ANC has revised the draft growth management resolution I wrote about here. (Even some ANC supporters had trouble stomaching that one.) It's calling the new resolution, "A Call for Action to Manage Austin's Growth."
The new resolution manages to avoid patent contradictions, such as bashing sprawl in one sentence and bashing density in the next. But the upshot is the same: The City Council should capitulate to ANC/neighborhood association demands, including demands to opt out of VMU. (If only ANC would practice what it preaches by respecting the "positions of the affected . . . Neighborhood Associations." How many times has ANC ignored the Downtown Austin Neighborhood Association's position on downtown development projects?)
Let me give you the flavor of the "Call for Action":
A healthy future for the City of Austin that achieves our shared vision requires a viable and living growth management policy. The ANC identifies the following as essential to success:
- Engage diverse stakeholders and the general public.
- Identify and articulate long-term goals that reflect community values.
- Develop a strategy on which to implement policies. [AC: ???]
- Ensure that the policy provides an equitable balance of gains and losses for all stakeholders.
- Secure the citizenry's endorsement of the policy.
"Living" is not the first adjective I would use to describe a growth management policy, although I understand why ANC prefers it to, say, "stifling." But my main objection to this paragraph is the claim that there are "community values." There aren't, at least not where land-use regulations are concerned. There are people who value the status quo, and who believe it is City Council's job to maintain it. Then there are people who value a dynamic environment, even if it means occasional friction or inconvenience. There are people who believe that SF-3 zoned property is sacred, and those who believe the city should be making more room for multi-family. There are those who like density because of the vitality and variety it brings, and those who hate density because of the congestion it brings. It is no use pretending that there is any such thing as a "shared vision" or "community value"; there are profound differences among us, and we're not all going to get what we want.