The Grove PUD is scheduled for the Environmental Commission meeting on November 4th – this Wednesday at 6 pm. This is the first step in the commission / council PUD approval process.
The BCRC believes it is premature for The Grove PUD to go before any commissions since significant issues remain unresolved, and we have sent a request to postpone this item. The Environmental Commission’s review of the PUD includes many topics like flood control, watershed protection, recreation resources, heritage trees, noise abatement, among others. We encourage all concerned neighbors to email the members of the Environmental Commission *now* to encourage postponement of this item and express your concerns about The Grove PUD. The eleven commissioner emails are below. Please also feel free to use, in whole or part, the suggested text at the bottom of this post.
I am a neighbor of the future development called “The Grove at Shoal Creek” which is under consideration on your November 4th meeting. First and foremost, please postpone this item since significant flooding, environmental, park, drainage, and other issues remain unresolved with the PUD application. Some of these issues include the following:
The heritage trees on this site are magnificent – so much so that the applicant named their development after them, but this PUD does not include sufficient protections to ensure the survival of these heritage trees. Substantial development and detention facilities are proposed immediately adjacent and within critical root zones. How can it be environmentally superior to completely remove or threaten the health of these protected trees and excavate within critical root zones?
The PUD’s site has a well-documented history of flooding downstream neighbors, and this PUD has not indicated how such flooding will be mitigated after nearly 50 acres of impervious cover is constructed on the site. The proposed wet pond detention facility is located within the heritage oak grove and is limited in its size without damaging the largest heritage trees on the site. Where is the space available within the PUD if a second or larger detention facility is needed? Much of the storm water from PUD’s impervious cover flows south toward downstream neighbors in Ridgelea. Since flooding from the site has a history of threatening lives and property, what provisions are within the PUD to mitigate this critical concern? Shouldn’t known flooding issues receive particular attention before recommending a substantial level of development on this site?
Parkland is a significant neighborhood priority for this site, but the amount and location of parkland still remain unresolved within the PUD application. Recent comments by parks staff indicate that the amount of quality parkland within the PUD is insufficient. The applicant has added undefined “flex space” just to meet the minimum requirements under conventional zoning. How can insufficient parkland be considered superior? Doesn’t the unresolved parkland issue impact drainage, impervious cover, critical environmental features, heritage trees, riparian habitat and erosion along Shoal Creek, and recreational resources – all critical issues that deserve attention by the Commission?
A sizable wetland critical environmental feature exists on this site, and the PUD includes a reduction in the wetland’s buffer zone. The wetland is also included in the same location that the developer proposes parkland. How can this wetland be mitigated as shown in the PUD without negatively impacting the heritage oak trees? How can the wetland be protected if it is also proposed as park space which is intended to serve thousands of people and pets?
Noise abatement and air quality are not sufficiently addressed in this PUD. The applicant has proposed 25,000 square feet of bars, an urban plaza, and an amphitheater within the park. How does the PUD address the noise impacts from these uses and how noise affects the residents within the site, around the site, and the undeveloped site’s wildlife? Traffic is a significant concern, and the latest Traffic Impact Analysis shows over 19,000 new vehicles trips per day generated by the site. How does this PUD address the air quality impacts by substantial increase in vehicles and traffic around and within this site?
As you can see, there are many unresolved issues with The Grove PUD and they should be addressed by the applicant prior to the Environmental Commission considering the superiority of this proposed development. Please postpone this item or determine The Grove PUD is *not* superior and should come back to the Commission when these critical environmental items are resolved.