The Candlewood Suites lodge is located at 10811 Pecan Park Blvd. (Courtesy Google Maps)
Austin is eyeing the 83-place lodge, which sits at 10811 Pecan Pecan Park Blvd., near FM 620, for about $9.5 million as part of its method to change resorts and motels into transitional and lasting housing for individuals enduring homelessness. A the greater part of Austin Town Council users have by now expressed assistance for the purchase forward of the Feb. 4 vote.
The lodge is positioned in the Williamson County portion of Austin. County officers explained they were being in no way notified about the job and elevated problems more than its likely affect on methods and expert services. Williamson County commissioners officially asked the metropolis to postpone the order to allow for for stakeholder input and the completion of an affect examine.
“The irritation you listen to nowadays is that it has been performed in a full vacuum,” said Commissioner Cynthia Extended, who oversees the precinct in which the hotel would be situated. “My request to the metropolis of Austin today is very simple. Discuss to your neighbors and inhabitants.”
Prolonged included that she has worked with the metropolis of Austin on lots of transportation tasks and in performing so produced certain to be transparent by chatting to and obtaining input and approval kind the town ahead of going ahead with any road undertaking.
“We would by no means have dreamed of undertaking some thing in their jurisdiction with out their consent,” she explained.
A spokesperson for the town of Austin mentioned the city contacted Long’s business office on Feb. 1 to discuss the job. District 6 City Council Member Mackenzie Kelly, whose district surrounds the hotel, stated she sat in on a Feb. 1 conference with Lengthy and the city’s new homelessness strategy officer, Dianna Grey, about the buy. The town spokesperson said the metropolis would not commonly consult with Williamson County commissioners on each invest in the town can make in the county.
Despite the fact that the request carries no lawful tooth, Austin Mayor Steve Adler acknowledged that, as a ask for made by a authorities overall body, the push to hold off would be taken “very severely,” but stopped small of declaring it would effect Town Council’s selection.
“There’s a lot of housing we have to get online promptly if we’re to get folks off the streets and out of tents like so many individuals want us to do,” Adler stated.
Freshman Town Council Member Mackenzie Kelly, whose District 6 surrounds the focused hotel, mentioned the Williamson County commissioners have been “rightfully” upset that the city did not deliver county officials to the table during negotiations. City Council was scheduled to vote on the Candlewood Suites purchase Jan. 27, but Kelly effectively postponed the motion for a week so she could “counter misinformation” with regards to the task among the neighbors and business owners.
Kelly mentioned she supports the city’s resort-motel discussion approach in combating homelessness and told Neighborhood Influence Newspaper that she expects the hotel invest in to pass Feb. 4. She mentioned she designs to maintain “several town halls” to rightsize local community expectations of the project. Kelly’s to start with city corridor is scheduled for Feb. 3 at 6:30 p.m. by means of Zoom.
Williamson County officers claimed they are not always against the job but far more so against the way in which it was dealt with.
“In government, transparency is seriously important, and transparency is obtaining community discussions and partaking people,” Williamson County Judge Invoice Gravell advised Group Influence Newspaper. “When you are expending dollars like this, in our neighborhood, it would have been respectful to hear formally from the city of Austin.”
Numerous neighborhood members which includes inhabitants and company owners also spoke in the course of the conference expressing they, much too, ended up not informed of the job.
Several stated they have now noticed the difficulties homelessness has brought about to their neighborhood and were worried criminal offense, litter and graffiti would escalate. Others mentioned they have been nervous for their and their children’s basic safety as the lodge would be in close proximity to a number of educational institutions, like Westwood Higher Faculty.
Community and court docket members also named the area illogical, pointing to a deficiency of entry to public transportation, a grocery store or other sources.
“I recognize that the town wants to address the homeless populace all-around our town, and I sympathize [with them],” claimed Freda Chen, owner of Freda’s Seafood Grille next doorway to the proposed job. “I am concerned that this acquire, even so, will do additional damage than superior.”
Editor’s notice: An earlier model of this tale incorrectly attributed facts about a conference concerning Dianna Gray and Cynthia Lengthy to a metropolis of Austin spokesperson. Local community Impression Newspaper regrets this mistake.