Around and About the Avenues – October 2014

Hyde Parker To Receive Much-Deserved Honor: Congratulations to Dorothy Richter, who will be inducted into the Austin Women’s Hall of Fame on Wednesday, October 22. The time and place of the induction has not been announced as of press time, but should be available on the City of Austin website closer to the event.

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38th Annual Historic Hyde Park Homes Tour: Planning is well under way. To get a sneak peak at the wonderful North Hyde Park homes that will be featured on the Sunday, November 9 tour, go to the event’s new website at www.hydeparkhomestour.org. If you would like to help in any capacity (and receive a free ticket to the tour), contact the tour’s volunteer coordinator, John Williams or the tour chair, Carolyn Grimes.

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Contact Team Updates: The agenda for its upcoming quarterly meeting on Monday, October 27 will have the following agenda items: introductions, sidewalks—the main topic (how to encourage more of them), open discussion of issues, and other business. As usual, meeting time is 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church on Speedway and 40th.

ADUs in Hyde Park will not be on the agenda of this meeting. Discussion has been tabled until it becomes clear what the particulars will be of a city resolution, with changes to ADU regulations yet to be defined. (Pete Gilcrease, chair)

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Any Lessons for Austin and Hyde Park?: The disconnect between America’s housing stock and its changing demographics is documented in a new study from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies and the AARP (“Housing America’s Older Adults: Meeting the Needs of an Aging Population”). A central thesis of this new study is that housing stock and neighborhood design are skewed towards the young and mobile. By 2030, 73 million people in this country will be 65 or older, which is 33 million more than at present. The bulk of this population lives in the suburbs in private single-family housing, where very little if anything is within walking distance, bedrooms are often on the second floor, expansive lawns require significant upkeep, accessible hallways can be narrow, entryways are a step up, and public transportation is, to put it mildly, inadequate. To add to the challenges ahead is a dearth of affordable housing. The study discusses the advisability of communities allowing more accessory dwelling units (ADUs). A proposal to relax barriers to building these in Austin has been proposed at the City Council level. A proposal to allow them in Hyde Park on lots as small as 5,570 has been under discussion, but faces opposition.