About the Author
Chad Swiatecki is a 20-year journalist who relocated to Austin from his home state of Michigan in 2008. He most enjoys covering the intersection of arts, business and local/state politics. He has written for Rolling Stone, Spin, New York Daily News, Texas Monthly, Austin American-Statesman and many other regional and national outlets.
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Wildlife gallery draws fire
Bouldin Creek residents are aligning against the owners of a nonprofit “wildlife gallery” on Bouldin Drive in what is viewed by many as an attempt to obtain a property tax exemption. An online campaign charges that owners of the Warren Wildlife Gallery are working to pave the way for further intensive use and construction on property that was intended for residential use. The petition on Change.org says the Bouldin Creek Neighborhood Association is against a conditional use permit filed for the property, objects to the property being used as an event space, disapproves of the replacement of nearby single-family homes with parking spaces for the gallery and opposes any attempt to obtain a property tax exemption for the organization. The gallery began operating in 2015 and has become a sore spot for neighbors. A letter currently circulating about the situation reads that as owner Rick Warren and the gallery’s associates have bought adjacent properties, the character of the area has changed: “810 Jewell has officially transitioned from the most attractive lot on Jewell St. to 1401 Bouldin’s backyard and storage facility. On a good day it looks like a trailer park.” A letter from the owner, naturally, tells a different story.
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