Calendar

March 2 -- It's My Park Day! Join your neighbors and employees from nearby businesses who are joining in a city-wide project to spruce up city green spaces. Several projects are planned within the OANA Neighborhood (see article below).

Envisioning a "New" Shoal Creek

Shoal Creek Conservancy Feasibility Study
to Assess Support for Non-Profit Org to Advocate Long-Term Improvements

A feasibility study to assess the need and potential support for a nonprofit focused on improving Shoal Creek is under way. This study was initiated by OANA’s Shoal Creek Committee last July and is led by volunteers Joanna Wolaver and Jimena Cruz. Volunteers studied the public and private investments proximate to Shoal Creek; city reports about Shoal Creek; and made a list of potential private and nonprofit sector stakeholders. In addition, property owners and interested nonprofit leaders have attended Shoal Creek Stakeholder lunchtime discussions of the need for improvements to the Shoal Creek as well as the greenbelt, trail, parks and other nearby public assets. 

Gathering interested parties together has produced considerable interest and support. All this and more will be documented in feasibility report due at the end of February, which will be posted on the
OANA website
 
In summary, phase I of the study has documented substantial need for improvements to Shoal Creek as well as private sector, public sector and nonprofit capacities to address them. So, OANA, along with the Shoal Creek volunteers and stakeholders have agreed to launch a Phase II of this Study. Phase II will last from February through July. Its goal is to garner enough commitments of financial support to justify starting the Shoal Creek Conservancy in the winter of 2013 or spring of 2014.
 
To lean more and get involved like
Shoal Creek on Facebook, or learn a lot more about Shoal Creek at: www.shoalcreekconservancy.org
 
And, if you want to help on Phase II in any way contact Joanna and Jimena at: 
shoalcreekconservancy@gmail.com:

The Big Picture

A look at master planning items & government activities
 

The OANA Board recently gave its continued support to ACC-Rio Grande Campus' plan and rezoning request, though the Board requested that it conform to the Downtown Austin Plan. 

The Board supports the rezoning of the nine properties to Downtown Mixed Use, with a building height limitation of 60 feet (DMU-60). We also support retention of the Annex Building at 1216 Rio Grande Street and asked ACC to restore and integrate the Annex Building into the ACC-RGC master plan.

The Board asked that the historic overlay currently on the main building be extended to the covered archway and Annex building. Various uses available under the DMU-60 zoning district have been previously agreed upon to be prohibited uses on these properties, and the properties will be developed with participation in the Austin Great Streets Program and with some setback variances along West Avenue.

It appears at this point that ACC believes they can accomplish their goals under this zoning district with the conditions outlined and they are to be commended for their willingness to listen to and work with the community.

 

 

Hot Spots

New & Exciting Openings and Events

Though just outside the edge of OANA's borders, Gloria's restaurant has opened a second location in Austin at 300 W. 6th Street (6th/Lavaca), serving up latin-inspired dishes during lunch and dinner service, Monday through Sunday.

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SXSW is coming

From March 8-17, prepare for the arrival of tens of thousands of visitors from all around the world, convening in downtown Austin for SXSW, the largest music festival in the world.

While Austin and SXSW have grown together since its origin, residents of downtown Austin should neverthless be prepared for the extra traffic (including several street closures) and excitement that the festival brings.


Follow SXSW to keep tabs on all the activities.


 



Graffiti is an unfortunate common sight, especially along parts of Shoal Creek Trail, including the historic bridge at Sixth Street. Though well intended, oftentimes graffiti removal efforts -- including a coat of paint -- can sometimes cause unwanted effects to the structure or nearby creeks. Efforts are under way to help provide guidelines and tools to citizens and city staffers to help stay on top of the graffiti problems (and help deter them in the future!) while doing so in a responsible way (see article below).

Social Order

Police, Fire & Public Health & Safety

Graffiti is an all-too-common eyesore in every American city. As citizens, it’s natural to want to act quickly and decisively to remove graffiti from tagged structures – buildings, bridges, etc.

Unfortunately, the solution to graffiti removal is not always as straight forward as a simple paint job. In fact, it could be the entirely wrong approach – especially if the graffiti applies to very old, historic structures, like numerous city bridges, or if the tagged structure is over an environmentally sensitive area.

To help the community better deal with the right approach to graffiti removal, efforts are under way at the City, through the Parks & Recreation Department, to take a leadership to developing guidelines, procedures and training to community groups and the city staff. 

In the near future, tools should be made available to help concerned individuals and groups better understand the right procedures, tools and methods to take action and help deter the future events of the unwanted artistry.

Kudos to Charles Pevoto, through his work with Pease Park Conservancy's efforts on graffiti issues with the 24th Street/Lamar Blvd bridge, in helping to lead the charge with city staff.


 

Common Ground

A Look at Neighborhood Green & Public Spaces

It's My Park Day! is the signature event of the Austin Parks Foundation, allowing groups to have an opportunity to make improvements in their park. OANA is lucking to have Wooldridge, Republic and Duncan Parks as well as Shoal Creek within its boundaries, and several groups are sponsoring projects in the neighborhood green spaces. Check out this list of links, and sign up with your family and friends!

 
Perhaps you'd like to sign up to help improve Shoal Creek, for example? There are 5 projects to consider:

  • Shoal Creek 5th-10th Street - Cirrus Logic/OANA
  • Shoal Creek Trail -- West Ave. to 5th St. 
  • Shoal Creek Lower -- trash pick up 5th St to LB Lake
  • Shoal Creek, West Ave. to 5th St
  • Shoal Creek Duncan Park -- mulching
Click here to find a project and join a team!

Wooldridge Park is looking good! The Parks & Recreation Department have added a new irrigation system, new sod (which is still taking hold) and several other improvements in the last six months. Appropriate lighting is brand new, and public seating is coming soon. OANA wants all these things to be in place before the park is re-opened. OANA is working with a growing coalition of stakeholders including the Downtown Austin Alliance, Friends of Woodridge Park and Austin Parks Foundation and the Park and Recreation Department to make sure there is a sustainable operating plan for the park before Wooldridge is re-opened. If you’re interested in any aspect of Wooldridge Park, please email John Horton.
 


In Development

Zoning Issues & Related Development Activities

 

The original "7 Rio" project (7th Street/Rio Grande Street) is no more, though a new project is now in the works.

The new plan calls for a scaled down project focused on renters rather than buyers, according to Jude Galligan's Downtown Austin Blog. Apartment developer CWS Apartment Homes, LLC, has applied to build a 24-story luxury apartment building on the site, whereas the original plans called for a 32-story mixed-use structure.

The new plans envisions approximately 221 multi-family units for rent, along with parking and several amenities. Read more about the project in this
Downtown Austin Blog article.


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Rezoning of 408-416 West 11th, owned by Texas PTA, is complete. Texas PTA will demolish and a new structure, anticipated to be owned by Travis County, will be constructed to offer office space for county staff and district attorneys, as well as Texas PTA. More information is available here.
 


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