The Austin Chronicle

https://www.austinchronicle.com/news/2000-08-04/78140/

Naked City

By Amy Smith, August 4, 2000, News

Those familiar with Hyde Park Baptist Church's hell-or-high-water commitment to build, build, build won't be surprised to learn that the church is at an impasse with Northwest Austin residents who oppose HPBC's proposed enclave in their neighborhood, known as the Quarries. Mediation proceedings were recently rendered a failure after three months of table talk. The battleground in this particular HPBC conflict is church-owned property which, in its present undeveloped state, has the look and feel of a neighborhood park tucked into a residential area southwest of the MoPac/Duval. intersection. Bobbi Henley, spokeswoman for Five Neighborhoods United, the organization opposed to the big development, said her group was willing to sign off on the construction of a 60,000-sq.-ft. recreational spot called the Christian Life Center, but drew the line on further construction, which included an 800-student high school, a children's daycare center, an adult daycare facility, and a senior activity center. The church says it needs the whole package to accommodate its congregation, which meets each Sunday at its Hyde Park neighborhood location, home of a similar expansion battle. Look for possible action on the Quarries logjam when the issue goes to the Austin Planning Commission on Aug. 15...

We knew it was just a matter of time before Gus Garcia re-entered the public arena. The former City Council member is expected to secure a council appointment today, Thursday, Aug. 3, to the Mueller Municipal Airport Implementation Advisory Commission. Other nominees include Terry Mitchell of Milburn Homes, who will represent real estate interests from an affordability perspective; Matt Moore, a New Urbanism enthusiast with Civcon Engineering; and Jim Walker, representing neighborhood interests; among others. The state's possible comeback as a player in the Mueller effort (as part of a land swap for state-owned property slated for the Austin Museum of Art) would have no bearing on the makeup of the commission, we're told...

Anne Gilliam, longtime communications director for the Downtown Austin Alliance, leaves her position Aug. 8. She's taking a sabbatical to spend time with her elderly parents in Virginia. Gilliam will continue commuting to Austin once a month as the board chair of the Austin Museum of Art Guild...

When is a tax not an airport tax? That depends on what your definition of is is. So goes the level of debate in Pflugerville these days as city leaders try to convince the citizenry that the one-cent sales tax they'll be voting on Aug. 12 won't be going toward payment for a new airport, but toward roads and other infrastructure projects. The extra penny came by way of Pflugerville pulling out of Capital Metro, and now it's up to voters to decide what to do with it. Airport opponents contend the sales tax will indeed go to the airport. Mayor Doyle Bridgefarmer denies this, but he can't very well deny a previous statement, made during the early stages of an airport planning meeting, that the money saved by withdrawing from Capital Metro could be applied toward construction of the airport. Hmm...

In a related ballot measure, Pflugerville and Wells Branch voters will decide whether to impose a half-cent sales tax as an additional funding source for the Emergency Services District, which provides fire and medical response services to northern sections of Travis County. Pflugerville's anti-airport faction wants the ESD measure to pass in a big way, which would effectively end the debate over whether the proposed sales tax is actually an airport tax.

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