South Austin Neighborhood Notes: 5 updates from cities and neighborhoods in the area

Austin Public Libraryu2019s Hampton Branch at Oak Hill closed Aug. 24.

Austin Public Libraryu2019s Hampton Branch at Oak Hill closed Aug. 24.

Austin Public Library's Oak Hill branch has closed for renovations. That, and more in August's edition of South Austin Neighborhood Notes.

1: City of Dripping Springs
The Dripping Springs Visitors Bureau is seeking $10,000 for holiday decorations along historic Mercer Street. The Dripping Springs Community Foundation awarded a $2,500 grant, and the visitors bureau is seeking the remaining funds by Aug. 31.

“Each individual, family, HOA or organization who donates will have their names on a banner prominently displayed on Mercer Street throughout the holidays,” said Pam Owens, visitor bureau president and CEO. “Our goal is to light up Mercer Street from east to west.”

The campaign asks for tax-deductible donations of $20 or more. A $20 donation purchases a 50-bulb string of lights. Funding includes installation, removal and storage.

2: City of Sunset Valley
After taking steps to limit light pollution by revising Sunset Valley’s land-development code in June, the City Council on Aug. 7 approved an ordinance for additional lighting regulations to stop local light trespass and glare, which could be seen as nuisances to neighbors.

Parks and Natural Resource Manager Carolyn Meredith said she found 10-15 homes would likely be in violation of the new rules, which go into effect in January 2019. The majority of those lights could be in compliance if reoriented, she said.

Ultimately, the ordinance is complaint-driven and will allow residents to report if a neighbor’s light is disturbing their property.

According to the ordinance, if an outdoor lighting fixture is within 50 feet of the home’s front setback, the fixture’s bulb should not be visible from the property line. For lights on the side or rear of a home, unwanted light should not cross onto another property.

The city offers a rebate that covers 50 percent of the first $75 of the cost to replace noncompliant fixtures, including installation. Residents can apply for a rebate on each of the first four fixtures they replace.

3: Oak Hill
Austin Public Library’s Hampton Branch at Oak Hill closed Aug. 24 for renovations that are expected to take nine months to complete, according to a news release from the Austin Public Library. The renovations are part of the city of Austin’s 2012 bond.

The project will replace existing roof and skylights; update electrical systems; upgrade plumbing fixtures; upgrade technology data and wiring; upgrade heating and air conditioning; replace flooring and furniture; and bring the building into Americans with Disabilities Act compliance.

Library services are available at nearby branches and the Dick Nichols District Park bookmobile.

4: Onion Creek
Cadence Multifamily LLC proposed a $43 million multifamily property—Cascade at Onion Creek Apartments—to the Travis County Housing and Finance Corporation on Aug. 14.

The 13.5-acre site, located south of Onion Creek, will have 264 units in 11 apartment buildings. Of the units, 238 will be restricted for families with incomes at or below 60 percent of the area median income, or AMI, 14 units for those at or below 50 percent of AMI and 15 units for those at or below 30 percent of AMI. The property will also offer 26 units at market rate, the developers said.

Closing is not anticipated to occur until 2019. After closing, the project will take 18-20 months to complete.

5: Village of San Leanna
The Village of San Leanna implemented a drought watering calendar July 31.

Recent rainfall has not generated the runoff needed to sustain creek flow in the creeks and rivers that recharge the aquifers, according to the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District’s website. Historically, restricting outdoor water uses are adequate measures to reach pumpage targets for a drought. August is the first month the village will need to meet a mandatory minimum of 20 percent reduction in monthly water use. The village asked residents to reduce water usage.

Drought watering calendar

Avoid operating irrigation systems or hose-end sprinklers between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Single-family homes are allotted two watering days a week.

Odd addresses: Wednesdays and/or Saturdays

Even addresses: Thursdays and/or Sundays


A rendering of Walnut Springs Elementary School shows what the district expects to see completed by the start of school Aug. 17. (Rendering courtesy Dripping Springs ISD)
New school construction in Dripping Springs ISD on track

Workers filled Dripping Springs schools undergoing construction with furniture July 26.

The Zilker Eagle is tentatively expected to open Oct. 23. (Benton Graham/Community Impact Newspaper)
Roadwork for Austin's Zilker Eagle continues; Lou Neff Road closed through Aug. 7

The Austin Parks and Recreation Department said the delay allowed for park programming, including Blues on the Green, to continue.

Public schools cannot require students, teachers, parents, and other staff members or visitors to wear masks after June 4, Gov. Greg Abbott declared in an executive order issued May 18. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
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Customers will not have to pay the standard 8.25% sales tax on select clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks under $100.

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Austin Habitat for Humanity's ReStore uses discount home improvement to build communities

The store sells sustainable construction materials, clothes, appliances, jewelry, furniture and the odd novelty item.

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Travis County moves forward with plans for mental health diversion program at Sobering Center

The program would divert people experiencing mental health crises away from jail and towards supportive services following low-level offenses.

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Ascension, Baylor Scott & White to require all employees be fully vaccinated against coronavirus by fall

Ascension and Baylor Scott & White have announced all eligible employees must be vaccinated against COVID-19 in the coming months. 

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Kerbey Lane Cafe serves the Austin community with 'family feeling'

Since 1980, the cafe has served up breakfast, lunch and dinner at locations around the Capital City.

Austin City Council will convene for a regular meeting July 29, its first since mid-June. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin City Hall notebook: Council to look at downtown safety, homelessness and budgeting in return from meetings break

The first regular council meeting since mid-June features a packed agenda and opportunity for resident feedback on Austin's proposed budget.

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As COVID-19 hospitalizations track upward, Austin Public Health renews call for vaccinations

APH also mirrors the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's latest guidance for vaccinated individuals to wear masks in some circumstances.

The request to table talks regarding designated campsites came one week after city staff detailed two properties that could be used for such an initiative. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Ellis, Harper-Madison call for halt to Austin's 'Band-Aid' sanctioned homeless encampment plans

The East and Southwest Austin representatives shared their thoughts on the process one week after city properties in their districts were tapped as workable encampment sites.

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