Construction of a new disc golf course has begun on the property behind the shopping center and behind the homes along Olive Hill. Alan Crudden, Davis Spring resident, has graciously volunteered to help keep the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department in constant dialog with our neighborhood. Alan has compiled a list of questions and answers in his initial contact with the city. If you have any additional questions or concerns that are not covered by this document below, please attend the next DSHOA board meeting on August 21. A representative from the City of Austin Parks and Recreation department should be present. Special thanks to Alan Crudden for his proactiveness in this matter.
Q1: Who is the current owner of the property and why is it being turned into a park?
A1: The Davis Springs Properties LTD (DSP) owns the property and, as owners, must pay expenses (taxes, insurance, etc.) on it although the land is designated as a greenbelt and can’t be developed to generate a profit. DSP has previously offered the land to the DSHOA but it was declined for those very reasons. DSP has reached an agreement to donate the land to the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department (“PARD”).
PARD has been looking for ways to increase park offerings in the Parmer area. The linear greenbelt south of Olive Hill is owned by the Davis Springs Commercial Property Owners Association. PARD tried to have this property dedicated for a trail system, but a majority of Commercial Property Owners Association members have failed to attend the meetings where the topic would be discussed.
Note: The pond lot is currently privately owned and not a part of the Davis Springs Commercial Association.
Q2: When will the park open and what’s happening between now and then?
A2: The park is projected to open in November. In the meantime, the DSP is preparing the land per PARD specifications.
Q3: Who will be responsible for maintenance – cutting the grass, picking up trash, etc.?
Q4: What features will the park have?
A4: The park will have a 9-hole disc golf course designed by John Houck, a professional disc golf designer who has done dozens of courses, including many in Texas. Each hole will have a concrete pad acting as a “tee” or “launch pad”; longer fairways will have an additional launch pad closer to the hole.
Q5: Who picked a disc golf course and why?
A5: PARD, along with the City of Austin Watershed Department, assessed the drainage requirements and came to the conclusion that a small disc golf course would be acceptable. No further improvements are planned. Watershed preferred disc golf to walking trails so that traffic in the drainage area is contained to the course area. They do not want users walking on the berms or other vital parts of the drainage infrastructure.
Q6: What will be done about trash?
A6: PARD will place trash receptacles at easy to reach locations for picking up the trash. Locations and schedules for pick-up have not yet been set. PARD will have signage to encourage park visitors to “pack it in, pack it out”.
Q7: How will PARD access the park for maintenance?
A7: PARD will access the property through the Neenah Ave entrance marked by the two posts.
Q8: Will picnicking, grilling/cooking, and camping be allowed in the park?
Q9: Will alcohol be allowed in the park?
A9: Alcohol consumption is allowed in Austin parks unless otherwise designated; alcohol sales are prohibited without a permit. The PARD Director may designate this as a “prohibited” park for alcohol consumption based on (1) the nature and use of the area; (2) the use of surrounding land; (3) the relationship between the area and the surrounding community; (4) a problem caused by sale, possession, or consumption of alcohol in the area; and (5) other factors the director determines are relevant.
Q10: Are there walking trails in the park?
A10: There are no dedicated walking trails; however you can walk the fairways (being observant of flying objects and courteous of the players).
Q11: Where will people park – on Neenah Ave.?
A11: This will be designated as a “neighborhood park,” meant to serve residents in close proximity who arrive by foot or bicycle. No parking will be provided at this time. (Davis Springs residents and their guests could, of course, park in our lot near the pool.)
Note: Because this is not a full 18-hole course, it will not attract tournament play and the traffic that generates. Serious players will almost certainly favor the more extensive 18-hole disc golf course at the Brushy Creek Sports Park about three miles away.
Q12: What will be the restrictions on pets?
A12: Watershed has asked that No Pet signs be placed at the park entrances. They do not want pet waste in the drainage area.
Q13: Will benches, water fountains, and restrooms be provided?
Q14: What signage will be provided?
A14: PARD will erect a sign on Neenah Ave. designating the entrance to the park. The sign may include additional information on restrictions (pets, camping, cooking, etc.)
Q15: What hours will the park be open and how will those hours be enforced?
A15: Per PARD rules, the operating hours are from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. unless otherwise set by the PARD Director. Operating hours will be included on the signage.
Q16: Will smoking or vaping be allowed in the park?
A16: No (per city ordinance).
Q17: What will be done about the easement located near the Irondale/Olive Hill intersection?
A17: The easement will transfer as part of this agreement. PARD will maintain that area, but it will not be posted/listed as an entrance to the park although it can be used as such.
Q18: My home borders on the park and I have some items stored behind my fence – is that okay?
A18: DSP will clear debris and trash from the area being transferred to PARD. DSP has the right to ask the home property owners to remove encroachments. Details will be discussed at upcoming DSHOA meetings.
Q19: My home borders on the park – what’s going with the land between me and the fairways?
A19: Some of the trees and brush have not been cleared because they either form part of the border for the fairway or provide a privacy barrier for your home. PARD has a Forestry Dept. that can take care of tree issues once the land becomes city parkland. Contact PARD’s forester,Amanda Hancock (Amanda.Hancock@austintexas.gov), for assistance with tree maintenance.
Q20: What lighting will be provided?
Q21: What plans does PARD have for dealing with the feral hogs which continue to frequent the area in significant numbers?
A21: No plans have been made. PARD expects that increased use of the area and the clearing of underbrush will discourage activity
Note: This document will be amended as more information becomes available.