The Shady Hollow Story

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The Shady Hollow story begins in 1972, when Austin Savings and Loan began development on a 600 acre site a bit more than ten miles southwest of the state capital building. Families began moving in, but just six years later residents formed the Shady Hollow Homeowners Association out of fear that Austin Savings and Loan was intent on overdeveloping the area. The Homeowners Association accused the developers of misrepresenting the density of planned construction in the community, and eventually a settlement was reached. This settlement included the creation of parks and green space to preserve the character of the neighborhood. Today, Shady Hollow boasts a number of parks, including Gatling Gun Park with a playscape, a practice field suitable for soccer or baseball, walking path, and barbecue grills; Capistrano Park which hosts the community swimming pool and basketball court; and Doe Run Park, with two tennis courts, one basketball court, a meditation memorial park, a playground, a picnic gazebo, and the David C. Ellis Community Center.

In the 1980s, Circle C Ranch donated 60 acres to the Austin Independent School District for the establishment of a new high school. James Bowie High School was established in 1988. Bowie was named a National Blue Ribbon School for the ’92-’93 school year, then later went on to earn a number of awards and recognitions, including “Gold Performance Acknowledgments” by the Texas Education Agency and being declared a “5 Star High School” by Texas Monthly and the National Center for Educational Accountability. Among their high-achieving graduates, Bowie boasts Marcus and Michael Griffin, who went on to play in the NFL. In 1993, Bailey Middle School was built, and Baranoff Elementary School rounded off the set in 1998.

capistrano park 04 The Shady Hollow Story

The Shady Hollow Story

The boom years of the ‘90s were good for all of central Texas, but saw expansive growth especially for Austin. Shady Hollow went from being “way out there” to part of the expanding Austin landscape, proving the importance of the Homeowners Association actions to preserve the green spaces and quieter atmosphere which had first drawn families to Shady Hollow. The expansion of Brodie Lane to connect it to FM 1626 brought all of central Texas closer to Shady Hollow residents, but increased traffic with it. As before, the residents banded together to bring attention to the necessity of completing the southwest portion of the State Highway 45 loop around Austin, thwarting attempts by Travis County officials to pull the planned construction off the schedule as recently as May of 2010. Meetings at the community center to organize and share news, petition drives, and dialogue with members of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization were vital to keeping the plan on the books, and work continues to find the quickest route to completion of the highway project.

As of the 2000 census, 5,140 people called Shady Hollow home, with a population density of a pleasant 957.3 people per square mile, compared to a city-wide average of 3,012 people per square mile. “Neighbors are great,” said Shady Hollow resident Debbie Peterson. “They are willing to get involved in events and help you out. It really feels like a community.”

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