Friday, November 16, 2007

Response to Janna's Stage 5

I understand the point of view Janna Stage 5 is taking on the issue of Lions Municipal Golf Course being proposed to be developed into an apartment building.Yes, it would be helpful for the the community if University of Texas decide to build an affordable apartment building; but the question should be; are they going to build affordable housing on such a high demand area? It is unlikely. While most apartments around the school , especially in the west campus area, are being demolished so that high-end apartments would be built in their place, it is almost naivety on her part to think they would build affordable apartment housing once the golf course is gone. In addition, Janna failed to mention the aesthetic value of the golf course to the city and the surrounding area. One clear benefit that comes from having a beautiful golf course in the neighbourhood is that the houses sell for a steeper value than the market would dictate if there were no golf course in the area. Take the golf course away, the value of the houses drop significantly. In the end, an apartment that meant to help the families of the area would end up costing them dearly.
On the other side, I can understand the need for affordable housing. While the population of the city of Austin is growing exponentially, the housing development seems to lag behind. Anything that alleviates the problem would be greatly appreciated. So, I value one good point Janna made in her argument. If UT would build affordable housing complexes and agree to build another golf course nearby, it would be a worthwhile goal to pursue. Even in that kind of scenario, the community should actively encouraged to participate in the decision making process. However, as I have said, I don’t believe they will let go of the chance of making millions of dollars just because it wouldn’t anger the community.

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