Letters are posted as we receive them during the week, and before they are printed in the paper, so check back frequently to see new letters. If you'd like to send a letter to the editor, use this postmarks submission form
, or email your letter directly to email@example.com
. Thanks for your patience.
RECEIVED Wed., May 8, 2019
Thank you Kevin for your article ["Where There's Smoke …
," News, May 3]. You are right on!
Regarding the artwork on your piece [by Jason Stout], it was so fantastic! It shows a little Texas character alone with his bottle of alcohol. I joke along these lines all the time and I include guns and opiates in my summary of what Texas offers me!
Thanks for the frank and respectful commentary.
RECEIVED Tue., May 7, 2019
The Austin City Council voted last week to base the Land Development Code rewrite on city staff and consultants’ Draft 3 of CodeNEXT. A universal criticism of CodeNEXT was that it was too driven by city staff and consultants. Virtually everyone on Council acknowledges that the city needs to rebuild trust among the citizenry. Much of the past mistrust was directed toward city staff and consultants. How does using city staff and consultants’ Draft 3 as the baseline for the LDC rewrite not perpetuate those problems? The Planning Commission I once sat on took months of public comments on the LDC rewrite. After intensive deliberations in marathon meetings, we recommended amendments to Draft 3. Council should trust the Austinites it appoints to serve on its boards and commissions. The hard work done by us and the Austinites we heard from should not be cast aside. Those amendments should factor into what the next iteration of the LDC rewrite looks like. Doing otherwise does a huge disservice to Austinites who poured their blood, sweat, and tears into rewriting the LDC.
RECEIVED Mon., May 6, 2019
While I understand the enthusiasm about the proposed zoning code, I have four areas of grave concern regarding its proposals and implementation.
I’m concerned about reduction of permeable surface, which increases flooding potential (look at Houston!) and reduction of the tree population, which increases already soaring summer temps and reduces capacity of our eco-air filtering system. Such consequences are irreversible and I hope we avoid them.
I’m curious to know whether affected single-family residences, duplexes, and quads will be protected from having structures more than two stories high immediately adjoining their properties. Will existing homes that are rezoned as multifamily property have their taxes soar, or be grandfathered in to a sustainable tax rate for as long as current owners live in them? What steps will be taken to ensure that new structures are “middle market” in price rather than dense luxury homes?
I’m concerned about the impact of reducing parking requirements. Public transportation isn’t available in my neighborhood, and bicycling isn’t an option. I never shop, dine, or attend events Downtown due to traffic and the lack of convenient and affordable parking. Soon I may be unable to shop or visit friends in neighborhoods near dense housing zones for the same reason.
Finally, I’m concerned about the emotional impact and trauma caused to older residents who have lived in impacted homes for decades. Will taxes soar to the point they will be priced out of the sanctuary of longtime homes at a vulnerable age? I pray for compassion!
RECEIVED Mon., May 6, 2019
For all the unwitting folks who would trust Kimberley Jones' 4-star rating of Long Shot
: Be forewarned! Seth Rogen literally screams 2/3 of his lines, yet at my viewing of the film, got the most edgy laughter when he intensely jerks off into his own face, perhaps also to the delight of Ms. Jones. Her take on Rogen's performance: "so confident, so fully [her emphasis!] adult
." Really now?! So disgustingly juvenile.