Rats in the Neighborhood

A note from HNA President Mark Harkrider:

It has been brought to my attention that the rat population has increased in our neighborhood. One neighbor, who has been trying to get rid of rats all summer, reports that the exterminator said that three bait traps that were set around the perimeter of their property have been emptied in three weeks, not the usual three months it usually takes, representing a total of 90 rats feeding at the traps. The property in question is not overgrown and does not contain attractive nuisances such as a bird feeder or open compost.

The reasons that our neighborhood has an infestation are numerous: a nearby creek habitat, a mild winter that increased the rat populations, wet weather that allows Norwegian burrowing rats to dig under houses, attractive habitat such as old garages and overgrown vegetation along alleys, food sources such as open garbage containers, open compost piles and bird feeders.

There are two types of rats that are usually found in Austin: roof rats that tend to get to houses from tree limbs and then chew their way in through the roof, and Norwegian burrowing rats that tend to dig in soft soil and burrow under houses.

I’m sending out this message so that each of you can be alert to signs of infestation and can both stop the attractions that may lure rats to your property, and end infestations before rats proliferate inside your house. If you cannot afford to put out bait or traps, the county has a program to help you at 512-978-0370.

Unfortunately, bait traps may be a necessary evil to control these rats. Exterminators and the county program strongly urge people to not put out bait unless it is in a trap to avoid inadvertent poisoning of pets and wildlife, so I am not condoning putting out bait by itself.

I urge you to take stock of your property and to take the necessary steps to reduce the threat of rat infestation for you and your neighbors. Unless we all participate, we could all be affected.

IH-35 TXDOT Open House for Central 7-Mile, Tuesday, September 20

An open house for the Central 7-mile Comprehensive Project, from US 183 to Riverside Drive, will be held on Tuesday, September 20.

Central7 Project Open House
Tuesday, September 20
4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Memorial United Methodist Church
6100 Berkman Drive
Austin, Texas 78723

Open house participants will be able to review project materials, ask questions, and submit comments. For those unable to attend in-person, information will be available online through virtual open houses beginning the day of each open house at

Mother's Day Bazaar Saturday, May 7 at Hancock Recreation Center

Good afternoon,

I would like to invite you and your organization to our Mother's Day Bazaar, slated for Saturday, May 7, 12:30 – 4:30 p.m. at Hancock Recreation Center, 811 E. 41st Street. We will be hosting local artisans and artists with unique gifts for moms. It is free and open to the public. Please feel free to circulate to your members.

A few exhibitor tables still available!

Claudio Lopez <>

Hancock Native Plant Swap Saturday, April 16th

It should be a great weekend for potting up volunteer plants.  Share them with others and make our town more lovely with every passing season!

Confirmed: It will be held April 16th at Mother's Cafe from 8-9:30am 4215 Duval Street   (Free event)

NEW: Some have asked if they can purchase plants because they have nowhere to dig up plants, so I will make some native plants available that attendees can purchase at cost.
Some info on it:

Here's how it works: 

- pot up some transplants, cuttings, or bring seeds

- set them in the appropriate area: Sun, Shade, Part Sun/Shade, or Water

- look around for plants that you would love to have

- Take as many home as you brought

Many people just hang out the whole time talking about plants, helping others id mystery plants, and generally enjoying their coffee, free doughnut holes, and all things gardening.  Master Gardeners and NWF Habitat Stewards will also be there to assist with plant identification.

Not sure if the plant you have too much of is native? Type in the name here: see the Distribution section. Generally, if you can't find it in the wildflower database, it's not native.

Not native? Don't know the name? Bring it, we'll try to identify it and, if it's not native, you can toss it and pick up a native replacement.

Our mission is to make all yards in our neighborhoods more beautiful and easier to maintain, while consuming less water...for free!

Smart Trips Austin Open House February 23

Come learn more about the Smart Trips Austin program at our Open House:
Tuesday, February 23 from 6pm to 7pm
Yarborough Library, 2200 Hancock Dr., Austin, TX, 78756

See the PDF flyer for more details:

Note from HNA President to Mayor and Council Re. Occupancy Limits Ordinance

Mayor and Council Members:

The Hancock Neighborhood Association voted unanimously at its January 20th regular meeting to ask the Mayor and City Council to eliminate the expiration date of March 31, 2016 of the occupancy limits ordinance.

The occupancy limit of 4 unrelated adults was put in place to stop demolitions that were destroying both neighborhoods and existing affordable housing. The occupancy limit applies only to new construction. It is not intended to exclude renters, new comers, young people, or anyone else from neighborhoods. The purpose of the occupancy limit on new construction was to eliminate the incentive for investors to tear down affordable single family homes and replace them with large, high occupancy and pricey rentals. The ordinance has worked.

Best Regards,

Mark Harkrider
President, Hancock Neighborhood Association

Jan. 25, 2016 Mueller Press Release Re. Aldrich St.

Jan. 25, 2016 Mueller Press Release Re. Aldrich St. doc

January 12, 2016 City of Austin Notices Re. Title 25 Amendments and Longhorn Run

All these notices were mailed on January 12th and received by Mark Harkrider, President of Hancock Neighborhood Association, on January 13, 2016:

1) Very Important: The City Council will consider amendments to the Land Development Code Title 25 related to Short Term Rentals on January 28th beginning at 4:00 at City Hall. The most important amendment being considered is the phasing out of commercial short term rentals ( non homeowner ) in residential neighborhoods. HNA members have, hopefully, sent letters and will continue to send letters to the Mayor and Council supporting an amendment which phases out Commercial Short Term Rentals in residential neighborhoods. The phase out should begin immediately and end as quickly as possible. Email for all City Council Members at

2)The City Council will consider an ordinance limiting the redevelopment of existing small ( Substandard) lots that are developed as a single building site. The City Council will consider this amendment and hear public comments on January 28, 2016, starting at 4:00 pm at City Hall. Case number is C20-2014-003. The City Contact is Greg Dutton at 512.974-3509.

3) On January 28, 2016 at City Hall, starting at 4:00, the City Council will hear a proposed amendment to the Land Development Code Chapter 25 relating to Planned Unit Development (PUD) zoning cases. Case Number C20-2015-014. City Contact: Greg Dutton 512. 974.3509

4) UT Longhorn run will be held on April 9, 2016 from 8:00am-10:00am. The following streets will experience temporary and partial closure: Guadalupe, Dean Keeton. Duval and 38th street. If there is any resident opposing the partial street closures for this run, please send your notice of opposition by February 16, 2016 to:

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