Presidents’ Letter – March 2016

In Memoriam

Since our last Presidents’ letter, our neighborhood has had to say farewell to two of our best loved neighbors. First, I. Jay Aarons passed away on January 17. I. Jay served many years as HPNA’s treasurer and assisted with numerous other projects, including the Homes Tour. I. Jay was a man of great intelligence and kindness. His calm demeanor led the HPNA through many budget debates. He had a strong work ethic and an unmatched sense of duty. Even though he was seriously ill, I. Jay came to January’s HPNA meeting to present the neighborhood’s current budget. Within two weeks, he passed away. He was a true Texas gentleman. We will miss him.

The neighborhood also said goodbye to Carol Wyche, the beloved wife of George Wyche. She was a great neighbor and a wonderful person. We extend our deepest sympathy to I. Jay and Carol’s families.

PUDs and The Grove

City ordinances that regulate the development of Planned Unit Developments (PUDs) make it easier for developers to get PUDs approved on formerly state-owned land that has never been previously zoned. A $500 million mixed-use development project called “The Grove” is seeking city approval to build on former state land near Shoal Creek and 45th street. The large size of The Grove development has concerned many nearby neighborhoods, including Hyde Park.

Much of the west side of Hyde Park is bordered by land owned by the State and thus unzoned. If this land is ever re-developed, we think Hyde Park should have input in the zoning decisions, to ensure the new development does not negatively impact Hyde Park’s quality of life. Much of Hyde Park’s infrastructure was built in the 1930s, and the neighborhood’s current roads and flooding systems can’t meet the needs of increased development either in Hyde Park or in neighborhoods nearby. It is imperative that we maintain our ability to advocate for the neighborhood and ensure that neighborhood infrastructure can keep up with increased development. HPNA’s Steering Committee recently posted a letter to the neighborhood list serve informing the membership of efforts to convince the City Council to treat approval of PUDs on unzoned and previously zoned property the same. We welcome neighbors’ thoughts on this issue.

While The Grove development will not be contiguous to Hyde Park, it will impact our neighborhood with increased traffic along 38th and 45th streets. HPNA will continue to monitor the development of The Grove and its impact on the neighborhood.