The Austin Chronicle

https://www.austinchronicle.com/news/2016-11-04/grove-mediation-faces-timing-conflict/

Grove Mediation Faces Timing Conflict

By Nina Hernandez, November 4, 2016, News

Last week, the Bull Creek Road Coali­tion wrote to Mayor Steve Adler and the rest of City Council that, while the mayor's prescribed mediation between the BCRC and Grove at Shoal Creek developer ARG Bull Creek, Ltd. was going well, the neighborhood watchdogs would not be able to continue with the discussion for another three weeks – a week after the Nov. 10 date Council set to re-hear the case.

"Based on our experience at mediation today, we believe that there is a high likelihood that this matter will be resolved at a future mediation session between the parties. ... We ask that Council support this effort between the parties and postpone the second hearing on the Grove PUD [until Nov. 19]," read the letter, dated Oct. 29.

The first session last week ran a modest 10 hours. Though both parties are bound by nondisclosure agreements meant to keep the mediation going in good faith, BCRC vice president Grayson Cox reiterated that the group left the meeting feeling optimistic about the possibility of a compromise – if Council allows both parties the time to properly hash things out.

ARG distributed its own letter in response to the BCRC on Monday, Oct. 31, rejecting the idea of any further delays. Every month the Grove is pushed back adds $1,000 to the price of each home, the company wrote. "The case has been postponed twice already – once after a neighborhood request for six weeks," ARG added. "With the holidays and end of the year approaching, an additional postponement would likely push final resolution of the case perhaps to February 2017."

Reached for comment on ARG's letter, Cox offered the following: "We don't want to delay this any more than ARG wants to delay this, which is we don't want to delay it at all. But we also don't think that if we have an opportunity to find a solution that we should place artificial deadlines, based on Council's schedule, that essentially eliminates the possibility of finding those negotiated solutions. We're hoping Council follows through and provides the time necessary to see mediation go to its hopefully successful end."

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