Community leaders stand by decades-old car club tradition at east Austin's Chicano Park

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Community leaders stand by decades-old car club tradition at east Austin's Chicano Park

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Community leaders are standing by a decades-old tradition in East Austin that is facing complaints from some neighbors at a new luxury apartment complex.

Mayor Steve Adler and other council members joined the car clubs that meet at Rendon Park on Sunday. Organizers say it’s been a tradition for generations to celebrate cars, music, family and culture in an area that’s known to many as Chicano Park.

However, a high-end apartment complex was built right next to where the car clubs meet.

Some new residents there started reporting noise issues, blocked roadways and large gatherings.

The car clubs say despite the complaints, this is a part of their culture that is not going away.

“We’ve had to deal with gentrification and we’ve had to deal with this development coming in and encroaching on our community,” says Bertha Rendon Delgado, a community organizer and president of the East Town Lake Citizen’s Association. “Those complaints should not be validated because we can’t complain, we have to find a way to embrace that.”

The Weaver apartment complex sent a statement to KXAN Sunday afternoon.

“The Weaver community understands and respects the importance of the weekly car club tradition in the East Austin community. As such, no one ever speaking on behalf of the property or property management has ever asked the car clubs to move or end their Sunday gatherings. We’ve reached out to our residents, car club organizers and East Austin leaders to facilitate better understanding and help find solutions that respect all involved.”

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Read the full statement from the apartment complex below:

“The Weaver community understands and respects the importance of the weekly car club tradition in the East Austin community. As such, no one ever speaking on behalf of the property or property management has ever asked the car clubs to move or end their Sunday gatherings – nor are we aware of any resident doing so.  

A unique point of distinction between The Weaver and other complexes is its origins. It is part of the larger redevelopment of the RBJ Center site, which has the purpose of funding The Austin Geriatric Center’s mission to provide 500 affordable homes for seniors. We hope the community can understand the great lengths that went into gaining community support for the redevelopment’s vision, the need for affordable housing and the important role residents of The Weaver are playing to provide it. 

While a few of our residents, as well as other neighbors nearby, have complained about certain issues related to the gatherings, like noise levels and blocked roadways, it is important to note the quality-of-life concerns raised are similar to those often voiced whenever large, festive gatherings are held near homes, in Austin and beyond.  

We’ve reached out to our residents, car club organizers and East Austin leaders to facilitate better understanding and help find solutions that respect all involved.”
The Weaver


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