Record of Votes

Helping Hand Home For Children

ResultsPassed with 87% Support out of 38 total voters (421 total members)

Support – 33 (87%)
Oppose – 5 (13%)

Registered Voters and Who Voted Can be Found Here:

Discussion Link:


Helping Hand Home For Children, located at 3804 Avenue B, wants to continue providing congregate living and add an expansion on their property to better serve the children that they help. This would require a zoning change to General Office (GO) and they are asking for neighborhood support to get approval for the change.

Helping Hand Home For Children was founded in 1893 and has been located in Hyde Park since 1925. Today, they serve as a residential treatment center for children who have experienced extreme abuse. It also provides foster care and adoption services as well as an on-site charter school operated in partnership with UT. This past year, Helping Hand was able to place roughly 95% of its children in home settings, either through foster care or permanent adoptions, but there is an ongoing need for beds and services as new children arrive. More information on its mission and services can be found at

The proposed expansion would allow the addition of 15 new beds and would reduce the number of children in each residential unit from the current 7 to 8 per unit to 5 per unit. They would remove all buildings currently on the site, which faces Avenue B between 38th and 38 ½ Streets. The school, community room, and storage would be at the back of the property while the children’s residences will be facing 38th St. All heritage trees would remain on the site, though some smaller trees would be removed. Construction would occur in phases, with housing being built first, followed by structures for their charter school, community room, and storage. They would likely take in fewer children during the construction period.

VOTE: Friends of Hyde Park members support Helping Hand Home For Children being granted a zoning change to General Office (GO) in order to continue providing congregate living and add an expansion on their property to better serve the children that they help.

Vote open date: 8/08/18

Vote close date: 8/15/18 at 3 pm


Friends of Hyde Park 2018 Board Election


Thomas Ates 15
Tom Clear 14
Matt Desloge 16
Pete Gilcrease 16
Teresa Griffin 15
Adam Luikart 14
Robert Prentiss 14

Vote open date: 1/24/18

Vote close date: 1/31/18 at 11 am

Registered Voters and Who Voted Can be Found Here:

Candidate Bios:

Thomas Ates

Thomas Ates is a Technical Writer who works with software, hardware, and mobile web applications. He loves learning about the history of Austin and the Central Texas area. This interest has led to research the development of Texas cities and wondering how these sprawling metropolitan areas can adapt and adjust to serve Texas’ large diverse populace. Thomas’ research has concluded the best days of Texas cities lay ahead with unique, tailored housing solutions containing the cooperation of local neighborhoods, businesses, and municipalities.

Tom Clear

BA, English Literature, Washington University.
JD, Vanderbilt Law School.
Member, Missouri Bar. Practiced municipal and civil rights law.
Austin Pedestrian Advisory Council (alt).
Pianist at UT and Ballet Austin.
Wife Carol graduate of Austin Theological Seminary.
Part of the Chicago diaspora, 18 months in Austin. Love everything about Austin except taking their lives in their hands crossing the street.
They attend Central Christian Church.

Matt Desloge

I moved to Austin 25 years ago, a grad student in a cheap garage apartment on Avenue H. Today I’m a semi-retired math teacher living on Avenue D with three young children and a dog. I’ve traveled and lived all over the world and have always had a keen interest in cities. I would like to see Hyde Park to continue to be a vibrant, diverse, and welcoming neighborhood.

Pete Gilcrease

I’m a current board member and a founder of Friends of Hyde Park. I also helped found Friends of Austin Neighborhoods (FAN) and a current board member of FAN, which is a coalition of neighborhood associations throughout Austin. My wife and I moved to Hyde Park in 2010 and have two young children. I’m involved in Friends of Hyde Park because I felt like most people in our neighborhood weren’t being given the opportunity to have their voices heard on important issues or didn’t feel welcome to participate. Nearly 70% of our neighborhood is made up of renters, which rarely had any voice in our neighborhood. Allowing online participation gives everyone the opportunity to participate whether people have children, busy schedules, or are students. Having meetups/social events provides a better place for people to get to know their neighbors instead of meetings that people might not have time to attend or feel welcome to attend. I want to see our neighborhood become more affordable for people from all backgrounds and income levels. Allowing more affordable housing choices like garage apartments, townhomes, and other missing middle housing types help homeowners pay for their increasing property taxes as well as provide renters with more housing options that can help bring down their monthly rent. I also want to help create a better walkable and bikeable neighborhood where everyone has access to more amenities within walking distance. Our neighborhood is constantly changing and we need to make the decision about what it changes into – something that only the wealthy can afford or something that allows the people to continue to live here that make Hyde Park what it is.

Teresa Griffin

I’m retired from a career in health care planning, most recently at Seton Healthcare Family so am well-versed in demographic and geo-spatial analysis and the history of Austin’s development. I’ve lived in Hyde Park for 30+ years. I’ve lived in a several types of housing: apartments, 6-bedroom student co-op (now called a different, disparaging term), duplex and now a single family dwelling. I have 2 adult children who were raised in Hyde Park but there are few options for them or their friends to live here now. I love the walk-able, vibrant, economically diverse neighborhood that Hyde Park has been, and my vision is to add housing to this area so that more students, young middle class families, and seniors on fixed incomes can live here. I oppose the fact that Hyde Park’s NCCD supersedes the city-wide zoning – this means that our area is exempt from city policies on transit corridors and lot-size for ADU’s.

Adam Luikart

Adam Luikart is a software engineer that graduated from the University of Texas at Austin and lives in the northern part of Hyde Park.

Robert Prentiss

Robert Prentiss is a Contracts Specialist that works at the University of Texas at Austin and graduated with a degree in history also from the University of Texas at Austin.


New Land Development Code Applying to Hyde Park

Results: Passed with 78% Support out of 91 total voters

Support – 71 (78%)
Oppose – 20 (22%)

Registered Voters and Who Voted Can be Found Here:

Discussion Link:


PREFACE: According to the City of Austin’s website, “CodeNEXT is the City of Austin initiative to rewrite and simplify our outdated and complicated Land Development Code. The Land Development Code sets requirements for what, where, and how much can be built in Austin.” “The Land Development Code has a significant impact on our daily lives, from shaping the kinds of places where we live, work, and hang out, to influencing the design of our streets and public spaces.” The Land Development Code determines everything from how easy it is for you to remodel your home to what amenities are allowed near you to allowing more affordable housing for lower income families. More information about CodeNEXT can be found here:

VOTE: Friends of Hyde Park supports a new modernized land development code applying to Hyde Park that helps housing affordability for renters and homeowners, reduces economic and racial segregation and income inequality, improves transportation across our neighborhood, and is based on current research for smart land use regulations. A new land development code should allow property owners to choose to build more affordable “Missing Middle” housing options in the interior of the neighborhood that fits in with the historic character of our neighborhood while allowing more housing options for renters (Garage apartments, smaller homes on smaller lots, townhouses, bungalow courts, triplexes, fourplexes, etc. More information here: The land development code should streamline and shorten the permitting process, which would make it easier for homeowners when doing remodels or adding additions. The new code should allow a more walkable and bikeable neighborhood, amenities and restaurants located near neighborhoods, allow more housing to be built near corridors and major roads, help reduce car dependence throughout the city in order to reduce traffic and commute times, provide open spaces and parks, and help provide more opportunities for families with children and people of all income levels to live in our central Austin neighborhoods.

Vote open date: 5/01/17

Vote close date: 5/08/17 at 3 pm



Ping Pong Table At Shipe Park

Results: Passed with 86% Support out of 91 total voters

Support – 78 (86%)
Oppose – 13 (14%)

Registered Voters and Who Voted Can be Found Here:

Discussion Link:


Friends of Hyde Park supports the Friends of Hyde Park board, other Friends of Hyde Park members, or Friends of Shipe Park to seek funding for a permanent ping pong table and other recreational amenities for Shipe Park.

Vote open date: 5/01/17

Vote close date: 5/08/17 at 3 pm



Neighborhood Business Parking Requirements

Results: Passed with 91 out of 101 votes in favor (90% Support)

Support – 91 (90%)
Oppose – 10 (10%)

Discussion Link:


PREFACE: Quack’s Coffee at 43rd and Duval has had half of its indoor tables and all of its outdoor tables removed due to the city’s requirement that it provide more off-site parking. It has operated this way since 1998 with many of its patrons walking, biking, or taking the bus. An anonymous complaint and the lack of additional off-street parking spaces available for them to lease has led to the current situation (for a more detailed explanation of the situation visit the Friends of Hyde Park forum thread: Excess parking requirements can be a barrier to having successful walkable amenities and restaurants near neighborhoods, as in this case with Quack’s. Friends of Hyde Park has as one of its statements of purpose: “To promote a more walkable, bikeable, and transit friendly neighborhood.”

VOTE: Do you support neighborhood businesses (such as Quack’s) being allowed to have less required parking in order to continue to provide adequate amenities to the neighborhood and promote a walking/biking environment?

Vote open date: 1/16/17

Vote close date: 1/23/17 at 11 am



Baker Center Development

Results: Passed with 87 out of 101 votes in favor (86% Support)

Support – 87 (86%)
Oppose – 14 (14%)

Discussion Link:


PREFACE: AISD has placed several properties on the market to be sold. One of the properties is the Baker Center property located at 3908 Avenue B, which is currently being used as an administration building for AISD. Responses include proposals from Alamo Drafthouse and the City of Austin and other bids from housing developers for purchase of the property. More information can be found here: – For more details, participate in a discussion, or ask questions, please visit this link on the Friends of Hyde Park forum:

VOTE: Friends of Hyde Park members support and encourage AISD to select the bid that would allow the site to be developed to allow the maximum amount of housing and/or walkable neighborhood amenities that would benefit the neighborhood. If residential use is included, options should include affordable housing units. Friends of Hyde Park encourages the preservation of the Baker Center building exterior. Regardless of selected bid, ample time should be afforded for neighborhood input.

Vote open date: 1/16/17

Vote close date: 1/23/17 at 11 am



Ridgetop Elementary School Repurpose and Consolidation With Reilly Elementary School

Results: Passed with 81 out of 101 votes in favor (80% Support)

Support – 81 (80%)
Oppose – 20 (20%)

Discussion Link:


PREFACE: AISD wants to consolidate the Ridgetop Elementary School with the nearby Reilly Elementary School. AISD says the option being considered is to modernize, expand, and convert Reilly into a World Languages/Culture school in the next 12 years. AISD says that it would be a first of its kind school in Austin that would teach many different languages including English, Spanish, Chinese, and/or Arabic with a multicultural focus. AISD says that Ridgetop isn’t large enough to expand in the future and maintenance costs would be lower with 1 modern facility vs multiple small, ageing facilities. AISD says Reilly has more land for expansion, easier access, further removed from busy streets, which make it a better candidate for expansion, even going up. The current Ridgetop School could be repurposed as a district facility – offices, flex space, etc. AISD staff affirm that when, or IF, a transition happens, it will be thoughtful, slow and intentional for the benefit of the kids, families, staff and teachers/admin. More information can be found here: – For more details, participate in a discussion, or ask questions, please visit this link on the Friends of Hyde Park forum:

  • Option 1: I support the Ridgetop Elementary School being consolidated with the Reilly Elementary School and the Reilly Elementary School being modernized, expanded, and converted into a World Languages/Culture school in the next 12 years.
  • Option 2: I do not support changing the current use of the Ridgetop Elementary School.

Vote open date: 1/16/17

Vote close date: 1/23/17 at 11 am



2017 Friends of Hyde Park Board Election


Tommy Ates – 38
Matt Desloge – 42
Pete Gilcrease – 50
Teresa Griffin – 54
Ricky Hennessy – 41
Adam Luikart – 39
Robert Prentiss – 38


Select up to 7 people that you would like to vote for to be on the Friends of Hyde Park board

Vote open date: 1/16/17

Vote close date: 1/23/17 at 11 am



Light Rail on Guadalupe Resolution

Results: Passed with 48 out of 58 votes in favor (83% Support)

Support – 48 (83%)
Oppose – 10 (17%)

Helios voting results and voters can be found here:

Discussion Link:


Friends of Hyde Park supports the Central Austin CDC proposal to place a bond on the November ballot intended to fund the construction of a light rail starter line on Lamar and Guadalupe. The prospective line would start at the intersection of Lamar and Airport, head down Lamar to the Triangle, down Guadalupe to Republic Square. This line would be funded locally. It’s likely the Federal Transit Administration would give Austin retroactive credit later on by increasing funding levels of future extensions, as was done in Houston (who also built their own first short line with 100% local funds). The proposed cost is roughly $400M. For more details, a map, and presentation, please see this link in the Friends of Hyde Park forum:

Vote open date: 7/29/16

Vote close date: 8/2/16 at 6 pm



Austin State Hospital Resolution

ResultsPassed with 64 out of 88 votes in favor

Support – 64 (73%)
Oppose – 24 (27%)

You can view the results and voters at the link below:

Discussion Link:


Friends of Hyde Park members support and encourage the responsible development of the Austin State Hospital site as long as a few considerations be taken:

1) Adult Psychiatric Services, Specialty Services, and Children & Adolescent Psychiatric Services should be kept on-site or carefully transitioned to another appropriate location that is central to Austin and has similar/ample access to public transit.

2) The site should be developed in keeping with the urban core, with housing of all types (including “Missing Middle” housing and Vertical Mixed Use buildings). A reasonable percentage of units built should be considered affordable to a range of low to moderate income households and priced so that these households are also able to meet other basic living costs.

3) The ASH Administration Building should be preserved and restored as part of the overall development of the site.

4) A reasonable amount of green space should be preserved and open to public use.

5) Development should encourage walkability in its design with a pedestrian/cycle focus, offer connectivity between Hyde Park and Rosedale, and focus on providing a healthy connected street grid to help with traffic and improve safety.

6) Stakeholder input should be considered in all phases of development.

Vote open date: 7/18/16

Vote close date: 7/25/16 at 6 pm




Board Member Election December 2015


Ricky Hennessy
Teresa Griffin
Pete Gilcrease
Alejandro Puyana
Tommy Ates
Matt Desloge
Robert Prentiss


You can view the results and voters at the link below:

Vote open date: 12/19/15

Vote close date: 12/26/15



Robert E Lee Elementary School Name Change


After 140 votes were cast there is strong support for changing the name of the Robert E Lee Elementary School.


Robert E. Lee Elementary, named after the Confederate General, was established by Austin Independent School District as a public school in 1939. Should the name of the school be changed?

Yes – 100 (71.4%)
No – 40 (28.6%)

You can view the results and voters at the link below:

Vote open date: 6/26/15

Vote close date: 7/6/15 at 11 am




Vote on 45th St Uses


After 136 votes were cast there is strong support for uses other than residential along 45th st. (except for Vertical Mixed Use where voters where split down the middle).

136 ballots cast
70% support potential restaurants
65% support potential grocery
68% support potential small businesses
50% support potential Vertical Mixed Use (VMU)

You can view the results and voters at the link below:

Vote open date: 4/10/15

Vote close date: 4/17/15 at 10 am

Outcome: We will draft and send a to the city council and staff.



Vote on Accessory Dwelling Units

Resolution: “In order to increase housing options for renters and provide more flexibility for property owners, I support easing restrictions on accessory dwelling units (granny flats, secondary apartments, garage apartments).”

Vote open date: 1/20/15

Vote close date: 1/28/15 at 5pm

Result: Passed with a vote of 91-65

Outcome: We sent a letter to city council and staff. We will also be sharing the results in person.