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Old 09-16-2009, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX!!!!
3,737 posts, read 5,306,879 times
Reputation: 1665
Quote:
Originally Posted by Austin97 View Post
Which part of the constitution does this violate?
When I get some time, I will get back to you with the particular clause. I remember this from my conlaw class.
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Old 09-16-2009, 03:05 PM
 
Location: Austin
2,522 posts, read 3,679,008 times
Reputation: 676
I digress for a sec by saying that this is the most intelligent conversation about Austin's traffic infrastructure I've ever seen on the web....I expected a response, but am overwhelmed by the creative solutions and ideas on here......3-4 people on here should be working for the city of Austin, including Twange, as he well knows(i think he missed his calling with the teaching music thing).....
I will try to find a way to get all these responses to the proper city planning departments(a few phone calls won't hurt either)............well, keep the conversation going, folks!
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Old 09-16-2009, 03:11 PM
 
Location: Austin
2,522 posts, read 3,679,008 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Austin97 View Post
Of course, the point is that the city can guide this process using zoning and other laws to create a vision for austin:

Austin is a mid sized city that has a funky local businesses, great nightlife, lot's of live music, dog friendly, green, outdoor activities and walkable and livable downtown.

If these are the things that make austin austin, then the city can take steps to encourage these:

Here are some things that Austin can do that will encourage these things:

1) zone areas to be local businesses only to prevent chains from entering areas that become popular.
2) zone all residential high rises to have retail on the first floor in certain areas
3) zone all new construction to have as little setback from the street as possible (parking in the back)
4) allow zones where loud music can be played all night (6th street)
5) dont give tax breaks to large retailers
6) make it extremely expensive to build suburban style master planned communities, make it less expensive to build mixed use master planned communities
7) encourage repopulating the center by giving property tax breaks in areas you want people to move (east side).
8) toll roads for all roads entering the city to encourage people to live within the city boundaries.
9) public transit that moves faster than the traffic (rail)
10) encourage national festivals aligned with the theme of austin by providing marketing dollars to the most popular ones.
11) reduce the difficulty of permits for high rise buildings in the central core
12) buy as much cheap land as possible (i.e. balcones canyonland preserve) for large scale hiking trails in the hill country to encourage austin's repuation as an outdoorsy community.
13) eliminate zoning restrictions for people to bring dogs into restaurants and other stores to encourage austin as a dog friendly city
14) tax breaks for green building to encourage austin's reputation as a green city
Most excellent talking points, Austin97.....I especially like 1,2,4,5, (6 big time), and 8 when the core gets more dense......indeed, you get the city you plan for..if you want to fix/change it, make new plans, and implement them..
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Old 09-16-2009, 03:14 PM
 
Location: Austin
2,522 posts, read 3,679,008 times
Reputation: 676
Quote:
Originally Posted by 10scoachrick View Post
Still no numbers...let me get this straight---'well-planned'(whatever THAT means) dense city core, no feeder roads, MUCH LESS dense(whatever THAT means) outer(where?) region, worry about a 'feeling' of downtown(whatever THAT means), statements like the following:
For example, feeder roads reduce highway efficiency. They encourage the construction of access ramps in shorter intervals than without feeder roads. The more ramps on the highway, the more merging points, and therefore more conflicts and less efficiency.(which seems to suggest some 'magic' number of ramps spread some 'magic' number of miles apart), etc.(yada), etc.(yada), etc.(yada).

Lay some numbers on us! HOW MANY people where, HOW MANY businesses where, exits from main arteries WHERE, and so on. Until there is some reasoned input, I believe m-mX3 has it right...just whining. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Numbers are meaningless as well, especially without context.....what good are numbers in and of themselves? First comes the plan/creative thought/brainstorming, then comes the numbers......otherwise you play a game of stats....and stats are only as good as the GIGO....garbage in = garbage out....

Numbers come last......first and foremost come the ideas.......

What you are implying here is that these people are unprofessional, and acting as if they were de facto city planners.......I strongly feel that these from-the-heart "solutions" from average Austinites are more real, meaningful, and creative than anything I've seen come out of the official city planning office yet....and god knows leagues above anything the developers have given Austin under the guise of "planning"!
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Old 09-16-2009, 03:19 PM
 
4,013 posts, read 6,127,552 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennibc View Post
When I get some time, I will get back to you with the particular clause. I remember this from my conlaw class.
Im sure that it falls under the 5th (takings clause), but I dont think it goes too far to constitute a taking. Alternately as someone suggested they can just have a small business tax credit in that zone. That would also encourage small businesses which would be local.

The takings issue: constitutional ... - Google Books
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Old 09-16-2009, 03:26 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
2,333 posts, read 5,130,650 times
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All interested parties,

Check out some threads on this forum for some very informed discussions. Nobody is accused of whining there for simply voicing their opinion and trying to contribute to Austin's future:

Austin - SkyscraperPage Forum

I love talking about this stuff. No, I am not a professional urban planner, but I am a citizen.

Thanks, inthecut but music is the first love
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Old 09-16-2009, 03:26 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX!!!!
3,737 posts, read 5,306,879 times
Reputation: 1665
Quote:
Originally Posted by Austin97 View Post
Im sure that it falls under the 5th (takings clause), but I dont think it goes too far to constitute a taking. Alternately as someone suggested they can just have a small business tax credit in that zone. That would also encourage small businesses which would be local.

The takings issue: constitutional ... - Google Books
Nope, I am pretty sure it is a different part that has to do with the right of private parties to contract. Again, I'd have to look it up to give you an informed answer. Additionally, I imagine it has to do with the section that involves interstate travel. I know it sounds convoluted but if you've ever read a supreme court opinion, their decisions often speak to several sections.

Right now, zoning as a taking typically come up when a municipality changes zoning to the point where the land becomes unusable.
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Old 09-16-2009, 03:28 PM
 
Location: Austin
2,522 posts, read 3,679,008 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennibc View Post
Yeah, I don't think legally savvy will get around zoning that infringes on the right a private party to contract with another based on the local origin of a business. I believe there have been a couple of supreme court cases over the years that have spoken to similar issues. I wish I could cite them, but all of my law books are up in boxes still yet to be unpacked.

However, the city could subsidize through tax breaks. Although, I think it would be better if the city stopped subsidizing ANYONE and let competition based on quality of goods, services, and price determine what businesses survived. It's been this very subsidizing of big boxes that has killed local small businesses.

Now, if the property were city owned, then it could decide to whom it wants to lease.
Any big-box, especially Wal-Mart type ginormous places, gets "de facto" subsidies in the guise of access roads, sewer/electric/etc connections, and so on....it they had to pay for the same they would not rank #1 in the Fortune 500 list..........
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Old 09-16-2009, 03:32 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX!!!!
3,737 posts, read 5,306,879 times
Reputation: 1665
Quote:
Originally Posted by inthecut View Post
Any big-box, especially Wal-Mart type ginormous places, gets "de facto" subsidies in the guise of access roads, sewer/electric/etc connections, and so on....it they had to pay for the same they would not rank #! in the Fortune 500 list..........
But in that case, then any development period - whether it houses small businesses or big box get a de facto subsidy. The biggest problem has been the tax credits that they have been given while their local competitors have not. They can pass that savings on to consumers and undercut the competition in terms of price. When the competitors go out of business, there's no pressure on the store that survived because of the tax cut, to keep prices low.
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Old 09-16-2009, 03:40 PM
 
Location: Austin
2,522 posts, read 3,679,008 times
Reputation: 676
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennibc View Post
But in that case, then any development period - whether it houses small businesses or big box get a de facto subsidy. The biggest problem has been the tax credits that they have been given while their local competitors have not. They can pass that savings on to consumers and undercut the competition in terms of price. When the competitors go out of business, there's no pressure on the store that survived because of the tax cut, to keep prices low.
The key to changing the look/lifestyle/mindset of Austin, and kick it up a higher level, is to go BEYOND law.....when we focus on law, then we get into the morass of precedents, and just plain detail-orientated things that take away from creativity.......surely whatever should be changed will eventually be spun in the proper legal channels, or have those legal channels changed by the same legislators that implemented the same...
all law came at one point from the pen of a legislator/bureaucrat, and much of it is, and always was, an after the fact imprimature/rationalization of a former power grab.....

Also keep in mind the Golden Rule....he who has the gold, makes the rules, and pays petty little lawyers and bureaucrats to implement them......
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