Category: News (page 1 of 14)

Fire Station Festival 2014 Pictures

Lizzie Chen - Fire Station Festival 2014

Photo Credits: Lizzie Chen

Bill McCullough - Fire Station Festival 2014

Photo Credits: Bill McCullough

Deaton Bednar - Fire Station Festival 2014

Photo Credits: Deaton Bednar

Kailey Griffin - Fire Station Festival 2014

Photo Credits: Kailey Griffin

Suzanna Griffin - Fire Station Festival 2014

Photo Credits: Suzanna Griffin

Victoria Goodman - Fire Station Festival 2014

Photo Credits: Victoria Goodman

Window on Hyde Park

This haunted house was just one of many that dotted the streets of Hyde Park this Halloween. Decked out in costumes of all sorts, hundreds and hundreds of children and their families from Hyde Park and around the city took to neighborhood streets as “trick or treaters” on a beautiful fall evening. The biggest throngs were to be seen along Avenues F and G. If one tried to drive a car anywhere near there on Halloween, the goblins probably got the driver, passengers, and the automobile too.

Hyde Park Halloween House

Voting Matters at December 1, 2014 HPNA Meeting

At the HPNA general meeting on December 1, 2014, the following resolutions will be voted on. The first two resolutions concern proposed zoning change to allow a restaurant at 4500 Speedway. The third resolutions concern City resolutions regarding accessory dwelling units. A vote on this third resolution occurred at the November meeting, but later was declared invalid because the resolution was not posted in all required venues. (This third resolution was also up for a vote at a special called meeting of the Contact Team on November 17.)

In order to vote, one must be a dues-paid member of HPNA for a period of 30 days before the vote takes place.

Resolution One

The Hyde Park Neighborhood Association does not support the zoning change and the changes to the neighborhood plan.

Resolution Two

The Hyde Park Neighborhood Association supports the restaurant with minimal zoning changes.

Resolution Three

City Council resolutions concerning Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) should not override the neighborhood planning process or neighborhood plans.  Therefore the Hyde Park Neighborhood Association does not support a city-wide or blanket policy change pertaining to the construction of ADUs, such as resolution #20140612-062 passed by the City Council on June 12, 2014.  We see our neighborhood plan, which grew out of a process of civic participation, as central to maintaining the character and the quality of life of our neighborhood.

Hyde Parkers To Mark the End of the Year in Grand Style

This year’s annual HPNA-sponsored party to celebrate the holidays will be held at the Elisbet Ney Museum on Sunday, December 14, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  Light hors d’oeuvres, white wine, and bubbles will be served, along with hot cocoa and sweets.  Outside, there will be a holiday classic movie running, so partygoers should remember to bring a warm blanket for cuddling up!  The weather has been asked to cooperate.

Neighbors and friends will be invited to write personal wishes for the coming New Year on tags provided at the party. These wishes will then be tied to branches of the community “Wish Tree” inside the museum. Wishes can also be written and tied to the tree any time after December 15 through January 5.  The museum is open to the public Wednesday through Sunday, 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m.

HPNA Holiday Party 2014

In the spirit of the giving season, attendees are asked to consider bringing an unwrapped gift for our neighbors at Helping Hand Home for Children, which provides a nurturing and healing setting for children who have suffered severe abuse and neglect. Recommended donations include gift cards in any denomination to Target, Walmart, Kohl’s, or JCPenney. A complete wish list can be found on the Helping Hands website.

If you haven’t already, please consider joining the Hyde Park Neighborhood Association for just $5 a year ($1 for those 65 or older, $6 online). Membership signup will be available at the party.

This is a very special occasion for residents and friends to relax, socialize and enjoy this very special community which is Hyde Park.  And of course, a huge thank you is due to the co-host, the Elisabet Ney Museum, for generously opening its doors for this event and for being a part of our community.   For more information, email Tammy Young.

–Tammy Young

Event Chair

Fire Station Festival Celebrates Its 40th Year

On October 19, Hyde Park neighbors and firefighters rallied in celebration of the 40th Annual Fire Station Festival. Hundreds and hundreds of neighbors were in attendance. Each year, the festival marks a time to be thankful for the fact that Fire Station 9 is still up and running after it was first threatened with closure 40 years ago. Initially organized by Hyde Park resident Dorothy Richter, the fall festival represents a rich history of community-building and advocacy.

Festivities were kicked off in Shipe Park with a lively parade along Avenues G and F and down 43rd St. Excitement was high as children, parents, and even pets donned their Halloween best and marched to the beat of the Eastside High School Panther Drum Line. Led by a Station 9 fire truck, the rear was brought up by recognizable neighborhood vehicles like Carol and Amos Burton’s red truck. When nearing the fire station, kids on bikes, scooters, and foot rushed ahead of the banner to meet the hefty crowd that had already gathered.

Everyone needs a hand sometimes. Photo: Lizzie Chen

Everyone needs a hand sometimes. Photo: Lizzie Chen

Festivalgoers were then treated to a drumline performance and, later, music by Eggjam, a Beatles tribute group who regaled the audience with banter between playing best-loved tunes on request.

Younger attendees enjoyed a good offering of activities including hair sculpture, henna, and face painting. Plenty of games were also available to play for prizes; and as a testament to the fun being had, kids were seen carrying plastic fire hats brimming with goodies. When asked if he enjoyed playing hoops, four-year-old Jack (sometimes known as Spiderman) could only smile. His mother had more to say. “We come every year. My oldest loves the photo booth, and it’s just a great time. We’ll definitely be back.”

These attendees hone their firefighting techniques. Photo: Lizzie Chen

These attendees hone their firefighting techniques. Photo: Lizzie Chen

Of course, the annual Fire Station Festival would be incomplete without a few firefighters walking around, and this year there were plenty more than usual to share in the fun. Lieutenant Wiese spoke of the behind-the-scenes excitement at the firehouse. “We look forward to this every year. We appreciate the support we get around here because it’s not common around the city, where plenty of fire stations shut down and people don’t care. That is definitely not the case here.” Fireman Fry, who was selling T-shirts for the event, agreed with the sentiment, adding that he was amazed at the community interest in Station 9 compared to similar events at other stations where he’s worked.

The drum line gets ready to rock the neighborhood. Photo: Lizzie Chen

The drum line gets ready to rock the neighborhood. Photo: Lizzie Chen

Liz Lock and Eric C. Hughes of the Adams House B&B announced the costume category winners. This year’s recipients were as follows:

  • Scariest: Glenis Luce as a murderer attending her own funeral
  • Funniest: Henry Ross as Nacho Libre
  • Most Creative: Lily Pierce as Frieda Kahlo
  • Best Pet: Lisa Moomaw’s Daisy the Dog as a “cat princess”
  • Best Family Costume: The Coopers as “The Frankenfurters.”

 

Who can resist the charm of this princess? Photo: Lizzie Chen

Who can resist the charm of this princess? Photo: Lizzie Chen

The firefighters showed their appreciation by posing for pictures and giving safety demonstrations with the help of a state-of-the-art safety trailer.

Adding another highlight to the afternoon, Friends of Shipe Park proudly awarded Austin City Council member Laura Morrison the first-ever Neighborhood Hero Award for securing funds to repair Shipe Pool, which had been faced with closure earlier this year. Thanks to her efforts and those of others, Hyde Park will have an even better neighborhood pool at Shipe to enjoy on those hot summer days for years and years to come.

Partners—neighbors and firefighters. Photo: Lizzie Chen

Partners—neighbors and firefighters. Photo: Lizzie Chen

In the same vein, the HPNA recognized the following individuals for their contributions to the Hyde Park neighborhood:

  • Kathy Lawrence: for producing programs that educate Hyde Park about Austin issues
  • David Conner: for Development Review Committee leadership that preserves and protects Hyde Park
  • Mark Fishman: for protecting and preserving Hyde Park’s public and green spaces
  • Adam Wilson: for helping HPNA meetings with space, recording equipment, and more
  • Michael Crider: for improving and freshening the HPNA website.

Once again this year, neighbors generously donated books before and during the Fire Station Festival in a drive organized by Anne-Marie Grieger. In all, 200 books were collected for BookSpring, a local organization that provides reading experiences and books to children and their families.

The outstanding success of this year’s festival was of course only made possible by the scores of volunteers. As HPNA Social Chair and main festival organizer Deaton Bednar noted, “One of the joys of creating the Fire Station Festival experience is participating in this effort with my Hyde Park neighbors. Their enthusiasm, creativity, innovations, and dedication make this the ‘best festival ever’ each year.” Indeed, the influence of our Fire Station Festival has even reached Israel, as a participant’s brother living there was also inspired to hold a fire station festival!

HPNA funds the Fire Station Festival every year. Photo: Lizzie Chen

HPNA funds the Fire Station Festival every year. Photo: Lizzie Chen

The following dedicated, talented leaders have served three or more years in creating this festival: Linda van Bavel, Judy Gurgiolo, Lynne Hohfeld, Liz Lock, Paula Rhodes, and Joan Yamini. Our thanks goes to these and many others for their excellent efforts on behalf of the neighborhood. And of course, a huge debt of gratitude is owed to Deaton Bednar herself, who has just completed a decade (yes, a decade) of chairing this event.

–Mary Lyman

Staff Writer Intern

Hyde Park Homes on Display

With perfect weather on Sunday, November 9, bicycle, bus, and skateboard riders were out in abundance to celebrate “A Ride in Hyde Park,” the theme of the 38th Annual Historic Hyde Homes Tour.

The tour, which featured properties located north of 45th Street, has been described as one of the best tours on record. Some houses were large while others were cottages. A few were traditional while one was very open and contemporary. Several had outstanding outdoor living spaces and native gardens. Several were preserved from demolition and one was saved twice. All had special stories behind them and represented the unique personalities of the owners.

 

Guests view a before and after display at the George-Campbell-Hinman House during the 2014 Homes Tour. Photo by Cathy Yang

Guests view a before and after display at the
George-Campbell-Hinman House during the 2014 Homes Tour. Photo by Cathy Yang

Kudos go to the many individuals who collectively made this tour enjoyable, educational and successful. Those include:

  • Homeowners: Chad & Kori Crow, Barbara Mahler & Pete van Metre, Denise Mansfield & Donald Kokas, Andy Hinman & Rebecca Campbell, Toti & Kelly Larson, and Vernon & Pam Whittington
  • House Selection Committee: Joe Bedell, I. Jay Aarons, Peter Maxson, Ellie Hanlon, and Debbie Wallenstein
  • House Captains: Debbie Wallenstein & Travis Turner, Cynthia & David Lyon, Ellie Hanlon, Kevin Heyburn, and I. Jay Aarons
  • Tour booklet: Lorre Weidlich, Pam Whittington, Amie & Tim Vetscher, Joan Burnham, David Conner, Katie Vignery, Peter Maxson, Lloyd Cates, and Ann Graham
  • Photography: Liz Williams, Chad Crow, and Andy Hinman
  • Marketing: Michael Crider, Cathy Yang, Kate Van Winkle, Cecil Pennington, and David Conner
  • Sponsorships: Suzanne Pringle, Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty, Lin Team, The Kinney Company Real Estate, and Carolyn Grimes, Coldwell Banker United Realtors
  • Ticket Sales: Denise Girard, Lisa Harris, and Gail Reese
  • Neighborhood Partners: NeWorlDeli, Austin State Hospital, Texas Blooms, Office Max at the Triangle, Best Banner Sign Graphics, Trinity Methodist Church, Texas Bike Tours, Bikes on Bikes, and Griffin School
  • Volunteers: John Williams and all of the many, many docents who helped to make the tour wonderful.

Planning for the 2015 tour has already begun. We want to make the tour continue our traditions and improve with your help. Your recommendations and suggestions are very welcome, and we will be reaching out to you soon.

–Carolyn Grimes

Chair, 2014 Hyde Park Homes Tour

www.HydeParkHomesTour.org

Vote No on Restaurant Proposal – Letters Dept.

In regard to Case C14-2014-0111 (4500 Speedway), the owner of this property has asked HPNA to support his application to rezone this property to neighborhood office and to amend the North Hyde Park Neighborhood Conservation Combining District (NCCD) to allow food preparation, food sales, general retail sales, general retail sales (convenience), personal improvement services and personal services on neighborhood office-zoned land within the Residential District of the North Hyde Park NCCD. His application to amend the NCCD further asks that a restaurant use be a conditional use on neighborhood office-zoned tracts and that restaurants may operate from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. and shall not be required to be provide parking.

City staff has made sound recommendations on this: to grant neighborhood office zoning (which would allow continued residential use) and to deny the request to amend the NCCD. In addition, transportation review recommends that if this is to be rezoned to neighborhood office, 30 feet of right-of-way from the centerline of Speedway be dedicated to the city.

Staff finds that neighborhood office zoning on the property is consistent with land use patterns in the area, as the tract is adjacent to multifamily-zoned property. Staff does not recommend the requested amendment to the North Hyde Park NCCD: “The proposed NCCD amendment is incongruous with the intent and uses set out for this district in the North Hyde Park NCCD. In addition, the NCCD amendment does not meet the goals and objectives of the Speedway District in the Hyde Park Neighborhood Plan.” “The staff also has concerns that the applicant is requesting to amend the NCCD to state that Restaurant uses within the Residential District shall not be required to provide parking for patrons on-site. Therefore the anticipated traffic from the proposed restaurant use at this location will be obligated to park within the right-of-way along Speedway and adjacent streets.” (These quotes are from the Zoning Change Review Sheet).

4500 Speedway is not adjacent to or particularly close to any existing commercial use. A restaurant use at this location would be very intrusive and, in my opinion, if allowed is likely to lead to requests to rezone other residential lots on 45th Street to intense commercial uses. As was pointed out in the discussion at the November HPNA meeting, the only driveway for 4500 Speedway is on 45th Street and having large delivery trucks back into or out of a 45th Street driveway will be disruptive to 45th Street traffic. In parts of our neighborhood (including the 4500 block of Speedway) there is already a high volume of street parking in use, so adding businesses that are open for most hours of the day and will draw vehicles without also requiring that those businesses provide parking will hasten the day that some or all of our neighborhood will need to apply for resident permit parking. Resident permit parking, while it does have advantages, also has disadvantages, such as the requirement that residents who wish to host an event (birthday party, holiday party, etc.) apply to the city for day passes for guests at least two weeks before the event and justify the number of passes requested.

I ask that HPNA members vote to oppose the requested amendment of the NCCD.

–Lisa Harris

Avenue F

HPNA Meeting Minutes – November 3, 2014

The Hyde Park Neighborhood Association meeting was called to order by Lorre Weidlich, co-president, at 7:09 p.m. The first item on the agenda was a presentation regarding a proposed restaurant at 4500 Speedway. The owner and his representatives provided a description of the proposed modifications to the property and the requested zoning changes. The owner noted that the goal was to convert the property into a restaurant that supported the local neighborhood character and enhanced the community. The proposed tenant would be the Chaat Shop, which is currently operating as a food truck. The potential tenant would likely utilize the space as a commercial kitchen for major events, as well as serve food for taking out or dining in.

The changes being requested for the property would be to change the zoning to NO-NCCD-NP (Neighborhood Office). This use would be amended to allow several food preparation uses. Furthermore, the use would carry several other restrictions including:

  • Maximum indoor floor area of 2,500 square feet
  • Hours of operation limited to 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Maximum outdoor seating area of 500 square feet
  • No seating within 50 feet of the property line of any single family property
  • No amplified sound or outdoor entertainment
  • No drive through
  • Maximum impervious cover area of 2,200 square feet
  • No parking restrictions
  • Alcoholic beverages limited to beer and wine.

 

The proposed changes would affect all properties with an NO zoning in the North Hyde Park NCCD. The current proposed site at 4500 Speedway would include 9 parking spaces. At this point, the discussion was opened to comments, questions and motions from the floor.

A motion was made and seconded for a vote at the next HPNA meeting to oppose the zoning change. The language of the motion was as follows: “The Hyde Park Neighborhood Association does not support the zoning change and the changes to the neighborhood plan.” A second motion was proposed and seconded: The Hyde Park Neighborhood Association supports the restaurant with minimal zoning changes.” Both of these resolutions will be voted on at the next Hyde Park Neighborhood Association meeting. It was agreed that the owner of the property and his representatives would be provided an opportunity to present at the next meeting and another meeting could be held in the interim to continue to garner feedback.

The second item on the agenda was consideration of a Steering Committee resolution requesting that the City not establish a blanket policy on accessory dwelling units (ADUs). The text of the resolution was published in the Pecan Press and requests that any policy respect the wishes of the established neighborhood plan. An amendment was proposed to strike the names of Martinez-Riley from the resolution and replace with the resolution number. The amended language read as follows: “Therefore the Hyde Park Neighborhood Association does not support a city-wide or blanket policy change pertaining to the construction of ADUs, such as resolution #20140612-062 passed by the City Council on June 12, 2014.”  The motion was seconded and passed 35 for and none opposed. The question was called and the motion to move the previous question was adopted 38 for and none against. The resolution was adopted 40 for and 6 against.   [Note: Because of a mistake in procedure (that is, the resolution was not posted at FreshPlus), it will be voted on again at the December meeting.]

The next item of business was the consideration of a motion from the Steering Committee to send a letter of appreciation to the City of Austin for approving funding for the repair and restoration of Shipe pool. The text of the proposed letter was read. In the absence of discussion, the question was called and adopted by a vote of 41 for and none against. The text of the letter was then adopted by acclimation.

Announcements were the final order of business. David Conner announced that the Finance Committee would be meeting soon and so budgets should be submitted to him. Carolyn Grimes reminded attendees of the Hyde Park Homes Tour on November 9. Tickets are $20 and the tour starts at the Griffin School. There are six houses on the tour all north of 45th Street. Volunteers, especially to serve as docents, are still needed. Diego from Compost Pedallers left some brochures and flyers for those interested. Lastly, Lorre announced that the Steering Committee will meet on November 10 at the Trinity United Methodist Church.

–Submitted by Artie Gold & Reid Long

HPNA Co-Secretaries

Upcoming HPNA Votes for December 1, 2014 Meeting

At the November 3, 1914 meeting of the Hyde Park Neighborhood Association (HPNA), the following two resolutions were proposed by members of the HPNA with regard to the rezoning (from SF-3-NCCD-NP to NO-NCCD-NP) of the property at 4500 Speedway to facilitate its use as a restaurant:


Resolution One:

The Hyde Park Neighborhood Association does not support the zoning change and the changes to the neighborhood plan.


Resolution Two:

The Hyde Park Neighborhood Association supports the restaurant with minimal zoning changes.


These two proposed resolutions will be discussed, possibly amended, and voted on at the December 1, 2014 meeting of the Hyde Park Neighborhood Association.

We did not post, as required by our bylaws, a notice about the ADU vote to the Fresh+ bulletin board. As a result, someone has protested the vote and we will have to revote at the December 1, 2014 meeting.


ADU Resolution:

City Council resolutions concerning Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) should not override the neighborhood planning process or neighborhood plans.  Therefore the Hyde Park Neighborhood Association does not support a city-wide or blanket policy change pertaining to the construction of ADUs, such as resolution #20140612-062 passed by the City Council on June 12, 2014.  We see our neighborhood plan, which grew out of a process of civic participation, as central to maintaining the character and the quality of life of our neighborhood.


In order to vote on all these resolutions, you must be a dues-paid member of the HPNA for a period of 30 days before the vote takes place.

The Hyde Park Homes Tour Heads North of 45th Street

The 38th Annual Historic Hyde Park Homes Tour will take place Sunday, November 9, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Six beautifully renovated homes are featured on this year’s tour. They include a restored City of Austin landmark property that is a rare example of a brick Arts and Crafts house, a tiny 1939 bungalow that was expanded rather than demolished by its architect owner, a 1925 board and batten style cottage that has had only two owners, two 1935 bungalows that reflect their owners’ creativity and world travels, and a 1910 Victorian that was removed from the UT area in the 1950s and has been twice saved from demolition.

601 E 49th. Photo: Liz Williams

601 E 49th Street. Photo: Liz Williams

Since the tour extends from Avenue D to Caswell and from 45th to 53rd Streets, we encourage visitors to embrace the theme “A Ride Through Hyde Park” by riding a bicycle to fully experience the beautiful neighborhood and the crisp fall weather. Those who do not have their own bikes may rent one at the tour headquarters. RSVPs for bike rentals are suggested and may be made at the tour website. A complimentary bus will also circle the tour route.

4502 Avenue G. Photo: Liz Williams

4502 Avenue G. Photo: Liz Williams

Tickets are $20 and may be purchased online and on the day of the tour at The Griffin School at 5001 Evans Avenue. In addition to being the event headquarters, the school is also featured on the tour, as it has been transformed and repurposed from its original use as a Methodist Church.

4507 Avenue D. Photo: Liz Williams

4507 Avenue D. Photo: Liz Williams

Parking for the tour will be available at the school, with additional parking after 12 p.m. at Ridgetop Baptist Church located at 708 E. 51st Street.

4615 Caswell Avenue. Photo: Liz Williams

4615 Caswell Avenue. Photo: Liz Williams

The homes tour is the largest fundraiser for the Hyde Park Neighborhood Association and hundreds of volunteers annually join together to plan and showcase our historic neighborhood. Once again the tour is generously presented by Suzanne Pringle of Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty and is also supported by sponsors and ticket sales.

4915 Avenue H. Photo: Liz Williams

4915 Avenue H. Photo: Liz Williams

Additional information about the tour may be directed to Homes Tour chair, Carolyn Grimes.

5311 Duval Street. Photo: Liz Williams

5311 Duval Street. Photo: Liz Williams

–Carolyn Grimes

Lee Elementary Celebrates 75 Years

Lee Elementary, serving students from the Hyde Park, Hancock, North University and Eastwood neighborhoods, celebrated its 75th anniversary on the Lee campus on October 2. With an attendance of about 600 current, former, and future Lee students, families, and staff, the celebration was a resounding success.

During the two-hour event, alumni from the 1940s up through the 2010s roamed the school’s hallways, checking out old classrooms and viewing yearbooks and artifacts from each decade. Visitors could also view art work from current students that depicted important people and events over the past 75 years.

Attendees celebrate the school’s birthday. Photo:  Deric Garza

Attendees celebrate the school’s birthday. Photo: Deric Garza

Outside, under the Live Oaks, current Lee parents and Texas musicians, Bruce Robison and Hayes Carll, played a small concert as people of all ages gathered, reconnected, and reminisced about their time at Lee. Local food trucks sold food and visitors were treated to a Lee-themed anniversary cake by Lee parent Paloma Efron of Coco Paloma Desserts, French macarons by Lee parent Tracey Cole of Cookie Peace, and dark chocolate truffle lollipops by Lee parent Steve Lawrence of the Chocolate Makers Studio.

Current Lee principal John Hewlett, PTA president Kim Brackin, past president of the Lee PTA and Austin Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole, and former Lee principal Mary Lou Clayton, who served Lee for 22 years, spoke at the event and talked about what makes Lee a special place.

Robert E. Lee was built in 1939 among large, old Live Oak trees on Waller Creek, three blocks north of the University of Texas campus. The first students attended Lee in September of 1939. It was the first AISD School fueled by natural gas instead of coal.

Over the years several renovations and additions have been completed for the Lee campus. The fact that Lee is bounded by Waller Creek means that expansion in portable buildings has not been an option, so the school has remained small. Currently, Lee serves around 400 students.

–Shannon Cavanagh

 

Voting Matters at the November 3, 2014 HPNA Meeting

The following drafts of two items will be discussed and voted on at the general meeting on Nov. 3:

A Letter of Thanks

To Mayor Lee Leffingwell, Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole, Council Members Laura Morrison, Kathie Tovo, Mike Martinez, Chris Riley, and Bill Spelman; PARD Director Sara Hensley, Assistant Director Kimberly McNeeley, Aquatics Manager Cheryl Bolin, and PARD Staff:

On behalf of the local community, the members of the Hyde Park Neighborhood Association would like to express our gratitude to this City Council for the approval of a Parks and Recreation Department budget that sets aside $6.2 million to renovate or replace both Shipe and Govalle pools.

Neighborhood parks and pools provide an essential public service and are assets to our communities. In addition to the reprieve they provide during hot summer months, local pools are a safe social setting for children during summer recess, an opportunity for young adults to learn life-saving techniques as lifeguards, and a gathering place for neighbors.

Thank you for your dedication to our parks system and to Shipe Pool. We’re excited to see the results of your commitment to restore our neighborhood pool.

Enthusiastically,

HPNA officers


A Resolution on City Council ADU Resolutions

City Council resolutions concerning Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) should not override the neighborhood planning process or neighborhood plans. Therefore the Hyde Park Neighborhood Association does not support a city-wide or blanket policy change pertaining to the construction of ADUs, such as the Martinez-Riley resolution passed by the City Council on June 12, 2014. We see our neighborhood plan, which grew out of a process of civic participation, as central to maintaining the character and the quality of life of our neighborhood.

Pecan Press – November 2014

Pecan Press November 2014

Fire Station Festival – Forty Years and Counting

Yes, now in its 40th year, this year’s annual Fire Station Festival will take place on Sunday, October 19. As preparations are under way, coordinators can already tell that this year will be something truly special.

Hosted by HPNA and sponsored by Grande Communications, the festival will again provide an opportunity for neighbors of all ages to come together on what we hope will be a beautiful fall day, commemorate the saving of our fire station, and celebrate our great community.  Indeed, over the years the festival has become the community-building event in Hyde Park. Hundreds and hundreds of people participate.

The festival will kick off in Shipe Park at 3:55 p.m. sharp with a lively 6-block parade. Children, adults, and pets are encouraged to debut their Halloween costumes while marching in the procession, which will be led by a fire truck and drummers of the Eastside Panther Band. Participants in the parade arrive at 3:30 p.m. to line up.

The festivities will lead to Fire Station 9 at 43rd Street and Speedway, where food and live music by Beatles tribute band The Eggmen await.

At the 2013 Fire Station Festival, Deaton Bednar was seen taking time out to participate in the fun.  This year, she is once again chairing the event, with much appreciation from her neighbors.  Photo: Lizzie Chen

At the 2013 Fire Station Festival, Deaton Bednar was seen taking time out to participate in the fun. This year, she is once again chairing the event, with much appreciation from her neighbors. Photo: Lizzie Chen

As always, festival-goers will have the opportunity to enter the costume contest for prizes in categories like scariest, funniest, best pet, and best family. The classic fishing booth will also be returning, this year with a new look and many more prizes to be won from Toy Joy.

Little ones and kids can bet on enjoying a range of crafts and a puppet show by Hey Lolly Productions.

There will also be plenty of activities for the older kids to engage in. Sit for hair sculpture and flash tattoos. Shoot hoops against others for prizes. Take wacky portraits in the photo booth (sponsored by Carolyn Grimes of Coldwell Banker United Realtors).

This year, HPNA is excited to be partnering with BookSpring, a local organization that is dedicated to promoting children’s literacy. Neighbors can help support this cause, beginning now, by bringing gently used K-6 books to Fresh Plus on 43rd Street. There will also be a collection box at the festival.

The Fire Station Festival is the prime fall event for Hyde Park residents to share good spirits, mingle with firefighters, and appreciate our neighborhood’s strengths that make the afternoon possible. All are welcome.

 

–Mary Lynam

Staff Writer Intern

A Victory Lap for the Shipe Pools

Such great and welcome news for Hyde Park! On September 9, the Austin City Council approved a 2015 budget package that included a last minute additional request for money to replace 7 pools, including both Shipe Pools. In a recent aquatics assessment, these 7 pools were predicted to “suffer mechanical or structural failure within five years.”

While the City Council could not find the money in this budget cycle to replace all the pools, they did select the Shipe Pools and Govalle Pool to receive $6.3 million, with Shipe receiving $3.1 million for replacement of the aging pools and mechanical systems.  The budget also included funds to reopen the new Bartholomew Pool as a year round pool effective as soon as they can schedule the lifeguards and prep the pool.

According to Cheryl Bolin, aquatics director, the money will be received in October and set aside while the process of community input, design, bidding and construction is conducted.

 

The crowd at Shipe does cannonballs to mark the pool’s closing for the year on Sunday, August 24

The crowd at Shipe does cannonballs to mark the pool’s closing for the year on Sunday, August 24. Photo: Clif Wright

Hyde Parkers will have much to think about as they identify goals for the new pools. What would residents like to see in a new Shipe Pool? Diving board?  Swim meets?  Or should it retain the same footprint with new facilities? The new Westenfield Pool is a recent example of an aging pool that was replaced with a big pool, along with a fun baby pool area, bathroom, first-aid office, equipment storage area, native landscaping, sculptures and shade structures.

We applaud Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) for bucking the national trend of closing neighborhood pools in favor of big municipal ones, something that has happened in Dallas and Houston. Fort Worth also lost all of its neighborhood pools until the community managed to reopen one of them with private funding. Austin City Council and PARD listened and responded to our requests to keep our neighborhood pools open, in accord with the Imagine Austin plan. We salute Council member Laura Morrison who has chosen to focus on neighborhood pools as one of her legacies and Kathie Tovo for her tireless support of our neighborhoods and parks, including Shipe Park. And we thank Chris Riley, Sheryl Cole, Bill Spelman and the entire City Council for voting to save Shipe Pool!

Stay tuned to the Hyde Park listserv and the facebook page Friends of Shipe Park or Shipepark.org for more information regarding the community input portion of the process. Exciting days are ahead.

 

–Alison Young

Friends of Shipe Park

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