W.A.N.G. Newsletter March-2018

PO Box 5722, Austin, TX 78763-5722

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in this Issue.....

  • The Future of the Brackenridge Tract
  • NHRP Dedication for MUNY
  • W.A.N.G March Meeting Minutes
  • Anti-Displacement Policy Network
  • Dockless Bike Share Community Forum
  • Link to CODENEXT Draft
  • W.A.N.G. Board of Directors contacts
  • Letters to the Board...
  • Neighborhood Real Estate Stats
  • Texas A&M AgriLife Extension - Ladybird Beetles

The Future of the Brackenridge Tract

If CodeNEXT hasn’t caught your attention and raised concerns, stay tuned because over the next 14 months, the issue of the Brackenridge Tract will become front page news on a regular basis and it WILL affect you.

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Brackenridge Tract

The Brackenridge Tract comprises 345 acres of prime land in West Austin. Lions Municipal Golf Course (141 acres), WAYA - West Austin Youth Association (15 acres), Boat Town (4 acres), LCRA (13 acres), Randall’s (3 acres), and the Deep Eddy Tract (14 acres) that includes 7-11, CVS and the Gables, are parcels that have public uses, generally. The remaining 156 acres of the land is used exclusively by the University of Texas for Brackenridge Apts (student housing) and the University’s Biological Field Lab. The Tract used to include 90 acres of land on the other side of Lady Bird Lake but that was sold by the University for private development.

We all know about the wonderful history of Muny. Built under the sponsorship of the Lions Club in 1924, the course has been operated by the City of Austin under a number of leases since 1937.The last lease was executed in 1989 and expires in May of 2019. What you may not know is that the lease is just one part of a much more complex document called the Brackenridge Development Agreement (“Agreement”) which in turn governs all of the Brackenridge Tract. Citizens, the City of Austin and the University of Texas negotiated the Agreement and it was blessed by the Texas Legislature. It was a carefully constructed compromise that required an immense amount of work by all involved.

In exchange for a new 30 year lease for the golf course, UT was granted certain development approvals for non-UT uses on other portions of the Brackenridge Tract in addition to nearly $10 million from golf revenues during the term of the agreement. It should be noted that in February of 2011, the University Board of Regents voted not to renew the golf course lease after May, 2019. As to the entitlements given to the University in the Agreement, there is an overall development limitation for non-university development totaling 1,700,000 gross square feet (approx. 39.02 Acres) along with a cap on height and impervious cover among other things.

In July of 2006, the University of Texas System created a task force to review the tract and begin the process of addressing its future. Cooper Robertson & Partners was engaged to produce two conceptual master plans for the 345 acre parcel. The results were absolutely shocking to everyone. A development of the scale suggested in both plans would have absolutely destroyed West Austin. Cooper Robertson’s own transportation consultants acknowledged that while they could move folks around the conceptual development, there was no way to get them in and out of West Austin. Ultimately, neither was adopted by the Board of Regents. At the end of the day, we hope that was nothing more than an exercise.

During the neighborhood planning process from 2007 to 2010, that was undertaken concurrently at our request, we attempted to work toward a collaborative and holistic outcome for all stakeholders in the neighborhood in regard to the future of the Tract and that of the Austin State Supported Assisted Living Center. Regrettably, our efforts were stymied by City staff and University officials to the point that the City Council refused to include the Brackenridge Tract in the neighborhood plan’s Future Land Use Map (FLUM) or to include language about tract that was supported by the neighborhood, and by the city’s Planning Commission. There is barely a mention of the Brackenridge Tract in the Central West Austin Combined Neighborhood Plan at all that to an extent undermines the neighborhood plan itself. This was, to say the least, a disappointing outcome to three years’ worth of work and sacrifice by the West Austin community.

Fast forward and we are now just over a year shy of the Agreement terminating. This is what the Agreement outlines in terms of land use today that remains binding on the University of Texas and the City of Austin through May, 2019. To reiterate, this is what the University could do right now! And this is as good as it gets…

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You need to understand this framework as we begin to address the future of the Brackenridge Tract. In future articles, we’ll address the various opportunities, challenges, potential threats to our neighborhood and palace intrigue surrounding the Agreement and the Tract itself. To date, little has happened other than some posturing between the City of Austin and the University of Texas. However, that will soon begin to change. It is time for West Austin to saddle up once again, roll up our sleeves and get to work, all while the menacing specter of CodeNEXT still lingers……


Revisting the N.R.H.P. Dedication for Lions Municipal Golf Course

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Hands Around Muny! Civil Rights Activist Volma Overton Jr. (center) gathered Save Muny supporters to form a human chain around Lions Municipal Golf Course at the dedication ceremony for Lions' listing on the National Register of Historic Places, Oct. 22, 2016. Lions Muny is the first golf course in the South to desegregate.

Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, Congressman Lloyd Doggett, Mayor Steve Adler, Mayor ProTem KathieTovo, Former District 10 Council Member Sheri Gallo, Pastor Joseph Parker, WANG Board Member Mary Arnold, PGA Golfer Ben Crenshaw, and hundreds of others proclaimed their intent to preserve Lions Municipal Golf Course in its entirety.

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Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church Men’s Chorus performed at the Lions Municipal Golf Course NRHP Dedication.
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(left to right) WANG Board Member Michael Cannatti (left), District 10 Council Member Alison Alter (left center), Parks Board Member Susan Roth and WANG Board Member August Harris (right) at the NRHP Dedication for Muny.
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WANG MARCH Meeting Minutes


  • These are the minutes of the meeting of the West Austin Neighborhood Group Board of Directors held Tuesday, February 6, 2018 at 6:30 p.m., at the Tarrytown United Methodist Church.

    I. Call to Order:

    The meeting was called to order at 6:40 PM by President Cathy Kyle. Board members in attendance included: Mary Arnold, Joyce Basciano, Joe Bennett, George Edwards, August Harris, Craig Lill, and Blake Tollett. Board members Elizabeth Adams, Mike Cannatti, Haidar Khazen and Holly Reed were not in attendance. Neighbors in attendance included Kristina and Evan Baehr.

    II. Approval of Minutes:

    August Harris made a motion to approve the February 6, 2018 Meeting Minutes. The motion was seconded by Joyce Basciano, and approved unanimously.

    III. Neighbor Communications:

    IV. Land Matters:

    A. 2605 W 8th St.: On February 12 the Board of Adjustment (BOA) postponed the hearing for a variance request by Kristina and Evan Baehr to construct a 37 SF elevated walkway between the second floor of their home and a second floor studio over their detached garage. The BOA requested clarification of the proposed construction plan. The Baehrs revisited the WANG Board with more detailed diagrams of the proposed elevated walkway and modifications to the garage roof. After reviewing the diagrams with the Baehrs, the WANG Board decided to continue its non-opposition to their variance request.

    V. Transportation:

    August Harris reported that some sound walls, engineered to grade of road bed rather than grade of road, will be given an additional 4 feet in height in order to effectively block sound. Crash wall requirements and utility features along MoPac have brought about the slight variations in construction design. The walls will eventually be uniformly capped and painted.

    VI. Membership:

    Joe Bennett informed the Board that we need to increase active membership. He has emailed 400 to 500 E-Newsletters to WANG area residents and has received more email responses. Analytics show members’ preference for the online newsletter over that for the mailed newsletter.

    VII. Newsletter:

    Future newsletters will feature a series on the Brackenridge Tract. Newsletter content is due by March 15th.

    VIII. ANC Liaison Report:

    CodeNEXT: Joyce Basciano reported that the CodeNEXT Petition Drive for an Austin Ordinance requiring both a waiting period and voter approval before CodeNEXT or comprehensive land development revisions become effective. The deadline to submit petition signatures is MARCH 15th for a November vote. City Ordinance requires that only original hard copies of each name and signature of registered voters may be submitted for this petition.

    Draft 3 of CodeNEXT continues to negatively impact Central Austin neighborhoods. Detailed reviews of CodeNEXT draft 3 are available at www.communitynotcommodity.com on the Resources webpage. Community Not Commodity (CNC) continues to hold fund raising events.

    Joyce asked the WANG Board if it would consider joining other neighborhood associations in donating funds to Community Not Commodity. Mary Arnold made a motion to donate $500 to CNC, that was seconded by George Edwards and unanimously approved by the Board.

    The Cap Metro Community Involvement department is in the process of reaching out to communities affected by the upcoming June 3, 2018 service changes. The outreach is focusing on assisting residents with “learning trip planning taking the upcoming changes into account.” President Kyle will contact Cap Metro for more details.

    IX. Treasurer’s Report:

    George Edwards email reported that WANG has $9,244.99 in the Business Account, $503.36 in the Tarrytown 4th of July Parade Account, and $1,206.74 in the Oak Wilt Account.

    X. Old Business:

    President Kyle sent a note regarding WANG’s concerns about CodeNEXT draft 3 to the West Austin News that included upzoning, reduced parking requirements and loss of valid petition rights. August Harris sent additional information regarding Bryker Woods concerns to West Austin News.

    XI. New Business:

    A. Parking Benefits District by Austin High: August Harris reported that AISD is installing parking meters along Stephen F. Austin Drive, the street between the Austin High campus and the City’s greenbelt to the beginning of the tennis courts. The City of Austin and AISD are collaborating on the project. Austin High students will be issued parking permits. This will create turn-over in parking around the school, allow for student parking and provide some revenue for AISD.

    August Harris reported that the Trail Foundation is asking for WANG’s support in their request for parking meters for the parking eligible areas not on AISD property to the west of Austin High School. The intent of revenue from these meters will help fund maintenance and improvements to the trail. President Kyle made a motion in favor of WANG’s support of the Trail Foundation request. Blake Tollett seconded. Motion passed unanimously.

    B. Brackenridge Tract status update: August Harris reported that District 10 Council Member Alison Alter has requested a comprehensive traffic study for West Austin among other baseline information in order to begin meaningful dialogue with the University of Texas over the future of the Brackenridge Tract. To date, City staff has provided nothing to her. Given that the Brackenridge Tract Development Agreement expires in a little over a year, time is of the essence. CM Alter wants to hear from her West Austin constituents regarding the future of the Brackenridge Tract, which includes the MUNY golf course and WAYA. Possible uses for the Tract and creative funding options to keep the MUNY golf course were discussed.

    C. Next Meeting: Tuesday, April 3rd 2018 at 6:30 PM at Howson Library.

    XII. Adjourn: The meeting was adjourned by President Cathy Kyle at 8:20 PM.


Our APRIL Neighborhood Meeting....

Tuesday, April 3rd, 6:30-8:30pm

2500 Exposition Boulevard

Austin, TX

Please join us at the Howson Branch Austin Public Library

(the first Tuesday of each month!)

Link to our Latest printed Newsletters

RSVP below to let us know you are planning to attend and receive an agenda as it becomes available (usually the day of the meeting)....

RSVPs are enabled for this event.


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City of Austin Selected to Join Anti-Displacement Policy Network

Updates from Austin's Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Department

For more information, visit AustinTexas.gov/housing.

By pattersonj on Mar 22, 2018 04:13 pm

AUSTIN - The City of Austin has been selected as one of ten cities for PolicyLink’s All-In Cities Anti-Displacement Policy Network, which seeks to develop a comprehensive anti-displacement policy agenda.

The network is organized by PolicyLink, a national research and action institute advancing racial and economic equity, to advance a range of strategies for decreasing residential displacement from communities. Other participating cities include: Boston, MA; Buffalo, NY; Denver, CO; Nashville, TN; Philadelphia, PA; Portland, OR; San José, CA; Santa Fe, NM; and Minneapolis and Saint Paul, MN.

Austin’s representatives to the network include Mayor Steve Adler, Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo; Nefertitti Jackmon, executive director of Six Square-Austin’s Black Cultural District; José M.A. Velásquez, executive director, Hermanos De East Austin; Nadia Kalinchuk, program manager for the Office of Equity; and Matthew Ramirez, planner in the Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Department.

Network participants will engage in virtual learning labs, individualized coaching sessions with national experts, and peer-to-peer learning opportunities. Working together, the network will explore approaches including renter protections, community land trusts and community ownership models, commercial neighborhood stabilization, inclusionary zoning and other equitable development strategies. The first meeting will be a PolicyLink Equity Summit in Chicago, April 11-13.

Addressing displacement and gentrification, particularly in East Austin, continues to be a priority for the City as housing prices have increased. In February, City Council appointed a 17-member Anti-Displacement Task Force to study and deliver a set of recommendations and action items to the City Council by October.

“This is an issue our city has grappled with for some time. As our communities and our economy continue to grow, the challenges with displacement and gentrification continue to grow,” Mayor Adler said. “It helps to recognize that Austin is not alone in confronting these issues, and can benefit from collaborating with, and learning from, the approaches of our peer municipalities in dealing with this problem.”

“Dealing with displacement is a huge priority for Austin," said Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo. "Our collaboration with other cities will help us identify the most effective strategies, and our team's participation will complement other anti-displacement efforts currently underway in Austin."

“I am honored that my hometown was chosen as one of ten to take part in this Anti-Displacement Network and I’m inspired by the collection of folks I serve with on this task force and am ready to help effect lasting and positive change for my city,” said Anti-Displacement Task Force member José Velásquez.

“PolicyLink has a great reputation identifying inclusive and equitable solutions to tough issues that many urban cities face. We are honored to have this opportunity to work with PolicyLink to create real solutions that will work for the City of Austin,” said Anti-Displacement Task Force member Nefertiti Jackmon.

About Neighborhood Housing and Community Development

The City of Austin's Neighborhood Housing and Community Development (NHCD) provides housing and community development services to benefit eligible residents, so they can have access to livable neighborhoods and increase their opportunities for self-sufficiency.



Wednesday, April 4th, 7:30-10am

710 West Cesar Chavez Street

Austin, TX

Roll, ride or stride down to our beautiful new Central Library and join the community conversation about the dynamic world of bike share. Help Austin shape a successful dockless bike share pilot program as a new mobility service.

 8:00 a.m. - Watch the Dockless Bike Share Pitch Session

 9:00 a.m. - Learn what other cities are doing at the Peer City Panel

 Share your ideas with real-time polling all morning long!

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Draft 3 of CodeNEXT, the staff recommendation, was released Monday, Feb. 12. To learn more about the new draft, visit AustinTexas.Gov/Codenext.

To view and comment on the code, visit codenext.civicomment.org.

To view and comment on the map, visit codenext.engagingplans.org.

Download the full copy of the code here.

Because this is the staff recommendation, all comments received on this draft will be compiled and provided to the Austin City Council, the Planning Commission, and the Zoning and Platting Commission for further deliberation.


JOIN W.A.N.G.*Help support the neighborhood click here

Please mail application and check to: West Austin Neighborhood Group PO Box 5722 Austin, TX 78763-5722 Annual Memberships (Nov 1-Oct 31) $50-Friend Level; $100-Patron Level; $30-Family Level; $15-Senior Level; $250-Benefactor Level

WANG Board of Directors & Committee Members

Organized 1973......"To preserve our neighborhood and protect it from deterioration"

Board of Directors

Committee Members

Honorary Committee Members

  • Honorary Mayor Steve Adler
  • Honorary Alison Alter
  • Honorary Kathie Tovo


Letters to the Board.....

Send us your comments and thoughts on neighborhood issues.....let's work together




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.............Ladybird Beetles

by Wizzie Brown, BCE

Ladybird beetles, also known as ladybugs, are beneficial insects that can help eat pests in the landscape. While they help to control various soft-bodied insect pests, they are best known for eating aphids in the adult and larval stage. One ladybug can eat up to 5,000 aphids during its lifetime. Ladybugs may supplement their diet with flower nectar and honeydew in times when prey is scarce.

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Ladybugs have a complete life cycle with four life stages- egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Adults come in a variety of sizes and colors. They are oval with a domed body shape, are brightly colored, and have contrasting markings. After mating, female adults lay eggs in clusters on plants, usually near aphids, mealybugs, or scale insects. The eggs are yellowish-orange and look like footballs sitting up on end. Larvae emerge from eggs to feed on the insects that are found nearby. Larvae are alligator-shaped, and often greyish-black with bright markings. Larvae feed on insect prey for several weeks before pupating on the plant. The pupae are non-feeding, non-moving, and are unprotected by a cocoon.

To conserve the ladybugs that you find in your landscape, learn to recognize all stages of the beetles. Make wise pesticide choices and target use to specific areas. Add plants that can provide pollen and nectar for the beetles to supplement their diet.

For more information or help with identification, contact Wizzie Brown, Texas AgriLife Extension Service Program Specialist

Wizzie Brown, BCE



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