HomeDiagramsDatabaseMapsForum About
     

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > United States > Texas & Southcentral > Austin


Reply

 
Thread Tools Display Modes
     
     
  #1  
Old Posted Oct 10, 2007, 1:05 PM
Saddle Man Saddle Man is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,149
The city council voted against the 150ft compromise with CWS last night. So, no donated land for a trail extension. What myopic vision.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #2  
Old Posted Oct 10, 2007, 3:01 PM
M1EK's Avatar
M1EK M1EK is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 2,194
Quote:
Originally Posted by kingkirbythegreat View Post
The city council voted against the 150ft compromise with CWS last night. So, no donated land for a trail extension. What myopic vision.
Actually, that was the Planning Commission - which is even worse, since they're the most responsible body we have on this stuff. If they voted it down, it didn't have a prayer at City Council.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #3  
Old Posted Oct 10, 2007, 3:21 PM
JAM's Avatar
JAM JAM is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 2,493
Quote:
Originally Posted by kingkirbythegreat View Post
The city council voted against the 150ft compromise with CWS last night. So, no donated land for a trail extension. What myopic vision.
Good. Haven't heard a sensible solution come from that developer yet. The trail issue can be handled in other manners. It is only 1000 feet.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #4  
Old Posted Oct 10, 2007, 4:58 PM
Saddle Man Saddle Man is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,149
Maybe CWS could give the city some treadmill-powered boats to fill in their portion of the trail gap.

The 150ft setback is a great compromise, a win-win. The only thing Austin will get if the variance isn't granted is the same crap that's already there.

Let's see, grant a small variance and get some much needed lake front parkland, or deny a small variance and get diddly-shit. Wow! Let's get nothing! Next time, let's make sure we get three times nothing! That'll be way better!
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #5  
Old Posted Oct 10, 2007, 6:55 PM
ATXboom ATXboom is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,645
Kirby,

Fully agree... in denial we get the same crap that is there. No trail, less tax dollars to the city, and missing a chance at more density and less sprawl.

My perception of Austin... mainly central Austin was one consiting of progressive people, progressive neighborhood associations, etc... I have been to several zoning hearings this year and I am floored at the backwards thinking going on by a few unqualified folks with arbitrary power who don't even do their job which is to speak for the majority of residents in their neighborhood! They are opposite of stewards for their neighborhoods and the greater region. Central austin is opposite of progressive... Where is the greater visioni to drive development away from the aquifer and densify central... home values go up - its great for everyone except those that can't afford property taxes... where this project is that is NOT an issue.

In regard to zoning/tax issue in West campus... not sure why the city does not zone institutions like Frats, etc differently so their taxes don't go up or at a very capped rate.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #6  
Old Posted Oct 10, 2007, 7:18 PM
bigdogc's Avatar
bigdogc bigdogc is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 352
Quote:
Originally Posted by ATXboom View Post
Kirby,

Fully agree... in denial we get the same crap that is there. No trail, less tax dollars to the city, and missing a chance at more density and less sprawl.

My perception of Austin... mainly central Austin was one consiting of progressive people, progressive neighborhood associations, etc... I have been to several zoning hearings this year and I am floored at the backwards thinking going on by a few unqualified folks with arbitrary power who don't even do their job which is to speak for the majority of residents in their neighborhood! They are opposite of stewards for their neighborhoods and the greater region. Central austin is opposite of progressive... Where is the greater visioni to drive development away from the aquifer and densify central... home values go up - its great for everyone except those that can't afford property taxes... where this project is that is NOT an issue.

In regard to zoning/tax issue in West campus... not sure why the city does not zone institutions like Frats, etc differently so their taxes don't go up or at a very capped rate.
Very true on the frats. We were planning on building a $7mil top of the line house 5 years ago, but with the new zoning, the property would be valued at ~13mil. The property taxes would be insane on that!
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #7  
Old Posted Oct 10, 2007, 8:47 PM
ATXboom ATXboom is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,645
So the net is we have buildings 20 feet from the lake and no trail. Had this been approved we would have 150 feet clearance from the lake, a trail... and a 2nd 200 foot tower. ?????!

I don't think there is a "presendence" issue either... there was more win than loose in this situation. It does not mean other variance requests would/should pass.



Wednesday, October 10, 2007 - 2:48 PM CDT
Riverside condo project stumbles at Planning Commission, but still a goAustin Business Journal
Print Article Email Article Reprints RSS Feeds Add to Del.icio.us Digg This
Related News
South Austin apartment complex sold [Austin]
Transwestern in talks to buy Tower Place building [Atlanta]
Two local apartment complexes to be redeveloped [Austin]


The city's planning commission unanimously rejected California-based CWS Capital Partners' plans to build three highrise condo buildings as close as 150 feet from the shore of Lady Bird Lake.

CWS had requested a variance to the Waterfront Overlay Ordinance that prohibits CWS from building within 200 feet of the lakeshore. In exchange for being granted the variance, CWS proposed to donate nearly 2 acres of waterfront parkland and extend the hike-and-bike trail by one-third of a mile along Riverside Drive.

CWS can appeal the decision to the City Council, but CWS attorney Richard Suttle says the company will likely not appeal, given that four council members have already publicly expressed their opposition to the variance.

If the variance request remains denied, CWS plans to build two highrises -- one 200 feet, the other 120 feet -- and redevelop dozens of apartments that sit as close as 20 feet from the lake shore to sell them as townhomes. Those apartments pre-date the 200-foot rule.

CWS told the commissioners that the company was willing to compromise and alter plans, but that CWS should receive something in return if it can't renovate buildings it is already allowed to do without variances.

Save Town Lake, a nonprofit group, filed a lawsuit last month to contest CWS' plan to build up to 200 feet high regardless of the variance.

Several commissioners referred to the vote as a lose-lose situation because CWS will still rebuild close to the lakeshore and the public will lose an extension of the hike-and-bike trail.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #8  
Old Posted Oct 10, 2007, 8:55 PM
M1EK's Avatar
M1EK M1EK is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 2,194
Quote:
Originally Posted by ATXboom View Post
Kirby,
I have been to several zoning hearings this year and I am floored at the backwards thinking going on by a few unqualified folks with arbitrary power who don't even do their job which is to speak for the majority of residents in their neighborhood! They are opposite of stewards for their neighborhoods and the greater region. Central austin is opposite of progressive... Where is the greater visioni to drive development away from the aquifer and densify central... home values go up - its great for everyone except those that can't afford property taxes... where this project is that is NOT an issue.
Please, if you haven't done so already, sign up for austin_urbanists, and if you already have, let us know where we can be of help. I've only asked for letters of support once or twice; I don't necessarily know what's going on elsewhere.

Quote:
In regard to zoning/tax issue in West campus... not sure why the city does not zone institutions like Frats, etc differently so their taxes don't go up or at a very capped rate.
Zoning doesn't have much impact on taxes there - the land value (which is the meat of it) is the same whatever the property is zoned. The only thing the city could do would be to offer some kind of homestead exemption for these folks.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #9  
Old Posted Oct 10, 2007, 9:04 PM
ATXboom ATXboom is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,645
Signing up now... I have seen great proposals with the support of majority residents be shot down by 1 person running an association... who never even glanced at plans! 1. At least look at the plan 2. speak on behalf of your neighborhood 3. maybe a background in economy, architecture, urban planning, Sustainable growth or related fields should be a minimum requirement to lead a neighborhood organization!

BTW this has occurred in 78704, North Loop, and Crestview.

I am convinced these minority voices have nothing else going on in their lives so they develop a psuedo power trip with a meaningless position and podium.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #10  
Old Posted Oct 10, 2007, 9:19 PM
arbeiter's Avatar
arbeiter arbeiter is offline
passion for patterns
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 10,336
Quote:
Originally Posted by ATXboom View Post
Several commissioners referred to the vote as a lose-lose situation because CWS will still rebuild close to the lakeshore and the public will lose an extension of the hike-and-bike trail.
This shortsightedness is unfortunately not new to Austin. What the result ends up being is worse than the status quo sometimes. I think the quality of the parkland is more important than the quantity. A bit of compromise and pragmatism is the only way heads will be gotten out of asses.
__________________
you should know that I'm womanly wise
my website/blog. or, my flickr site.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #11  
Old Posted Oct 10, 2007, 9:56 PM
Saddle Man Saddle Man is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,149
Is austin_urbanists a .com, or .org, or something else?
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #12  
Old Posted Oct 10, 2007, 9:58 PM
ATXboom ATXboom is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,645
It is a yahoo forum... do a Yahoo search for Austin_Urbanists
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #13  
Old Posted Oct 10, 2007, 10:02 PM
M1EK's Avatar
M1EK M1EK is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 2,194
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/austin_urbanists

Yours truly set it up. It's intended to be a place where we can circulate letters of support (or opposition) and have them signed by a large number of like-minded people to hopefully counter-balance the ANC. Or, as has been the case so far, work on coordinating individual letters.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #14  
Old Posted Oct 10, 2007, 11:05 PM
KevinFromTexas's Avatar
KevinFromTexas KevinFromTexas is offline
Remember
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Here
Posts: 52,017
I think we'd be better off flooding city council with emails and letters instead. If everyone on the forum did it, (I think we counted 60+ Austin forumers once), then that would surely have an impact on them.
__________________
I heard we had the best mortality rate. - President Donald Trump, July 19, 2020

To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; credible we must be truthful. - Edward R. Murrow
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #15  
Old Posted Oct 10, 2007, 11:13 PM
M1EK's Avatar
M1EK M1EK is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 2,194
That's what I meant by "circulate letters" - it's basically a place to hit a bunch of like-minded people in email who might be willing to sign on to a joint letter or send their own.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #16  
Old Posted Oct 10, 2007, 11:23 PM
JAM's Avatar
JAM JAM is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 2,493
Quote:
Originally Posted by ATXboom View Post
So the net is we have buildings 20 feet from the lake and no trail. Had this been approved we would have 150 feet clearance from the lake, a trail... and a 2nd 200 foot tower. ?????!

I don't think there is a "presendence" issue either... there was more win than loose in this situation. It does not mean other variance requests would/should pass.
I agree this was a win by setting a precedent on the 200 foot rule. 200 feet isn't much and there is a lot of Lake front yet to be developed.

Check the history of the development. The developer has been very brash and is now attempting to make it appear as though they were willing to provide something and the savetownlake organization has screwed it up. The developer originally wanted to pile a mass of hi-rise 80 feet from the water front and played some dirty tricks to try to make it a go. 80 feet is 3 suburban lengths end to end. I don't think a hi-rise would look so great butted up against Town Lake. They would have essentially formed a wall along the lake. The developer continued on with other crap. If they were truly good hearted, they could work a solution by the trail. Don't forget, the waterway is part of the park land. If you take a look over there, there are shadows cast on the lake everyday when the sun hits 3:00 or so. The ducks and turtles all scram from the shadows when this happens. Overall, I think the rebuilding of the apartments will look better than 3 hi-rises crammed along the shoreline. I quit keeping up with what they wanted to do next, but I think it was to build even higher with a 150 primary setback, but they probably wanted to encroach closer than 150 with secondary setbacks knowing the developers history. Anyway, research it yourself and you can see the b.s. that has gone on.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #17  
Old Posted Oct 10, 2007, 11:37 PM
M1EK's Avatar
M1EK M1EK is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 2,194
JAM, if you can't be bothered to be informed, why on earth should anybody take you seriously?

The developer was proposing buildings within the 150-200 feet zone, but nothing closer than 150 feet. Period.

And "if the developer was good hearted" is just a load of crap. Business is about compromise, and deal-making. Charity is about being "good hearted". The city rejected this deal - and many of us feel that's a mistake - it doesn't make CWS wrong for offering it or wrong for not going out of business so that Travis Heights and Laura Morrison can be happy.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #18  
Old Posted Oct 11, 2007, 12:16 AM
bigdogc's Avatar
bigdogc bigdogc is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 352
This is a setback to the closest downtown area development. These towers would have really accelerated the growth of buildings south of townlake. We need to get more people involved in this issue. I dont think 60 skyscraperpage forumers can do much in a city of 500k+, but if we get more people involved we can do something. From the general austinites I know, they are very excited and welcoming towards new construction, but they don't take the time to read stuff like "Towers too close to townlake get denied". Let's get people like that involved with a petition.

PRO-urbanites unite!
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #19  
Old Posted Oct 11, 2007, 12:32 AM
JAM's Avatar
JAM JAM is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 2,493
Quote:
Originally Posted by M1EK View Post
JAM, if you can't be bothered to be informed, why on earth should anybody take you seriously?

The developer was proposing buildings within the 150-200 feet zone, but nothing closer than 150 feet. Period.
Original proposal was 80 feet. Period.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #20  
Old Posted Oct 11, 2007, 1:47 AM
chancla chancla is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 124
I'm with JAM on this one. A variance here would set a bad precedent.

The developers can still do high density 200 feet from Town Lake. Who cares if it's not the exact project they wanted to do. The only reason they're complaining is because it will cost them more to do the density they wanted with the available area.

They knew what the setbacks were when they bought the property. Getting variances is a gamble. They lost. They'll get no sympathy from me.
Reply With Quote
     
     
This discussion thread continues

Use the page links to the lower-right to go to the next page for additional posts
 
 
Reply

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > United States > Texas & Southcentral > Austin
Forum Jump


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 5:06 AM.

     

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.