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AUSTIN-The developers of the Prairie Grass Golf Club and Resort are seeking a $4-million tradeoff in Smart Growth initiatives from the city as part of talks leading up the Nov. 7 referendum seeking voter approval to lease a maximum of 400 acres for the project.

The $65-million project in northeast Austin is awaiting approval of a 99-year lease of raw public parkland around Lake Walter E. Long. The project calls for park improvements and affordable housing as well as a luxury golf course. The lease of a maximum of 400 acres goes before voters Nov. 7. If approved, the next stage is to seal lease terms and possible abatements.The Smart Growth coffer would cover costs for relocating power lines, installing road, water and sewer infrastructure and guarantee waivers for some construction fees plus an expeditious site review process. Austin is known for its involved review process, which some developers say is a major stumbling block to projects. It is being discussed to pump possibly $2.8 million per year into the funding pool that would target affordable housing and park projects.

The resort is being proposed by Gagne Development Co. of New York and local developers Larry Beard and Mark Levy. The project calls for a 250-room luxury hotel and two 18-hole championship golf courses among the traditional fitness and retail amenities found at upscale resort complexes.

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