just put 2 and 2 together

So my parents neighborhood is looking at loosing a lot(or a little depending on how alarmist you are) of their greenbelt and trail because they’re planning to push through Davis Lane all the way to MoPac, and make it a road with, you know sidewalks. And possibly left hand turn lanes. And even more possibly – bike lanes. As shocking as it may seem it has been marked as a major artery for a couple decades (which makes sense if you look at a map and note it connects 5 or 6 other arteries with MoPac). The neighborhood is up in arms because they thought their greenbelt was protected (obviously not understanding what “protected” means when the city is involved). Of course they got mislead by the builder. But the plan has been there for over 20 years. Anyone looking at Davis can tell that if they do anything to the road someone’s going to loose big time.

Anyway, so that got me looking into back records about our new neighborhood on the city website. Checking for any little nasty surprises that may come up. I haven’t turned up that much of interest. I found out that Suburbia was apparently filmed at South 1st and Stassney, and I found some info on our neighborhood’s name.

I’d always though naming a neighborhood “Independence” in Austin was a bit like one of those neighborhoods in Houston that advertising having “The Patriot Collection”. Funny in a Steven Colbert kind of way, and possibly something Houstonians would really go for, but really puzzling when you think about actually trying to sell the houses to Austin residents.

So I was looking at what the plans had been for the land, and in 2001 there were going to be 3 story condos. Ah the height of the tech boom.

But in the 90s the plans were to make it a retirement community. “Independence Park”. It completely makes sense now.


I may just be cynical (ok, I’m cynical), but I’m starting to think that developers always use the “retirement community” as the opening gambit in their rezoning fights. Because apparently young people think that old people don’t drive cars and the traffic requirements will be less. Plus they like the sound of ambulances.

I now know of 4 properties that were going to be retirement communities while they were being rezoned. Then the project languished for a while, and suddenly they’re building some sort of dense single/multi family homes. Is this fairly standard or am I cynically looking at a couple of anecdotes?

They should have changed the name. Does anyone know, is changing the name of a tract nearly impossible? Why don’t developers do this to make their properties more attractive to buyers?