Parks and Environment
Our bylaws state: “Work toward development and preservation of natural green spaces, parks, trees, landscaping, and general land-use management.”
Urban watershed, creek protection, and tree protection are a major focus of this committee. We are involved with the protection and maintenance of Zilker Park, Little Zilker Neighborhood Park (adjacent to Zilker Elementary School), Auditorium Shores, Butler Shores, and the other public areas bordering Lady Bird Lake. We participate in the Friends of Little Zilker Neighborhood Park, a group of volunteers that looks after the park (such as watering recently planted trees in times of drought) and funding/organizing park improvements there.
We are also involved with greenbelts within the neighborhood, the creation of new neighborhood parks and public open spaces, and monitoring and assisting in the management of park events.
The Zoning Committee advocates land use policies to the City of Austin that incorporate sensible balances with regard to growth, density, and preserving the unique character of our neighborhood. The committee works with commercial and residential developers and advocates for compatible pedestrian and bike-friendly projects. We also advise residents and businesses how to comply with the City of Austin’s land use ordinances. We may or may not support zoning changes and consider requests to the City on a case-by-case basis. We do not support variances for homes and other construction projects at Board of Adjustment meetings unless there is a “qualified hardship.” (This is a narrowly defined legal term whose provisions are difficult to meet.)
The Zoning Committee’s mission with regard to sound is twofold:
- To advocate sensible policies for outdoor music venues and other amplified events to the City of Austin that are compatible with the Zilker Neighborhood.
- To advise neighborhood businesses that wish to provide outdoor music venues in appropriate locations how to comply with the City of Austin’s sound ordinance. The City requires such businesses to obtain permits, either temporary or yearly.
City of Austin permits allow the venues (usually a restaurant or bar) to provide amplified music outdoors within certain decibel and time limits on designated days of the week. If the venue violates the terms of the permit, the permit may not be renewed.
Mobility and Transportation
The Mobility and Transportation Committee was created to address the need for sidewalks, bike lanes, trails, bus stops, and pedestrian-friendly streets in the neighborhood; develop strategies to mitigate parking and traffic congestion in the neighborhood; promote improvements to South Lamar Boulevard; and facilitate connectivity to Zilker Park and the Hike and Bike Trail.
The committee also coordinates with Wabucy Zilker. Wabucy Zilker (Walk, Bus, Cycle) is a group of neighbors organized to increase walking, bus riding, and cycling for transportation and advocate for related infrastructure improvements in the Zilker/South Lamar area.
Austin Neighborhoods Council Representative (not a committee, but noteworthy)
The ANC rep attends meetings, votes, and keeps the ZNA informed about various resolutions at the larger umbrella organization for Austin neighborhoods.