Proud Member of the Friends of Austin Neighborhoods Network

Dawson Neighborhood


SRCC Opposes St. Ed’s Operations Building

Letter to St. Ed’s University by David Swann of Travis Heights:

Dear Mr. Burnotes: (pdf)

I received a mailed copy of your August 9 letter yesterday. The message is disturbing, and I wish to respond. In general, I believe the administration has lost its focus as an educational institution.  …

Editoral by Tina Buck, SRCC Communications:

We are asking for St. Edward’s to consider the long term effects on the tax supported infrastructure they depend on in our neighborhood. We oppose commercializing Sherwood Oaks by building a shipping and receiving dock fronting our street. This might be good for St. Edward’s business but it is not good for our neighborhood or our city.

In Austin (zip 78704), the median household income is $50,248. In Sherwood Oaks, the average property tax bill is $9000. Average rent in South Congress/Sherwood Oaks is $2000 a month. This is because property tax has shot up tremendously and that is passed on to renter. Sherwood Oaks neighbors pay a large part of their income in taxes in support of streets, water and drainage infrastructure that are being “repurposed” to support the profits of St. Edward’s, tax exempt business.St. Edward’s made a 26,000,000 profit last year but is tax exempt.

You can find pictures and links to news reports about the St. Ed’s construction project and our protest at this public facebook page: NO 2 St. Ed’s

Below is a summary of our interaction with St. Ed’s up until our meeting August 5th, at which time they merely reiterated their claim that this building will not create undue stress and traffic in the neighborhood. This is by Gretchen Otto, SRCC president: (more…)

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Editorial: Opposed to Variances of Guesthouse Hotel on South Congress

The church in Austin was invited by the Dawson Neighborhood Plan Contact Team to the neighborhood meeting on Monday, February 8 to present our views about the variances requested for the proposed Guesthouse Hotel on the property bordering us on the north at 2510 S. Congress Ave. What follows is a summary of our presentation.

The church in Austin is a Christian church established in Austin in 1973. The church has been at its current three-acre location at 2530 S. Congress Ave. for 40 years, the front half of which is zoned CS (commercial) and the back half of which is zoned SF-3 (single-family). The front half has 11 buildings, and the back half has six buildings and a backyard. (more…)

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2015 Imagine Austin Annual Report

The Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan moves forward each year through a five-point implementation program: education and engagement, alignment, regulations, capital investment, and partnerships.

Just three years after adoption, the City of Austin and its partners have already moved the needle in our community in implementing the comprehensive plan across all eight priority program areas.  … four of the policies created with a 30 year vision have already been completed!

Fulfilling the big-picture vision of the comprehensive plan requires the City of Austin to take a more collaborative, cross-departmental approach to major initiatives. With this in mind, City staff has developed ways to better integrate department work programs, decision-making, and long-range budgets to align our work internally.


To read the entire 2015 Imagine Austin Annual Report online, click here. To download a PDF version, click here.

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DNA Survey Supports Sunshine Proposals

First, take our own Dawson Sunshine Proposal Survey online here.

Just today, DNA Secretary Sandy McMillan has posted the results of Julia A. Kimber’s (AKA Julie Woods) paper survey given 10 weeks ago at the April 13 Neighborhood Meeting. There were two surveys at that meeting, but only the TX Planning and Development Review Dept. survey, held in the second hour, was mentioned on the Draft Minutes published 2 months later. Why the secret?

For almost 2 years now, we’ve been struggling to work within the system, to get several sunlight proposals passed by the Members of DNA and DNPCT. The Dawson Sunshine Proposals are adjustments to DNA/DNPCT practice which will dramatically improve our neighborhood’s engagement with the Dawson Neighborhood Association, to encourage attendance through better publicity, and to adopt new Internet venues to communicate with our neighborhood electronically.

“Sunshine” means to shine light upon, or make available, information and activities which would otherwise be hidden from view. It is not a negative term. We are focused on the benefits for our neighbors.

For almost 2 years, our emails and calls have gone un-returned, our efforts to present the Proposals at meetings have been cut off “due to time” or “not being on the Agenda”. Open debate about the proposals online has been flooded with scorn, mockery and calculated misinformation by DNA & DNPCT Officers.

Then, at the April 13th Meeting, Julie presents her surprise survey… Clearly based upon our 6 Dawson Sunshine Proposals, but re-engineered and phrased such that they certainly didn’t reflect the intent and spirit we intended. We were not invited to collaborate on this, nor even given any advance warning this would take place. We do not accept this survey as a substitute for Members discussing and voting on them. This is not good leadership!

The method by which Julie faithfully tabulated the answers is unknown. The tone of the “Analysis” she attached to the end is our only clue of how she intended to use the data gathered. Of 46 people in attendance, no more than 17 people answered any given question. Many folks did not answer all questions, so we only know there were at least 17 respondents. Julie’s tabulation at the end suggests there were 21 respondents. Let’s work our way through the questions as they appear on Sandy McMillan’s website, and finish with a critique of Julie’s “Analysis” attached there. (more…)

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