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Mueller Neighborhood Assn Meeting Minutes 10/10/2009
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MNA General Membership Meeting Minutes – 10 Oct 2009, 10:00 a.m. at Ella Wooten Park

MNA Chair, Grant Fisher, welcomed the group of about 65 folks in attendance. He also introduced Vicki Caligari (I may not have the spelling right) with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation ( They are having a Walk to Cure Diabetes at Lake Park in Mueller on Oct. 31, 2009 from 8:30 a.m. until about noon.

Treasurer’s Report – We have $1044 in the bank and are starting to discuss the 2010 budget. If you have ideas for budget consideration, send them to

Catellus Developer Update – Greg Weaver provided some background and an update on several aspects of the Mueller development. He expressed a desire to come to the MNA meetings from time to time to give residents an update on how things are going. The following issues were discussed, along with some Q&A along the way:

1. Background – Greg was here from 2002-2006 working on Mueller, negotiating the Master Development Agreement, working through the design guidelines, etc. From 2006-2009 he’s been based in Denver, where he’s part of the management team for Catellus. He moved back to Austin 2 months ago to take the Mueller project back over. This move was part of a Catellus effort to cut costs, as many companies have done over the past 18 months to weather the recession. Catellus has had to trim their staff and some folks are now serving in a part-time, consulting role, rather than as full-time staff. The company is now in better shape as a result of these efforts. There are no plans to abandon the Mueller project!

2. Overall progress – They are looking at the demand for various development types and will proceed accordingly. There is still demand for more residential and a grocery at this time. They’ll probably develop in smaller increments going forward…. maybe 40 houses instead of 300 at a time.

3. Residential – Planning is underway and they hope to have some announcements in the coming 30-120 days.
o Berkman & Tom Miller (vacant lot at NW corner) – They may look at some small lot, single family development along Hermalinda rather than the multifamily originally proposed. Perhaps row houses for instance. Nothing is firm yet. Multifamily housing is currently overbuilt in Austin. They still envision multifamily and ground floor retail on the portion of the lot facing Berkman.
o Mueller homes on Simond – Condo construction loans are very hard for builders to obtain in this economy, and financing for condos is also hard for buyers to get. They’re exploring options to make these fee-simple transactions instead of condo purchases.
o Senior housing across from Berkman is still in the works.
o The next phase of housing will probably be North of the existing housing to take advantage of the planned connection of Berkman Drive, and to help create more demand for the Town Center.
o Affordable program will continue in the next phase but the percentage hasn’t been determined. It depends largely on the housing types present in each phase.

4. Grocery Store
o Still planned for 51st & Berkman as shown on the development layout. Catellus is in active negotiations and hopes to make an announcement soon about the selected grocer. Berkman needs to be connected through the development so residents can access the store without leaving Mueller. Barbara Jordan would need to be extended to Berkman to serve the market district area.

5. Town Center
o Probably 3-5 years away but that is very uncertain. This sort of development is very challenging in the current economy.
o Children’s Museum is still planning to locate here and they are in the fundraising mode. It may be that the Town Center can be developed in phases and perhaps the first phase would be something like the Museum, plus an ice cream shop, coffee shop, etc. No decisions have been made but they want to be sure that anything that goes in will fit with the long-term vision. It may need to develop more organically, a little at a time.
o Upstairs living is still in the plan.
o MDA commitment is for 25% local businesses

6. Mosaic Apartments are leasing pretty well, at about 40-45 units per month. The 2nd construction phase is on hold due to financing.

7. Greenway Lofts – Still moving forward but again, getting condo financing is difficult at the moment. All their plans have been approved.

8. Schools – Kim mentioned that if the next phase of residential development continues up Berkman, those elementary kids will track to Maplewood which is quickly reaching capacity. Greg’s #1 concern is schools and they will continue to talk a lot with AISD. He commended our community involvement on that issue and urged us to stay involved with addressing issues regarding schools in the broader community surrounding Mueller.

9. Hangar Use – Ultimately, the Hangar will likely house a restaurant, lounge, or some other kind of commercial use. The PIAC has a subcommittee looking into use of the hangar in the interim (perhaps next 3-5 years). Corky Hilliard (Mueller resident) is chairing this group. Catellus is challenged by limited resources (down to 5-6 employees) and the need to staff events held at the hangar. They have to meet with groups in advance, coordinate security and other issues, etc. In addition, there are no restrooms and very little parking around the hangar. Catellus is open to community input regarding the use.

10. Community Garden – Catellus is looking for an appropriate site in a future phase of development.

11. Pool – Heating the pool involves both a large capital outlay and ongoing maintenance costs. The infrastructure is in place to accommodate a heating unit in the future if feasible.

12. Fire Pit at Lake Park (East side of the lake) – Insurance is an issue with use of the fire pit. It’s specifically excluded from the POA insurance policy. Therefore, if it’s used, the POA is exposed to liability. They are looking for a solution but if none can be found, the pit may be removed. Discussions will continue.

13. Parking – Greg isn’t sure how the limitation on parking got into the Covenants. The vision was for unrestricted on-street parking, in keeping with the principles of New Urbanism. They are open to suggestions from residents. A Town Hall meeting to get input on proposed changes is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 28th at Asbury Methodist Church (38 ½ & Cherrywood).

14. Tower – Looks horrible. Catellus is planning an interim clean-up project during the next 6 months. They will also address some structural issues and clean up other airport signage.

15. Miscellaneous
o There was a question about whether food trailers could be permitted like on South Congress, as sort of a temporary town center. Greg said that idea had recently come out at a meeting. Those in attendance were generally supportive of this concept. Greg also mentioned there are now shipping containers that have been converted into movable restaurants that ‘unfold’. (Look at to see one that’s solar powered)
o POA governance - Catellus controls the POA during development because they must try to keep costs down (limiting liability, etc.), which also keeps our dues low.
o Covenants – Again, open to community input. Discussion about whether covenants are needed when there is a city ordinance covering the same issue.
o Email Jennifer Harvey ( with things that need fixing in the community (signs, etc.)

The discussion with Jim Walker was deferred to next month since we were already an hour into this meeting.

Membership Committee – Kat Malcolm reported on a successful Neighbor Night Out and thanked the block captains for their efforts. Send any feedback and suggestions for next year to Also, if you haven’t joined the MNA, dues are only $10/year per household.

The meeting adjourned about 11:15 a.m.
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