Good Intentions + Politics = ?

From Austin Chronicle BY KATHERINE GREGOR April 25, 2008
Eastside Development: A community dialogue     On Saturday, April 26, Central East Austin neighborhood residents, East End property owners, and all interested citizens are invited to a second consensus-building meeting concerning proposed developments in the East End. The meeting – organized by the Austin Revitalization Authority, in partnership with the city of Austin – will address changes to the East 11th and 12th streets Urban Renew­al Plan. The ARA has taken a good deal of heat in the community for its weak execution of the plan to date, as well as for other problems – thus the need for dialogue.     The purpose of the Urban Renewal Plan is to encourage positive new development that has “a thriving mix of uses.” As a guide to development on East 11th and 12th, it describes, block by block, the details of desired height, density, and parking. The April 26 session will be the second in a series of three; the final session will be on Saturday, May 17. The outcome is expected to change the city’s Neigh­borhood Conservation Combining District, which provides incentives for development. –What’s happening in Austin is also happening in New York State (and probably elsewhere in the US): Not enough communication between the people driving economic development efforts and the people being affected by these efforts; Robert Moses is alive and well.

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