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Environmental Commission recommends that entertainment complexes be denied city water services

Environmental Commission recommends that entertainment complexes be denied city water services

Friday, February 18, 2022, Willow Higgins

Plans to build a mega entertainment center on 70 acres near the Barton Creek Habitat Preserve went awry last night.Environmental CommissionUnanimously voted in favor of denying the Send an emailTo extend water and wastewater service in the area.

The yet-to-be-constructed Violet Crown AmphitheaterIt is designed around a venue that can accommodate a staggering 20,000 guests. However, the complex also includes two residential towers as well as office and retail space. The developers will have to scale back their plans for building, even though the denial of the extension request may cause problems.

Craig Bryan, who applied for service extension, stated that this project has the goal of providing Austin with an unique venue. Red Rocks has its feather in its cap and so does the Hollywood Bowl, and we’re trying to blend the two of them in a manner that is environmentally conscious as best we can.

After staff from the Watershed Protection Department, the commission decided to deny the request. RecommendedThey do. The land in question is a critical habitat for golden-cheeked warblers, a Central Texas species. nativeBird on the endangered species register. As if that weren’t enough to stir environmental advocates, the land sits on the Barton Springs Zone in the Barton Creek Watershed. It also contains the Edwards Aquifer Contributing Zone as well the Drinking Water Protection Zone. It is subject to Save Our Springs Ordinance. Last night, many people attended the meeting to urge the Environmental Commission not to grant the request.

The Violet Crown Amphitheater developers and engineers assured the commission that the project would comply with all city standards, even SOS standards. Steve Herring, project engineer, stated that it will be as if the project never existed downstream.

The highway directly adjacent to the project has already affected the critical water quality zones and transition zones of the property, Ihnen stated. She argued that building water or wastewater lines will have no additional impact on these areas. According to an environmental consultant, the team claimed that the endangered warbler wouldn’t be affected by their project.

Bryan said, “I want to make it a crown jewel of what it takes to do something right,” especially from an environmental perspective in a sensitive area. We’re going to continue to give money to the environmental groups, regardless of this outcome.

The developers defense did not go down well with many of the participants. Eight citizens spoke at the meeting, representing interests such as the Austin Zoo and Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance.

This is one of the worst projects we’ve seen in a long time. Austin doesn’t need another Top Golf. Austin doesn’t need another luxury residential tower. Austin also does not require another playground for the wealthy, according to Bobby Levinksi who represented a neighboring property owner against the project. I was stunned by the slide in which he showed that they would put up endowments to support the nonprofits. This was one of most outrageous displays I’ve ever seen of bribery.

Bill Bunch, executive director of Save Our Springs Alliance, spoke at this meeting. He explained that he has been working since the mid-1980s in order to preserve that area and the golden-cheeked Warbler. He stated that building this property in the middle would not only be a waste of money, but also violate the Habitat Conservation Act. Imagine Austinordinance, which includes a promise not to extend water or wastewater services in the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Watershed for intensive development.

We have spent millions and so many years protecting this great region of our county and our city. It would not be foolish on our part not to continue that investment for our future, Commissioner Jennifer Bristol agreed with Bunch.

Arguments to save habitat for golden-cheeked wrens were both economic and environmental. The species, already endangered, is extremely sensitive. Bicyclists being allowed to ride on trails through their habitats has had an adverse impact on their nesting habits. Loud noises affect songbirds’ ability to communicate with each other; artificial light confuses their instincts and glass buildings in their flight path often cause fatal collisions.

Ecotourism and birding generate more than $9B in Texas each year. People travel from all over the world to Central Texas to see and hear the golden-cheeked Warbler. Nicole Netherton from the Travis Audubon Society. It is often possible to see and appreciate birds, which can inspire a lifetime commitment to conservation.

The City Council will decide whether or not to grant the service extension. A denial could impact the amount of development that can be built on the land. However, there are two options available to them. They can either commission another provider to provide wastewater service or build it themselves. They will need to add a sewer line to the property, which already has water.

Those last two options have a higher probability of polluting Barton Creek than the one that we’ve asked (the city) for, said Jim Wittliff, one of the project applicants.

See Also

Project rendering starting at a Mailing brochureThat person asked for support in the neighborhood.

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