DATA: An inside look at Round Rock, Pflugerville, Hutto housing markets

Median homes sales previous increased from June 2019 to May 2020 in Round Rock, Pflugerville, and Hutto. While some zip codes saw an increase to toal homes sold, other zip codes double-digit sank. From June 2018 to May 2020, the zip code 78660 had the most homes sold.


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Source: https://communityimpact.com/austin/round-rock-pflugerville-hutto/housing-real-estate/2020/07/07/data-an-inside-look-at-round-rock-pflugerville-hutto-housing-markets/

Hutto eyes land annexation as future growth strategy

A key to sustainable growth, according to Hutto city staff and elected officials, is to continue to annex land into the city limits. (Taylor Jackson Buchanan/Community Impact Newspaper)

Annexing land within Hutto’s city limits is the primary cause to Hutto’s present and future sustainable growth.

Currently, Hutto spans 8,000 acres. This is a small number to Hutto’s extraterritorial jurisdiction land which clocks in at more than 32,971 acres. This land is “flexible”, as it can be used in the future and be annexed anytime by Hutto.

Hutto annexed 6,203.42 acres from 200 to 2019. Between 2018 and 2019, 40% of this land was annexed.

Peter Gordon, council member and council liaison to the city’s planning commission has much attention on this land as it can bring new jobs, opportunities, amenities,and overall expand the city of Hutto. With this new developments of course comes new and more various opportunities, but it brings up the controversial issues of taxing. This is why Gordon supports and is working on to diversifying taxing to suit Hutto’s needs.

“I’m definitely one of those councilmen that really wants to see more commercial, more manufacturing, to help diversify our tax base so that all of the burden isn’t on just the homeowners and just the citizens,” Gordon said.

Hutto, in 2017, appointed various projects called “magnificent seven” which would ease taxation on Hutto residents through the addition of commercial and quality of life factors. Two of the projects included Innovation Business Park and the Co-Op District which both are in the city limits and already constructed. The Co-Op District’s land was purchased in 2003 while Innovation Business Park’s land was annexed in 2017.

These land areas aren’t just random acquisitions, they are planned many months, if not, years back with strategy. Ashley Lumpkin is an executive director of business and developments services for Hutto, said that certain projects on their mind drive the specific land acquisitions. An example of this is the Brushy Creek Amphitheater which the land for it was acquitted back in 2018.

House Bill 347, passed on May 24, 2019, stated any annexation now rewuaired a vote. However, Lumpkin noted that she does not anticipate a slow down of annexations due to the previous annexations being voluntary.

“I think [increased annexations] will still continue. I think that there’s still a desire to be a part of the city, and the city has the ability to serve its residents,” Lumpkin said. “What we’re seeing right now, when we talk to developers is the desire to come and be a part of the city of Hutto.”

The primary focus of annexation, Gordon said, is the location and is respect to the nearby communities. Gordon also noted that the development site not only has to bring quality of life factors but also the proper ownership to developer what was intended to residents and visitors.If the site is outside of city limits, it can still receive service through accommodations. Regarding neighborhoods, the city may consider the density but not annex the land fully.

“We really want to only annex what we know that we can take care of, but we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves and just annex everything right now,” Gordon said.

If Hutto’s is still continuing to grow rapidly, Gordon and Lumpkin both agreed that Hutto’s action of plan is in need for an update. 2015 was the last year since a major update alongside a minor update in 2019, said Gordon. However, he emphasized adding a sturdy comprehensible plan is significant to use of future land developments.

Jennifer Atkinson who is the communications specialist for the city said, “The city is really trying to take a very mindful approach, especially because the potential for growth in the [Austin] MSA is so explosive.”

She also said: “We’re not trying to grow willy nilly, and council, the planning department and development services are trying to make the best decisions for the long-term resilience of the city.”

Source: https://communityimpact.com/austin/round-rock-pflugerville-hutto/housing-real-estate/2020/07/06/hutto-eyes-land-annexation-as-future-growth-strategy/

In writing ‘The Hutto Hippo,’ children’s author pays it forward to HISD students

"Hutto has been a wonderful place for me and my family in many ways," author Wendy Larson said. "Turning this poem into a book and publishing it, all while supporting local education, is a small way for me to celebrate our growing community." (Courtesy Jillian Schuhl, Sweet Daisies Photography)

“Hutto has been a wonderful place for me and my family in many ways,” author Wendy Larson said. “Turning this poem into a book and publishing it, all while supporting local education, is a small way for me to celebrate our growing community.” (Courtesy Jillian Schuhl, Sweet Daisies Photography)

Partnered with Hutto ISD, the HEF project is a nonprofit organization “to enrich, enhance, and maximize the quality of education for all students,” per the release. Because of the HEF, there are numerous grants, scholarships for teachers, staff, and students promised by their mission. Fundraisers are also held year-round through donations form the communited, corporate, payroll match programs, and HISD employee donations.

HEF Director Lizzy Samples said, ““Providing support for our Hutto ISD students and faculty members is our No. 1 priority. Just like the hippo in the story, our Hutto parents, students and staff are looking for a much-needed respite while adapting to the new normal. This book is simply charming and a must-read for all hippo lovers. HEF is grateful for Ms. Larson’s generous donation.”

The legend of the Hutto hippo is explored in this book which is written in verses. Legend has it that a hippo escaped a train when the driver stopped for supplies. The hippo apparently ran to Cottonwood Creek.

A resident as well as an area attorney and children’s author, named Larson has lived with her husband and family in Hutto since 2007.

Larson, an area attorney and children’s author, has lived in Hutto with her husband and family since 2007, per the release. Larson said in the release that she chose to donate all profits to HEF due to the “direct and indirect benefits” the organization provides district children, including her own.

“Hutto has been a wonderful place for me and my family in many ways,” Larson said in the release. “Turning this poem into a book and publishing it, all while supporting local education, is a small way for me to celebrate our growing community.”

Source: https://communityimpact.com/austin/round-rock-pflugerville-hutto/education/2020/07/06/in-writing-the-hutto-hippo-childrens-author-pays-it-forward-to-hisd-students/

Juneteenth now recognized as official city holiday in Pflugerville

For 155 years, Juneteenth has commemorated the liberation of enslaved Black people in Texas. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

For 155 years, Juneteenth has commemorated the liberation of enslaved Black people in Texas. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

By Kelsey Thompson | 9:02 AM Jun 24, 2020 CDT | Updated 9:25 AM Jun 24, 2020 CDTIn a unanimous decision on June 23, Pflugerville City Council voted to add Juneteenth to its list of official holidays recognized by the city. The announcement follows Mayor Victor Gonzales’ proclamation declaring June 19, 2020 as “Celebrate Juneteenth Day” and the city’s inaugural Juneteenth celebration, hosted on June 20.

Texas recognized Juneteenth as a state holiday in 1980, according to documents from the Texas State Historical Association. The holiday is often celebrated with family reunions, picnics, pageants and parades.

For 155 years, Juneteenth has commemorated the liberation of enslaved Black people in Texas. On June 19, 1865, Union Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston with news that enslaved Texans were freed, more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Emancipation Proclamation went into effect.

“I think the item speaks for itself—it’s long overdue,” Mayor Pro Tem Omar Peña said.

Juneteenth is the latest city-recognized holiday in a list that includes New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas, among others. Per city documents, observances of city holidays includes city facility closures on the designated holidays.

City Manager Sereniah Breland confimed June 23 that, in adherence to other city observances, the holiday will be observed on the Friday prior or Monday after, depending on the day the official holiday falls.

“Thank you for making history, gentlemen,” Mayor Victor Gonzales said.

Source: https://communityimpact.com/austin/round-rock-pflugerville-hutto/government/2020/06/24/juneteenth-now-recognized-as-official-city-holiday-in-pflugerville/

Amid COVID-19, total home sales dip while median prices increase in Round Rock, Pflugerville, Hutto

"We're seeing home sales drop because we simply don't have enough inventory on the market," ABoR President Romeo Manzanilla said in a June 18 news release. (Community Impact staff)

“We’re seeing home sales drop because we simply don’t have enough inventory on the market,” ABoR President Romeo Manzanilla said in a June 18 news release. (Community Impact staff)

Per ABoR data, residential sales decreased 15.4% between May 2019 and May 2020, with a 10.8% dip in dollar volume affiliated with closed sales.

“We’re seeing home sales drop because we simply don’t have enough inventory on the market,” ABoR President Romeo Manzanilla said in a news release.

Despite a downturn in home sales, the average home prices in Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto increased 5.4%, with the average price listed as $314,068.

In Round Rock, single-family home sales in the year to date decreased by 19.8% as compared to May 2019. The median price for a single-family home in May 2020 was recorded as $288,500, marking a 3% increase year over year.

In Pflugerville, 405 single-family home sales have closed in the year to date, up by 3% compared to May 2019. The median home price has jumped by 8.4% to $281,750, per ABoR data.

Single-family home sales in Hutto totaled 302 in the year to date, representing an 11.2% downturn from May 2019. The median price for a single-family home increased by 6.3%, listed as $250,377.

Travis County’s residential sales decreased by 33.8% in May 2020 with 1,319 sales recorded. In Williamson County, residential sales declined by 27.1% to 914 sales in May.

“If you compare Austin’s home sales to the majority of large cities in the U.S., you’ll find Austin’s market has remained strong,” said Mark Sprague, state director of information capital at Independence Title, in the release. “But because sales numbers have a one-to-three-month lag time, it was no surprise May sales declined, and we’ll likely see the same in June and July. The solution is increased housing stock. Until more homes are put on the market, we won’t see home sales recover anytime soon.”

Source: https://communityimpact.com/austin/round-rock-pflugerville-hutto/housing-real-estate/2020/06/19/amid-covid-19-total-home-sales-dip-while-median-prices-increase-in-round-rock-pflugerville-hutto/

6 things to do in Round Rock, Pflugerville, Hutto June 13-20

By Kelsey Thompson | 4:00 PM Jun 12, 2020 CDT | Updated 4:49 PM Jun 15, 2020 CDT June 13 | Seek out career advice

In need of a career change but unsure of where to start? Join the city of Round Rock for a virtual career workshop, hosted for recent college graduates, entry-level employees and seasoned workers alike. Career strategist Elaine Davis—a corporate leader with experience working with Nike, Amazon and American Express—will provide guidance on how workers can utilize talents and personal branding to achieve their goals. The event will be hosted online via Microsoft Teams. 3-5 p.m. Free. www.roundrocktexas.gov/event/career-secret-workshop-2

June 13 | Dive into a Round Rock pool party

Float the day away at Rock’N River’s season passholder party, exclusively hosted for the water park’s season ticket holders. Season passholders will also gain priority access to the water park’s upcoming Fourth of July celebration. 7:30-10:30 p.m. $60 (youth and senior season passes), $70 (adult season passes). Rock’N River Waterpark, 3300 E. Palm Valley Blvd., Round Rock. 512-218-5540. www.roundrocktexas.gov/event/rockn-river-season-pass-party

June 15 | Embrace your inner mad scientist

Mad about science? Put your academic and creative skills to the test with Round Rock Public Library’s virtual Rockin’ Kids Club, where participants will learn how to make moving lava right from home. Free. Ages 5-12. Video premieres at 10:30 a.m. www.roundrocktexas.gov/event/rockin-kids-club-science-home-ages-5-12

June 16 | Strum a new tune

Pick up a new skill and tap into your musical side with the Pflugerville Ukulele Club’s online strum-along, hosted from the comfort of your own home. Free (registration required). Age 18 and older. 6-7 p.m. www.pflugervilletx.gov/home/components/calendar/event/25221/213

June 18 | Paint your way through the wizarding world

Stir up some magic with each paint stroke through the Pflugerville Public Library’s wizard watercolor paint night. Participants will create their own “Harry Potter”-themed masterpieces, including hand-painted postcards of Hogwarts, potion bottles and their Hogwarts acceptance letter. Painting kits will be available for curbside pickup from the library June 18-25. Free (registration required). Age 18 and older. Video premieres at 6:30 p.m. www.pflugervilletx.gov/home/components/calendar/event/25184/213

June 20 | Commemorate Juneteenth in Pflugerville

Black Pflugerville will host “In Celebration of Freedom: A Pflugerville Juneteenth” at Lake Pflugerville on June 20. Juneteenth is a holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. The event will include a recount of Juneteenth’s history, a Miss Juneteenth Pageant celebration, storytelling, spoken word poetry, a car parade and a candlelight vigil. Attendees are asked to wear masks and maintain social distancing while attending. Free. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Lake Pflugerville, Pflugerville. www.facebook.com/events/1498759273618784

Source: https://communityimpact.com/austin/round-rock-pflugerville-hutto/event-calendar/2020/06/12/6-things-to-do-in-round-rock-pflugerville-hutto-june-13-20/

DATA: How healthy are residents in Round Rock, Pflugerville, Hutto?

Both Travis and Williamson counties were listed among the top 10 of 244 Texas counties for health care rankings in 2019, the most recent data available.

Travis County earned high marks for length and quality of life, and Williamson County received high rankings for length of life and socioeconomic health factors. However, both counties ranked lower for physical environment analyses.

Source: https://communityimpact.com/austin/round-rock-pflugerville-hutto/health-care/2020/06/08/data-how-healthy-are-residents-in-round-rock-pflugerville-hutto/

PHOTOS: Round Rock military veteran celebrates 100th birthday

From left: Robert Sanchez is accompanied by his daughter Frances Dee Sanchez during a surprise parade to celebrate his 100th birthday. (Photos by Taylor Jackson Buchanan/Community Impact Newspaper)

From left: Robert Sanchez is accompanied by his daughter Frances Dee Sanchez during a surprise parade to celebrate his 100th birthday. (Photos by Taylor Jackson Buchanan/Community Impact Newspaper)

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Robert Sanchez stood in the front lawn of his Round Rock home on the morning of June 7. Wearing sunglasses, a blue-and-white pinstriped shirt and a flight cap, he raised his right hand to his mouth in a gesture of surprise.

“Oh my God,” he said, his voice barely audible above a growing rumble. “All this for me?”

Motorcycles, Corvettes, fire trucks, police SUVs and dozens of decorated cars lined the block. Displaying American flags and homemade posters, a swell of parade participants had gathered to celebrate Sanchez’s 100th birthday.

A veteran of the United States military, Sanchez flew planes during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. He served a 30-year career in the U.S. Army Air Corps and the U.S. Air Force, ultimately earning the rank of chief master sergeant in the Air Force.

In 2019, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the invasion of Normandy, the French Consul General Alexis Andres presented Sanchez with the Legion of Honor, the highest French distinction for military or civilian efforts.

Nearly a year to the day, Andres surprised Sanchez by participating in his birthday parade.

“When I received the invitation from the family to celebrate Robert’s birthday, I said, ‘yes’ immediately,” Andres said. He presented Sanchez with a bottle of champagne and lead the crowd in a round of “Happy Birthday” in French.

Also in attendance was U.S. Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock, of Texas’ 31st Congressional District, which includes Williamson and Bell counties.

“It is an honor to celebrate your birthday,” Carter said as he shook Sanchez’s hand. “Thank you for your service. You are a great American.”

Carter shared a personal anecdote about his respect for WWII veterans, instilled in him from a young age.

“I was born one month before the bombing of Pearl Harbor,” Carter said. “So, as a little kid, growing up, there were no bigger heroes to me than the veterans who came back.”

Representatives from the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, as well as the Round Rock, Georgetown, and Cedar Park police and fire departments participated in the parade. Officers presented Sanchez with certificates, flags flown in his honor and other tokens of appreciation. The Patriot Guard Riders of Texas, a nonprofit that honors military veterans, sent over 70 motorcyclists to participate.

As the parade concluded, a Georgetown firefighter leaned out of the truck while it slowed to a stop in front of Sanchez.

“Thank you for everything, sir,” the firefighter said with a salute.

Sanchez pressed one hand into his cane and the other to his forehead as he saluted in return.

Source: https://communityimpact.com/austin/round-rock-pflugerville-hutto/people/2020/06/08/photos-round-rock-military-veteran-celebrates-100th-birthday/

Outdoor summer concert series announced at Hutto’s Brushy Creek Amphitheater

As COVID-19 restrictions ease, the show goes on in Hutto. The inaugural Tailgates & Tunes summer concert series is set to launch June 27. (Courtesy city of Hutto)

As COVID-19 restrictions ease, the show goes on in Hutto. The inaugural Tailgates & Tunes summer concert series is set to launch June 27. (Courtesy city of Hutto)

The concert series is set to launch June 20 with a performance by singer-songwriter Jack Ingram, according to a June 5 news release.

Kevin Fowler will perform June 27, and Read Southall Band will ring in Independence Day on July 4. Each set will run roughly 90 minutes. Additional dates are expected to be added in the near future, per the release.

“We’re looking forward to creating a safe way for the greater Austin community to come together again to enjoy what we all love – live music,” said Jennifer Stevens, Tailgates & Tunes event producer, in the release. “Good music and good times are what we all need now more than ever, and I’m excited to bring this series to life.”

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, attendance will be restricted to 25% capacity to adhere with social distancing provisions, per the release. The amphitheater’s lawn will be divided into “individual square pods measuring six feet by six feet,” according to the release. Two to four guests will be allowed in each pod.

The summer concert series is produced by JHL and RS3. Event producers said they will work with Williamson County and city of Hutto officials to meet recommended standards by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Event staff will be required to wear personal protective equipment, and guests will be encouraged to wear face coverings, per the release.

Tailgates & Tunes has partnered with the Central Texas Food Bank to offer guests an opportunity to donate to the nonprofit when purchasing tickets online.

“The Central Texas Food Bank is thrilled to be a beneficiary of Tailgates & Tunes to bring live music back to Central Texas while raising awareness and funds to support many families in need,” said Mark Jackson, Central Texas Food Bank chief development officer, in the release.

Source: https://communityimpact.com/austin/round-rock-pflugerville-hutto/event-calendar/2020/06/08/outdoor-summer-concert-series-announced-at-huttos-brushy-creek-amphitheater/