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OWANA OWL Newsletter, Old West Austin.

 

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May 25, 2023

Hello friends and neighbors of Old West Austin –

The flowers are blooming, and the temperatures are rising, Summer is knocking on our doorsteps. There are a lot of exciting things happening in the neighborhood (4th of July Parade, the West Austin Park swimming pool and Clarksville splash pad opening (fingers crossed)! I look forward to seeing everyone having fun!  Please plan to join & participate at the OWANA General Membership Meeting on June 6th @ 7pm at Mathews Elementary School cafeteria. We will also have a Zoom option - details TBA.
 
Thank you so much!!!!  Please feel free to reach out to us at oldwestaustin@gmail.com with any questions. And as always, follow us on Instagram and/or Facebook for quick updates on what's happening in the neighborhood.

Sincerely,
Kevin H. Kimbrough
Steering Committee Chair

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Update
WHAT HAS OWANA BEEN UP TO?

Here's a quick summary of what OWANA has done since our last General Membership meeting. 

1) Zoning: Continuing to review the many development applications in our neighborhood. 


2) Events: Hosted a fun live music event on March 4 at West Austin Park, the Annual Easter Egg Hunt, and co-sponsored Pizza in the Park Tailgater. (see pictures and details below). 

3) Community Sponsorship: Astound Broadband Powered by Grande and OWANA sponsored Live Music At West Austin Park on March 4, 2023, followed by the Neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt on April 14. Then in May, OWANA co-sponsored the Pizza In the Park Tailgater along with Friends Of West Austin Park!
 
 

General Meeting Info
JUNE 2023 GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING

Our next general membership meeting is on Tuesday, June 6, at 7pm in the cafeteria at Mathews Elementary School (906 W. Lynn St) and via Zoom (details TBA).

June 2023 OWANA General Membership Meeting Agenda

 
Tuesday, June 6th, 2023
 
  1. Call to Order
  2. Approval of Minutes
  3. Treasurer’s Report
  4. Committee Reports
    1. Zoning – Sheila Lyon
    2. Membership – Adam Sumrall
    3. Parks – Shelley Kilday
    4. Events – Claudette Kazzoun
    5. Newsletter / Website – Erika Tatum
  5. Other Business and Announcements
    1. Events looking ahead
      1. July 4th
  6. Adjourn 8:00pm
 
Upcoming Meetings:
July 11th 7pm (Note – 2nd Tuesday of the month due to July 4th Holiday)
August 1st 7pm
September 5th 7pm
 
Note:
- Votes may be taken on any scheduled agenda items.
- All meetings are open to members and are tentatively scheduled for first
Tuesday of each month, 7pm.



 

Nominations
Steering Committee Nominations


Hello OWANA Members,
Summer is almost here and that’s when I start talking to everyone about the 2024 Steering Committee. Next year we will need a few new SC Members, as usual.

As the Nominating Committee Chair, I’m always happy to answer your questions about serving next year. There’s no obligation and most folks enjoy it. It’s a great way to be a bit more involved and knowledgeable about this great neighborhood that we share.

You can call (512) 484-0767 or email me at Ltmsullivan@gmail.com 

Thanks ,
MIKE Sullivan



If advocating for the neighborhood, planning events to foster neighborhood community, etc. sounds interesting to you, please consider joining our Steering Committee for future terms. You can email us at oldwestaustin@gmail.com.


 

Zoning
COMMITTEE REPORT

Thank you to Zoning Committee Chair Sheila Lyon for providing this detailed information. 

600 Harthan Street:  C15-2023-0010
APPLICANT:  Jay Hargrave
OWNER:  Harthan, LLC
 
VARIANCE REQUESTED: from the Land Development Code, Section 25-6-471 (Off-Street Parking Facility Required) Appendix A (Tables of Off-Street parking and Loading Requirements) to reduce the number of required parking spaces from 14 spaces (required) to one (1) off-street ADA parking space (requested) in order to complete a 15-room Hotel-Motel use in a “CS-MU-CO-HD-NP”, General Commercial Services-Mixed Use-Conditional Overlay-Historic Area-Neighborhood Plan zoning district. (Old West Austin Neighborhood Plan)
 
The variance responds to conditions unique to this site and will not set a precedent.  
 
The Board of Adjustments approved the variance with a motion to tie OWANA’s letter with conditions and a motion that added a friendly amendment that no parking carousel will be allowed to be built or permitted on the site.  BOA Decision Sheet:  https://services.austintexas.gov/edims/document.cfm?id=405087
 
Status:  Closed
 
1808 W 6th Street:  SP-2022-0591C
APPLICANT:  Michael Rivera, Rivera Engineering
OWNER:  Sudhakar Allada
 
The applicant is proposing 8 town homes with associated improvements.
 
You can find more information on this site plan at the following link.  https://abc.austintexas.gov/public-search-other?t_detail=1&t_selected_folderrsn=13069562&t_selected_propertyrsn=275288
 
Status:  In Review
 
1508 W 5th Street:  C14-2023-0023
APPLICANT: Thrower Design, Ron Thrower
OWNER:  Griffith Descendants, LLC
 
The Applicant is proposing to rezone approximately 0.499 acres from LO-V-CO-NP to CS-MU-V-CO-NP.  “The lot is currently developed with an office building that will be repurposed for a financial services (self-serve bank) use. The CS zoning district is compatible and consistent with all other properties that front on W. 5th Street. The rezoning will allow for the desired use and is conducive to providing a variety of neighborhood services uses.
 
The landowner is amendable to the list of prohibited uses requested by OWANA, and in addition to maintaining the prohibition of medical offices and as well as prohibiting drive-thru as an accessory use.”
 
Status:  In Review
 
1505 W 10th Street:
Owner:  Cody Mitchell
ARCHITECTS: Annie-Laurie Grabiel & Arthur Furman
 
Current plans are to demolish an existing duplex to build a single-family home.
 
Status:  Open

 
 

Mathews Elementary- "It Takes a Village"
Time to Register!
The school year came to an end on Thursday, May 25, 2023, but before you know it, it will be back to school again on August 14, 2023. Did you know that the school district uses the number of students registered at each school to decide how many teachers will be needed and the number of students served, which impacts the budget for the following school year? If more teachers or resources are needed, it's best to find them early, so please register as soon as possible for the 2023 to 2024 school year! 

#MATHEWSFOREVER ANNUAL FUND
The Mathews PTA encourages neighbors and Mathews Elementary School families to consider donating to  the Mathews Elementary PTA and the #Mathews Forever Fundraiser at mathews360.com. Your donations will assist with PTA fund needs identified by Principal Brewster and the administration. This includes but is not limited to acquiring essential items for classrooms like paper, math textbooks and keyboards, as well as providing funding for building and grounds maintenance so our historic school has great curb appeal!  Together, we can ensure that our school is well maintained, well staffed, and that our students have everything they need to learn in a safe, nurturing environment to reach their optimal potential. Mathews Elementary thanks you in advance for your consideration.


 

Events 
EVENTS ROUNDUP

It's been a busy few months...
March 4, Live Music At West Austin Park



 
Our Live Music in West Austin Park event, which occurred in conjunction with It's My Park Day, was a glorious day of sunshine and blue skies, and also lots of fun! The morning started out with neighborhood volunteers giving the park a beautiful makeover, followed by four local bands. The park lounging crowd grew steadily throughout the afternoon, the food was tasty and fresh, and all the musicians sounded great! A big thank you to so many:

Our neighborhood musicians (seen above in this order)JuneriseThe Almost ReadysAbove Ground and Grouchy Like Riley, for participating.

Terry Lickona, longtime neighborhood resident and executive producer of Austin City Limits, for being our excellent 'Master of Ceremonies' for the afternoon. 

Johnny Medina, Sound Engineer, for making everyone sound so great at just the right levels!


Astound Broadband Powered by Grande for sponsoring the event with OWANA. 


Claudette Kazzoun (Events Chair) for doing such an awesome job planning this event. She also provided food from delicious af, along with Fibonacci Food who provided snacks and food during the event. 


Thanks to neighbors and friends coming out to enjoy this community event.  We hope to do a similar event again in Fall 2023, so please send us your suggestions, comments, music suggestions, etc, to make the next event a great one as well!


April 8, Annual Neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt



We also had a wonderful annual Neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 8, 2023 at West Austin Park. Fun was had by all and a big thank you to all the neighbors who dropped off eggs and woke up early to hide eggs for this awesome event!  Kevin Kimbrough, OWANA Steering Committee Chair, sent the egg hunters off with a brief synopsis of the rules, and the many colorful eggs loaded with treats were collected, and the golden egg was discovered! Thanks to Claudette Kazzoun (OWANA Events Chair) for planning the event and we loved the local breakfast tacos from The Green Cart, the coffee from Cafe Medici, and the chai tea from Kimbala Chai.   

April 14th, Pizza in the Park Tailgater


Last, the Friends of West Austin Park (FOWAP) and OWANA co-hosted a “pizza in the park” gathering on April 14. The event was a huge success with more than 50 people turning out to enjoy free pizza and beverages while conversing with neighbors on the future site of The Overlook. We aim to host more community events like this in the future and hope you will join us next time!


Upcoming Events: 
JUNE 12THWEST AUSTIN POOL OPENS, FINALLY!!!
HOURS OF OPERATION: JUNE 12 - AUGUST 6
Weekdays: 1:00 pm - 8:00 pm
CLOSED WEDNESDAYS
Weekends:  1:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Location: 1317 West 10th St., Austin, TX 78703
Please visit this valuable neighborhood resource during the summer - show the City that it is well-used! 

JULY 4TH PARADE AND DOWNTOWN FIREWORKS VIEWING AT WEST AUSTIN PARK!!!!

Details TBA on OWANA social media, email and OWANA website: owana.org as the event gets closer.


 
PARKS UPDATE

Overlook Project
The Friends of West Austin Park (FOWAP) continues to raise funds for the Overlook Project and recently crossed the $200,000 mark in pledged donations. A very special thank you to The Mitchell Foundation for their generous $25,000 grant to the Overlook project! The entire project is projected to cost $650,000 - $700,000. Landscape architect firm TBG Partners will soon be executing the construction documents needed to construct this new park amenity. Also, the FOWAP team leading the project met with officials at the Austin Parks Foundation (APF) and Parks and Recreation Department to coordinate activities. If you are interested in helping this project move from rendering to reality, please email chris.schorre@gmail.com
 
New Biofiltration Project
Did you know that the West Austin Park serves as a storm water collection point for 40+ acres of our neighborhood? Pretty much all neighborhood storm runoff ends up in a pipe that runs directly under West Austin Park. The watershed department is planning a large biofiltration project that will filter this water before it enters Lady Bird Lake. The project, which will likely commence in 2025, will convert the open field area into a sunken, grassy flat-bottomed bowl. During heavy rains the bowl will fill and then drain within 48 hours. The rest of the time the field wall should remain dry and usable as an open field for various activities. Members of the friends of West Austin Park and OWANA met with project engineers last week Saturday to offer input on the project. For more information about the West Austin Park Water Quality Improvement Project, click this link: https://www.austintexas.gov/department/west-austin-park-water-quality-improvement-project.



 
 
Chris Schorre
Friends of West Austin Park
 

Neighborhood Gems
DONN'S DEPOT



In the midst of all the change going on around us, Donn's Depot is a neighborhood gem 50+ years in the making that has managed to "Keep Austin Austin." It's a piano bar and saloon/cocktail bar set in rail cars from a former train depot with live music, 2 dance floors, card tables and a diverse crowd of neighbors and friends ranging from age 21 to 90+! So how did this neighborhood gem begin, you ask? 

Well it all began about 50 or more years ago when when Bob Ogden, a real estate man and civil engineer, wanted a piano bar where he could listen to live music, dance with his wife, Mary, and hang out with his buddies. He purchased an old train depot for $300 on the outskirts of town and brought in 3 retired railcars to what is now Donn's Depot (5th St. and West Lynn). He then hired Donn Adelman, a Good Year Tire salesman who also played the piano to help make ends meet to play the baby grand piano. That gifted piano player eventually took over what is now Donn's Depot in 1978 and put his heart and soul into it, and still manages to play the piano at least once a week, over 50 years later.  

Tammi Schissler, a long term bartender for the Donn's Depot Family/Community expressed that at Donn's, whether good or bad times, or changing times, the "sense of family has always stayed the same." (Donn's Depot website video). It is undeniably true, as you feel a sense of belonging the second you walk in the door. Donn's son and bar manager, Matt Adelman, often welcomes neighbors and new visitors saying, "Welcome to our living room.. make yourself at home." 

Without a doubt, Donn is the heart and soul of Donn's Depot. It is still here because of his passion, and the love, support and philanthropy of the "Donn's Family" who favors tradition over money. Let's continue to support this neighborhood watering hole and Austin staple that is not "Keeping Austin Weird", but "Keeping Austin Austin."  As Donn has said, "If it ain't broke, don't break it."



 

Community Support
BUSINESS MEMBERS

A sincere thank you to our current business members of OWANA! You can find more information about how your business can be part of OWANA here

Astound Broadband Powered by Grande
(new business member and generous sponsor of Live Music at
West Austin Park event!)

Cowan & Associates, PLLC 
1403 West 6th Street
512-476-8591



Nick Deaver Architect 
606 Highland Ave
512-494-9808

Eckert Insurance Group 
4005 Banister Ste 130C, Austin, TX 78704
 512-472-6969

Feel Damn Good ATX Massage 
1400 W. 5th St
Howdy@feeldamngoodatx.com


Flower Hill Foundation
1316 W. 6th Street
512-305-3650


 
 

 

 
NEIGHBORHOOD PHOTOS


"What a beautiful morning!" said The Owl!

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