(Community Matters) Kudos to Council members Bill Spelman, Laura Morrison, Kathie Tovo and Sheryl Cole for increasing the predictability (which will lower developer costs) and affirming public good in exchange for city granted entitlements. ABJ: Density Bonus Program to be the new standard for Austin zoning
It is sometimes hard for council members and our Mayor to weigh the larger City/Citizen interests against the special interests of the developer community. Developers and those who make lots of their money servicing real estate developers spend a great deal of money, time and affection building personal relationships with council members and their staffs. The city’s premiere entitlement attorneys (those who developers hire to get plans through city staff and city council) spend most of their time friending staff and elected officials, giving gifts, throwing baby and wedding showers, buying drinks, buying lunch, laughing at jokes, and raising money & friends for political campaigns. And, because we underfund elected officials’ resources, they are forced to rely on lobbyists for important information and experience. It’s sometimes hard to separate constituency interests from special interests – kudos to council members Bill Spelman, Laura Morrison, Kathie Tovo and Sheryl Cole for being able to do so in this situation.