Anchored on the south by the rapidly changing Crestview, Allandale, and Wooten neighborhoods, District 7 is in transition, and planning issues are very important here. Military veteran Ed English, formerly of Austinites for Geographic Representation (behind the original 10-1 initiative), argues that single-family homeowners fear the ongoing rewrite of the zoning codes. "They want to have some sense of protection."
That echoes urban planner and Crestview resident Melissa Zone, who says she "provided volunteer planning consulting services to help families in Northwest Austin halt the placement of multifamily units on single-family lots." Former Ending Community Homelessness Coalition member Pete Salazar advocates responsible growth while maintaining "organic cultures that make Austin Austin." He proposes, rather than incentivizing outside businesses to relocate here, incentivizing Austin businesses "to promote Austin culture and let it grow throughout the United States."
Allandale resident and Stepping Stone Schools planning director Jimmy Paver arguably has the most hands-on political experience, as both a congressional and state legislative aide. He describes the area as "a semiaffluent district with some high-needs issues," and notes that intensive development can be directed away from established areas and into desirable stretches like Howard Lane. "I'm not for rezoning an entire neighborhood," he said, "but if you have a granny flat or a duplex, that's not going to destroy the character of your neighborhood."
Attorney Jeb Boyt has worked in both the attorney general's office and the Railroad Commission, but is probably best known for serving on the Downtown Commission and the Parks and Recreation Board. Perennial candidate Josiah Ingalls (mayor 2009, State Board of Education 2010, Council 2011) returns to the ballot, hoping for greater success among a smaller electorate. And in a late add last week, longtime Dem activist Leslie Pool has filed a treasurer designation for District 7.
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