Leslie Pool’s Tweet (During the) Storm

Council member pushes CodeNEXT agenda at an inopportune time

Leslie Pool’s Tweet (During the) Storm

Council Member Leslie Pool has been fending off some heat this week for what critics saw as a poorly timed tweet posted this weekend, as Hurricane Harvey was still dumping on Houston, in which she linked the storm's flooding to Austin planning policy arguments. "To any who dismiss need for Austin's zoning & imperv cover rules, I give you Houston," she wrote on Sunday, linking to a story about rising death tolls from The Guardian. Pool, whose district covers much of North Central Austin, was quickly chided for using the disaster in Houston as a talking point; several responses to the tweet criticized her for pushing anti-density policies that encourage sprawl into flood-prone areas. Even Pool's regular nemeses at the Real Estate Council of Austin took the opportunity to claim a moral high ground, responding in a Monday statement: "Politicizing this ongoing catastrophe while it's still developing is insensitive, irresponsible and flat out inaccurate. It's unlikely that any level of zoning or impervious cover regulations would safely protect a city from the power of a Category 4 hurricane that has dropped more than 30 inches of rain over a 24-hour period." (Experts are now saying more than 50 inches of rainfall hit the region.)

Asked for comment, Pool responded: "We must be focused on helping our neighbors in Houston and the surrounding communities get through this disaster and rebuild. Going forward, we need to have some hard conversations about how we're going to address the flooding dangers posed by climate change, our infrastructure needs, and increasing impervious cover across the region."

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 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 Leslie Pool
Pick Your Plan for McKalla Place
Pick Your Plan for McKalla Place
Precourt vs. the field

Austin Sanders, Aug. 10, 2018

District 7: Pool Defeats Gauldin
District 7: Pool Defeats Gauldin
Leslie Pool cruised to an easy victory against Natalie Gauldin

Nina Hernandez, Nov. 11, 2016

More by Richard Whittaker
Tribeca Film Festival Review: <i>Accepted</i>
Tribeca Film Festival Review: Accepted
The education scandal that put the lie to TM Landry's success

June 15, 2021

Tribeca Film Festival Review: <i>No Man of God</i>
Tribeca Film Festival Review: No Man of God
Latest Bundy biopic is a portrait of the investigator

June 15, 2021


Leslie Pool, CodeNEXT

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

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