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Austin texas real estate -the deer park at maple run neighborhood in oak hill

Austin Texas Real Estate -the Deer Park at Maple Run Neighborhood in Oak Hill

The Deer Park at Maple Run subdivision is one of the many southwestern Austin neighborhoods comprising what is more commonly called Oak Hill.  A more recent addition to this area, Deer Park developed rather quickly from the mid to late 1990s, where nearly 150 homes popped up in just a few short years.

Deer Park’s boundaries are generally Mopac to the west, Brodie Lane to the east, Alexandria Lane to the immediate north and the Sendera subdivision to the immediate south.  Boundaries in this part of Austin though can be confusing, as it is not uncommon for neighborhoods to share streets and flow into one another.  Turn off of one street heading south or west and you may suddenly be in Sendera; go too far down Alexandria or Copano and you’re in the older Maple Run neighborhood.  Development in this part of town was fast and furious in recent years, and those abrupt transitions from one neighborhood to another are a sign of that.

Like the rest of Oak Hill, Deer Park sits at the tip of a visually beautiful but also environmentally sensitive area that is critical to the region:  the Edwards Aquifer, a massive underground layer of porous, water bearing rock 180 miles long that serves as the major groundwater system for central Texas. Much closer to home, you will find to the east of the subdivision the 18 acre Karst Preserve, a network of cave structures, rock formations and a sinkhole.  The City of Austin and the Texas Cave Management Association jointly oversee the preserve, protecting the caves and the species that inhabit them.

Children here will attend Cowan Elementary School, Covington Middle School, and Bowie High School.

Homes here are indicative of the style of 1990s construction that can be found throughout newer Austin neighborhoods:  a mix of one and two story structures spaced closely together, with brick or stone exteriors, vaulted ceilings and two car garages.  There are typically modest front and back yards with privacy fencing in the rear of the home. Because this is still a fairly young neighborhood, homes here are generally in excellent condition.  You can find homes here in a variety of sizes, on the small end at about 1,600 square feet to the 2,500 range, and in a few cases as much as 3,000 or 4,000.

Like the other neighborhoods in this immediate area, Deer Park at Maple Run makes a good first impression, due to the fact that properties are as a general rule immaculate and very well-maintained.  This owes in large part to an active homeowners association which has a strong presence here. The rules are clear, and strictly enforced:  keep your yard trimmed and free of weeds and clippings; no boats, campers, trailers or commercial vehicles parked in driveways or on the street; trash cans out of site after garbage pick-up; prior written approval before any exterior changes to your home or yard.

Deer Park’s homeowners association has what is called an “architectural control committee” which was involved in some headline-generating controversy in the late 1990s, when the subdivision was still developing.  When homebuilder Kaufman & Broad arrived here and bought up several dozen lots on which to build new homes, residents were angered and the committee was alerted to a possible problem.  Many were convinced that K&B had strong-armed its way into the area to build low-quality, ugly, shoddy prefabricated homes that would destroy the aesthetics and standards of Deer Park and drive down overall home values.  This was unacceptable to neighbors, many of whom had purchased new homes just a couple of years earlier and were worried that their new home investments would now be for nothing.

News stories of the day chronicled the intensive efforts of residents, including picket lines, yard signs and even the use of an FM radio frequency to advise buyers against doing business with K&B.  Accusations flew back and forth and it even came to dueling lawsuits between the homebuilder and residents.  By 2005 the lawsuits were settled out of court, and K&B even agreed to fund certain improvements to common areas of the neighborhood. It would appear that no long-term harm came to the subdivision, its neighbors, or property values.

Deer Park’s activism also included efforts in 2003 to turn back a move by Wal Mart to build a 200,000 square foot Supercenter at Slaughter Lane and Mopac. Much like the K&B controversy, many residents feared that increased traffic congestion and urban sprawl would negatively impact their property values.  Along with other neighborhood groups as part of the larger Oak Hill Association of Neighborhoods, Deer Park successfully defeated the plan and celebrated when it was learned that not only would the development never happen, but a large tract of the land was deeded to the city of Austin for use instead as permanent parkland.  Deer Park residents have been vigilant to make sure that no “big box” retail or other development would come here that might upset the quality of life.

It looks as if Deer Park at Maple Run has survived these early turbulent battles and has emerged as a maturing and pleasant neighborhood in which to live.

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