A message from BCRC President Sara Speights:


Dear Neighbors of The Grove,

Last night was living proof that your emails ARE read and DO work.

The Austin Parks Board voted to notify the City Council that they support the park staff’s finding that the proposed park for The Grove at Shoal Creek is not sufficient to be considered “superior.”  This is important because one of the criteria a developer must meet in order to get a Planned Unit Development (PUD) status is to secure this “superior” designation in at least several areas.  Does this kill the development?  Absolutely not.  But it does give the Council more reason to put pressure on the developer to improve the proposed park.  BCRC does not want to kill this development; we just want to improve it.  Like our signs say, “Build a better PUD.”

 But back to your emails….Some board members were dubious about the proposal because they had never voted to send a message to City Council.  But as one board member said, she received some 150 emails—most of them personally written letters—supporting the BCRC positions.  She said the board members have never received more than 4 or 5 emails on a single subject before.  She said they also received about 50 emails—almost entirely form letters—from those who supported the developer’s position.

Our special thanks go to Board members Alison Alter and Francoise Luca who persuasively led the board to support the staff finding.  Alter lives in Rosedale and is Council member Sheri Gallo’s appointee to the board.  Luca lives in Allandale and is Council member Leslie pool’s appointee.  Also voting with us were Board Chair Jane Rivera (CM Ora Houston’s appointee), Richard DePalma (Mayor Steve Adler’s appointee), Rick Cofer (CM Kathie Tovo’s appointee), Alesha Larkins (CM Delia Garza’s appointee).

If parks are important to you, please consider sending these board members a “thank you” note.

Sara Speights