City Council approved an ordinance that authorizes the conveyance of 13.41 acres in Cedar Park Town Center. The city-owned land will be sold for $3.5 million to the city’s Economic Development Sales Tax Corp. Type A Board for future development. Council and the public would discuss amenities at a future date.
The ordinance was approved June 25 in a 6-1 vote with Council Member Tim Kelly in opposition.
In May 2016, voters approved a proposition to authorize the sale of the parkland with a 52.68% vote. However, 61% of Town Center residents opposed the proposition, according to Mayor Corbin Van Arsdale.
In recent weeks, residents have raised concerns about proximity to commercial development and the loss of green spaces. Land within the Town Center was previously considered as sites for the city library and City Hall, which are now planned and built elsewhere. One resident discussed the land conveyance with council at the June 25 meeting.
The city has marketed the property to developers for the past 12-14 months, specifically for suburban, Class A office projects, according to city Economic Development Director Ben White at the June 11 council meeting. The land is zoned for commercial development.
Tony Moline, Cedar Park Chamber of Commerce president, said the chamber has always believed this land was better served as economic development, and the chamber supported and promoted the 2016 election decision.
During the June 25 meeting, council discussed if the 2016 proposition was clear to voters. Council Member Rodney Robinson asked if the voters knew what they were voting on and if the verbiage misled the public in any way.
Van Arsdale said Town Center residents knew what they were voting on since 61% of Town Center residents voted against the proposition.
Council Members Anne Duffy and Mel Kirkland said they knew what they were voting on then. Kirkland said the council was direct and honest with residents prior to the election.
“I knew exactly what I was voting for,” Kirkland said. “The argument placed by the city and by City Council at the time was very clear, in my opinion.”
Duffy said she voted against the proposition in 2016 because she did not favor losing open space in the city.
“Whether it was clear or not, I voted against it,” Duffy said.
Council Member Dorian Chavez said he did not think the proposition was clear when he first read it. He requested the city be clearer in future ballots.