University Hills Neighborhood Association

Austin, Texas 78723

Unity - Equality - Leadership

University Hills Neighborhood Association Mission Statement 

The purpose of the University Hills Neighborhood Association (UHNA) is to maintain and promote a high quality of life in the University Hills area by bringing residents together  to work as community advocates. 

University Hills Neighborhood Association History

The Association was established on March 6, 1972 as the University Hills Homeowners Association, referred to as the UHHA. The UHHA was established as a civic organization of property owners (not an HOA) concerned with maintaining the single-family residential footprint of the University Hills area and the preservation of Dottie Jordan Park and all its facilities as established when the community was formed. On April 1, 1991, reflecting the ongoing demographic changes in the area, the name of the Association was changed to the University Hills Neighborhood Association, referred to as the UHNA. The UHNA (not an HOA) operates as a not-for-profit civic association of residents in the University Hills area of Northeast Austin, Texas.   

Little Walnut Creek runs through the Dottie Jordan Park and the University Hills Neighborhood.

History of University Hills

University Hills, a Single Family Residential community, was created by Walter Carrington, an Austin developer, in the late 60's and early 70's on land which originally was part of the Cook Ranch, a land holding which stretched as far as the eye could see.  To this day, several local streets are named for members of the Cook family.

Aside from the Cook named streets, Carrington named the streets in the community for universities all over the country.  That concept, along with the fact that the area is hilly in most sections, led to the name of the community as University Hills.

At the time of the development of University Hills, IBM was in the process of moving its corporate headquarters from its Kentucky  location to Austin, Texas.   Consequently, many of the original home owners in the area were IBM employees relocating to Austin.  Also, many of the original property owners were state employees, AISD educators, IRS employees, elected officials, and employees of many corporate entities located in Austin.

At a time when red-lining was an accepted concept in real estate development in Austin, University Hills was an example of ethnic equity.  To this day, current demographics indicate the continuation of that equity, one of the attributes contributing to University Hills' image as a good place for all citizens to lay down roots, raise a family, form friendships, and provide mutual support.

No history of University Hills would be complete without documentation of the community's successful effort to prevent the park from being developed into an apartment complex with all amenities thereon to be available only to residents of the apartments.  When Carrington announced his intention to convert the park to apartments, the homeowners objected, to which Carrington replied, "If you don't like what I am planning, sue me!" 

So the community did just that with sixty residents signing on as litigants.  After a two week civil court case, the jury unanimously voted that Carrington had lied to the homeowners when he and his sales people stated that the park would always be there for the pleasure and use of the community and has used this statement as a major selling point to potential property purchasers.

Subsequent to the jury's verdict, and with the city's intent to purchase the park from Carrington, the judge issued a ruling that the park and all amenities thereon shall be utilized only for park and recreation uses.  This ruling, along with all legal documentation of the court case, again came into play in 2012 when the then city council unsuccessfully considered closing the Dottie Jordan Recreation Center and utilizing the space for other than park and recreation purposes.

Also deeply embedded in the history of University Hills is the formation of the University Hills Neighborhood Association, originally known as a homeowners association.  Through the formation of this organization, forty-one years ago, the University Hills community monitors and addresses, daily, every city action which, potentially, could alter the area's attraction as a single family residential community. 

Concerns monitored include the safety of all area citizens, providing and sponsoring activities at the park recreation center, assisting in the implementation of educational programs which emphasize the importance of learning for all students, contributing to long range planning at the city level including zoning and development issues, infrastructure, transportation, and fiscal responsibility involving the use of taxpayers' dollars.

The UHNA also hosts its signature "We The People" candidate forums involving city, county, and school candidates. 

Because of the work of the University Hills Neighborhood Association, past and present, current residents as well as new families and individuals moving into the University Hills community are able to enjoy the beauty and pleasure of our Northeast Austin area. If you wish to become more involved in the community's efforts, please visit with us at the monthly Association meeting, on the third Saturday of the month, 10:00 am, at the Dottie Jordan Recreation Center on Loyola Lane.

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