Eyes on Tillery Street Pecan Groves

RECEIVED Sun., April 19, 2020

Dear Editor,
    On April 21 at 7:30pm, Austin Housing Finance Corporation is having a community meeting to discuss an affordable housing project on Tillery Street. The seven acres in question are mostly grassland, and the site of a historic stone house and well, which was demolished by the city last year without permit. Also located on this land are two acres referred to locally as the Tillery Street Pecan Grove. It is Govalle Neighborhood Association's position that this area, which is home to some pecan trees which are 70 years old, and many others that are 50 years old, should be preserved for present and future generations. The entire area is currently zoned as single family, and we would like to support higher density zoning, even up to MF-3, to support as many affordable housing opportunities as possible, while preserving this green space.
    Barred owls, red-tailed hawks, blue birds live in these trees. Whistling ducks often rest in this area, in addition to lots of other winged visitors. Pecan pickers come to the area every season and have for generations. Flood and sound mitigation, air quality, and preservation of Austin's tree canopy, is also important, as this area lies between Airport Boulevard and Tillery Street. The area usually has a lot of traffic and is the location of one of the highest rate of population increases in the city.
    Please consider advocating for affordable housing at the same time as quality of life for current residents of the area and preservation of the environment.
    The expensive housing market, low wages, and income inequality in Austin may be ameliorated over time, but once these trees are cut down, it can never be undone. These pecan trees are historic landmarks of the Eastside and should be protected.
    With increased density and community support for the future housing project, this can be a win-win situation for everyone involved.
    More information and opportunity for community input can be found at this website: https://gardnerdevelopmentatx.com/tillery-street/?fbclid=IwAR1d3K2OypTSM2p-BVZGvMFTJvXJ1KTla_kCiSllUtyx16UZ4STrJeFXhw0
Brigitte Brieschke
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