District 7 November Newsletter
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Happy Thanksgiving!

Have a Safe Holiday, from our District 7 Family to Yours

Ceremony at Oertli Park Recognizes Austin Family with Deep Roots

Council Member Pool joined City staff, community members, and members of the Oertli family at a ceremony to award Oertli Dairy an Official Texas Historical Marker on Friday, November 13. The designation honors the Oertli Family, who until 2005 operated one of the last dairy farms in Travis County on Dessau Road in North Austin.

The Oertli family has a long farming history in Austin stretching back to 1904, when they first arrived from Switzerland. In 2013, the family, working with developer and friend Dennis McDaniel, conveyed six acres of their property to the City as parkland 
through Parkland Dedication, which will serve the residents of new developments adjacent to the property. The preservation of this unique story is made possible through the good work of the Oertli family, the Parks and Recreation Department, Mr. McDaniel, and Land Use Solutions, which organized the ceremony. The dedication of Oertli Park and the placement of the historical marker both demonstrate the tangible benefits of historic preservation and parkland dedication – both of which Council Member Pool is actively working to support at Council. 

Council Approves Parkland Dedication Changes on First Reading

Council passed changes to the parkland dedication ordinance on first reading at their Thursday, November 12 meeting. This ordinance requires new residential development to dedicate land or pay fees to account for the impact the development has on our city’s parks, in order to ensure that development pays for itself in providing park space to new residents. 

Proposed changes to the existing ordinance are the result of a year and half long stakeholder process. They include making fees dependent on the density of the development, instead of a flat fee per unit. Additionally, the formula used for parkland dedication would increase from 5 acres per 1,000 residents to 9.4 acres, in order to ensure that Austin’s parkland keeps pace with the city’s growth. As the ordinance has not been updated since 2007 and Austin’s fees are among the lowest in the country, these increases ensure that fees match the cost of parkland acquisition.

The ordinance returns to Council December 17. The proposed changes garnered the full support of Council Member Pool at Council, as well as when the ordinance came through the Open Space, Environment, and Sustainability Committee last May. Overall, our office believes the proposed changes go a long way toward maintaining Austin’s reputation as a leader in parks and open space.

Click here to see projects which have been funded through parkland dedication in 2014.

Improvements to Ramsey Park is one example of parkland dedication funds in action! Below, neighbors volunteer at a tree planting at Ramsey on Saturday, November 21.
Public art at Ramsey Park: Visit Earth Mother by Yuliya Lanina through November 30, part of the City's Art in Public Places' TEMPO Program. Below, Anna Bradley, Art in Public Places staff member, stands with artist Yuliya Lanina and Jeff Archer of Rosedale Neighborhood Association.

Barton Springs Reopened

For anyone who enjoys a polar bear swim, Barton Springs is open again as of Friday, November 20. Although some sections of the pool remain closed due to repairs from flooding, lap swimming will not be restricted. Below is the schedule through March 11, 2016 (no admission fees charged):

5am - 8am       Daily Swim at your own risk

8am - 6pm       Daily Guarded Swim

6pm - 10pm     Daily Swim at your own risk

*Closed Thursdays from 9am - 7pm for cleaning

Barton Springs in the 1930s, via Austin History Center

80 and Older Swim for Free at All City Pools

The reopening of Barton Springs coincides with Council’s approval to allow all City residents 80 years and older to use City swimming pools for free. In October, the Open Space, Environment, and Sustainability Committee, chaired by Council Member Pool, voted to recommend free entry for residents 80 years and older to Barton Springs and all other city pools that charge admission. Previously, those who were 80 and up and wished to receive free access to Barton Springs had to submit a written request for a lifetime pass, and show that they were a regular swimmer and contributor to Barton Springs.

Burnet Block Party

Ten Thousand Villages, which recently relocated to 4803 Burnet Road in District 7, is a nonprofit, largely volunteer run shop that provides living wages to artisans in developing countries around the world. The shop will be part of a Burnet Block Party on Saturday, November 28, along with local businesses Noble Sandwich Co. and Fork & Taco. Enjoy fair trade coffee, fair trade chocolate tastings, and henna tattoos from 12 to 4 p.m. 

Copyright © 2020 Council Member Leslie Pool, District 7, All rights reserved.

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