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OANA boundary issue - pros and cons of modification - please reply and contribute your views
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Mark Holzbach
Original Austin Neighborhood Association (OANA)

Posts: 231
Joined on July 31st, 2009
OANA boundary issue - pros and cons of modification - please reply and contribute your views
by Mark Holzbach on December 12th, 2009

* Pros to keeping original boundary:
i) southern region of OANA has large, energetic, and prosperous population (potentially willing to donate their time, talent and treasure)
ii) would not require actually rejecting and possibly alienating current OANA members that reside or own property in southern region
iii) strong evidence that the noise control issue is very important to both southern and northern regions of OANA - and southern region residents have already had some successes
iv) southern region residents & property owners may share interests with northern region in zoning, historic preservation, pedestrian issues, green space, open space, and bike issues - although how many is not known
v) southern and northern region proximity creates a opportunity to cooperate and fuse our downtown community together
vi) The Shoal creek greenway and numerous streets naturally connect the northern and southern regions together.
vii) keeping OANA boundary as is will retain and may increase OANA political power
viii) many of the people mix between the northern and southern regions - we share many obvious natural concerns including safety, noise, traffic/transportation
ix) the county and ACC have large projects that will significantly impact northern region in the short term -- keeping the southern region and norther regions together now could likely help and will not likely hinder dealing with this

* Cons to keeping the original boundary
i) keeping original boundary may continue the fear and uncertainty whether lack of historically contributing properties in the southern region might result in interests misaligned with northern region especially around historic preservation issues
ii) keeping original boundary may continue the fear and uncertainty whether southern region business owners and property developer interests might dominate OANA
iii) keeping original boundary may continue the concern that OANA can not properly address the character differences between the "new" southern region and the "old" northern region (not a concern when the original boundary was created)
 
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Mark Holzbach
Original Austin Neighborhood Association (OANA)

Posts: 231
Joined on July 31st, 2009
OANA boundary issue - pros and cons of modification - please reply and contribute your views
by Mark Holzbach on December 12th, 2009

See attached image illustrating the boundary issue
 
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neigh057.jpg (68,436 bytes)
 
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Blake Tollett
Original Austin Neighborhood Association (OANA)

Posts: 3
Joined on December 16th, 2009
OANA boundary issue - pros and cons of modification - please reply and contribute your views
by Blake Tollett on January 17th, 2010

My name is Blake Tollett. I own the properties at 601 and 603 West 12th Street and at 1202 San Antonio Street. I came to Austin to attend law school in 1973 and have lived over in West Austin for the last 30 plus years. I currently serve on the board of West Austin Neighborhood Group (WANG) and was on the volunteer interim board of the Original Austin Neighborhood Association (OANA) and now serve on its just elected board. Back when, I served with Chris Riley when he headed the Downtown Austin Neighborhood Association (DANA) and we worked on the unsuccessful attempt to block the expansion of the County booking facility intrusion into the neighborhood.

I probably have the most hesitation of any member of the current OANA board of directors about retaining the historical southern boundary of the organization.

As Mark points out above, things have changed significantly in the area bounded by Guadalupe Street, the lake, Lamar Boulevard and West 7th Street over the last 10 years. When OANA formed, I don't think there were any true residents in that area, or at least I can't remember there being any. For that matter, besides the Posada del Rey and the Regency Apartment and some scattered smaller apartment/condo complexes and a few retained single family residences, there weren't too many folks living above West 7th Street in the 1970's.

The Interim Board of Directors of OANA addressed this issue of the southern border of the neighborhood association back in April of 2009. As the minutes of that meeting reflect (see our website), there was a unanimous vote of the 30 or so people in attendance that the southern border of OANA be shortened to West 7th Street, more or less, and possibly include Shoal Creek itself (as what affects downstream impacts upstream). This unanimous vote of the interim directors present along with all of those in attendance was as a recommendation to the to be elected board and the general membership. At the same meeting we recommended that to be a member of OANA required either residence in or ownership of property within the boundaries of the neighborhood association.

This vote was not based necessarily on fear of "those folks in the towers" or "wrong minded developers" taking over the neighborhood association. What was on my mind, and I led the April 2009 meeting, was that by retaining the area below West 6th-7th Street, we were taking on more responsibility than we should handle. We are all residents of the area, but I thought the neighbors living in the larger complexes might actually have their own associations that represent them as well as may not have the same priorities that the northern half of the neighborhood has. I am sure we have common goals, especially quality of life issues, and I am sure we can work together to achieve those goals. My concern is whether all this area should be under the OANA umbrella. I understand very well strength in numbers, but individual organizations can be bound together through common purpose for strength also.

As an aside, I am not too sure anyone has truly asked our new neighbors to the south if they want to be a part of OANA. Regardless, I am fine if the general membership, especially those who attend the meeting on the 20th, votes to reaffirm the boundaries of the neighborhood association as going down to the lake. There are a ton of things going on right now, and there is plenty of work for everyone who can spare the time.

Blake 01-17-10
 
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Mark Holzbach
Original Austin Neighborhood Association (OANA)

Posts: 231
Joined on July 31st, 2009
OANA boundary issue - pros and cons of modification - please reply and contribute your views
by Mark Holzbach on January 18th, 2010

Thanks Blake,

I so appreciate your well-considered and well-expressed views. They really help me to understand another way of looking at the situation. I think the neighbors living in larger complexes may already belong to DANA, and they may already belong to their own building-specific associations, and they probably aren't very aware of OANA. I think it's good to have representatives of all people who will be affected sitting around the table discussing this, and then making a well-considered decision together. I hope we will have that opportunity on Jan 20th -- because we've tried to get the word out with the yellow postcards.

Mark
 
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Joined on August 19th, 2019
OANA boundary issue - pros and cons of modification - please reply and contribute your views
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OANA boundary issue - pros and cons of modification - please reply and contribute your views
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