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Nip it in the bud, Bastrop! "Domain-like" Gateway on hold 'til after election. Crouch supports it, Fossler does not.

Voters in the City of Bastrop have a rare opportunity to nip the placement of the Gateway Project -- a massive development across the road from Bastrop State Park -- in the bud.

City Council member Jimmy Crouch supports Gateway. His opponent, Kerry Fossler, does not support it as proposed. (Bastrop Votes Forum, scroll to 34:54)

Early voting • April 22 - 30 Election Day • Saturday, May 4th

How to make growth pay for itself is at stake. Bastrop Gateway touted as "Domain-like," as in the luxury shopping mall in Austin, is a rushed high-density high-end multi-use development, including a 12-story hotel looming over the Bastrop State Park. It's at the top of the hill that is the gateway to the city of Bastrop. (Note: Austinites heard too late to nip the 20-year subsidy waivers of property and sales taxes for Austin's The Domain since 2007!*)

In their April 3 article about Gateway, Community Impact News wrote:

"The plans include 600 residential units, including townhomes and apartments, as well as retail space and a hotel. The developer applied for a zoning change to a planned development district, requiring City Council approval."

On March 28, the city's Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) unanimously voted to change the existing rural zoning (P2) to high-density commercial development (P5) to make way for this project.

On April 2, a week before Gateway might have sailed through Council adoption, Gateway --and a possible Council majority -- hit a brick wall. (Watch it here.)

Hundreds of citizens gave the Council a wake-up call,

picture of entrance to Bastrop State Park
Bastrop State Park during 2011 massive fire.

livid about the placement of the project. The Bastrop State Park is where much of its 5000 acres of piney woods burned in the massive Bastrop Complex fire in 2011. Very little of the Lost Pines woods are left after 32,000 acres burned, along with over 1600 structures, mostly homes. The trauma of those losses endure. Accordingly, most citizens were taken aback by the cluelessness of Gateway's promotion of high-end shopping, housing that most Bastropians could not afford, and, most telling, the idea that a small part of the forest that remains would be gone. (Watch the video here.)

LIV's Linda Curtis has been asking questions about the project. Apparently, the City didn't properly notify everyone affected by the project about the March 28 proposed zoning change. The process at the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) is scheduled to restart at a special meeting of P&Z tentatively scheduled for May 9th. That's five days after the city election.

"I'm glad the City is redoing this. I hope P&Z and the Council, no matter who wins this election, see the error of their ways. Suffice to say that the voters of Bastrop have a mighty sword they have refrained from using. That's the right to a voter referendum to reverse Council decisions," said Linda Curtis, LIV Advisor and our "petition queen."

Decisions have consequences and so do elections. Get out and vote, Bastrop!

The Good News: What You Can Do

  • Get your friends who live in the City of Bastrop out to vote.

  • Share this fun video - "Nip it in the bud, Bastrop" and consider a donation to Independent Texans PAC for some low-budget ads. Note: Paypal will give you the option of using a credit card.

  • There's a whole lot more to learn about making growth pay for itself. To wet your whistle read more below and let's talk about it!

  • We love hearing from you. Feel free to post a comment at the end of this page.

More info for you deep divers:

One of the reasons rapid growth does not come close to paying for itself in Texas is developers do not pay enough up-front one-time impact fees to help shoulder the costs of infrastructure for new development. In Texas, only home-rule cities (cities with at least 5,000 population can charge impact fees like Bastrop) are allowed to impose those fees on new developments. In Texas, those fees are quite limited relative to other fast-growth states like Florida, for example. In addition, other states allow impact fees to be charged at all levels, including counties. No so in Texas.

impact fees for different facilities depending on state
Impact Fee Chart

  • * The Domain Mall Subsidies: With only a two-week notice in 2003, the Austin City Council approved The Domain luxury shopping mall subsidies for twenty years starting in 2007. There was a big brouhaha -- and a public vote forced by a citizen petition drive -- that we won't go into here. For the details, go here Wikipedia.

  • Don't fall for the argument that anyone is against growth. Let's just stop incentiving it! Learn more about Form-Based B3 Code from Strong Towns here.

  • Read more of the fine print on Gateway here.

  • Bastrop's growth is on a tear, especially on the western side of the county. More here, thanks to Community Impact News and a group of diligent citizens we'll tell you more about soon.

442 views2 comments



The comment below was obviously posted by Councilmember Jimmy Crouch.

Jimmy is a nice guy. Gateway is not a nice project.

We stand by our assessment that Crouch is a supporter of this project and Fossler is not. Use the link in the second paragraph above to make your own judgement. But Crouch's statement below also proves our point. So long as these studies are met, Crouch won't use the current zoning code to deny this project.

Linda Curtis for LIV



I want to comment on this article since it is stating falsely that I am publicly in favor of the Gateway project. The Bastrop City Council has not voted on this Developement and have officially tabled the vote until more information has been provided such as: traffic study, drainage study, and final environmental studies required for the Developement.

I am in favor of all land owner rights to build what they want on their own property as long as they meet the building code for their area.

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