Honorable Mayor Leffingwell and Members of the Austin City Council:
By this letter we, the undersigned business owners with existing businesses and properties within the boundary of the East Riverside Corridor Planning Area, oppose the adoption of the East Riverside Corridor Plan unless and until changes are made to address the following concerns:
1. Use the existing Riverside Drive ROW to accomplish a multi-modal infrastructure that can be transitioned to different modes over time to accommodate the demand in the area rather than forcing a rail-only plan.
2. Eliminate the prohibition on drive-through uses. Although the majority of the group of interested businesses and commercial property owners isn’t made up of drive-thru uses, the group as a whole unanimously supports maintaining drive-through use as a permitted use in the East Riverside Corridor.
3. Focus on form and design regulation rather than use prohibition. Many uses that are prohibited in the plan are uses that are needed in a mixed-use urban environment. Allow
the uses the market demands so long as the form is appropriate for the location (ex. Gas station, laundry services, hardware store, car rental, plant nursery, etc.).
4. Exempt existing businesses from the requirements of the plan so long as they are operation.
5. Delete the plan to turn travel lanes into parking as some hours. Instead, consider a slip-street design to accommodate parallel parking and unimpeded vehicular travel.
6. Re-look at the density bonus provisions of the plan, as they are not realistically workable as written.
7. In general, for this district to be motivated to improve, the City should contribute significant dollars toward physical changes so that the property owners don’t feel that the improvements are strictly their responsibilities. The dollars invested by the City will
stimulate real changes in a shorter timeframe.