Save Town Lake!

RECEIVED Fri., July 20, 2007

Dear Editor,
    Re: Save Town Lake (benefit concert and organization): There can be responsible growth on Town Lake, perhaps even within the sacrosanct 150-foot distance of the Waterfront Overlay Ordinance. That is because this 150-foot setback distance was established by a hydrologist, who determined 150 feet was the distance rainwater, after falling from the sky, needed to traverse over pervious ground (thereby "purifying" and percolating into the ground, to a degree) before entering Town Lake. Water-quality features (such as sand-filtration ponds) and water detention/retention technology, utilized on the sites of new development, allow for development to occur closer than 150 feet away from Town Lake and still avoid pollution and contamination of Town Lake. Responsible growth also means recognizing Town Lake exists within a larger region and that more compact development is needed to avoid sprawl. More people will need to live in Downtown Austin, and the neighborhoods surrounding Downtown, in the future. Rather than advocating for no tall development (or no development at all, as the case may be) around Town Lake, I believe recognizing the need to develop around Town Lake in a responsible fashion, treating it as a great urban amenity, will actually help save Town Lake (and benefit the great urban park alongside it) in the long run.
Andrew W. Clements
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