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Berkman Drive Public Forum Aug 14
posted by Rick Krivoniak on August 26th, 2014 10:49 AM
One of my Windsor Park neighbors asked the same question, so I wrote the following:Catellus hosted the August 14th meeting regarding Berkman and opened it to the general community. Representatives from the City of Austin's Transportation Department and Economic Development Department, Catellus, McCann Adams Studio - Mueller's master planner, HDR - Catellus' local traffic engineers, and GHD's Mark Lenters - a national traffic/roundabout consultant, shared information on Berkman Drive’s interim and final design, the road construction timeline, and current traffic data.This meeting was in response to concerns from the Mueller Transportation Committee (a Catellus-convened group of representatives from Mueller and surrounding neighborhoods, including two from Windsor Park, of which I am one), and from residents living on or near Berkman within Mueller. A June meeting for Mueller's residents only primarily yielded concerns about speeding and lack of visibility around some of the parallel parking.Berkman opened through Mueller in May of 2013. Last October, with schools and the HEB open for a few months, the City did traffic counts and recorded speeds in several locations along and near Berkman showing that 85th-percentile (a State standard) southbound traffic within Mueller was traveling around 44MPH, well above the posted 30MPH. (Don't hold me to the exact data figures - I'll share the Powerpoint presentation when it's available online. I do recall that for Berkman near Broadmoor/Greenbrook Parkway, 85th% was around 37, just 2MPH above the posted 35. Still too fast!). South of Manor Rd., E.M. Franklin was actually worse.HDR and Mark Lenters continue to insist that once Berkman is completed to its final design of a wide "transit median" with single traffic lanes, parallel parking and cycle tracks on each side, the "friction" will naturally slow traffic. A comparison was made to the completed portion of Simond Avenue, off of Berkman within Mueller, with a wide median and narrow traffic and parallel parking lanes. The traffic lane on Berkman will be 12 inches wider. Berkman is slated to be fully built-out by the end of 2015. It was noted that construction along the blocks from McCurdy Street to Philomena Street over the next 16± months would create its own traffic calming.With all adjacent property now platted, no changes are anticipated for Berkman's ultimate design. Currently, the 4-way stop at Barbara Jordan Blvd. and Berkman is the only planned traffic control between 51st and Manor. Roundabout consultant Mark Lenters showed two roundabout sketches that could be built within the existing Berkman right-of-way, but they force cycle-track bicyclists onto the sidewalks or into traffic lanes, and are not being considered for the build-out.As for visibility when turning onto Berkman from the many Mueller streets with adjacent parallel parking, the City of Austin is reviewing those intersections on a case-by-case basis and may removed some parking for better visibility. It was also found that the parking spaces were striped too narrow, so they will be re-striped very soon.I personally asked about stop signs on Berkman at Zach Scott, which will ultimately be a straight-shot street from Airport Blvd. though Mueller to Manor Rd. Initially, only traffic on Zach Scott will be stopped, but it's possible that will be a a 4-way stop intersection later on. State laws prohibit using stop signs and traffic signals for traffic mitigation, and require certain triggers to be met for virtually all traffic controls.On another note, traffic signals should be in place on E. 51st at Mueller Blvd. by the end of September.I hope this helped.Rick Krivoniak
Furniture for Reagan HS Special Ed
posted by Rick Krivoniak on August 20th, 2013 6:05 PM
I'm re-posting this for a Windsor Park neighbor - Rick Krivoniak Good Morning Neighbors! I will be teaching this year at Reagan HIgh School in a Special Education Life Skills class for students with intellectual and physical disabilities. Since most of my students are in my room for the majority of the day, there are times when they need to get out of their seats (or wheelchairs) and be able to relax for reading times, social/rec activities, and occasionally just to chill out. Anyway, when I checked out my "new" classroom last week I discovered that the previous teacher had taken just about all of the comfortable living room furniture and I was left with two ratty old chairs. If anyone has gently used sofas, chairs, coffee tables, area rugs, etc. they would like to donate to our neighborhood school it would be greatly appreciated! Its OK if its not in mint condition and has a few tears or stains, just something comfortable and clean. Thanks, Tom Ball 825-1375
Mueller Neighborhood Assn Meeting Minutes 7/20/2013
posted by Cynthia on July 21st, 2013 5:47 PM
MNA General Meeting July 20, 2013 Wildflower Terrace MNA Steering Committee Members present: Kathy Sokolic, Sandy Parks, Janeka Rector, David Neider, Kevin McGillicuddy, Dennis Mick, Corky Hilliard, James Nortey, Ani Colt, Kat Malcom, Cynthia Cammack MNA Steering Committee Members absent: Belinda Roberts, Grant Fisher 1. Introductions: Kathy Sokolic welcomed attendees 2. Treasurer's Report: Sandy Parks a. the MNA bank balance this morning, prior to the latest bank run, was a little less than $6300. b. Three big expenditures coming up: two Front Porch Flyer editions, Halloween carnival. c. 74 new and renewed members since June 10th; 337 existing members. 3. Presentation to Frost Bank: Kathy Sokolic Kathy thanked Frost for attending and contributing to neighborhood events and being so supportive of neighborhood, and presented a plaque in commemoration of the five year anniversary of the MNA savings account at Frost. Dena Holliday, VP, and Ken Gates, Sr VP at Frost represented Frost Bank. 4. Keep Austin Affordable: Frank Fernandez, Executive Director at Green Doors a. Gave brief overview of Keep Austin Affordable as a gathering of people concerned about high cost of housing in Austin. (Lives in Mueller.) Some points from presentation: • Austin needs 38,000 units for the 1 in 6 renters making below $25,000 that cannot afford Austin. They are either homeless, living in substandard conditions, doubled or quadrupled families in apartments, or paying too much and cutting other basics such as prescriptions or food. • Because of low unemployment, rental rates keep going up and Austin has gone from one of most affordable cities in Texas to one of most expensive. • Group's main focus: to get housing bonds back on ballot, hoping for November. $55 million bond was passed in 2006, but all those funds are spent or committed. Helped create over 3500 affordable homes of all kinds of housing. • Group advocates for another bond that size and members are out working to provide explanation to voters to about what bonds are for. b. Questions and Answers Q: What is tax implication of bond? A: Would not require tax increase; there is existing capacity within ad valorum tax rate Q: How does money go toward affordable housing and maintaining it? A: Every year city takes portion and creates an RFP for outside group to apply for funds. For example, if a group is developing an $8 million housing project, it could get a portion from these bond funds. To do so, group has to obligations to affordability, such as keeping units affordable for 99 years. Q: What are the demographics of the homeless population? A: In recent year, about 12,000 total, of which about 2000 were hildren, 10% veterans, 40% or so mothers and children. 80% are situationally homeless due to circumstances such as a lost job, medical situation, or domestic violence; they tend to get back into housing within 6 months or so. 20% are chronically homeless due to behavioral health or other issues; need services as well as housing. Q: What types of housing can the bond funds go to? A: City Council makes policy decisions. in last bond, 75% went to rental housing mostly to people making $25,000 or less. Smaller percentages went to repairs and affordable home ownership programs. Q: How many units can be generated with this amount? A: The last bond generated about 3500 - hoping for similar number this time. Noted that these kinds of programs are good for the local economy, creating jobs. Q: Where do other funds come from? A: Variety of sources, such as low income housing programs, banks, foundations, individuals. Audience comment: It's also important to emphasize programs and opportunities for behavioral health and other health issues that contribute to the homeless problem. New aid funds will provide some assistance. Q: Is money being spent on something else now that this would take the place of? A: Funds were not earmarked for something else and then shifted. Q: What is the elevator speech for people who insist homeless choose to be homeless? A: I struggle with this, too. Ask if they have ever been homeless. If they had been living in those conditions, might not say that. Many homeless people who do say so are mentally ill and might not be expressing that preference if well. Q: What does Green Doors do? A: We provide safe, affordable, quality housing as well as a food pantry, help with household setup. Also provide education on poverty and homelessness, for example, on veterans' issues. Veterans often end up homeless due to severe PTSD or traumatic brain injury. Q: If veterans are a core group, does specific amount of bond money go to veterans' initiatives? A: Bond funds do not have proportions specified for veterans. Green Doors and other programs do initiatives for veterans. c. Showed forms available for finding out more about Green Doors, volunteering, or donating. d. Kathy reinforced Mueller Redevelopment Vision and Goals. Noted that we will in August be bringing up to MNA members for a vote on whether or not we want MNA to formally support the bond. 5. 10-1 City Council: Steven Aleman, attorney and mediator, past chair of ANC, lives in nearby Chestnut neighborhood a. Highlights from presentation: In November 2012, the city had vote on charter amendments that resulted in a plan to divide city into ten sectors with one representative of each. In November 2014, voters will elect first council members on this plan. Independent Citizens' Redistricting Commission was a part of this proposition and has been put in place. This group is now planning drawing up of districts. First hearing in about a month in August. ANC interested in influencing commission to respect neighborhood lines, however can only influence them via writing that can be made public; cannot invite commissioners to neighborhood meetings. This makes field hearings more significant because they will be the only meeting opportunities. Charter amendment prohibits commission from using certain approaches, such as considering where candidates live, or lumping precincts together. Priority criteria include: plan must be "constitutional" - one person, one vote - or equivalent in size by population, maintain contiguous areas and neighborhood integrity. Neighborhood integrity includes common interests such as language, and resisting drawing lines along convenient geographic boundaries that could bisect neighborhoods. Commission will hold hearings across town before they can release a plan. Must also release a preliminary plan and hold available for 14 day period for public comment. ANC is requesting this period be extended to one month and is encouraging others to make same request. Commission will revise map to reflect public input and then vote on it. Nine of 14 commissioners must approve. Because of the recent Supreme Court decision, there will be no federal review, and this commission's vote is final. b. Questions and Answers Q: What is deadline for districts to be drawn? A: Now that federal pre-clearance is not required, commission could take till early 2014 to make decision. 6. New martial arts school - Nexus Tae Kwan Do: Brad Perkins from Windsor Park a. Opening up a martial arts business near Staples. Emphasized that martial arts play an important role in preventing bullying, and he works on school seminars and presentations to demonstrate this. Hoping to open by November. Will be offering adult and kids' classes as well as yoga, on weekdays and weekends. Twenty years of experience. 7. CASA Superheroes Run for Saturday, September 21st, 2013: Jennifer Lester, CASA events coordinator a. Provided background on Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). Advocates focus on needs of children in the court system. One way CASA supports this work is with the Superheroes run. Route this year goes through Mueller on roads. Registration is open and anticipating sellout by mid-September. Brings whole metropolitan area together against child abuse. Mueller will have a water stop to support along mile 2. Also need help with parking, guiding drivers into rows on dirt lot. b. Gave shout out to Frost Bank as a big supporter. 8. Announcements a. The next Social Hour is Wednesday, August 14th at the Mueller HEB, and children are welcome. The HOA will provide light appetizers (Kat) b. Music in the Park will be on Thursday, Sept 12th with Kent Mayhew performing at the amphitheater, 6:30 PM (Kat) c. RMMA PIAC (Rick Krivoniak, chair of the RMMA PIAC). Welcomed Corky Hilliard's reappointment to the PIAC. Announced the next meeting is August 13th at the Carver Library 9. Adjourned
Traffic operations: 51st/Berkman
posted by Brandon Kraft on December 13th, 2012 1:02 PM
For those interested, this was on the Windsor Park group concerning the 51st/Berkman: is north, so the bottom of the map is the new extension. As posted to the group:The attached drawing is a bit technical, but it shows how the intersection of Berkman and E. 51st Street will look when Berkman opens into Mueller - which I'm still told will be by the end of January 2013.Be aware that traffic delays and detours are likely for the next 6 or 7 weeks while this construction occurs.North is UP on the plan. Note that the existing slip lane from Berkman to westbound 51st will be eliminated, but dedicated right-turn, forward and left-turn lanes out of Windsor Park are provided.During its recent remodeling, the Speedy Stop driveway on Berkman was moved further north than shown on this drawing.Be safe driving/biking/walking, and Happy Holidays! - Rick Krivoniak
Key Travel Corridors need citizen input for future development
posted by Betsy on September 23rd, 2011 11:27 PM
On a related topic, I attended a meeting yesterday regarding the development of a vision for 51st St. from IH 35 to Old Manor Rd. Catellus pulled together this meeting of neighbors. Jim Adams and Girard Kinney are the lead consultants on this effort.Attendees included:Janette Swenson - Windsor Park (WP) Neighborhood Assoc chairRick Krivoniak -WP NA and PIACPromiseland Church - pastor Shules HershAustin film society/studiosPam Hefner - City of Austin economic developmentMartha Cook-Ward - Ridgetop NAFlo Rice - AISD PAC proj mgrStephanie ? - Pecan Springs repGreg Montes - WP resident and transportation committee memberStafford Gunning - WP transportation committeeGordon Derr - City of Austin Transportation Department, Assistant DirectorMonsignor Sawyer - Our Lady's Maronite Catholic ChurchJimmy ? - attorney and member of Our Lady's Maronite Catholic ChurchGreg Weaver - CatellusIntro by Dee Desjardin with Catellus - Intent of today’s meetings is to bring stakeholders together to brainstorm vision for 51st.Jim Adams with McCann Adams Studio - Goal is establishing vision that will guide public and private investment along corridor. Want to bring neighborhoods together, promote economic investment, and vibrant multimodal boulevard.Project Schedule- Had focus group sessions in August - one with transportation agencies (COA, TxDOT, CAMPO, Capitol Metro), another with Windsor Park contact team regarding their neighborhood plan- Today is Working Group Session #1- Sept - Oct - draft recommendations and strategies- late Oct - work group meeting #2- November - present to PIAC. they could take to council to influence neighborhood plans, guide investment, etc.Girard Kinney gave an overview of the existing conditions along 51st Street.- Functional classification is a minor arterial - no plan to change- Reviewed existing land use and zoning. Windsor Park/University Hills neighborhood plan emphasizes mixed use, pedestrian oriented development with businesses that support neighborhoods on both sides of 51st.- 51st also designated as a Core Transit CorridorJim Adams gave an overview of the Mueller plan- Lancaster East to Berkman, 75% of frontage should be street facing building with ground level uses/activity- At Berkman - Gateway via Market Districtworking with HEB to make gas station more attractive than the norm and screened by landscaping when the trees mature. Preserving trees east of Berkman and nestle gas station in.- East of Berkman - Businesses set back further to transition to more parkway design- Traffic volumes about 22,300 vehicles per day (vpd) near IH 35 and 13,500 east of Berkman (peak hour LOS)- Traffic Impact Analysis based on Mueller full building indicates there could be 38,600 near IH 35 and 28,300 east of Berkman- For comparison, there are 15,000 vpd on 45th at Ave G, 25,000 on 38th at Cedar, and 35,000 on Airport at Wilshire.- 51st will have to carry significant traffic- Lancaster, Mueller and Berkman all ultimately signalized (or maybe a roundabout at Berkman)- Ideas collected from the transportation forum:----TxDOT interchange improvement at IH 35 - jughandle fix and bike lanes on 51st----Road diet (City of Austin) east of Berkman to Old Manor (3 lanes with bike lanes)----City - possible roundabout at 51st & Berkman (mitigate intersection congestion when Mueller is built out)----Urban Rail up Red River, to Hancock Center, then to Mueller on Airport Blvd to Aldrich, up Mueller Blvd, then Philomena to Berkman to market district.----Catellus and city exploring idea of cycle tracks on Berkman Dr. and Mueller Blvd (1-way tracks proposed)Discussion regarding priorities for representatives at the meeting.- Mueller plan shows 90’ existing ROW on 51st - 5 lanes with bike lanes on each side and sidewalk. On Mueller side, the plan calls for urban reserve of 60’ in anticipation of rail corridor (light rail needing exclusive ROW). A frontage road (1-way) could be added in this space between 51st and the buildings on Mueller side. Gordon Derr with the City mentioned that the reserve was included with the idea that any rail would require it’s own right of way (like the Red Line). The City now thinks on-street urban rail will be more appropriate technology for inner city rail lines.- Discussion of Priorities (options for getting input) from various perspectives represented at the meeting----Width of 51st (median transit, frontage roads, or narrower regular street)----Type of bike facilities (on-street bike lanes, separate path, cycle tracks)----What kind of sidewalks (hike/bike trail, urban sidewalk, both depending on East or West of Berkman)----What would make 51st beautiful? (greenery and set back buildings or urban buildings?)----Should on-street parking be provided? What type (parallel, back-in, on separated frontage road?)----How should buildings contribute to street (residential, work, both)?----Which reflects strongest priority for the corridor?--------traffic flow--------traffic calming--------introduce activities--------lots of trees and greenery--------reduce width to make easier to crossThere was general consensus on desire for activity on the corridor (restaurants, etc.), safety for pedestrians and bicyclists, need to accommodate traffic (to avoid incentive to cut through neighborhoods), and a nice transition between the sections East and West of Berkman.Rick Krivoniak asked whether Imagine Austin has plans for 51st? The team will have to find out.
Bank proposed across 51st at Lancaster
posted by joan neuberger on September 19th, 2011 11:43 AM
Thanks very much to Rick Krivoniak for these details about the bank. I'm sorry if all my mistakes confused anyone.
Bank proposed across 51st at Lancaster
posted by Rick Krivoniak on September 19th, 2011 11:39 AM
At the 9/12/2011 Windsor Park Neighborhood Plan Contact Team meeting, decisions were made on two cases that have been pending before the group for a few months. One involved a proposed new owner/operator for the now vacant convenience store at 5932 Westminster Drive (at the corner of Gaston Place), the second was on the proposed IBC Bank & drive-through on the six lots from 1206 to 1218 E. 51st Street, to the east of Lancaster Court.At 5932 Westminster, the Contact Team chose to support the existing alcohol sales restriction as this location is within the 300 foot TABC boundaries between both a school (Harris Elementary) and a church (Austin Mennonite Church), and voted 10 to 0 not to support the alcohol sales license. The proposed owner/operator indicated no intention of further pursuing the license.IBC Bank wishes to build a small branch bank and two or three drive-through lanes on E. 51st Street. They need support from the Contact Team for a conditional-use permit for the drive-through lanes. That conditional-use restriction to limit drive-through and auto-oriented development came out of the Neighborhood Planning process, where residential zoning along this stretch of E. 51st was changed to allow commercial and office development, adding the Vertical Mixed Use option to encourage mixed-use and pedestrian friendly projects as noted on pages 43 & 45 of the University Hills Windsor Park Neighborhood Plan. The Contact Team voted 5 to 4 (1 abstention) to deny support of the conditional-use permit.- Rick Krivoniak
Temporary Committee meeting notes
posted by Betsy on April 30th, 2011 10:17 AM
I attended a meeting of Catellus' Transportation Committee on Wednesday, April 27. The committee includes members of surrounding communities to discuss areas of mutual interest. Rather than take up their time to listen to issues internal to Mueller (i.e. those that don't affect surrounding 'hoods), I met with Catellus and City staff before the larger meeting began. I appreciate the City taking extra time from their schedule to do this. Here are my notes. Our next meeting is in late July so let me know if you have issues you'd like me to bring forward as the Mueller rep. Thanks.- Catellus is developing a FAQ they can post at This will address some of the questions they receive most. I’ve posted the status of some of these as part of my meeting notes.- Signal at Airport & Zach Scott - Infrastructure is there but intersection doesn’t yet meet signal warrants contained in the Texas Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (TMUTCD), the legal authority on signing, signals and pavement markings. City is re-evaluating the intersection every 6 months. Once the signal is installed, the queue exiting Mueller may at times back up across the Tom Miller intersection but Catellus’ engineers don’t believe that will happen very often. Pedestrian crossing signals will be installed when the traffic signal is installed.- Roundabout improvements were included in the last bond election. Plans are being developed with construction anticipated in 2012. Construction will narrow the approaches and the inner circle to make it clearly one-lane on all approaches. Construction will also create the necessary deflections to help encourage lower operating speeds.- Alley operations - No one seems positive why our alleys were designed as one-way, which necessitates the extra signage and encourages higher speeds. The next residential phase is Section 6, north of Simond. When that section is developed, they plan to make those alleys 2-way and also reduce the No Parking signage. That will serve as a pilot project. If things work well there, they will come back and make similar changes to the existing areas (Sections 4 & 5 I believe). I also mentioned the issue, as relayed to me, of kids popping out from the sidewalks between row houses without looking for cars. - Berkman will be extended to 51st Street to support the grocery store (when announced) and Section 6 residential construction. It will only be the 1/2 width of Berkman, similar to what’s installed now along the row homes. Since the 1/2 section doesn’t include bike lanes, Catellus plans to install some sort of temporary bike/ped facility for travel from the residential areas to the market district by walking or biking.- Catellus plans to make some minor improvements in the trailer eatery area within the next few months. These will include access to the trails from the eatery parking lot, without crossing all those large rocks.The City agreed to study the following internal issues and develop potential solutions:- Speed control and pedestrian crossing safety at Zach Scott & Camacho, and at the corners surrounding Ella Wooten Park.- Pedestrian crossing safety across Airport Blvd.- Installation of a NO U-Turn sign for Northbound traffic on Airport at Zach Scott. I believe they're going to review all median openings from 38th to IH 35 to see where U-turns are appropriate.- Bike lanes on 51st from Berkman to Manor to complete the gap.- Review parking stripes & signs to ensure consistency with State law. We have some striped spaces that are too close to intersections, and several signs are not in the correct location.- Tom Wald (Cherrywood rep & executive director of the League of Bicycling Voters) offered to help Catellus work through bicycle access to major development areas and the logical placement (and quantity) of bike racks for parking.- Scott Gross, the City’s project manager for the Urban Rail study, provided an update on that project and the recent public meetings. While the Red River option alarmed some, he said they are very committed to serving Mueller, including coming well into Mueller, regardless of how they get here. They started looking at Red River as a better way of connecting to the Red line commuter train. With the station at MLK, it's a bit far to make the connection from Manor between the two. The Red River line would mean they could build a new station at Hancock Center that would serve both the Red line and the urban rail line. People from further out could get off the red line there and have a good connection to UT and Capitol complex via the urban rail. They might also have a park and ride area at Hancock Center. The neighborhood south of Manor has expressed concern about the line being on Manor Road. Red River actually has more density, and more possibility of future density, than Manor Rd. A Red River line would also serve St. David's hospital and come reasonably close to the development at the former Concordia site (if that development restarts). It sounded like this line of thought came up rather late and they just haven't had time to figure out exactly how to get from Hancock Center up to, and into, Mueller. They talked about several possibilities - IH35 frontage to Airport and then Aldrich, IH 35 to Philomena, or IH 35 to 51st. Rick Krivoniak noted that there is some ROW reserved on the south side of 51st that could be used for a rail corridor. The City is currently in discussions with TxDOT on the use of part of the IH 35 right of way to see what options are possible. They hope to have some better maps in a few months after further study and consideration of public comments. A 3-phase buildout is envisioned over a 15-20 year time period.- Berkman extension - As mentioned above, this is tied to the market district. Leo said (again) they are VERY close to an announcement. Berkman should be under construction next year and open by mid-2013 at the latest.- City was asked about signal timing adjustments at Aldrich & Airport, and opening up the striped out middle lane for a dual left turn onto Airport, as was the ultimate plan. This would help alleviate the pm rush hour backups in the roundabout. Hopefully these improvements can be made without waiting for the roundabout construction.- City is working with TxDOT and neighborhoods on improvements to the ‘jughandle’ at IH 35 & 51st Street. The goal is to provide a way for northbound frontage road traffic to access Windsor Park without going through the Mueller retail area. Public outreach will be conducted.
Are we directly in the flight path for Bergstrom Airport?
posted by Rick Krivoniak on January 17th, 2011 11:27 AM
What Sid said, except I don't live at Mueller. Many of you probably don't know that the citizens of Austin voted to move aviation from Mueller to Manor in 1987. But subsequent City Councils made no efforts to do so (as most wanted Mueller to remain the "convenient" airport), until the Air Force announced the closing of Bergstrom AFB in early 1992.We hear the same planes in Windsor Park an other nearby n'hoods, and while the noise is nothing like the takeoffs from Mueller (we were subject to the jet's blasting for the entire length of the runway, not the shorter fly-over noise in the runway's path), it's still a reminder of what could have been.I'm skeptical we could ever have an impact, but we could request more usage of the eastern (but shorter) runway at Bergstrom to put more planes out of the east Austin path. Maybe that's something to bring up at a City Council Candidate forum? - Rick Krivoniak
RMMA PIAC Meeting notes 08.10.10
posted by Robyn on August 23rd, 2010 1:35 PM
some additional detail from Rick Krivoniak and Windsor Park's listserve (thanks to one of my employees who shared it with me).I thought that the info on the Market District and the additional info on the owls in the Tower were particularly interesting. and....congrats Ashley! Robyn****************************************************September 2010 Mueller Update – Rick Krivoniak At August’s RMMAPIAC (Mueller Commission) meeting, Greg Weaver of Catellus reported that the Market District may be delayed some as the grocer negotiations continue. They are also talking to retailers and restaurateurs for the Market District. Any delay will also move back the Berkman extension into Mueller. Recent construction activity in the area is related to the reclaimed water line.A subcommittee of the Commission has worked with Catellus and the City to allow more community use of the historic Browning Hangar on Airport Boulevard. It’s hoped that details on this issue will be worked out within the next two months. Information will be posted as it is available. And after ten years as Chair of the Commission, Jim Walker stepped aside. I want to personally thank him for his amazing leadership on the Commission, and in all things Mueller over that time period and beyond. Thankfully, Jim will remain on the Commission for another year. Mueller resident Ashley Fisher was elected Chair, and yours truly was elected Vice-Chair. My term will expire in July 2012, after which I will be ineligible to serve for at least two years. Windsor Park needs representation on this Commission. Anyone interested should begin attending future Commission meetings and submit an application to the City Clerk's office (which can be done online at Please feel free to contact me if you have questions.Austin Energy will be presenting an update on the Mueller Electric Substation at Morris Williams Golf Course at the September 14th Mueller Commisison meeting, 6 PM, Waller Creek Center, Room 105, 625 E. 10th Street. Free parking is available on the street or in the adjacent parking garage. Anyone wishing to speak on this agenda item must sign-in and will be given three minutes.Windsor Park resident Adrian Johnson and son regularly walk by the old Mueller control tower at dusk to watch the barn owls fly in and out. Back in mid-June, as work began on the tower’s renovation, he began asking about the fate of the owls that have been nesting in it for the past few years. Fortunately, Catellus VP – Project Manager Leo Lopez had also noticed the nesting owls, and had recent experience with saving a family of screech owls on his own property. Leo halted demo of the top level ceiling where the owls nest was located, and called in Jake McCumber, a wildlife biologist for the State of Texas, and Wynn Estes, who owns Wildlife Structures LLC. Both are also members of the Travis Audubon Conservation Committee. The three came up with a design they hope will encourage the owls to return to the same nest site for years to come. Wildlife Structures built and donated an “owl box,” and Catellus is allowing access to it in the tower to remain open. Leo sees it as a plus for Mueller and larger community. They also hope to install a video feed of the nest going straight to Dell Chirdren’s Hospital. There’s no guarantee the owls will stay or return, but many thanks to all involved for such a great cooperative venture at Mueller.
RMMA PIAC Meeting notes 08.10.10
posted by Ashley on August 18th, 2010 9:23 PM
Notes from the 08.10.10 PIAC MeetingAgenda:1. Call to Order2. Citizen's Communication3. Approval of minutes4. Approval of revised bylaws as directed by City Council 5. Nominations and Elections of Officers - Chair: Ashley Fisher - Vice Chair: Rick Krivoniak6. Austin Energy Substation Update- held a second workshop in July- they are working on a report to present to Austin Energy7. Hanger Use Update - While the long term used is slated to be commercial, there has been discussion about increased community use for an interim period- Because there are now retail vendors in the area, pending a final permitting issue, there are plans to open the Hanger for use of small groups on a reservation basis during certain hours for a small fee (probably $25). Final details and rules are coming. 8. Road Repair update- some of the major repairs will be completed this month- some patching of potholes in some areas has taken place- City is still pursuing the money from the contractor 9. Items from Commission MembersAISD Performing Arts Center - no updates at this time, but will keep it on the agenda for future meetings Neighborhood Outreach Reports- PIAC members visited surrounding neighborhoods over the last year, have reported back info in the past, this info will be compiled by a commission member. 10. Catellus Update - working on some small changes, all of which are consistent with the PUD-considering a hotel use near Home Depot- looking forward to Section 6, there will be a few new housing types including shop houses, and some row houses with different dimensions than the past, will also include more of the detached garden homes like what is going in along Hermalinda/Tom Miller- current plan is to start on Section 6 infrastructure around mid 2011. - Mueller Homes (along Simond), will be 12 structures, 56 units (4-6 units per structure). Standard Pacific is building- should see th Mueller Houses start going up in mid- Sept, depending on permitting timing, 50% are part of the affordable program. - 49 lots (detached garden homes) are currently under development near Hermalinda/Tom Miller. These are David Weekly. Half will be part of the affordable program. - Greenway Lofts - nearing completion. Are about 50% committed. -Wildflower Terrace (affordable Senior Housing going in near tower) - Should begin by the end of the year. Will have ground floor retail. - Children's Museum - plan to break ground in Town Center area in 2011, but depends on their fundraising campaign. - Tower - found some nesting owls during construction - have been working with some Windsor Park neighbors and Wildlife Groups to come up with a design to encourage the owls to stay and to return for years to come.
Transportation Issues
posted by Betsy on June 30th, 2010 8:46 PM
Meeting notes by Betsy HiltonMueller Transportation Committee meeting on June 30, 2010The committee is chaired by Leo Lopez at Catellus. Representatives from several adjacent neighborhoods (Cherrywood, Windsor Park & JJ Seabrook) were in attendance, along with staff from Catellus’ consultant, HDR, and the City of Austin.Agenda Items that we had time to discuss:- Leo welcomed everyone and gave an update on upcoming major activities in Mueller - basically the same info that Greg presented at the developer update. Infrastructure construction for garden homes at Hermalinda/Antone/Tom Miller should start about July 9. - Update on traffic counts - City presented numbers to PIAC a month or two ago. No huge increases were observed but they hadn’t compared the actual numbers to the volumes predicted in the Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA) prepared when the development was being planned. The City seemed to think that might be a worthwhile comparison to review.- Traffic Signal at Zach Scott & Airport - Plans are complete, including the work necessary to deal with the Spring causing water issues in the ground boxes for the signal. Catellus will pay for the signal but the City will do the installation. There was some discussion about combining it with the funds transfer for the next phase of residential housing but Catellus agreed that it could be separated so as not to delay the signal installation. The City staff present were not positive the signal had met the necessary traffic warrants to be installed, so they will check. We also talked about the failure of some motorists coming from Airport (esp. left turners) to yield to pedestrians crossing on the trail near Tom Miller. The crosswalk already has high visibility markings and a pedestrian crossing warning sign so we’re not sure what else can be done. City will review whether a NO U-TURN sign is present for the difficult northbound to southbound movement.- Parking signage/striping review - In areas where parking spaces are marked, they are not always marked and signed consistent with State Law (prohibited 15’ from fire hydrant, 20’ from crosswalk, and 30’ on approach to a Stop Sign). Also discussed whether alley connections to streets are legally defined as ‘intersections’ requiring these same parking restrictions. State law [Transportation Code 541.303 appears to exclude alleys.] There was also general discussion about the many signs in the neighborhood. City philosophy may be changing and some believe many of these signs could be removed, where they are redundant with state law (which all drivers are supposed to be familiar with). [See Chapter 7, Texas Drivers Handbook, available at HDR and City staff will review the placement of signs/stripes and the need for such.- Roundabout improvements - City’s new Assistant Director for Traffic Engineering, Gary Schatz, has some roundabout experience and has recommended physical changes to our roundabout to narrow the two lane approaches to one-lane prior to entering the roundabout. A ‘truck apron’ would also be installed, concentric to the center island, to further clarify that this is a one-lane roundabout. These improvements should significantly improve traffic operations and safety, especially as volumes continue to increase. The City plans to include this work in an upcoming bond package, with construction likely in 2011. Traffic already backs up into the roundabout during the afternoon rush, so they are also looking at improvements at the signal, including potentially a 2 lane left turn movement onto Airport Blvd. We also discussed the possibility of installing higher visibility crosswalk markings to help encourage drivers to stop for the signal before blocking the crosswalk. The City will look into this.- Bike movements to cross Airport - Cherrywood representative Girard Kinney mentioned that bicyclists crossing Airport tend to make an illegal maneuver to cross the road (due to the Longhorn configuration) and asked whether a bike path could be marked parallel to the crosswalk. There was discussion about whether a bicyclist legally must dismount to use the crosswalk as a pedestrian, or whether it’s legal for them to use the crosswalk while riding the bicycle. The City will look into this. A similar issue is also present at all crossing of Airport Blvd, where people want to get across in the crosswalk as quickly as possible.- Dan Daniels from JJ Seabrook discussed their effort to look at issues with cut-through traffic on Tillery and safety on Pershing. He suggested that when looking at current traffic volumes, the baseline should not be what existed when the airport was still open. They also have issues with sidewalks on FM 969 being right next to the road, and issues with the Airport/MLK intersection. Speeds and volumes on FM 969 are very high. JJ Seabrook will reach out to this committee to coordinate as needed.- Windsor Park representative, Rick Krivoniak, discussed concerns about the 51st and Berkman intersection, esp. that it will be huge once rebuilt as part of the Market District (based on what he sees at the Berkman/Manor intersection). Also, the eastbound bike lane on 51st just stops before it gets to Berkman. Some additional street width is needed, or a connection to the Mueller trails/sidewalk.We were running over our allotted time so we quickly discussed the following:- Schedule another meeting before September so we can keep things moving- Invite Cap Metro to a future meeting to discuss transit service to the neighborhood- Bike lane improvements - City plans to install on Manor from Airport to 51st street when they resurface the street under the next bond program (maybe 2011). City will look at whether interim lanes could be installed on Mueller Blvd. up to 51st.- Street repairs at Threadgill & McCloskey - supposed to begin ‘1st week of July’ but we should get an update from the City via Catellus.- Pavement cracking around manholes, esp in Phase II. Phase II had a different road contractor (Rodman) than Phase I (J C Evans). Manholes are very fixed (concrete, deep, etc), whereas asphalt pavement is called ‘flexible pavement’ for a reason, and does move. Some cracking is to be expected and Catellus says the folks they’ve checked with at the City don’t anticipate large-scale problems around every manhole.We didn’t get to talk about:- Airport Blvd. makeover and bike lanes up to Lamar- Sight distance for vehicles pulling onto Zach Scott from side streets- Update on options to fix the jughandle issues (at IH 35/Cameron/51st) that impact Windsor Park neighborsEV charging stationsLet me know if you have additional or continuing concerns and I’ll do my best to bring them forward at future meetings.Thanks,Betsy
Changes at Catellus
posted by langhugh on August 28th, 2009 9:57 AM
Friends, This article reveals the most important development at Mueller this year... Not necessarily that Catellus is undergoing a shakeup, nor that the commercial and residential real estate markets are nationally crapped out, it's that Thank you to Jim Walker, Rick Krivoniak, Girard Kinney, Pam Hefner, Jim Adams, Jana McCann, Matt Whelan, Dee Desjardin, Jessica Reynolds, Greg Weaver and every participating neighbor in the Mueller Neighborhood Coalition. The design, administration, and oversight of our development creates the framework for this successful public-private project. Equally important to the project is what our nascent neighborhood brings to the table. To that end, I believe we have surprised and our designers, administrators, and overseers. We are more organized, more proactive, and more community-minded, and more savvy to our sense of place than anyone could have anticipated. We, with a special thank you to Kevin Ludlow for, are responsible for driving the interest in Mueller. We keep the project on track. We work towards our hopes and dreams for our place. To Matt Whelan and others at Catellus who are leaving the project, it was an honor to work with you over the last three years. To Greg Weaver and those that remain on board, let's get to work and not f**k this up. Dusty Harshman, Mueller Resident
Upcoming RMMA PIAC Agenda Items
posted by Kevin Ludlow on October 11th, 2008 2:21 PM
...and just to make it easier - here is the contents of the document:Current board members: Jim Walker, Chair Celia IsraelDee Copeland Rick KrivoniakCorky HilliardAGENDACALL TO ORDER1. Citizen Communication: General The first ten speakers signed up prior to the meeting being called to order will each be allowed three-minutes to address their concerns regarding items not posted on the agenda.2. Approval of Minutes from 9/17/083. Approval of By-Laws4. Presentation Related to Impact of Proposition Two (Stop Domain Subsidies) on the City’s Existing Contract Obligations5. Mueller Redevelopment Update (Catellus)a. Transportation Committee Meeting Schedule b. Construction Updatec. Administrative Amendment to the PUDd. Town Center Planning Updatee. Marketing Update6. Transit Circulator Meeting Update (ROMA), Discussion, and Action7. Affordable Tax Credit Project Update (Catellus)8. GLO/CTECC Land Swap Briefing9. Day Labor Update (Catellus), Discussion, and Action10. Annual Report11. Next Meeting: November 18 (Regular Meeting)12. Citizen Communication: General Speakers signed up will each be allowed three-minutes to address their concerns regarding items not posted on the agenda.ADJOURNMENTThe City of Austin is committed to compliance with the American with Disabilities Act. Reasonable modifications and equal access to communications will be provided upon request. Meeting locations are planned with wheelchair access. If requiring Sign Language Interpreters or alternative formats, please give notice at least 4 days before the meeting date. Please call Pam Hefner with EGRSO at 974-3511 for additional information. TTY users route through Relay Texas at 711.
Austin Light Rail Meetings This Week
posted by langhugh on September 8th, 2008 11:39 AM
Chris, The Density Bonus/Increase came up during the presentations because the DAP folks were asked to present a "phased" plan to council. The "phased" plan put Mueller in the 3rd phase and likely 7-10 years or so out if each phase required a ballot initiative. That would definitely put it outside of the development builout. At the meeting I attended, Rick Krivoniak made the point that Mueller's density would suffer under a phased plan, and I warned that the whole system would suffer under a phased plan. Basically, it's easier to win one politcal battle than four when it comes to rail. When you ask voters for $100's of millions of dollars, it's easier to sell the destinations and comprehensive nature of the routes and future rail connectivity (Austin/SanAntonio/Mopac/Mokan/Manor/Elgin) than to say, it's only going to cost $250,000,000 at first instead of $700,000,000. That gets into the stratosphere of funny money. Phased implementation is fine, phased funding requests could crash the whole effort. Dusty PS: I strongly encourage all Mueller stakeholders to attend one of the remaining sessions and/or the Town Hall on September 22nd so that the voice for Mueller is heard. The question invariably comes up...why Mueller?...Because we moved here to ditch a car and used the public transit options that were promised to us...Because it's not just Mueller, but Windosr Park, University Hills, Pecan Springs, JJ Seabrook, etc. We are still by and large, a small voice on the big local stage, but this issue needs input from Mueller residents.
Town Center Thoughts and Ideas
posted by langhugh on August 15th, 2008 7:17 AM
Ed, that was a great post, and Garreth, your blog work continues to impress. I would encourage everyone who was either in attendence or just eager to share their town center thoughts to contribute them to THIS THREAD. Let's gather some qualitative feedback and we'll submit this discussion to Catellus/ROMA/ELS/LiveWorkLearnPlay. The gentlemen I've met with ELS and LWLP are talking a good game right now. They are very receptive to information and new ideas. It will only help the finished product if the architects and designers have deepest understanding of our needs/desires for Town Center I will gather some thoughts and post them soon. but for informational puroposes, here is Rick Krivoniak's summary of the process for his Windsor Park neighbors... "As noted in previous updates, Catellus is seeking input on the community’s desires for Mueller’s Town Center. The first input meeting was held on August 13th, at the Region 13 Education Center, with about 170 folks attending. Internationally recognized consultants ELS Architecture and Urban Design ( and LiveWorkLearnPlay ( have been hired by Catellus to assist in planning and developing the Town Center. Additional input opportunities will be announced in the coming months, but is always welcome at the site. The consultants are scheduled to make their initial recommendations by February, 2009."
Re: Town Center Town Hall
posted by wilson on August 1st, 2008 11:41 PM
Hello Everyone!!!I am posting here to make sure that this event is on everybody's calendar and at the front of everyone's mind because I believe it one of the most important meetings everyone--Mueller resident, Mueller neighbor, and general Austin citizen alike--can attend! This is hopefully the first in a series of meetings about the Town Center which will involve the community at varying degrees of participation.My inkling is that this first meeting will be primarily an input session (as opposed to a design charrette or the like). Dusty Harshman, Rick Krivoniak, Jim Walker, and I attended a meeting with Catellus, ROMA, Tate Austin, and some of their design consultants about a month and a half ago to discuss the process by which the design team engages the broader community with respect to this Town Center. The main things we emphasized to the developer and its team were , , and to community input.Jim Walker has been telling us all for a long time that we have as loud and important a voice as we give ourselves. This is a great opportunity to make that voice heard, so I strongly urge you all to attend, listen, and participate at this meeting on August 13th!Wilson Robertson
posted by langhugh on February 9th, 2008 11:51 PM
I would encourage everyone who has not yet attended one of these meetings to join us at tomorrow's meeting at 3:00PM at Asbury United Methodist on the corner of Cherrywood and 38th St. Here are a couple of great reasons: 1. You'll probably get to meet Jim Walker and/or Rick Krivoniak, two gentlemen we have to thank for Mueller's very design. They continue to educate and mentor the Mueller Pioneers on a variety of community issues. 2. You'll get to meet one another. We pioneers, current and future, are an interesting and diverse group of households that, in many cases, have selected Mueller as a family-friendly, urban alternative to suburbia. 3. You'll hear from other pioneers who are dealing with some of the same issues you are, and, through shared experience, we can determine strategies to address them...or at least feel a little group empathy. 4. Tomorrow's meeting will focus on an issue that is important to many of us...the proposed Mueller Elementary School. Much has been said and written about the decision by the AISD's Citizen's Bond Advisory Committee to remove the Mueller ES from an upcoming school bond that might have opened Mueller ES in 2011 or 2012. Now the bond is under consideration by the AISD Board of Trustees and Mueller ES may be up for re-consideration as a part of a larger bond. The need for an eventual Mueller ES is undeniable, but Mueller is also attracting families with young children at a rate that would promote the school with a greater imperative. Linked below is the letter that Catellus sent to the AISD to attempt to persuade a re-consideration of the Mueller ES. There are several opportunities in the next two weeks to offer public input to the AISD Board of Trustees regarding the upcoming bond and Mueller ES. We will discuss how we can best address these input sessions. 5. Also related to Mueller is the AISD's consideration of adding a district-wide Performing Arts Center (PAC) to the upcoming school bond. Mueller has been publicly offered as a site for the PAC by local philanthropist Dick Rathgeber, who has suggested that he could donate five acres next to the proposed Mueller ES for the PAC. This will also be discussed Sunday. Dusty Harshman
posted by kerry on December 16th, 2007 10:38 AM
I've heard this is the reason that no contracts for yard homes have been signed in over a month. DW has been waiting to get this in writing from the county, and they're also waiting on the finalized equity share agreement. They want us to know what we're getting into financially before signing a contract. One thing to note is the fact that the appraised value will go up (state law caps increases at 10% a year). Within a few years, the capped value will match the appraised value. Using Wilson's example, this shows how much 10% increases can be: Year 1- $150,000 Year 2- $165,000 Year 3- $181,500 Year 4- $199,650 Year 5- $219,615 Also to the monthly payments: Year 1- $315 Year 2- $347 Year 3- $381 Year 4- $419 Year 5- $461 As far as I know this hasn't been finalized yet, but I just wanted to bring it to everyone's attention. If you have questions, talk to Mindy. If you have concerns, it's probably more productive to go outside of DW and talk to Catellus, Jim Walker, Rick Krivoniak, the Travis County Tax Assessors office, etc. Kerry Also, I have one small correction to the example. The ratio that is used to split the profit is based on the purchase price and appraised value. In this case, $139,000 is 70% of $199,000. Therefore the seller's profit would be $31,500 (70% of $45,000). The seller would walk away with $170,500 and the foundation would get $73,500.
as requested, Sunday Dec 9 MNA meeting summary
posted by mrs aaron on December 10th, 2007 9:44 PM
Mueller Neighborhood Association Meeting Dec. 9, 2007 This is a summary, not minutes. And I had to leave early. Started off with about 5 neighbors present, grew to maybe 20. MNA- Dusty Harshman- Catellus had already registered a group as the MNA with their own contacts. After discussion, Karen Zabreznik convinced them to withdraw and let us register our group. Thanks Karen! Dusty does not foresee a second set of dues for the MNA, well try to get funds from the POA. Rick Krivoniak said sometime next summer the Windsor Park NA will give up to our association some of the non-Mueller (non-City) land they currently claim (the water tower land, Troublemaker Studios). They grabbed those previously in order to be informed whenever zoning and other decisions were made. Online Survey and Open House results- Dusty 150 responses to Online Survey Highlights: 80% respondents were homeowners 10% on waiting list 6% on Pioneer list, but not buying right now 4% community stakeholders 60% of respondents have never lived with a HOA type structure before, overall a mixed-leaning to positive attitude toward this community association, high interest in community governance Top 10 key concerns in order: 1. parking and traffic (70 respondents) 2. landscaping/fencing (40) 3. modifications- freedom 4. pets (28) 5. amenities 6. enforcement 7. green additions 8. reverting to City of Austin ordinances 9. security 10. level of fees POA- Dusty and Rick provided information regarding the soon to be released Rules and Regulations and FAQ from Catellus. Currently in draft form. Basically represent the covanents, in laymans terms and with a few additions. Highlights (or maybe Lowlights?) Parking and Traffic o 30 minute on street for residents o 72 hours for guests Unless emergency or written permission enforceable? realistic? Landscaping, Fencing, and Modifications o Any exterior modification must go through review committee Catellus asks us to trust them that 80% of modifications will be approved Christmas lights? a chair on the porch? Pets o 3 pet limit (only 2 can be dogs) o no Pit Bulls, dangerous or exotic animals, must be customary, domesticated o no outdoor pets without a leash (cats) Water Tower report- Rick Bids opened about a week and a half ago. All bids were higher than expected. Steel frame (cool design) $15 million Concrete base design $6 million Both significantly more $ than standard design. Catellus has interest in better design. Rick will have to explain possible funding for the better designs. Sorry Rick. Elementary School at Mueller- Kim Wine Not much chance at getting one of two remaining new schools on the 2004 AISD Bond Package. Three other areas deemed needing more immediate relief. Currently Maplewood is at 346 with a capacity of 400, has 5 portables in use already. Phase 1 and 2 kids will attend Maplewood. We need to speak up at the two public hearings- January 10 and 15. Meeting times and locations TBA. Wendy Morgan (Maplewood parent) has been contacted regarding getting the Maplewood community involved also. Contact AISD with questions and concerns at: ... pt=contact Closing concerns Community Assessment fee- of 1% This fee funds the social goals of Mueller, mainly the Mueller Foundation for the Affordable Housing. Not the flat $150 fee to POA. Problem is some buyers paying it, some builders paying it, and some have no idea who is paying it. Meritage- they pay it D Weekly- buyer pays Others-??? Why is this not a standard across the board? Is this a charitable deduction? At this point I had to leave to go eat potato latkes. I hope I did a respectable job. Kim Wine
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