The Upper Onion Creek project area is located in the Onion Creek Neighborhood near Pinehurst Drive and Wild Dunes Drive. A feasibility study completed in 2017 recommended buyouts for 138 houses in this area.
We have divided the houses into four groups: Recovery and Phases 1-3.
The Recovery and Phase 1 buyouts are largely complete. We have purchased 57 of the 59 homes in these groups.
Phase 2 consists of 79 homes and was approved by the Austin City Council on March 28, 2019. As of January 9, 2020, we have conducted 77 initial interviews and made 53 offers. Offers have been accepted by 41 homeowners. We have purchased 20 homes.
Phase 3 consists of a small group of homes that could become isolated by the buyout of neighboring properties. It was also approved on March 28, 2019.
Participation in these buyouts is optional.
Note that Upper Onion Creek is a bit of a misnomer. The area is the upstream area of Onion Creek within the City of Austin. However, when looking at the entirety of Onion Creek watershed, the area is in the lower third of the creek. This is partly why the area is subject to severe flooding, given a heavy enough rainfall.
The maps below show the houses that have been bought as of January 2020 in grey. Phase 1 houses that are in the buyout process are shown in red. Phase 2 houses are shown in blue and Phase 3 in green. The top map shows the Pinehurst Drive area and the bottom map shows the Wild Dunes area.
The City of Austin will test the houses for asbestos, abate any asbestos found and then demolish them. We will remove the foundations, walkways and driveways to the edge of the right of way. We leave the driveway approaches in places. Utility connections will be terminated and capped. The lots will be regraded and revegetated.
What Happens to the Buyout Area
The land will be designated for open space in perpetuity. In the short-term, we will add the properties to our vegetation control schedule and mow them six times a year during the growing season. Long-term, we will work with the neighborhood to develop options and plans for the future. The options may include nature trails, community gardens, wildflower meadows and open space for the neighborhood to enjoy.