performance review, as well as determine whether and to what extent the City Manager is also failing to ensure that other City requirements are followed. RG4N also requests that the City Manager not receive a raise, since ensuring City staff follow City requirements is a fundamental responsibility of that position, one which the City Manager has demonstrably failed to carry out adequately.

RG4N CALLS FOR THIRD-PARTY FACILITATOR

Posted Tue, 03/27/2007 - 1:50am

In a late breaking news development, RG4N is calling for a third-party facilitator to assist with negotiations between Lincoln Property Company, which owns Northcross Mall, and neighborhood groups.

In a letter provided on Monday, March 26th to Austin Assistant City Manager Laura Huffman, RG4N stated that the minor revisions made to the development plan by Lincoln and Wal-Mart do not address priority concerns in any meaningful way. Responses from Northcross-area neighborhood associations stated similar disappointments. However, RG4N also highlighted the failure of City management to play an objective role in facilitating negotiations between the developer and neighborhood representatives.

Rather than seek a similar path to resolving the Northcross issue, the City chose to pay $224,000 in taxpayer dollars to hire an attorney from Scott, Douglass & McConnico, LLP to fight the neighborhood groups and help Wal-Mart build a Supercenter at Northcross. RG4N continues to call upon City Council to cancel all contracts with Scott, Douglass & McConnico, LLP regarding Northcross, and instead use City resources to develop a real solution and avoid legal action.

 

Let's Talk To City Council Over Lunch

Posted Tue, 03/27/2007 - 1:43am

RG4N needs volunteers to address City Council at NOON on Thursdays on April 5th, 12th and 19th.

How do you feel about the Northcross Development? What is your biggest fear or concern? Why are you against the current development plan?

They have heard plenty from RG4N leaders, and now we want them to hear directly from you: concerned citizens, business owners, local association members, political groups, religious organizations, Moms, Dads and PTAs, etc.

You've got 3 minutes, so your message can be short, sweet and to-the-point. Please contact Kat Correa at kat [at] dukecorrea [dot] com to confirm your slot.

Let's Fill Their Mailbags Downtown.

Posted Fri, 03/09/2007 - 1:41pm

If you attended the "open house" on Monday, March 5, then you know the Lincoln/Wal-Mart plan is unacceptable. Let's fill some mailbags. Write a letter to the Mayor and the City Council. Tell them in no uncertain terms that the plan is intolerable. Tell them it will be opposed. And tell them how events at Northcross will affect your votes in the future.

Here's the address to mail a letter to each official:
City Hall
301 W. 2nd St. 2nd Floor
Austin, Texas 78701

We have more information posted here about how to contact the Mayor and City Council.

Or just use this handy form below:

Dear Mayor Wynn and Austin City Council,

Subject:

Message:

Signed,

Your full name:

Your email address:

Tell Lincoln, Wal-Mart and the City To Go Back To The Drawing Board

Posted Mon, 03/05/2007 - 11:04pm
We call on all citizens of Austin to join us and tell our city government that any further action to advance this current plan is intolerable. Read our statement that we read at our press conference on 3/5/07:

Responsible Growth for Northcross, which represents thousands of residents and many business owners, is proud to be here today with leaders from our community. We stand united with the neighborhood associations from Allandale, Brentwood, Crestview, North Shoal Creek and Wooten. Also here with us are local business owners and community leaders from all over Austin.

Today Lincoln Property Company and Wal-Mart are showing the public a plan for Northcross Mall that they say addresses neighborhood concerns.

It does not.

They say their plan represents negotiation and compromise.

It does not.

A Supercenter, by virtue of its massive size, is the fundamental problem that will hurt our neighborhoods.

Meet the new plan. Same as the old plan.

Posted Sat, 02/24/2007 - 1:16am
As you know, Lincoln Property Company and Walmart presented a revised Northcross site plan on Feb. 21st to RG4N and neighborhood association leadership.

But the new plan shares the same two fundamental flaws we have repeatedly pointed out about the original plan: it still includes a Supercenter, and it still is the wrong type of development for our neighborhood.

With the support of City management, they've throw a few crumbs and called them concessions. They've tinkered around the edges rather than address the fundamentals of the plan.

They aim to split us by pulling off some who are afraid they will lose even minimal changes if they continue pushing for any real change. They want us to lose our nerve.

Hold fast.

At their March 5th open house, the developers will ask for input on the details. What RG4N will say – and what we encourage everyone to say – is that a Supercenter with nice exterior building materials, an insignificant addition of a bit more green space and only a 2% reduction is still a Supercenter.

This is not a done deal.

Keep showing them the only changes that matter: No Wal-Mart Supercenter. Vertical mixed-use development.

RG4N Calls on City Officials to Explain Their Actions

Posted Tue, 02/20/2007 - 2:03pm

Responsible Growth for Northcross calls upon the City of Austin to explain why it is paying $224,000 in taxpayers¹ dollars to an outside law firm to fight its citizens.

Five days after as many as 3,000 Austinites formed a one square mile-long human chain around the Northcross site, the Austin City Council approved an additional $175,000 to an outside counsel contract with Scott, Douglass & McConnico, LLP for legal counsel concerning development at Northcross Mall. The total contract amount is currently $224,000.

See this press release for more information.

Tune Into The Big Debate on Sunday.

Posted Fri, 02/16/2007 - 9:04pm
Knowledge is power, so learn more about vertical mixed use and the big box debate this Sunday.

Yes, the big box ordinance passed, but the debate continues. Our Business Liaison Chair, Jan Triplett, Ph.D., who is the chief operating officer of the Business Success Center, will debate the subject this weekend. Her opponent: Gary Hoover, one of Austin's serial entrepreneurs, and founder of Bookstop, Hoovers.com, and more.

Austin Business District Radio Show
1370 AM, Sunday at 3:00 p.m.
Hosted by Jason Myers, publisher of Austin Business District Magazine.
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