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.ZNEWS 1982_dec (1982dec)
Archives for 1982


.topic minutes (1982dec)

IN CASE YOU MISSED THE LAST MEETING, HERE'S WHAT HAPPENED........ The November 8, 1982 meeting of the Zilker Neighborhood Association elected new officers of the association. These are President: Richard Gravois, Vice President: Cicily Simms, Secretary: Walt Bronstad, Treasurer: Charles Lohrmann, Neighborhood Council Representative: Glenna Balch. Cicily Simms noted that the association represents 81 members and has a treasury balance of $240. Glenna Balch proposed that our association accept membership in United South Austin, an association of neighborhood groups. This extended association will give us access to and outlet for broader community concerns. The member- ship endorsed her suggestion. Cicily Simms explained her role on the city's zoning commission task force. She solicited any expression of con- cerns about the proposed changes in the zoning statutes. Index(minutes)

.topic councilmember (1982dec)
Guest speaker City Councilmember Larry Deuser informally announced his candidacy for another term on the City Council. He emphasized the need for "eternal vigilance" within the community to insure that the inevitable flow of change be acceptable to the community. Mr. Deuser challenged: "if you have a vision of what your homestead, and your neighborhood, and your city should be, get involved!" He cited threats to adverse zoning changes, neighborhood deforming development, citizen complacency and neighborhood association infiltration by exponents of neighborhood disruption, and Quality Austin. Mr. Deuser cited the positive possibilities of the Neighborhood Watch program and of the city's "Guide to Home Security" publication. by Walt Bronstad on Norris Index(councilmember)

.topic stopsign (1982dec)
STOPPING UNEXPECTEDLY Everyone by now has either stopped or not stopped, as the case may be, at the two new stop signs on Bluebonnet at Hether and Rundell by the school. It's going to take us a while to get used to the change in the traffic flow at that intersection. Although a new stop sign usually causes some grumbling on the part of the driver who is used to a faster pace, most of us would probably agree that despite the initial inconvenience, these signs are a welcome addition to the neighborhood. It's much safer for pedestrians now, especially for the children crossing the street to and from school. Thanks to Don Bell on Bluebonnet for his work with the Urban Transportation Department in getting these signs up so quickly. Now, about the stop sign at the top of the Kinney Avenue hill.... Index(stopsign)

.topic anc (1982dec)
AUSTIN NEIGHBORHOODS COUNCIL AUSTIN NEIGHBORHOODS COUNCIL, comprised of representatives from neighborhood associations in the Austin area, meets once a month on the 4th Monday at the Howson Branch Library Meeting Room at 7:30 p.m. Visitors are always wel- come. At the October meeting, Natalie deBlois and Karen McGraw presented the Downtown Revitalization Task Force's recom- mended new Central Business District Zoning. This proposed zoning, intended to replace existing zoning for contiguous 4th Height and Area District, have been presented to both the Planning Commission and the City Council for consideration. Their CBD zoning plan was depicted on a large map of the downtown area with plastic overlays added to show the concepts of the plan. Important parts of their concepts include: no height limitation of building in the CBD, the Central Business District would be only the property that is zoned as 4th Height and Area (not to include the surrounding 3rd Height and Area Dis- trict), special view corridors identified to protect the view of the capitol, and a decrease of planned parking for new build- ings. A major goal of this plan is to encourage a people-oriented environment as opposed to an automobile-oriented environ- ment, discourage automobile use and encourage the use of mass transit. Index(anc)

.topic sinclair_black (1982dec)
The November meeting featured Sinclair Black's proposal for the new city hall. His design locates the multiuse municipal complex and City Hall on four blocks at the intersection of First Street and Congress Avenue. His plan links Town Lake and the Capitol into a powerful Congress Avenue statement. Some specific urban design objectives are: complete Congress Avenue and create a great civic plaza, protect the Congress Avenue view corridor, create a significant mixed-use day/night facility in an important location in Austin for the first time, and creat a strong symbol for local government and a symbolic space to anchor the south end of Congress Avenue. The proposed new zoning ordinance was discussed at ANC request by Sally Shipman, and Smoot Carl-Mitchell outlined recent task force recommendations and future public hearings at City Council Chambers. Index(sinclair)

.topic censustracts (1982dec)
WORK ON THE NEIGHBORHOOD PLAN Zilker Neighborhood Association has boundaries that coincide approximately with voting precincts 330 & 332 and also with CENSUS TRACTS 13.03 and 13.04. The following data was gleaned from 1980 CENSUS reports which the Planning Commission gave us. AGE GROUPING Z.N.A. Travis County 485 35958 8-17 663 71213 18-34 2675 17554 35-64 1295 106190 over64 741 30671 Median 28.7 26.6 Total 5859 419573 ETHNIC GROUPS Angle 4679 302076 Black 179 44988 Hispanic 999 72271 HOUSING Owner Occupied 1179 80733 Renter Occupied 1556 77699 Total 2735 158432 Percent owner occupied 43.1 51 Median Value 40000 Median Rent 200 Household size 2.14 INCOME Household 12600 Family 15800 Per capita 7600
There are many more raw facts that can be had which will go into building a neighborhood plan that reflects our history and that helps us with our future. Some things of interest that we can use bit that no one has taken the time to find are:
1) how many of us vote?
2) how many streets are here?
3) how many of what kinds of businesses are here?
4) how many schools, churches, ets. are here?
5) how long has all that been here?
6) how long have we been here? There are some families with 3 generations living here are there any with four?
As we find out these things we will have better facts upon which to base a plan. If you know any of the above or are willing to research some or all of them please call Richard Gravois at 441-3430. Index(censustracts)

.topic history_at_virginia_avenue (1982dec)
In 1875, Lucy and Isaac Van Zandt Davis, the owners of 49 acres of field and pasture in South Austin including the Virginia Avenue area, contracted a carpenter to build the house now standing at 1610 Virginia Avenue. The house is currently owed by the Cater Joseph family and is referred to by the Heritage Society of Austin as "Wisteria." The total cost to the Davis family, including labor and materials, was $1155. The 22" thick stone walls were built of hard-rock quartz which was quarried at Oak Hill, and all the doors were built with transoms.
In 1893, the Griffin family bought the property, and sold it to my grandfather, George P. Kinney, in 1916. The price he paid for the house and property was $7,500. That same year, George P. Kinney undertook an extensive remodeling project on the house which included the addition of the two-story front porch and a frame two-story addition at the rear of the house. Thus the Kinney occupancy of 1610 Virginia began in 1916, and the Kinney family maintained possession of the property for the next 50 years.
I remember the lovely lavender wisteria that snaked and curled around the trunk of the huge live oak tree in the front yard and draped lazily from the lower branches. But when I lived there, from 1946 to 1966, the residence was not named after the vine; then the stone still retained its natural color and the place was simply the Kinney Home.
One thing about the house that I remember with particular fondness is the safe feeling I always felt while I lived within the sanctity of those massive stone walls. Whenever there was a tornado warning, some of the neighbors would scurry over to our house so they would be safe from the storm. Of course then it would develop into a party and everyone would forget all about the storm, and sometimes some of the folks would end up staying all night. I always felt safe in that house, and proud of it, too.
And the upstairs sleeping porch-how wonderful it was to sleep on that porch! We always slept there, even in winter. It was only screened in, but we had lots of warm quilts and blankets. I remember how on cold nights all of us kids would stand right inside the door that led out to the sleeping porch and gather our courage to make that frantic, barefooted rush to the beds. The porch floor would be icy cold and the sheets, too, for a minute or so. But then our body heat would warm up the bed and we'd be just as comfortable as could be, all snuggled up looking out through the trees into those cold, starry nights. And although some people thought it was unhealthy, we hardly ever had colds. I think it was because we breathed in all that cold, fresh air instead of old heated-up inside air that kept in the germs.
Another thing that helped us stay healthy (though at the time I considered it a terribly unjust system of forced labor) was working in the big garden on the north side of the house where now there is a swimming pool. I must have spent a full 1/3 of my childhood pulling nut-grass in that garden. And no matter how much we'd pull, the next week there would be twice as much there again. My dad, Girard Kinney, Sr., would stand out there without his shirt and drink his beer, and lecture us on the merits of doing a job right. Of course he worked hard too, and he'd show us about digging way down to get the nut out, not just breaking the grass off the top. I think there may be something metaphysical about nut-grass, but the ground would get sunbaked and rock-hard, and I never got really good at getting the stuff out-my heart just wasn't in it. When we weren't working, we'd take what money we'd earned or begged from mother (Cleora Kinney) and we'd walk up to the "little store" at Kinney Avenue. I'm not sure what the building is used for now, but then it was a neighborhood center of activity. I'd walk up there to get something for mother and buy a BabyRuth dr something with the change. Of course, I'd have to eat whatever it was on the way back in order to get rid of the evidence. Or if we didn't go to the little store and it was summer, we'd walk to Barton Springs through the woods east of Robert E. Lee Road. There would always be millions of stickers in the field just before the east entrance to Bartons, and one of us would always have left our shoes at home and have to be carried over the sticker patch.
Something else that was a constant source of excitement at the Kinney Home was the rabbit pen in the backyard. The bucks were kept in hutches, but we built a really nice natural-habitat pen for the does and babies. First we dug an 18-inch deep trench around the perimeter (about 30' x 30'). Then we laid long cedar posts lengthwise in the trench, end to end, to staple chicken wire to. Next we put the verticle posts in, stretched the wire, stapled it to the posts in the bottom, and finally filled back in the trench with rock and dirt. The pen held the rabbits really well, usually, but at times they'd dig out anyway, no matter what we did. Inside the pen, the rabbits had it made. They had a nice water pond and countless holes with a labyrinth of interconnecting tunnels all over the place. When the baby rabbits were born, there would often be thirty or forty furry black, tan, grey, and spotted puffs of energy popping up and down all over the pen. It was great fun trying to catch them, although we were supposed to leave them pretty well alone. I think the rabbit pen was built in about 1956, when I was ten.
There are many more stories about my life at 1610 Virginia Avenue, that truly reflect the changing of the times, and I'm sure the current residents have stories of their own that would also be interesting to hear. But one thing remains constant amid the myriad of changes that inevitably accompany the passage of time: those stone walls will be there, essentially unchanged (except for the paint), to challenge the imagination and enlist the respect of many generations to come. by George E. Kinney Index(history)

.topic zoning (1982dec)
Austin's current zoning ordinance was adopted in 1931 to match the 1927 city plan. At that time Austin had a population of 50,000 and was 30 square miles.
Austin's proposed new zoning ordinance was contracted for in 1979, already 3 years in progress. Austin now has a population of 372,000 and is 130 square miles.
Approximately 60 public hearings have been held on this ordinance. Due to the last minute effort from "Quality Austin," an organization supporting development, to have the proposed ordinance scrapped (they bought full page advertisements in the Austin American Statesman entitled "WARNING" which turned this ordinance into an emotional issue for folks who had not read the ordinance), the planning commission appointed three task forces: residential, commercial and procedural.
Cicely Simms, ZNA vice-president was on the residential task force. Some compromises were made, but the residential section of the ordinance mostly remains as written. The task force was scheduled for 8 hours a week for 6 weeks-lots of work! Thank you, Cicily!
The commercial task force had different results, we understand. That group of people tore the commercial ordinance section of the zoning ordinance apart and have re-done it with many changes. One change is recommending that the Central Business District be expanded to cross Town Lake. That could put downtown in our neighborhood.
Two public hearings on this ordinance are scheduled at city council chambers in December: December 2 and December 16. If you can help, speak or write letters, please do. For more information, call Richard Gravois at 441-3430 or Glenna Balch 442-0554. Index(zoning)

.topic usa (1982dec)
UNITED SOUTH AUSTIN, a new group composed of representative from neighborhoods, civic clubs, and other organizations in South Austin, approved and adopted its Bylaws on November 10, 1982. More time was spent on Section 5(c) of the Bylaws which stated:
The Corporation will not formally adopt an official position or undertake any action without the approval of 60% of the members present at the meeting.
After earnest discussion and several votes, the "60% " was changed to "100%." Organizations that have been represented at the meetings include:
Becker Area Community Organization
Bouidin Creek Neighborhood Association
Nuckols Crossing Neighborhood Association
South Austin Civic Club
South Austin Multi-Purpose Center
South Austin Neighborhood Council
South First Street Coordinating Council
South West Austin Neighborhood Association
Southwood Neighborhood Association
Zilker Neighborhood Association

inwood The Inwood Hills Food Co-op has gone out of business. It was started by Mrs. Maren Hicks, 2305 Wilke, managed by her (she bought and sold the food), and most of the time she delivered the food via her bicycle. It all began about two years ago when Maren discovered that the Yellow Rose Cooperative Warehouse, (located at the time on South Lamar next to Kenpo Karate) offered bulk food at extremely low prices. But, to shop at Yellow Rose, she had to buy in large quantities: 5 Ibs. of cheese, 50 Ibs. of oatmeal, 60 Ibs. of honey. etc. So Maren approached her neighbors and friends in the Zilker and Barton Heights area with the idea of forming a food co-op. She said we could receive high quality, nutritous food at the lowest cost. And she said she would do the shopping! 1 How could we turn her down! Eventually Maren's co-op served 25 households. She took food orders regularly from each household and travelled to Yellow Rose for the purchase, putting her money up-front and depending on her "customers" to pay up when they received their orders. For those in the neighborhood with "small" orders (which typically could be 3 Ibs. of cheese, 2 number 10 cans of oats and 5 Ibs. of raisins) Maren often put the food in her backpack and rode her bike to make the delivery. She enjoyed her new busi- ness, and as she is a housewife with two grown children, she said she had the time to do it. Then some changes occurred. Yellow Rose moved from its convenient location to the southeast part of town; various food stores opened offering bulk, nutritious food at reasonable prices; and many of us got busier and busier, making one-stop shopping seem to be more efficient. Reluctantly, last month Maren closed her non-profit business. It was just not practical anymore. She needed a group of people with no outside jobs in order to make the co-op operate to meet her expectations. Among her 25 households, there is interest in co-op shopping, but just not the time. Maren sees this type of food co-op being practical in a small town where organic food may not be available. She does not advise anyone to start a "business" like this, but says that if you feel you are in a position that it could work, contact Yellow Rose for a booklet: "How to Organize Food-buying Go-ops in Texas." Thank you, Maren, for providing this one-of-a-kind service in Inwood Hills. We'll miss everything but the millet! Index(inwood)