Norris Conference
Center

Board present – Gretchen Vaden, Susan Frank, Kay Newell,
Patrick Manley, Jeff Frank, Allan McMurtry, Joe Reynolds, Katie Hansen, Tom
Linehan, Paul Nagy

Absent – Linnea Anderson

Neighborhood Planning Co-Chairs present – Steven Zettner,
Kerry Kimbrough, Ran Hirsh

Responsible Growth for Northcross (RG) leadership present –
Brigid Shea, Paige Hill, Jason Mittman, Michael Bomba, plus several others

Gretchen – called the meeting to order. We have had email discussions about the
redevelopment of Northcross (NC) and need to talk as a group. We have a request from RG for a ten-minute
presentation.


 

Tom – the purpose of this meeting is for the ANA Board to
develop a position statement for the Allandale Neighborhood Association with
regard to the redevelopment of Northcross.

Gretchen – that is if the board wants to move in that
direction, if that is the motion and how we proceed.

Jason – This is to clarify where RG stands. This development is 40,000 sq ft larger than
Cabella’s, which required highway restructuring and its own water tower. The position RG feels strongly about is the
need to go back to the drawing board, that the current development is not an
acceptable development. That is our position
and that’s going to be maintained in that we want to encourage and support the
city council in their efforts to suspend the permit, which we think they can
legally do, to buy the neighborhood associations more time. Our position strongly is that the city has
worked hard for VMU, that is a better fit. Wal-Mart has a 20 yr ground lease, the consequences of something larger
than Cabella’s will affect our area and the surrounding neighborhoods for 20
yrs, the current development is not where this can go. We need to sit back down, and to encourage
city council to instruct staff to suspend this development, to allow us to more
time to go back to the table. Spoke with
2 national VMU developers who would take on this project. Spoke with, this morning, an executive in
real estate at HEB, it is not true that HEB turned down this site. We were all mislead when

Lincoln told us that. HEB has been actively, for
the past 6 mths, pursuing a larger site up and down Burnet
  Rd and couldn’t find anything. They were never approached on this site, if
they had been offered the site they would have accepted the same 20 yr ground
lease.

Paul – we are getting mixed signals – is your group, beyond
what you are saying about development of the mall, are you taking an
Anti-Wal-Mart stance.

Brigid – I think we all are

Jason – if it was a 216,000 sq ft Target with the same
infrastructures their response would be the same

Paige – the current tenant is Wal-Mart, so yes we are
anti-Wal-Mart

Paul – you are taking an anti-Wal-Mart stance. As a neighborhood association we are trying
to work with the developers regardless of the tenant. To get responsibility for the site, not the
tenant

Paige – to develop responsibly

Steven – may I ask a question – if it were a 40,000 sq ft
Wal-Mart would you be anti-Wal-Mart

Paige – yes, no Wal-Mart

Brigid – there are crime stats, labor issues, local business
issues that follow Wal-Mart. It is two
fold, anti-Wal-Mart and size

Paul – I don’t hear Jason saying no Wal-Mart

Brigid – no Wal-Mart

Jeff – is the leadership for RG here? (hands were raised) How many of you are anti-Wal-Mart? (all hands remained raised)

Michael – there are differing opinions among the leadership
of RG

Brigid – there are very serious factual concerns about
Wal-Mart

Susan – at this table we are not anti or pro Wal-Mart. But that is not the job of the people at this
table (ANA Executive Committee and Neighborhood Planning Co-Chairs). Our responsibility is to act for the best
benefit of the neighborhood association.

Allan – transportation issues. There are technical issues with Wal-Mart that
are different from other big boxes. There is a tendency for a big box to exceed what the transportation
institute says. Jerry with HEB says they
have 25,000 customers at the Burnet Rdstore, evenly divided that would be 12,500 cars. 50% increase Burnet & Anderson, if not
down Shoal Creek. The big box we are
looking at does not include the free standing buildings on this site. Traffic could stun us. Other cities have required Wal-Mart to build
new highways to get to their store.

Tom – are there any similar stores in the US?

Paul – this is the 3rd or 4th store – the new urban store in
Atlanta, is it off a highway? What about Aurora Co store? (no one knows the answer).

Paige – the Plano store is on a highway.

Allan – High and low
traffic estimate is not per day

Michael – I am a transportation planner and have had friends
review my figures. TIA (transportation
impact analysis) is unnecessary in this case because they are reducing the size
of the current mall by 20,000 sq ft (from the current 389,000 sq ft to 369,000
sq ft for the redevelopment). The TIA
doesn’t require Lincoln Properties to study the neighborhood impact. Theses are
the items that need to be considered:

1. The current
Traffic Impact Analysis did not consider any impacts to Allandale or any other
neighborhood. They did not consider
traffic impacts on Shoal Creek or any other neighborhood streets

2. The baseline
traffic figures appear suspect. The
estimate of more than 8,000 two-way trips per day appears too high given that
Northcross Mall is an underperforming facility. Additionally, much of the traffic attributed to Northcross Mall likely
comes from other commercial buildings surrounding the mall that are not owned
by Lincoln Properties but their driveways access the mall parking lot. The concern about these inaccurate baseline
figures is that they mask they true increase in total traffic

3. Similarly,
the traffic engineers made several assumptions to avoid double-counting trips
that significantly reduced the final number of trips produced by the
facility. Again, these highly aggressive
assumptions mask the true increase in total traffic.

4. The TIA was
performed before the proposal for a three-story parking garage, which will
concentrate traffic on Anderson Lane and Foster Road.

5. The TIA did
not consider how increased traffic in the neighborhood would affect pedestrians
and bicyclists.

Allan – they are under counting baseline stores and new
development. In the forecast they aren’t
using store figures in addition to the mall, so the figures are
misrepresented. Internal capture and
transit ….makes impact look smaller. 19,000 cars a day

Paul – the TIA needs work

Tom – we need to get to our proposal

Gretchen – we expect to sit at the table with
Lincoln/Wal-Mart/City of Austin, in
doing that – how do we start off?

Paul – Northcross is sliding into urban blight, Beall’s is
leaving. To avoid having an eyesore or
worse, we need to be positive. Not say
something negative about a specific store.

Tom – agrees to delete Wal-Mart from his proposal
(attachment A)

Paul – based on my observations over the last two months,
this is my perception – the main concern is 1) traffic and 2) aesthetics

Brigid – who have you heard that from, I disagree

Paul – this is my perception from what I have heard. At this time there is nothing before the
city, so at best we can ask the city to work with ANA on this issue. But if it comes under city approval then we
can take a stand.

Allan – our net worth is tied up in our homes. We don’t have to take a back seat to anyone
and stand behind the NA’s. We need to
be The Wal-Mart reps didn’t show,
only reps that couldn’t respond. We have
small businesses that we have supported Allandale and our newsletter and we
need to support them. The permit for the
east half of Northcross will be before the city in January.

Patrick – if the board takes a negative stance – on fence,
will that impact our future negotiations and discussions

Jeff – do we foreclose our ability to negotiate. If negotiations don’t work, then add later.

Tom – wants first sentence in – OK to take Wal-Mart out

Paul – based on the survey, don’t know if we can say NA
supports

Tom – coming at us fast – don’t have scientific survey

Gretchen – the survey was not to help with our position, but
to gather key components of pro and con.

Susan – we recognized what the survey would say when we
released it to the listserve

Tom – we have no strong evidence that our neighborhood
supports the redevelopment

Steven – do people not care

Ran – the survey didn’t address the size of the
redevelopment

Brigid – not strengthen your hand by taking a weaker
position. There is a strong sentiment
for this, what can we do. Ask council to
suspend the permit. RG is going to ask
the neighborhood associations to fund the RG legal and traffic studies.

Katie – the board’s concern is that this is a done deal and
looking at legal ground the City Council has to stand on. CC doesn’t have. Looks like it is coming, let’s try to negotiate
for the better of the neighborhoods. If it is coming we have to be able to sit down and talk with Lincoln/Wal-Mart. Can City Council
suspend, on what legal grounds.

Brigid – we think there are legal grounds

Allan – motion on the table? Move to use Gretchen’s revised motion of Tom’s statement as our position
at this time. Don’t think we should ask
City Council to suspend the permit until we talk with other neighborhood
associations.

Jeff – second

Allan – Lincoln is breaking ground in Jan – get city council to put breaks on

Paul – adopt today – contact Lincoln,
City, NA’s – this gets our NA engaged in the process.

Gretchen – no other NA’s have responded to this. go with 1st and 2nd paragraphs of Tom’s
position statement and cross out 3rd and 4th paragraphs

Allan – add – "Allandale Neighborhood Association
requests the City Council to instruct City Staff to suspend the permit and site
plan. Allandale neighborhood Association
desires to work with other neighborhood associations and interested parties to
preserve the surrounding neighborhoods." Afraid we will be steam rolled.

Katie – second

Paul – taking a negative stance harms us –

Allan – re-read last paragraph

Paul – add last sentence to his first motion

Allan – motions to modify & suspend. All look out for NA’s – don’t want to specify
what other entities – where do you stop

Gretchen – vote – 6 for (Tom, Katie, Joe, Allan, Patrick,
Kay) 3 against (Paul, Gretchen, Susan) 1 abstain (Jeff)

John Keohane(former Exec Comm member) – Jeff can’t vote, he
wasn’t elected. (The following is from
the Allandale Neighborhood Association by-laws: Article V – 10. Vacancies occurring in office or other Executive
Committee positions shall be elected by the Executive Committee.) Jeff was elected during the 11-4-2006 specially called meeting.

Paul – want something positive

Patrick – add last paragraph,

Paul – by-laws require 2/3

Allan – failed

Jeff – add last paragraph

Paul – add to his amended motion

Allan – motion will add paragraph 4

Patrick – second

Gretchen – when this is typed it will be emailed to the
board for any required changes, for word smithing

Jeff – the board will adopt in principal, then have the
board review

Paul – not in position to support the motion

Allan – read again

Gretchen – vote – 8 for (Tom, Katie, Joe, Allan, Jeff,
Patrick, Kay, Susan) 1 against (Paul) 1 abstain (Gretchen)

Meeting adjourned

Attachment A – Tom’s original Allandale NA position
statement:

"The Executive Committee of the Allandale Neighborhood
Association is opposed to the current plans for redevelopment of
Northcross. After polling residents, meeting with representatives of
Lincoln Properties and Walmart, touring the Walmart under development
at 4-points with Wal-Mart’s land use expert, meeting with the
Responsible Growth for Northcross representatives, and spending
considerable time studying the matter, we believe the redevelopment plan that Lincoln Properties has in the works will harm the quality of life
and residential characterstics of our neighborhood.

While the Committee has some general concerns about the
redevelopment plans as a whole, the most objectionable feature of the new
development is the inclusion of the single largest Wal-Mart in Central
Texas. The Committee believes that a Wal-Mart of that scale is not only
out of character with our residentail area but cannot be supported
by the existing road system.

The Allandale Neighborhood Association supports the
redevelopment of Northcross and is committed to working with Lincoln
Properties to making the redevelopment a success."

Attachment B – finalized Allandale NA position statement:

Allandale Neighborhood Association Statement concerning redevelopment plans for Northcross Mall

The Executive Committee of the Allandale Neighborhood
Association is opposed to the current plans for the redevelopment of Northcross
Mall.

After polling residents, meeting with representatives of
Lincoln Property Company and Wal-Mart, touring the Wal-Mart under development
at Four Points with Wal-Mart’s land use expert, meeting with the Responsible
Growth for Northcross representatives, and spending considerable time studying
the matter, we believe the redevelopment plan that Lincoln Property Company has
in the works will harm the quality of life and residential characteristics of
our neighborhood.

The Allandale
Neighborhood Association supports a redevelopment of Northcross Mall and is
committed to working with Lincoln Property Co to making a redevelopment a
success.

Allandale Neighborhood Association requests the City Council
to instruct City Staff to suspend the permit and site plan.

Allandale neighborhood Association desires to work with
other neighborhood associations and interested parties to preserve the
surrounding neighborhoods.

Adopted

December 3,
2006