ZAP for Stratus

After more than four hours of testimony, debate, and some choice potshots, the Zoning and Platting Commission late Tuesday unanimously approved Stratus Properties' zoning changes and settlement agreement with the city. Z.A.P. accepted the staff's zoning recommendations but added development restrictions on several tracts. The City Council is expected to consider the Stratus deal on June 27; opponents hope to rally a turnout that would equal the legendary June 7, 1990, council hearing, which ended with council's rejection of a plan to develop the same Circle C property at issue today.

The Z.A.P. vote was helped along by a subcommittee's in-depth study of the plan, with input from Stratus attorney Steve Drenner and Southwest Austin neighborhood and environmental representatives. More than a dozen residents from neighborhoods affected by the Stratus plan spoke in opposition. "If this is such a good plan, why are we having to give abatements? Why are we being threatened?" asked Amy Rupp of the Circle C Neighborhood Association, a group formed after residents learned that their Homeowners Association leaders were negotiating privately with Stratus. (Circle C HOA board members voiced their support for the plan Tuesday.)

Attorney Casey Dobson, who negotiated the deal for the city, vigorously defended the agreement, denying allegations made earlier by Save Our Springs Alliance leader Bill Bunch that it was built on fraud, fear, and misinformation. Dobson also accused certain city staff members of fueling controversy over the agreement. "Given our realistic alternatives," he said, "I believe this is a good settlement. It gives certainty about the outcome of the tracts."

Got something to say on the subject? Send a letter to the editor.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More by Amy Smith
The Work Matters
The Work Matters
A look back at some of our most impactful reporting

Sept. 3, 2021

Well-Behaved? Let's Assume Not.
Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: The Untold Story
Barbara Leaming's new biography makes the case that Jackie O suffered from PTSD

Nov. 28, 2014

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle