River Place ZAP hearing postponed until Feb.

The city of Austin Zoning and Platting Commission was to hold a public hearing on Jan. 17 for the two zoning cases that affect River Place but it has been postponed. The next target date for the hearing is Feb 21 subject to commission approval.

It has been over 1.5 years since Milestone Community Builders filed their zoning request to add 110 homes at the end of Milky Way Drive. This postponement will mean that it has been rescheduled nine times. This postponement was requested by Jonathan Tommey of the Autism Trust, said Ted Gaunt, who lives on Milky Way.

“The latest from Milestone indicates that they want 82 homes and roads to fit into about 35 acres of buildable land,” Gaunt said. “However, if we matched the existing zoning on Milky Way, then the location would support a much lower density of less than 30 homes.”

City zoning staff as looked at this and recommended that the zoning should match The Preserve ( Milky Way and Merry Wing) for the most-part, and has identified 30,000-square-feet minimum lot size as being supportive of zoning regulations. Under that recommendation, Milestone might build 45-50 homes, Gaunt said.

Viper project spreads positivity to others

Three Vandegrift sophomores — Tate Watson, Camille Digiaimo and Brandi Killingsworth — use their “Ripple Effect” project to share positivity with Kelly Killingsworth’s first grade class at Laura Welch Bush Elementary.

By BLAKELY DIMIERO
Vandegrift Voice

To attempt to spread happiness and positivity to others, Vandegrift sophomores Tate Watson, Camille Digiaimo and Brandi Killingsworth worked together and created a positivity project called the “Ripple Effect” that was used by Kelly Killingsworth’s first grade class at Laura Welch Bush Elementary.

“We thought it would be good if we were trying to spread those ideas to them while they are young,” Digiaimo said. “Especially since we started the project the first day after break, we were giving them a new mindset for the year.”

The VHS sophomores are members of FCCLA which stands for Family, Career and Career Leaders of America. To participate and compete in this program, students must be enrolled or have taken a family consumer science course.

The “Ripple Effect” is a project intended to spread positivity to others. The first graders had a week to focus on the positive things during their days, and at the end of the week, came together and talked about how their week had been.

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River Place ZAP hearing postponed until Feb.

TxDOT details RM 620 plans Jan. 25

By LYNETTE HAALAND
Four Points News

The Steiner Ranch Neighborhood Association is hosting a Community Meeting on Transportation next week where Texas Department of Transportation and Travis County officials will share the status of the RM 620/ RM 2222 bypass plans, talk about the next round of improvements along RM 620, and discuss the new light going in at RM 620 and Steiner Ranch Boulevard.

“It is very important that we demonstrate our common interest and enthusiasm for turning these ideas into reality,” said Brian Thompto, SRNA chairman. “Please plan to attend and bring your friends and neighbors to show support and bring your voice to the discussion on our traffic future.”

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River Place zoning dispute delays plans for autism center

ZAP hearing postponed until Feb.

By CASSIE MCKEE
Four Points News

A River Place zoning dispute could possibly jeopardize Jonathan and Polly Tommey’s dream of opening a center for adults with autism.

“We’re in a sticky situation where we can’t really move forward,” said Jonathan Tommey. “We wanted this to move a lot faster than it has in the last year and a half.”

The Tommeys moved to River Place from the U.K. in 2012 with the mission of opening a state-of-the-art center where adults with autism could live and work. They learned first-hand about autism after their son, Billy, was diagnosed with the disorder at the age of 2.

In 2007, while in the U.K., Polly Tommey founded The Autism Trust, a non-profit organization with the mission of providing vocational, educational, wellness, and semi-independent residential programs for individuals with autism.

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Local Muslims optimistic as fire investigation continues

By KIM ESTES
Four Points News

Members of the Islamic Center of Lake Travis remain optimistic notwithstanding an early morning fire on Jan. 7 that destroyed their future community center, said Shakeel Rashed, ICLT board member.

“Our community has always been very open and optimistic, and we remain the same through this moment of difficulty, especially with all the love and support we have received during this time,” said Rashed, a Steiner Ranch resident.

On Sunday, Solidarity with the Community was held by ICLT and Lake Travis United Methodist Church to show unanimity among the community regardless of individual affiliations. Representatives from all religious groups were invited, including Jews, Christians, Muslims and all other faiths. The Travis County Fire Marshal Tony Callaway and others also spoke at the event.

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