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South Austin Neighbors Invited to Discuss Development

"Imagine Austin" is closer to becoming a reality.

Last June, the Austin City Council passed the Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan, which will guide city development for the next thirty years. The plan is to make Austin more connected and compact.

Now, people who live in South Austin are invited to weigh-in on how the South Austin Combined Neighborhood Plan is implemented.

The South Austin Combined Neighborhood Plan is the first neighborhood plan developed since the passage of "Imagine Austin." The plan targets the area bounded by Ben White Boulevard, William Cannon Drive, West Gate Boulevard and South 1st Street. This covers the Westgate, Manchaca and Garrison Park neighborhoods.

The Planning and Development Review Department wants residents of those neighborhoods to come to a workshop tomorrow at the Crockett High School cafeteria from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

Francis Reilly of the city's Planning and Development Review Department said the city is learning from feedback provided at these meetings. He says it's clear people want better walking and bicycling in the neighborhood, and improved quality of commercial areas.

"People want those areas to be more walkable, more attractive," Reilly said.

The Imagine Austin plan focuses on the area between MoPac and I-35 and southeast U.S. 183, but this neighborhoods make up the first area the plan is targeting. Reilly said the city is starting here because this is one of the last remaining urban core planning areas that was designated by city council back in the late 90s,

"Our direction from city council is to finish the core planning areas before moving beyond the core or doing updates to existing neighborhood plans," Riley said. "It is exciting to be working in this area because of the changes going on in South Austin. But also I've especially appreciated the enthusiasm of all the residents and business that we've worked with down there so far."

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