Ardent Development Follow-Up

As you may recall, in April 2011, Brett Denton and Art Carpenter (Ardent Development) met with BNA Representatives, as well as affected neighbors, regarding their desire to extend VMU (Vertical Mixed Use) zoning to a large tract along Burnet Road (between Clay and Adams) -- see notice from earlier post.

The neighbors and BNA reps expressed specific concerns about the access to the project (primarily multi-family) that was along Adams Ave. Ardent approached the City Transportation planners about providing a signal and pedestrian crossing at Adams and Burnet (at Ardent's expense), but the City would not support this effort. BNA reps had made it clear to Ardent that without this component and considering the opposition of affected neighbors, that we would not be able to support the VMU application.

In light of the City's stance to not support resolution of the neighborhood's concerns regarding access to the site, Ardent notified BNA that as of June 24, 2011, they have withdrawn their request for VMU. BNA reps and Ardent both regret that there was not more support from the City to work towards a creative solution that could benefit both the neighborhood and their proposed development.

In light of this situation, Ardent is proceeding with developing a multi-family project on the site without the added density allowed by VMU. They may develop VMU on the Burnet portion of the tract (existing), but this is entirely optional. They will be filing documents for a Site Development Permit shortly.

It was BNA's hope to use Ardent's desire for VMU to rectify access issues for these commercial tracts, but without the City's willingness this could unfortunately not be done. If you are a neighbor in this area, you can file as and "interested party" to track the status of the Site Development Permit and provide input as applicable.

The currently proposed project (multi-family) is allowed within the existing zoning and without requests for waivers or variances, there will be no official vehicle for public input regarding this project. BNA thanks Ardent for their willingness to meet with Brentwood early in the process and their candor about the proposed plans. We also really appreciate all of the neighbors on Clay and Adams for their interest in this project and willingness to be involved.

APD Commander's Forum Re-Cap

On June 27th, I attended the APD Commander's Forum to meet with our two police liaisons for Brentwood and meet with other neighbors in Region 1. This region consists of Baker sector (Brentwood south of North Loop) and Ida sector (Brentwood from Justin Lane to North Loop). Our two district representatives are Ofc. Gary Griffin (Ida-4) and Ofc. Rolando Gutierrez (Baker-3).

In 2011, APD was reorganized; the good news is that violent crime was down approximately 11% in Brentwood (never a serious problem in our area, except for the occasional incident). Residential buglaries were down 9% in Baker, but up 38% in Ida. Note that this is sector-wide, so does not reflect crime in Brentwood only. That said, we have noticed an increase in property crimes in recent months.

One area that will be a focus for APD in coming months (that does affect our area) is the transient motels along Lamar Blvd., and the associated crimes of drugs, prostitution and theft in the eastern portion Brentwood. Officers assured us that they will be cracking down on problems in this area that will hopefully result in less "overflow" crime in Brentwood.

As always, APD strongly suggests that you mark your property with your Driver's License number (NOT your Social Security number) and have a full inventory (including serial numbers) of all of your possessions. Also, always lock your doors and windows (your car too), as many criminals are opportunistic and can easily find unlocked doors with little effort. It's important to realize that we live in a city and need to be vigilant of our surroundings and responsible for protecting ourselves and belongings.

APD has a new burglary unit that should help with the types of crimes that Brentwood is experiencing. The neighborhood association is also focusing on bringing Neighborhood Watch to every block in Brentwood -- but this effort relies on YOU volunteering to by a Block Captain and helping your neighbors be safe and secure.

The next Commander's Forum is scheduled for October 18, 2011 at McCallum HS. Come out and learn more about what APD is doing to help us in central Austin!

AIDS Walk Austin 2011

We recently received the following invitation from AIDS Services of Austin; if you are interested in supporting them (and representing Brentwood), see the links to register below. They do great work for our community!


We at AIDS Services of Austin (ASA) are contacting you because we would love to have a Brentwood Team participate in AIDS Walk Austin 2011 on Sunday, October 16 at 2 pm. The walk is a great way to promote teamwork within your community, raise awareness for HIV/AIDS, and help provide direct services and HIV prevention education to the people of Austin.

There are an estimated 6,000 people living with HIV and AIDS in Central Texas. About 20 percent of those 6,000 people are unaware of their status. We walk to honor, remember, and to raise funds to address this issue in our community. The money you help raise goes to AIDS Services of Austin and the fundraising teams of Austin’s other outstanding AIDS service and education providers! Of every dollar donated to ASA, 87% goes directly to services, a mark of good stewardship. There are no minimum fundraising requirements, and our staff provides you with online tools to make fundraising easy!

If your community would like to participate in AIDS Walk Austin 2011, all you need is a team captain and a team of walkers! The team captain can be any individual with a passion for community service or a personal connection to HIV/AIDS. The team captain can register your team by going to, and selecting “register”, then clicking on form a team; by calling us at 512-458-2437; or by emailing us at If your potential team captain has questions, he/she can contact me at

If there’s anything I can do for you between now and the Walk, or if I can answer any questions you might have, let me know. Thanks again for rising to the challenge of addressing AIDS together as a community!

Jessie Hurd
Walk Team Coordinator, Intern
Development Department
AIDS Services of Austin
(t) 512-406-6112
(f) 512-452-3299

Changes to Woodrow Ave.

The City of Austin Public Works Department is considering some changes to Woodrow Ave. between Koenig and Anderson Lane. The primary focus is to make this neighborhood collector street more compatible with and safer for bicycles. There will be opportunity for public input of the affected neighbors. See the City's notice for more information at:

Austin’s GREEN CITY Program

Will you rise to the challenge?

The City of Austin's Green City Challenge offers a master checklist of small, positive habits all citizens can make to conserve natural resources – it’s organized as a game that individuals or groups can play. Learn how to make lifestyle improvements in transportation, energy, water, gardening, pet care, and more. Challenge yourself, your household, or your entire neighborhood to join. It’s fun, easy, and rewarding – participants save money and win prizes!

Individuals or households who become “Green Neighbors” win t-shirts or passes to Barton Springs pool. Schools, businesses, streets, and neighborhoods that certify as “Green Neighborhoods” receive an Austin City Council proclamation, recognition on the City’s website and in Austin Energy’s newsletter, a 2-hour landscape design consultation, and more!

The Green City Challenge program coordinator will be on-site before ANC’s monthly meeting on June 22 to provide more information and booklets – look for the City’s table outside of the conference room. You can also pick up a free Challenge booklet at Austin Public libraries - or request enough booklets for a group by calling 311. Find the Green City Challenge online at

Save Your Trees!

The drought is taking a toll on everything, including your trees. Our lovely trees are a big part of what makes the hoods so desirable and they are going to need our help this summer.

Here is some information from the City of Austin about how to help water your trees:

Tree Watering for Distressed Trees

The exceptional drought central Texas has experienced this year is taking its toll on Austin’s trees. Many trees are showing signs of drought-related stress such as branches dying and leaves wilting, turning brown, or dropping early. Generally, healthy trees can successfully tolerate drought conditions, but more mature trees, very young trees or trees experiencing problems with pests or disease have higher risk of decline. Watering distressed and newly planted trees is important until the rain begins falling more regularly.

Following are some tips on watering trees. Along with these tips it is important to keep in mind the water conservation guidelines that the City may have during various stages of drought. Please see the City of Austin Water Conservation website for more information: .

Tree Watering Tips How often to water? Distressed trees should be watered at least once every two weeks after the last significant rainfall.

When to water? If you water the tree with a hand held water hose, you can water any time on any day. You can water before 10am on your watering day with an irrigation system, and using a hose end sprinkler you can water after 7pm on your watering day.

How much water? This general guideline can be used to determine how much water your tree needs. For each inch of trunk diameter (width across) measured at knee height, the tree will need about 5 gallons. A 12” tree, then, would need about 5 x 12 = 60 gal of water. Time: When you hand water using a hose at medium pressure, it will take approximately 2.5 minutes to produce 5 gallons of water. For example, a 10” diameter tree should have a total watering time of 10” x 2.5 minutes = 25 minutes.

Adjust the watering time according to the method of application. Using a drip or soaker hose will take significantly more time to release 5 gallons of water than an open hose at medium pressure. Consider performing your own experiment at home to determine your application rate! Feel free to email us with your results.

Methods of watering: Slower application rates are always recommended. This can be accomplished by any of the following methods.

Use a slow drip out of an open ended hose or spray nozzle Use a soaker hose Use 5-gallon buckets or water bottles with a few 1⁄4” holes drilled into the bottom.

Fill these with water and place the over the roots of the tree.

Deep watering, well below the soil surface is recommended. Use mulch or small berms on slopes, heavy soils (clays), and compacted soils to assure water is soaking in and not running off onto paved surfaces. Do not let water pool up. Be sure to establish a personal reminder (i.e. tie a string around your finger) so that you do not forget that you are watering your tree.

Where do trees need water? Try to water the soil area that is directly beneath the foliage and shaded by the tree (under the drip-line).

Young trees that have been in the ground less than two years have under- developed root systems, so concentrate water near the planting area.

Old, large trees can be extensively watered over the entire area under their foliage, but avoid the area three feet from the trunk.

Avoid Water Run Off- The ground may be hard, so you might need to modify your watering approach to allow water to soak in towards the roots. Water run off does not help your trees, wastes precious water resources and costs you money.

How else can trees be protected from drought?

Mulching trees with a three to four inch layer of hardwood mulch conserves water and decreases the amount of water that evaporates from the soil, aids in water and air penetration, and cools the soil. Keep mulch six inches away from the trunk, because mulch mounded around the trunk can lead to trunk health issues. Regular maintenance that is designed to promote tree health and vigor ensures that their health and value will continue to provide benefits for decades to come.

For more information about tree care visit:

A neighborhood gardener recently posted a great idea about getting FREE large, plastic buckets from the bakery department at HEB. (Apparently, they use these for mixing dough and they don't recycle them.) Punch or drill some decent holes in the bottom. Place several of them around the tree line (NOT within 3 feet of the trunk!) and fill them. They'll drip somewhat slowly, you'll get a good watering and won't forget to turn off the sprinkler!

As you might have noticed, there are lots of new trees and plants at Brentwood Park and up and down the arroyo. Feel free to dump your water bottles on them as you're walking home or finishing up at the park. While we do have designated waterers, I don't think any of them can get TOO much these days. Every little bit helps.

Thanks neighbors!

Michele on Ruth