Statement by August W. Harris III

President, West Austin Neighborhood Group (WANG) Board of Directors

July 1, 2009

West Austin Neighborhood Group Deplores Brackenridge Tract Planners’ Suggestions

Neighborhood Organization Continues to Seek Best Use for Core Suburban Spaces

“WANG, as the only organized neighborhood association serving as a voice for and protecting property owners in the immediate area of the Brackenridge Tract and as one of the key community organizations that has worked tirelessly to provide guidance and input before and during the planning process, adamantly opposes Cooper Robertson’s master plan recommendations.”

“WANG calls upon the University of Texas System Board of Regents to reject both master plans submitted by Cooper Robertson & Partners.”

“WANG is pleased that Chairman Huffines has expressed an earnest desire to continue dialogue on this sensitive matter.”  

“WANG is grateful that Chairman Huffines stated resolutely that the leases to the City of Austin for Lions Municipal Golf Course and to the West Austin Youth Association for its youth sports and educational complex as well as the 1989 Brackenridge Tract agreement will be honored until their expiration in 2019.” 

“WANG recognizes that both the Village Plan and the Park Plan dramatically fail to propose truly sustainable redevelopment of the Brackenridge Tract in a manner that will benefit all while retaining and protecting the existing character of the surrounding core suburban community and its invaluable open space.  Instead it proposes residential densities as much as four (4) times that of the award winning Mueller Redevelopment.  Mueller is recovered industrial land adjacent to two (2) major arterials, not parkland and lower density residential, retail, and academic tracts located in a core suburban neighborhood served by three (3) neighborhood collectors. The overall size, scale and thrust of the Cooper Robertson & Partners master plans are entirely inappropriate in proposing an incredibly massive mixed use, residential and commercial project.” 

“WANG is dismayed at Cooper Robertson & Partners’ failure to address the overwhelming traffic problems that would be created by either Plan, both plans’ lack of compatibility with the adjacent core suburban neighborhood, significant open space, deference to the distinguished history of the Tract, and consideration of public sentiment.  Both plans also fails to address the detrimental effect the project would have on the reputation of The University of Texas at Austin.” 

“WANG looks forward to continuing its work with the University of Texas System Board of Regents, the University of Texas at Austin, the City of Austin and other key stakeholders to arrive at a mutually beneficial and sustainable solution for the Brackenridge Tract.”

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Contact:  August Harris    august.harris@westaustinng.com       512-320-8808

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