The Lavaca Neighborhood Association is busy planning for the new year and a new Board of Directors. We are looking for neighbors who care enough about our ever-growing community to step up as leaders and share their time and expertise. Serving on the Board of Directors is a rewarding way to put your commitment to a safe and thriving Lavaca neighborhood into action.
Nominations from the floor will be accepted at our November General Meeting on November 12, 2013, and directors will be elected at our Annual Meeting on January 14, 2014. They are elected to serve one-year terms and are eligible to serve three consecutive terms.
Please contact Syeira Budd at email@example.com or 210-827-9931 for more information.
The San Antonio Housing Authority (SAHA) invites everyone to participate in the next public meeting regarding the Victoria Commons development.
When: Tuesday, July 16, 6:00 pm
Where: San Antonio Housing Authority, 818 S. Flores
- Update attendees on the status of the development plans for the area adjacent to Artisan Park Townhomes.
- Update attendees on the status of the Leigh Street single‐family housing, SAHA administration building, and park area.
- Inform attendees of the Leigh Street area design charrette.
- Provide attendees with an opportunity to indicate interest in charrette participation.
II. Update on area adjacent to Artisan Park Townhomes
a. Market Study
b. Stakeholder Interviews ‐ July 17 to July 31
III. Update on Leigh Street single-family housing, SAHA Administration Building, and park area
a. Status of development
b. Charrette – Tentative August 9 and August 10
For more information, please contact Kathy McCormick, 210.477.6007 or firstname.lastname@example.org
VIA Metropolitan Transit invites you to a presentation by Charlie Gonzalez and members of their management team regarding the alternative streetcar routes currently being studied and VIA’s vision for the future of public transportation in the San Antonio area.
When: Wednesday, July 10, 6:30 pm
Where: Blue Star Brewing Company, 1414 S. Alamo #105 (meeting will be held in the back room)
While we were able to plan and implement successful National Night Out block parties the last two years, we have less volunteer participation this year and are therefore behind in our planning process. The LNA board has discussed these realities and decided not to pursue a large-scale block party this year.
The opportunity for Lavaca to celebrate NNO on Tuesday, October 1, 2013, is definitely still there, just on a smaller scale. Perhaps there are neighbors willing to organize a casual potluck gathering like we have done in the past? Or organize small parties geared towards getting to know the neighbors who live in your immediate vicinity? Either way, the LNA will support any such gatherings and continue to promote NNO as an excellent opportunity for neighbors to visit with each other and leave porch lights on in an effort to raise awareness about crime prevention and build neighborhood camaraderie.
Please contact email@example.com if you are willing to host a small NNO gathering this year. We need YOUR participation!
Celebrate summer with your neighbors at the Lavaca Neighborhood Association’s next gathering! Refreshing watermelon provided by the LNA. Thanks to the The Friendly Spot for hosting this annual tradition. They’ll have cold drinks and food available to purchase.
When: Tuesday, July 9, 7:00 – 8:00 pm
Where: The Friendly Spot, 943 S. Alamo (we will gather in the back area)
Last week’s working group meeting with SAHA was attended by a good mix of neighbors who showed up to share their perspectives about the Victoria Commons Master Plan. Although the meeting was originally planned for a small number of invited neighbors to discuss next steps with SAHA, it was great to have more neighbors in attendance. Thank you to those who took the time to show up and participate. I’ve included a brief recap below of what SAHA shared at the meeting.
SAHA reported that they have heard the community when it comes to:
- More for-sale townhomes adjacent to existing townhomes.
- No more than 20% “affordable” units.
SAHA also stated their commitment to:
- Conduct a market study to assess for-sale and for-rent markets.
- Increase the number of new townhomes adjacent to Artisan Park.
- Reduce the number of multi-family rental units adjacent to Artisan Park.
- Build, as planned, 24 single-family homes on Leigh Street.
- Increase the percentage of market rate units.
- Continue to work with Victoria Commons and Lavaca residents to finalize the master plan.
SAHA’s very next steps are to:
- Order a market study, a process which will include one townhome representative and one neighborhood representative.
- Move forward with implementing the Leigh Street single-family homes phase.
- Improve communications with the neighborhood.
I believe SAHA was receptive to our recent board statement, but there is still much work to be done as we move towards an acceptable plan for the remaining phases. The master plan as currently proposed has not been vetted by the SAHA board, and the community’s concerns and ideas are very much up for discussion. Please let your voice be heard by attending future community meetings (yet to be scheduled), speaking at the “Citizens to be Heard” portion of SAHA board meetings, contacting our elected representatives, and/or sending me your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On June 4, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Lavaca Neighborhood Association approved the following statement regarding the San Antonio Housing Authority’s Victoria Commons Master Plan:
- We support the Artisan Park Townhome owners’ desire that SAHA develop new townhomes as planned on the empty lots adjacent to the existing townhomes.
- We recognize the last market study that SAHA used to update the master plan is out-of-date. We request that SAHA conduct a new market study to include input from developers and real estate professionals currently working in the Lavaca neighborhood.
- We expect SAHA to demonstrate best practices for the marketing, sale, and closing processes of current and future townhomes.
- If demand for rental units is satisfactorily proven, the market rate allocation on any developed rental units must be no less than 80%.
We also wish to reiterate the resolution adopted by the Board of Directors of the Lavaca Neighborhood Association on May 7, 2013:
- Alamo Architects reflects the interests of the community in architecture, and the community in turn supports their employment on the Victoria Commons development.
- Both architecture and material quality are critical to the development, and the Board recognizes the pursuit of quality must be reflected in the budget for the development.
- The current plans are for three-story structures on Peyton Path which will “step down” to two stories on the southern edge which will face single-family homes. The Board notes that this is an increase in density over what was planned and recognizes the value of this “product” to the developers. Board support is predicated on achieving quality in architecture and materials.
- The articulation from Peyton Path to Labor Street is recognized by the Board as providing an edge to the park development and enhancing the “portal” of the three-story architecture.
- The plan for subsidized and market rate single-family homes has been long supported by the community. The Board reinforces the value of providing opportunities to separate builders who construct distinct houses under design guidelines which are reviewed by a committee inclusive of community members.
Tommy and Charles have been living in San Antonio since 1997 — first in Terrell Hills, and now at La Cascada on the Riverwalk (it’s between King William and the heart of downtown).
Tommy is a Texas boy. He grew up in Conroe TX, and comes from a long line of ‘Conroe-ians’. His parents, grandparents and great grandparents all grew up there. Tommy left Conroe to attend college at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville where he majored in accounting. After graduating, he went to work for Zales Jewelers and spent many years working for the retail establishment, moving to different stores during his tenure. He worked in management positions in the Huntsville, Palestine, and Houston stores, earning recognition as Zales’ top manager in the US for three years running.
We received the following statement last night from Kathy McCormick, SAHA’s Development Services and Neighborhood Revitalization Officer:
SAHA is in the early stages of the planning process for the completion of Victoria Commons. We are committed to a truly collaborative effort with our neighborhood associations, community leaders, elected officials and the residents of Victoria Commons, just as we were with the previous successful phases of the development.
The purpose for presenting the draft Victoria Commons master plan at the recent community meeting was to generate discussion and feedback. That feedback included requests for additional information and alternative options, which SAHA and the developer are researching at this time.
SAHA welcomes and appreciates the concerns that have been shared, and we will be hosting a number of future meetings to discuss together the best approaches for the remaining phases of Victoria Commons. Future updates and meeting schedules will be posted on the SAHA website.
My sincere thanks to all of the neighbors who attended the LNA general meeting last week to listen and share input about SAHA’s updated Victoria Commons Master Plan. Your outpouring of concern for how this development moves forward showed a deep commitment to the diversity and vibrance of the Lavaca community.
The LNA Board of Directors does not yet have an official statement to share, but I am comfortable letting you all know that the general consensus I’ve heard from board members and neighbors is that we want SAHA to 1) rethink their current proposal to replace the promised townhomes with a multi-family development and 2) know that we will not support their proposed 80/20 split for any new multi-family development. The LNA has supported the original townhome and single-family home phases of the master plan since the beginning and continues to do so.
SAHA’s board and CEO have invited a small group of neighborhood representatives to participate in a working group discussion on Thursday night. They plan on scheduling a larger community meeting(s) for everyone to attend after this initial discussion. The LNA board is very interested in the outcome of Thursday’s meeting and how that will inform us as to the next best steps for the community.
We will use the LNA website, our e-newsletter, and the Nextdoor Lavaca forum to share updates and future meeting info.
If you have any additional input that you’d like to share with the LNA, please send me an email at email@example.com.
Syeira Budd, LNA President