For those of you who didn’t catch it, the Austin American-Statesman ran an article in Saturday’s paper, "Austin charts urban population density" by Jeremy Schwartz. The article included a color-coded map showing relative density within the city but unfortunately the map was not included in the online version. The article is relevant as we begin our neighborhood planning process, a topic that will be covered in our next general meeting, January 25th. What follows are comments from John Keohane taken from his post to the listserv regarding the article. John is ANA’s new Zoning Chair.
Quoting from that article: "For years, neighborhood residents, developers and planners have fought . . .
battles over how much redevelopment and population growth . . .
established neighborhoods in the urban core can or should absorb. The stakes
were ratcheted up with the release of the Envision Central Texas regional
planning effort, which declared that to avoid sprawl, Austin needs greater
redevelopment and density in urban neighborhoods. . . city officials . . . say
the study’s greatest benefit might be in identifying obvious holes, or
neighborhoods that are clearly lagging."
Especially relevant here is
the color-coded map on page A16. It is easy to find our neighborhood.
Allandale is listed as "1". We are one of 61 neighborhoods shown on that map.
Among the 24 neighborhoods between 35 and Mopac and between 183 and Ben White,
we are one of only five coded in yellow, as having a "net residential population
density" of less than 15 persons per acre (the other four are Rosedale,
Crestview, Windsor Road, and Barton Hills).
One member of the
Planning Commission is quoted in this article as saying "’It can give us an idea
of which neighborhoods have absorbed more (population) . . . and which ones we
need to scrutinize more.’"
I don’t know about you, but one reason
the Keohanes purchased in Allandale is that it is an area primarily of single
family homes with reasonably spacious grounds, and that is part of the quality
of life we were buying into when we bought. It may take many of us, working
together, to protect this, and to make the point, throughout Austin, that
neighborhoods such as ours close-in, add not only trees, space, and ambience to
the residents, but also real value to the quality of life for the city as a