It is a privilege to have been elected as president of the King William Association. I am looking forward to working with our Executive Director Cherise Bell and the newly-elected board to address the issues facing our neighborhood. Our board leadership for 2016-2017 is composed of Vice President Gretchen Kragh, Treasurer Charlotte Luongo, Secretary Patricia Duarte and Parliamentarian Brad Shaw.

We met in September to create an agenda and prioritize the issues we will be tackling this year. I will provide more details in the next newsletter. In the meantime, please feel free to contact the KWA office with any of your concerns. Again, I look forward to working with you all for a great year ahead!

This being my last post as president, I want to highlight some of the accomplishments this past year on big ticket items that affect our neighborhood. The efforts of the King William-Lavaca Parking and Transportation Committee chaired by Rose Kanusky have born fruit. Our meetings with the City Manager’s staff, City Center Development Office, and Transportation and Capital Improvements Department resulted in the city hiring an outside consultant, Amy Avery of Kimley-Horn Engineers, to make a thorough study of the parking and transportation issues in King William and Lavaca. We combined the two neighborhoods because we share the same parking issues and are impacted by events in each other’s neighborhoods. The consultant’s study has taken a year to complete, and has not been released, but a draft summary was presented at our committee meeting. The City will be implementing some of the recommendations as early as October. These new parking and transportation changes will be explained in forthcoming public meetings offered by the city.

The 2016 King William Fair has passed.  My report had to be submitted before the Fair in order to meet the Newsletter deadline, but as I write this, there is a lot of action going on at the KWA office, thanks to the Fair Manager Zet Baer and Fair Coordinator Melanie Whitley, Fair Assistant Syeria Budd and their volunteers.  Many folks volunteered to help with the Fair – far too many to thank here.  The Fair staff drives the engine but the volunteers provide the energy and it could not happen without them. 

There is a continued commercial development trend going on along the S. Alamo corridor.  Two major commercial properties, the former vending machine warehouse at 1811 S. Alamo and an adjacent tract at 1302 S. Flores, were purchased by David Adelman.  The S. Alamo property is scheduled for mixed-use with creative office space, plus a restaurant and/or bar.  The King William Association has been following the process through HDRC and Zoning, and formally requested that no outdoor amplified music be allowed.  The Zoning Commission approved the IDZ zoning with C2 and Bar uses without restricting any amplified noise.  The property adjoins a potential historic neighborhood adjacent to King William and a prominent multi-story loft is located across S. Alamo along S. Flores, residences that are well within the “sound shed” of amplified noise.  

One of the pleasures of being president is working with so many dedicated volunteers.  Certainly one of the hardest working KWA committees is the Architectural Advisory Committee (AAC) chaired by Mickey Conrad.  This committee’s task is to review and comment on every case that comes to the City’s Historic Design Review Committee (HDRC) from King William.  The AAC also reviews some cases that are adjacent to King William that may impact our neighborhood in some way.  The hard task of the AAC is to insure that the proper guidelines for exterior modification of our historic homes are followed.  This often involves the applicants meeting with the AAC before appearing at the HDRC so that issues and concerns can be discussed.  Often the applicant is unaware of the guidelines they need to follow, or what kinds of modifications are not acceptable.  All of this is to help preserve the historic integrity of our neighborhood.