Beside The Point

Post-Turkey Lethargy

Richard Suttle
Richard Suttle

Memo to council: You are grossly underpaid. Please, give yourselves another raise. Failing that, y'all look a wee peaked – too much bad stuffing, probably. Maybe more time at the Crossings is in order?

Hey, have you heard about the big box slated for Northcross Mall? Know what would make everyone, angry neighbors included, feel better? A resolution! "I, Mayor Will Wynn, do hereby proclaim today, Thursday, November 30, as Wal-Mart Day! Always!"

All right, you got me. I'm desperate. I'm not used to the civic engine's pistons pumping so efficiently, so effortlessly, so … silently. No, to further belabor this somewhat-tortured metaphor, if City Council served meals-on-wheels, this week would be the congealed Thanksgiving leftovers. Yup, it's another quiet one at West Second this week. We're beginning to sense a pattern.

What heat there is arises from the day's zoning agenda. Up on second and third is the Redeemer Presbyterian Church debacle (the church wants to set up shop in the city's MLK Transit Oriented Development Zone, with a proposed site plan that is anything but transit-oriented), another effortless notch in attorney Richard Suttle's long-accumulating asshole bona fides. (For those of you keeping track, aside from advising the megachurch that could, Suttle is also representing Wal-Mart, Town Lake setback scofflaws CWS Capital Partners, and Las Manitas displacers White Lodging Services. Where's the Austin answer to Nancy Grace when you need her?) Also up is expanded zoning for St. David's Hospital, on 32nd, between I-35 and Red River. The Planned Unit Development approval requested by St. D's doesn't come recommended by staff, as it would "allow incompatible height abutting residences to the north of the hospital." Whether council goes with the carrot or the stick (or simply goes to sleep), look to it as a possible harbinger of the debate over the forthcoming Concordia campus conversion along the freeway.

Another development-related development is Item 20, $750,000 to URS Corp. for decommission and deconstruction of Downtown's Green Water Treatment Plant. With funding for a Green-sited central library approved at the polls, the 82-year-old plant's fate was sealed. The structure should be razed by November 2008.

So give it a plaque, already. The only intriguing initiative from council is Item 38, allowing for the creation of 10 memorial plaques to abut the forthcoming Long Center for the Performing Arts. The res from Betty Dunkerley and Sheryl Cole directs City Manager Toby Futrell to work with the music commission in creating a selection process to name the 10 honorees. Honestly, let's just call it Stevie Ray and nine others, OK?

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Austin City Council, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, MLK Transit Oriented Development Zone, Richard Suttle, St. David's Hospital, URS Corp., Green Water Treatment Plant, Long Center for the Performing Arts

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