Support the Legal Fight for Petition Rights on The Grove PUD
Organized by: Grayson Cox
Bottom Line: We are fighting for zoning petition rights afforded to ALL property owners in Texas - rights that the City of Austin has denied the neighbors of the controversial zoning case known as The Grove PUD. The Grove's developer has intervened in the case and is putting up every roadblock possible to stall the court's decision and intimidate the neighbors. We need YOUR help to keep this important legal case going. Please donate now!
Background: State law mandates that, if over 20% of property owners within 200 feet of a property petition against a change in zoning of that property, a super-majority vote in Council is required to approve the zoning change and override the petition. This has been a requirement of State law since the 1920's and has proven to be effective at encouraging cooperation and compromise between developers and neighbors on zoning cases.
The City has decided to not recognize the zoning petition rights to neighbors of The Grove PUD based on a curious interpretation of City Code which conflicts with the State law. Even after a year of discussing this issue with the City's Planning & Zoning Department and legal staff, and after the City recognized that neighbors of The Grove PUD met the threshold for a valid zoning petition, the City refused to recognize the petition rights of neighbors of this particular property.
After the City and neighbors agreed that only a court could settle this legal question, neighbors filed suit against the City on April 26, 2016. The intent was to seek a "declaratory judgement" and make the case as quick and efficient (and least costly) as possible for both the City and neighbors. This was simply to be a clarification on the applicability of the State statute on Valid Petition Rights for The Grove PUD.
Unfortunately, the developer of The Grove ("ARG") intervened in the case and has thrown up as many roadblocks as possible to slow the court's deliberation, increase costs, and intimidate the neighbors and City in their sincere attempt to clarify a simple question of legal interpretation. ARG continues to obstruct the process by objecting to judge assignments and forcing neighbors to go through convoluted and unnecessary discovery processes.
We need YOUR help to keep this important legal case going! All of the neighbors involved and our legal counsel are volunteering their time for this important cause to protect petition rights afforded to all property owners in Texas. But the costs associated with continuing this case are growing - especially due to ARG's obstruction - and we are asking for donations to help pay for these costs (filing fees, depositions, record research, affidavits, etc). Thank you for your support!
Please also sign your name on to the Amicus Brief in support of neighbors' valid petition rights: http://www.bcrcatx.org/amicus-sign-up/