Relocate the proposed Azul housing development.

This petition made change with 1,169 supporters!

On February 12, 2015, the Austin City Council voted 6-1 to partially fund a proposed subsidized housing project, called Azul, in northwest Austin, at RM 620 and Anderson Mill Road. The developers have not obtained the required zoning change in order to move forward.  And the project has not be allotted funding from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs.  This petition urges TDHCA to deny funding and City Council to deny the zoning application, and stop the development of the project at the proposed location.

 1.      The Azul Project is not Within Walking Distance of Public Transportation or Sufficient Sources of Employment.

Walking distance is generally considered to be from 500-1000ft up to one-half of a mile. The Azul project would be 1.3 miles from the nearest bus stop and within walking distance to only a handful of businesses that could provide employment for its residents.  Therefore, despite what is typically sought in assisted and subsidized housing, the majority of the tenants would be forced to drive to their places of employment.  The proposed project is located at one of the busiest intersections in Northwest Austin, and will dangerously increase both pedestrian and vehicle traffic in an already overly-congested area.

 2.      The Azul Project is Zoned for Schools that are Already Well Over Capacity.

The proposed Azul location is zoned for Spicewood Elementary, a school that is already at approximately 170% of its capacity, and Canyon Vista Middle School, which is likewise over capacity.   The placement of the project would require Round Rock ISD to increase its costs by providing bus transportation to its students, as they cannot be expected to traverse the dangerous area at the entrance to the development.  This would place yet an additional burden on the already overburdened surrounding tax base.   

3.      The Azul Project would Consume 9 Acres of Rare and Beneficial Greenbelt in North West Austin.

The Azul project will place 108 densely packed units on 9 acres of virtually undeveloped greenbelt area.  To the south, this property will abut the hike and bike trails north of Canyon Creek subdivision and west of Laurel Creek Drive. And it will back directly to multiple lots in Oak Dear Park to the east. Of the 108 units, 96 will be income-restricted.  The development is slated to contain 188 parking spaces, the minimum permitted for a housing project of this size.  The only method of ingress and egress will be the Plaza Volente parking lot.  The project does not replace a dilapidated, dangerous, or even unsightly area.  Rather, it will destroy 9 acres of beautiful and beneficial greenbelt that our neighborhoods have used and enjoyed for decades.

4.      They City Failed to Provide Notice to Residents Adjacent to the Proposed Development of Its Decision to Provide $1.65 million loan to Azul Project.

The Austin City Council voted to provide a $1.65 million loan to the Azul project developers without giving notice to, or providing a reasonable opportunity for, comment from the taxpayers who will be directly affected by the project.  Likewise, no representative of the project developers has made any efforts to independently provide support—or even information—to taxpayers.   While the developers now claim that they would like to open lines of communication with the surrounding neighbors, this empty promise was only made after the Austin City Council loan was approved, and only then because concerned citizens reached out to the developers with legitimate concerns.  To date, the developers have made no effort to organize any informational sessions or discussions.

5.      The Future Azul Project Residents Deserve Better Access to Transportation, Employment and Schools with Capacity than can be afforded at Proposed Location.

There may be a strong need for affordable housing in Northwest Austin.  However, the location of the proposed Azul project does not make sense, and will do more harm than good for our city.  Through this petition, the undersigned citizens are requesting that TDHCA and the Austin City Council seriously examine the project’s proposed placement and demand that the developers locate a more appropriate location for Azul, one that will not cause increased and considerable crowding of our schools and major thoroughfares, and one that will provide a more sustainable, higher quality of life for the Azul residents. 

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