On June 6, 2023, the Portage City Council directed the City Manager to establish a task force to create more communication channels among the city, developers, and nearby neighbors who are seeking information about and have concerns about two proposed developments:
- Austin Landings: a large new residential development proposed by private developer Dale Kraker for a market rate development in the area bounded by Zylman Avenue, Sprinkle Road, East Shore Drive, and Highland Road to the north of Austin Lake; and,
- Portage Road/Lake Center Housing Development: a 14-acre city-owned parcel off Portage Road and Stanley Avenue that is proposed by the city to be developed for approximately 60-70 middle-income single-family housing units in partnership with city-selected developer AVB.
The Lake Center Housing Task Force will be assigned the following objectives:
- Provide neighborhood representatives with current information about the proposals.
- Provide neighborhood representatives an opportunity to provide input into the project prior to submission to the Planning Commission.
- Discuss methods and next steps for ongoing public information and opportunities for public engagement in the development process for both proposals.
The task force will meet as needed to disseminate public information about the proposals and increase public engagement in both potential new housing projects. The task force will be led by Councilmember Vic Ledbetter. In addition to several city staff members, the task force will include:
- Two residential representatives from the Austin Lake area
- Two residential representatives from the Portage Road/Stanley Avenue area
- Two residential representatives from the West Lake area
The six residential representatives will be self-selected by residents of the neighborhoods. Residents interested in serving on the task force should discuss this matter with their neighbors. The names of the six selected residential representatives should be submitted to Mayor Patricia Randall via email at email@example.com in advance of the June 20, 2023, City Council meeting.