Council weighs affordable housing part of 'Grove' deal

The Austin City Council is working to come to a consensus on the 75-acre Grove at Shoal Creek project planned for Central Austin.

Just to recap, the major players here are the Bull Creek Road Coalition and the Grove developer, ARG Bull Creek Limited. 
               
They've been at odds on the mixed-use project for about 2 years.  But after months of formal mediation they came into today's special-called meeting with an agreement.
               
Some of what they agreed upon is more than 1,500 residential units with a 25% increase in the number of affordable units for sale and for rent, fewer square footage for office space and retail...and $1.3 million in neighborhood traffic mitigation. 
               
Today Council Member Delia Garza and Mayor Pro-Tem Kathie Tovo indicated the part in the agreement about affordable housing isn't quite good enough. 
               
Tovo has issues with where the money for that is coming from.

"The ordinance that was proposed for second reading here today includes by my estimation or by my information something like $10 million of city money to create this affordable housing.  So it's great to have affordable housing but that should be a component of the development," Tovo said.

"I would urge you to please, please don't take this agreement apart.  It's sort of like a Mobil and if you wiggle one piece of it, all the rest of them are going to wiggle.  And I think that we as the neighborhoods have a great deal to lose if that happens," said Sara Speights, President of the Bull Creek Road Coalition.

Council started hearing public testimony at 2:30 this afternoon and the speakers went into the evening.
               
Council was expected to pass the ordinance on the second reading.

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