Austin Monitor: Council sacrifices Old West Austin building for park improvements

A fourplex in Old West Austin is likely to be demolished despite a push by Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo to save it in the name of historic preservation.

A resolution put forward by Tovo to initiate historic zoning on the property at 1618 Palma Plaza failed, 3-8, with only City Council members Ora Houston and Leslie Pool joining Tovo to protect the building from being razed and replaced with a different development.

Tovo originally had the backing of the Old West Austin Neighborhood Association in her attempt to preserve the building. However, after Council postponed action on the resolution the previous week, the neighborhood group struck a deal with the company planning to develop the property, by which it would drop its opposition to the demolition in exchange for a financial contribution from the developer to help finance two area parks projects.

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Lamar Beach Master Plan Update

The Lamar Beach master plan process began in August 2015 and a draft master plan was submitted to the Parks Department in March 2016. A revised draft master plan was completed in September 2016 after review by City Departments and Stakeholders. The draft master plan will be presented to City Boards, Commissions and City Council for adoption based on the following anticipated schedule. Reviews will take place at a number of Boards between October 5 and October 25. The plan is scheduled to be presented to the City Council on November 10.

The current Draft Master Plan, the dates of upcoming Board and Commission meetings, and additional information can be found on the City’s Lamar Beach Master Plan page.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact Charles Mabry, Park Development Coordinator, Planning and Development Division of the Parks and Recreation Department at (512) 974-9481 or by email.

OWANA National Night Out

National Night Out is Tuesday, October 4 from 6-8pm in West Austin Park (1317 W 10th St). This is a family celebration held by neighborhoods across the country to promote community and relationships with our city’s public safety personnel. I have registered our event both nationally and locally and requested a visit from the Austin Fire Department. We have been fortunate to have members of Engine 4 with us each year. Fire Station 4 is the oldest operating fire station in the Austin Fire Department and the only operations fire station that dates back to the horse drawn era of firefighting in Austin.

People are invited to bring a Pot Luck dish or, alternatively, I have emailed Whole Foods hoping that their Food Truck will sell food (and waive their fee) again this year — as folks have requested.

Also, the public is invited to the National Night Out Kick-Off Event on Saturday October 1, 2016 from 10am–1pm at the Mueller Airport Lake, (4550 Mueller Blvd).

So, everyone please put your porch lights on and stop by to say ‘Hello’ and pass this on to anyone in the ‘hood to join.

September 2016 General Membership Meeting

The September 2016 General Membership Meeting will be held Tuesday, September 6, 2016, from 6:45pm to 9:00pm at Mathews School Cafeteria (906 West Lynn at West 9th).

The agenda for the meeting includes a report on the plans for the Flower Hill Historic Home/Museum, a presentation for Preservation Austin, an update on the Mathews 100th celebation for mid-term Steering Committee elections, and planning and fundraising for West Austin Park. And all OWANA members in attendance have a chance at winning ACL Festical 3-day weekend passes. The complete agenda can be viewed in the September newsletter.