Residents form Historic Old Southwest Neighborhood Association

Wednesday, April 30, 2008 | 11:22 p.m. CDT; updated 1:36 p.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2008

After a heated discussion that led to the exclusion of houses on West Broadway, about 12 residents voted Wednesday to form the Historic Old Southwest Neighborhood Association.

The association’s boundaries include all properties from the east side of West Boulevard to the west side of Edgewood Avenue and from Broadway to Rollins Road and the north boundary of the Quarry Heights Neighborhood Association. Also included are the properties bounded by the west side of Westmount Avenue and the south side of Stewart Road. Excluded are the properties that actually face West Broadway.

Residents see the new neighborhood association as a way to improve communication among neighbors and with the city.

“It’s a way of forming a community, pulling people together who are united by similar interests,” said Hank Ottinger, the newly elected chair of the association.

When a small group of neighbors originally met in January, properties on West Broadway were included in the association. About eight West Broadway residents who attended the meeting, however, did not want their street included in the boundaries.

Rick Hocks, who lives on West Broadway, said there had already been discussion of forming a separate neighborhood association for residents who live on the street.

“We have issues that are unlike any other in the area,” Hocks said.

With changes to Broadway still up in the air, many residents in attendance were concerned that the greater Historic Old Southwest Neighborhood association would overlook the interests of Broadway residents. While those living on roads intersecting Broadway said any changes to the road would still affect them, not all Broadway residents were swayed.

“We need to be especially careful in formulating policy that helps the entire city but also doesn’t hurt our neighborhood,” Hocks said.

Heated discussion ensued with many residents arguing over whether they should be included in the association and the amount of notice they received about its formation. After much debate, it was decided that Broadway residents needed to meet separately from the Historic Old Southwest to decide if they wanted to be part of the association or form their own. The bylaws were revised to exclude Broadway residents, and there was a general consensus that the road could be added at a later date.

Another revision to the bylaws allowed West Broadway residents to be voting members, despite not being formally recognized by the association’s boundaries. By forming, the Historic Old Southwest absorbed two defunct neighborhood associations — Maupin Woods and Old Stewart Road.

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