The Austin Chronicle

Next Week's Council: It's a Porker

By Amy Smith, November 30, 2012, News

There's no regular City Council meeting this week, but the Dec. 6 agenda promises to make up for lost time, with 106 items already posted. Some of the headliners and eye-catchers include:

A public hearing on a proposed $1.56 million "economic development grant" for Visa Inc. in exchange for building a global IT center here. See "Point Austin" and "Victories for Living Wages".

Action on Austin Water Utility's request for an additional $15.5 million to finish out construction on the troublesome Water Treat­ment plant No. 4. See "Then There's This."

A resolution for the city to participate in the Texas Facilities Commission's plans to unload prime state property in Central and North Central Austin for private development. Considering the Facilities Commission is run by former Austin state Rep. Terry Keel, a Republican who helped facilitate plenty of Austin-bashing bills in his day, it's no wonder the city and several neighborhood groups are just a little interested in what gets built where and how.

A public hearing and possible action on the creation of the East Riverside Corridor zoning district, east of I-35, where a redevelopment transformation process is already making the low-rent street look, well, different. Several other East Riverside matters are also on the agenda, including the return of a controversial proposal to rename Arena Drive as Shore District Drive "for purposes of neighborhood enhancement," otherwise known as marketing.

A rather convoluted zoning/development issue in the 5500 block of North Lamar, regarding property owned by the Texas State Troop­ers Association. Developers are seeking upzoning to allow a 385-unit apartment complex and possible mixed-use. Neighborhoods in the area have weighed in with traffic and other access concerns, as has AISD because of the site's proximity to McCallum High School.

And for those South Austinites who've been asking when Wheatsville Food Co-op will open its second location on South Lamar, the case is currently tied up in city code issues involving its sale of alcoholic beverages in close proximity to a public school. A public hearing is tentatively set for Dec. 13. Mark the date on your holiday calendar and come on down.

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