River Place ignored by city on disannexation vote information  


Four Points News

The homeowners of one property in River Place are going to be able to vote in the May 4 election to disannex from the city of Austin. River Place leaders have been reaching out to the city and City Council but have not heard back how this vote will affect the greater community.

“The HOA and Limited District boards both believe it would be the preferred outcome to have the outparcels disannexed from the city of Austin,” shared Tim Mattox, a longtime River Place resident who has been an annexation reform advocate. “Although there is no immediate defined use for the outparcels, this would give the LD more control over how they are used in the future.”  

On February 1, City Council approved an ordinance calling for an election in River Place Outparcels of District 10.

River Place Outparcels include a small area by the water treatment plant and one resident’s property on lower Big View Drive. That homeowner gets a chance to vote in the May 4 election if they want to disannex from the city of Austin.

River Place was annexed by the city of Austin in 2017 but prior to that, Mattox championed the cause for the community not to be annexed. He has spoken out against forced annexation. Texas annexation laws have changed with the help of his work.  

“The outparcels were part of River Place MUD-owned land that were annexed by the city after the overall MUD member residential properties were annexed. This later date made them eligible for disannexation under Texas Legislature HB 3053 that passed in 2023,” shared Mattox. Note, the overall River Place residential properties were not eligible, except for the one property on lower Big View.  

“It appears that the only person voting on this item will be the owner of the affected Big View property, as the outparcels have no residential lots included on them, and only residents can vote,” Mattox shared.

The HOA and LD boards have reached out to the city for clarification if this is indeed how the vote will occur but have received no official response, he added. 

“If for some reason the vote does appear on River Place LD member ballots, then the recommendation is to vote for disannexation,” Mattox said.

When Four Points News reached out to Alison Alter, City Council Member District 10, to explain more about what this vote will mean to River Place, her office shared the same statement that it did in February: 

“The city of Austin is bound to respect this election and process, as required by the legislature. I will support a smooth transition if the voters choose disannexation, but I hope that residents of areas weighing disannexation will learn about what services they will lose before the vote happens.”

Four Points News pointed out to Alter that the River Place boundaries only affect one homeowner and other River Place Limited District lands. Alter’s office did not share any more insights or comments as to how this will affect the greater River Place area. 

Alter’s office followed up with: “The boundaries are determined by state statute.”

River Place leadership has been frustrated with the lack of information about the disannexation.

Joe Freeman, president of the River Place Limited District, shared: “The district’s board of directors has not taken an official position on this matter.”

Although the River Place HOA members do not get to vote on this, members still have been curious about how this could affect the community.

“From my perspective, there is not much information out there… we reached out to the City and Council Member Alison Alter, and heard nothing back,” shared John Gillis Jr., River Place HOA president. “We wanted to educate the neighborhood on the topic since it is on the ballot. Very frustrating.”