My neighborhood of "urban homes" shows it is possible to build relatively affordable single-family homes in central Austin. (Emphasis on "relatively" -- they start at $250,000-ish, which is a good deal for new, detached housing in 78704 but obviously not everyone's idea of affordable housing.)
Today's Statesman has a little article about my neighborhood that makes the same point:
Driving through the quiet neighborhoods just south of South Lamar Boulevard and Kinney Road, you can often detect traces of an older, slower South Austin. There are no grid layouts here. The roads ramble, sometimes past tree-shrouded lots big enough to hark back to the days of cow pastures and farmhouses and pecan orchards.
Then at the south end of Kinney, you come upon a pocket of surprising density. Houses are snugly packed together and wrapped around a central green area, giving the feel of — dare we say it — a Northeastern town. In one small front yard, a mom and her baby rest on a narrow strip of grass, looking up at the sky.
This is Kinney Oaks Court, a compact development of 55 homes that broke ground a decade ago, and it feels like the South Austin of the future. In an era when we can't have it all, trade-offs must be made; will it be a big backyard, or a 78704 address within a bike ride of Barton Springs?
Ben Davis and his wife were the second family to move in here in 2000. "The main thing we got was a pretty nice big house in a really cool part of South Austin," Davis said. "And because the lot was small, it was affordable." Davis' son spends hours in the central green playing happily with pals; as in a city, kids without backyards all head for the one open space.
Across the green from the Davises, Rene Huey-Lipton and her husband, Lowell, and their two children are the latest to move in, and they already feel right at home.
"It's a great area with friendly neighbors," Huey-Lipton says. "We have teachers, artists, a City Council member — it's culturally diverse. And we're still close to downtown."
She left "influential bloggers" off her list, but then she's new. (I don't think any City Council members live in our area.)
Really no point here other than that I'm a goober who gets excited about seeing his neighborhood in the paper.