The 2nd Norwood community input meeting took place on May17 with good attendance by restoration and dog park advocates. PARD Project Manager Marty Stump opened by acknowledging that inaction & lack of funding created the twin problems of a totally neglected house and the long lifespan of a “temporary” dog park. Jaime Beaman, principal of Casabella Architects, reviewed the previous meeting and presented redevelopment options. OLA (off-leash area) advocates reliably pressed their case for retention of the dog park. PARD project manager Marty noted the history of the dog park and said PARD has decided that it will be relocated once a suitable, nearby, replacement is ready. The pace of PARD decision- making indicates such a move will take quite some time.
The consultants presented a variety of interesting ideas: several water features, small amphitheater, noise deadening berms between the park and IH 35, images of new structures that came nowhere near to reflecting the character of the neighborhood, etc.
The second half of the meeting had attendees at three work tables discussing three options:
1: Restoration of the house and grounds
2: Deconstruction of the house and replacement with a new structure and enhancement of the grounds
3: Redevelopment of the entire property with no structure, or perhaps with a pavilion.
The third meeting is July 20, when three final options for the future, with associated costs will be presented. The costs for restoration will be based on comparable projects around the country, not on the volunteer/donation based plan developed by the Norwood Posse.
Restoration is always the most expensive (using comparable costs), yet is also the greenest/sustainable option. Possible demolition remains an option, as required by PARD. Not required,but desired by the Norwood Posse, is a plan to insure that the redeveloped park ,and redone, house is financially self sufficient.
Consequently the mission is clear for those of us who would like to see the house look like it did in its finest days. Motivate taxpayers to join us in this demonstration project about how community volunteers can cut the cost of government by helping fix what’s broke. This needs to be done soon, so if you decide you can help, know that this is very short term commitment.
Community input is still possible by sending your thoughts to Marty at email@example.com
Or visit the PARD website :http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/parks/norwoodtract.htm
I am available at 447-2150 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out the blog at restorenorwood.posterous.com