Tag Archives: City of Austin Code

Go East

The Violation made BRS do some quick and deep thinking about needing to move office.  Brilliantly- Selena and Dylan founded BRS on the East side of ATX in 1994.   After 22 years- the east side is a big part of the firm’s identity.  Personally, it took me a little time to get my East Side on.  But soon our neighbors were like family. The 6th street cowboy gives me a shout out. img_4646

When the churro trailer set up next door, I knew not to assume that they were frying this gringa up to serve to tourists. Or actual dogs for that matter. I stopped trying to find the home of every chicken  I found wandering on the street and finally stopped bringing fabulous shiny piñatas to every party.

And when we looked in other parts of town to office- they just seemed a little too. too. not BRS.  Thus our buckling down to try and stay put.  Last week we took a trip to the history center to see if historically there was parking with this building.  img_8403

This photo is from sometime b/t 1903-1914.  But even before that in 1887 Kunz Groceries and Beer was on this corner.  First street seems to have always been a mix of commercial and houses.  It’s understatement to say that the history and politics of this neighborhood are very tough.  After settling in our new home for a few years,  dsc07268

we arrived at work one morning to see our neighbors Sergio and Monica’s shop being bulldozed. This shit actually happens?  I felt like a complete gringa asshole once again- never mind the fact that I had a yelling street fight with the new owner of the demolished building when he came to threaten me and my business the week before. The new owner told the Statesman — he wanted his building to be beautiful just like Big Red Sun.  It’s confusing to become part of the fabric of this old neighborhood- we are valued in some ways but I’m sure also vilified for gentrifying.  The CoA has contacted the business owners on Cesar Chavez about creating an IBIZ district- we sat in a CoA meeting and shuddered as we contemplated the city “solving” for “connectivity” issues on the street.   This charming neighborhood has infected me.   Last one in-  shut the door to change.   I’m sure that’s not the answer- but we do know that we have to honor this neighborhood, these neighbors and the changing city.  And if the CoA is asking for our help- we’d be remiss to leave.


So- remember how shitty 2016 was? It ended for BRS with a parking code violation called in by one of our neighbors.  As a result, the city has asked us to pave our courtyard garden to make it available for parking.

As a garden design firm, our garden is obviously an important part of our business identity. It’s also a hardworking space for our business-

For instance:


wait- there’s also a video (it’s worth a click)

This is just a day in the life of our hardworking garden. 2017 note- when someone comes and asks to film an underwear commercial in your garden ALWAYS say yes.


When we leased this building- the garden looked like this.  l1070322

We cut the door into our space for loads of light and also so we could have a constant connection to the outdoors. Good for our soul and morale. Not to mention our baby plants- here grow our flower seeds we are starting for the Josephine house summer garden. img_8394

The courtyard has been a showroom/role model  for our high end synthetic turf that we try and suggest to almost every client. This is an installation shot of the lawn.


We are a garden design and maintenance firm that does NOT own a lawn mower on principle.   We have to have saved millions of gallons of City water from installing these all over town. It’s a big leap of faith for someone to put in a plastic lawn (!) so it’s great to have one that can be test driven.

Back to our violation

The City’s request is for 9 parking spaces and a fire lane on the property that must be paved. PAVED?! the antichrist to gardeners.

The trashy little secret is that we do park in this courtyard and drive all over it…. storing trucks overnight etc. I’m telling you this turf is tough. img_8402

Thus after some major whining and flopping around, we’ve decided to take on the challenge of trying to abide by city’s needs while being green and staying beautiful in the process. We know the city also wants to encourage new thinking in terms of parking surface solutions, run off containment, heat reduction and tree health (note the heritage pecan at our fence line).

BRS will try and update our field notes here as we navigate the halls of our great city to find a kinder gentler alternative to paving the playgrounds of our scantily clad brothers and sisters, puppies, butterflies, bees and flowers.