The North Door
"...Since its creation two decades ago, Circle C Ranch -- one of Austin's most visionary and most controversial developments -- has operated under what has come to be known by both observers and residents as the "Bradley oligarchy." That is, the people who served as developer Gary Bradley's allies and business associates in Circle C's early days are the same people who run things today (see chart). But that may be about to change...."
"...While reptiles, amphibians, and insects all fall to their deadly claws, the victims that Schaffel most mourns are birds. Schaffel doesn't only mourn, she acts, and some of her actions have others in the Circle C Ranch and animal communities aflutter..."
"...For just as many decades, politicians have promised that protection, and have repeatedly fallen fall short on those promises. Meanwhile, a seemingly endless string of subsidies to private speculative investment have poured into the area. The champion of subsidies is Gary Bradley's Circle C Ranch subdivision, which sits directly over the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone..."
"...Like all of the best infotainment -- Watergate and Whitewater, O.J. and the House of Windsor -- either one has followed the tortured progress of the Circle C Ranch, or one has not, and never the twain shall meet, apparently...."
"...Video Ranch (www.videoranch.com) had already camped out at the local film facilities during South by Southwest, broadcasting interactive live sets for virtual consumption. As acts from here and far entertained avatar audiences onscreen, the venture's inventor sat in a mobile facility outside tweaking computer code..."
"...Well, maybe it didn't happen just like that, but whatever the origin, the ACC board is considering purchasing land for a new southwest campus from Bradley and Freeport-McMoRan's Circle C Ranch. Other tracts throughout Southwest Austin and Travis County are under consideration as well, including sites along the Southwest Parkway either within or near FM Properties' proposed Barton Creek PUD..."
"...illustration by Doug Potter The courtroom scene on December 30 before a three-judge panel headed by federal District Judge Sam Sparks left tongues wagging at city hall for days. Gary Bradley, developer of the Circle C Ranch, was clearly seen whispering into the ear of Jose Garza, the attorney representing a group of minority plaintiffs who are trying to shut down the city's recent annexations for allegedly violating the federal Minority Voting Rights Act..."
"...A bridge across Town Lake extends MoPac Boulevard into South Austin.1982 Gary Bradley and his partners, James Gressett, Mitchell Sharp, and Ira Yates, buy the 2,700-acre Circle C Ranch in Southwest Austin from Polly Brooks (Yates' mother).1983 City Council approves creation of four municipal utility districts to provide water and sewage service to Circle C. Bradley agrees to terms that allow the city to begin annexing parts of the development in 10 years.1987 Legislature enacts HB 4, which bars a city from altering water quality rules once a development project has begun..."
"...Gressett and Bradley both defaulted on loans they secured in 1985 from First Gibraltar's predecessor, Gibraltar Savings Association, the biggest savings and loan in Texas to collapse in the S&L crisis. The partners had personally guaranteed 20% on loans of more than $100 million -- funding intended to underwrite the development of Circle C Ranch, at the time only a vast, open spread of land southwest of downtown and atop the Edwards Aquifer..."
"...The suit alleges that CCLC is entitled to "$3,803,069.00 in MUD reimbursements currently available for distribution by the municipal utility districts for improvements." The Circle C Ranch development, located in southwestern Travis County, is served by several MUDs, which collect water and wastewater fees from local residents. The dispute came about because Phoenix bought part of the development from FMP last year..."
"...Bradley is spearheading a proposal to extend SH 45 from FM 1626 in the southwest to I-35 and eventually SH 130, and the Stratus development, of course, would help justify the need for the highway. "We resent the posture taken by representatives of those respective groups as having some vestige of a vested interest in the Circle C Ranch," Rigsbee wrote..."
"...You described a "revolt" at Circle C Ranch in your Feb 28 Chronicle ["A Revolt Brews Among the Circle C Masses"]. What is happening here is a latter stage in the "evolution" of our homeowners association from developer-controlled to resident-controlled..."
"...Two days later, the same question resonated in the multipurpose room of Kiker Elementary in Circle C Ranch, where the CTRMA ran its slick open-forum presentation on its $2.2 billion proposed toll-road network to a slightly smaller crowd of people, slightly fewer of whom came with an attitude. (Many of those in attendance had seen the toll-road pitch before.) The traditional anti-highway contingent was represented by longtime transportation activist Roger Baker, whose multifront opposition to the specific road projects, to their financing, to highways in general, and to the RMA itself tends toward the melodramatic (relying heavily, for now, on predictions of world-transforming spikes in fuel prices)...."
"...The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority has opened the door to taking road projects out of its $2.2 billion Central Texas toll road plan, but Circle C Ranch residents shouldn't cheer too loudly. The CTRMA's largesse comes with a caveat: Those who pay will be those who play..."
"...At issue between the two former allies is $3.8 million in municipal utility district bond payments from the Circle C Ranch development in southwestern Travis County. The development is serviced by several MUDs which collect water and wastewater fees from local residents...."
"...Angels to Phoenix to Lazarus Ikard, leading the charge against Bradley, has pieced together a dizzying number of financial transactions that he believes offer strong, albeit circumstantial, evidence that links Bradley to Lazarus. Ikard has developed an intricate timeline that follows Bradley on a circuitous path beginning in September 1990, when Gibraltar Savings brought a lawsuit against Bradley and partner James Gressett for defaulting on loans the pair took out to build the Circle C Ranch, and ends in July 2002, when Bradley filed for bankruptcy and claimed just $500,000 in assets..."
"...Last week, the city council announced plans to absorb more than 30,000 new residents who currently live outside the city in 26 different municipal utility districts (MUDs). Nearly 8,000 of these future Austinites live in developments adjacent to Circle C Ranch..."
"...While the Wal-Mart has reunited old allies, it has also galvanized residents of Sendera Estates, Circle C Ranch, New Villages at Western Oaks, and other neighborhoods located in the shadow of the Supercenter. The anti-Wal-Mart campaign is mostly being driven by the residents, Rockwell says, leading to some strange bedfellow-making between SOS et al..."
"...But it may likewise be too soon to tell whether -- as we and others claimed at the time -- it changed Austin public life forever. Basically, Austin today is a lot like Austin 10 years before SOS, when City Hall was split between "no-growth" and "managed-growth-but-not-pro-growth" forces, when Austin adopted the comprehensive plan we now call Smart Growth, when nobody admitted to be for sprawl or against saving the Springs -- and when the original Circle C Ranch was held forth as an example of growth management, just like its modern-day Stratus incarnation...."
"...The settlement proposal would address legal and other issues involving the Barton Creek, Lantana and Circle C Ranch developments...."