Austin History Center

Glenna Balch Papers

An Inventory of the Collection

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Balch, Glenna
Title: Glenna Balch Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1944-1995
Bulk Dates: 1981-1987
Abstract: The collection highlights Glenna Balch's involvement with several neighborhood organizations in Austin, Texas during the 1980s.
Identification: AR.2007.001
Quantity: 2 linear feet (2 boxes)
Language: The records are in English.
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, 810 Guadalupe, PO BOX 2287, Austin, TX 78768

Biographical Note

Glenna Balch is a South Austin resident active in addressing quality of life concerns in Austin, Texas. She served as the Zilker Neighborhood Association representative to the Austin Neighborhood Council, the campaign treasurer in Save Austin's Neighborhoods and Environment (SANE)- A People's PAC, secretary and chair of United South Austin, and as a member of the executive committee of the Zilker Neighborhood Association.

Austin Neighborhoods Council (ANC) was organized in 1973 to be the city wide umbrella organization to support neighborhood interests. Austin has a wide variety of neighborhood and other organizations committed to preserving the quality of life in their particular area. The ANC's motto is "Strength Through Unity" and reflects the successful collaboration that has been fostered between a wide range of separate associations. For 35 years the ANC has participated at all levels of government, and many ANC officers have gone on to serve at the City Council and on numerous Boards and Commission helping to shape public policy as it effects our neighborhoods.

Save Austin's Neighborhoods and Environment - the People's PAC (SANE) was founded in June of 1984 by a group of Austin, Texas citizens who had been active with neighborhood, energy, environmental, housing, civil rights and union issues. The group Save Austin Neighborhoods and Environment merged with the People's PAC in late 1984 and adopted the name Save Austin's Neighborhood and Environment - the People's PAC. The citizen's lobby was formed because individually most voters can't make the large contributions to political campaigns that other well-financed special interest groups make or get the attention of elected officials. As an organized group of voters SANE felt they could influence on candidates and be listened to by elected officials. SANE was concerned with issues such as protection of air and water quality, sensible growth, property tax reform, protecting and extending affordable housing, cancellation of STNP, neighborhood integrity, single member districts, and the enforcement of civil rights ordinances. SANE also hosted candidate forums for the membership to examine the candidates firsthand and published a voter's guide.

United South Austin (USA) was an umbrella group organized in 1982 whose membership was open to neighborhood and business associations, civic clubs and other community groups based in the area south of the Colorado River and which work on matters of community, business and neighborhood concern. USA had its roots in the South First Street Coordinating committee and was made up of representatives from local groups including the South First Corridor Business Association, the Bouldin Creek Neighborhood Association, the South Austin Advisory Board of the Multipurpose Center, the South Austin Neighborhood Council and the Becker Community ACORN group. The organization formed because it was felt that "South Austin has historically been ignored at City Hall" and they were "tired of the overloaded and broken down sewage treatment plants, absence of parkland, incompatible development, undesirable land uses and South Austin's 'step-child' status to Austin." James Pinedo, the organizer, wanted to work on problems that went beyond the boundaries of individual neighborhoods. The group grew to include such organizations as Cooper Lane Neighborhood Association, Dawson Area Neighborhood Association, Manchaca Estates Neighborhood Association, Nuckols Crossing Neighborhood Association, South River City Citizens, Southwest Austin Neighborhood Association, Travis Heights Improvement Association, Zilker Neighborhood Association, Montopolis Neighborhood Association, among others.

The Zilker Neighborhood Association (ZNA) was established in 1981 with the mission of protecting the character of the neighborhood and enhancing the quality of life for all of the residents. The ZNA is a volunteer organization that works to ensure appropriate code enforcement, resolve traffic safety issues, maintain our historic and cultural resources, protect our environment and ensure that the neighborhood's interests are heard at City Hall.

Scope and Contents

The collection is primarily composed of the records of four organizations Balch was involved with that were focused on the quality of life concerns of the citizens in Austin, Texas. The records include financial and administrative records, meeting agendas and minutes, membership records, newsletters, correspondence, mailings and flyers, resolutions, position papers, and newspaper clippings that span the years 1980 through 1995. The collection provides insight into some of the reactions of citizens to growth in Austin during the 1980s.

Approximately half of the collection consists of the records documenting Balch's work with the Zilker Neighborhood Association (ZNA) from 1980 through 1991. The Administrative Files subseries includes the organization's bylaws, correspondence, general notifications, meeting minutes, membership lists and planning documents. The Neighborhood Planning and Concerns subseries consists of materials pertaining to the various zoning and planning issues that the organization concerned themselves with to ensure that the neighborhood's interests were represented at City Hall. During the 1980s the group was especially concerned with development in their area and passed resolutions opposing requests for zoning changes and/or registered for "interested party" status with the City of Austin Planning Department regarding the site plan approval process of building projects such as 1518 Barton Springs Road, 2001 La Casa, 2001 La Casa, Campanile Del Mar, The Cloisters, Lost Canyon Condominiums, Talisman Condominiums, Xalapeno Charlie's Restaurant and One Texas Center. The files concerning these real estate developments contain meeting notes, official correspondence with the City of Austin and the developers, newspaper clippings, maps and planning commission documentation. The Printed Materials subseries includes newspapers clippings about the neighborhood. In addition, meeting agendas and brief stories about the organization's activities can be found in Z News, the ZNA newsletter.

Balch was also a member of the Austin Neighborhoods Council (ANC) as a representative of the Zilker Neighborhood Association. Included in the ANC records are membership lists, bylaws, meeting notes and minutes, newsletters and resolutions and position papers from the 1980s. Notable among the ANC records are correspondence, newspaper clippings, legal papers and public notices concerning the litigation against the City of Austin over the operation of its sewage treatment plants. ANC and other citizen organization charged the improperly treated sewage was resulting in the pollution of the Colorado River.

Also documented within the collection are the activities of Save Austin's Neighborhoods and Environment (SANE) - the People's PAC. The records include documents related to the organization, including financial and administrative records, membership records, correspondence, flyers and mailings, meeting minutes and resolutions and position papers. Balch was appointed campaign treasurer and the Sworn Statements of Contributions and Expenditures filed with the Secretary of State for 1985 and 1986 are included.

Blanch was also a member and officer in United South Austin (USA). Included in the collection are membership lists, bylaws, meeting notes and minutes, newsletters and resolutions and position papers from the 1980s for the organization. The two issues of concern to USA best represented in the collection are the opposition to plan to locate the Salvation Army Social Service Center at 3815 South Congress and the suit brought by United South Austin and the Austin Neighborhoods Council (among others) against the City of Austin for violating limitations and other standards in discharging treated, partially treated and raw sewage into the Colorado River.

In addition to the records of the above organizations the collection contains a limited amount of records pertaining to the Austin Forum, the Pay Equity Task Force, River City Coordinating Council and the Town Lake Park Alliance.

A 1944 Deed of Trust for a piece of property in Austin, Texas and a 1952 plat map of South Lund Park could not be readily connected to any of the above organizations and were added to the Assorted Oversize Materials series.


Collection is arranged into 6 series:
I. Austin Neighborhood Council
II. Save Austin's Neighborhoods and Environment - A People's PAC
III. United South Austin
IV. Zilker Neighborhood Association
V. Other Organizations
VI. Assorted Oversize Materials


Restrictions on Access

Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use


Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Balch, Glenna
Austin Neighborhoods Council.
City of Austin.
Pay Equity Task Force.
Save Austin's Neighborhoods and Environment (SANE)- the People's PAC.
United South Austin.
Zilker Neighborhood Association.
Austin (Tex.)
City planning--Texas--Austin.
Community development--Texas--Austin.
Neighborhood government--Texas--Austin.
Political Action Committees--Texas--Austin.

Related Material

Austin Files

  • AF C4170 City Planning
  • AF N1900(43) Neighborhood Groups - Save Austin' Neighborhoods and Environment
  • AF N1900(4) Neighborhood Groups - Austin Neighborhood Council

Manuscript Collections

  • AR.2004.023 United South Austin Records
  • AR.1998.001 Austin Neighborhood Council Records
  • AR.2000.014 Dawson Neighborhood Association and Planning Team Records


  • Austin Neighborhoods Council Newsletter
  • United South Austin
  • South Austin Neighbor: A Newspaper of United South Austin
  • The Z News

Separated Material

To General Collection

  • City of Austin Urban Transportation Department. Neighborhood Traffic Management Program. June 1986.
  • City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department. Oak Wilt Information Booklet.
  • City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department. Barton Hills/Horseshoe Bend Oak Wilt Survey and Disease Management Recommendations Report. October 26, 1987.
  • Austin (Tex.). Citizens' Planning Committee. Citizen's Planning Committee Report. January 19, 1995.
  • Myers, Dowell. Sliding Down the Ladder: Citizens' Views of Austin's Quality of Life. Austin: Community of Regional Planning, School of Architecture, The University of Texas at Austin, 1984.

To Periodicals

  • Austin Agenda: An Independent Weekly Political Report. Several issues from 1987.
  • Austin Mirror. Vol. 1, No. 1., Vol. 1, No. 3.-No. 18.
  • The Neighborhood News: Serving Travis Heights, Barton Heights, Bouldin Heights, Barton Hills, and the Zilker neighborhoods. Several issues from circa 1989-1990 .
  • The Daryl Herald. Scattered issues from 1985-1987 (including the Final Edition).

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Glenna Balch Papers (AR.2007.001). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Donor #: DO/1988/003

Donation Date: 2007

Processing Information

Original folder headings were preserved when they existed; additional explanations were added in parenthesis if needed. Loose materials were arranged by material type.

Photocopies of the checks originally filed with the Sworn Statements of Contributions and Expenditures were removed from the collection and destroyed because of the presence of bank account numbers. The contribution amount information is preserved in the documents filed with the Secretary of State.

Finding aid created and encoded by Molly Hults/2010.

Detailed Description of the Collection

I. Austin Neighborhoods Council (ANC), 1981-1988, undated

Box Folder
1 1 Bylaws, 1987
2-3 Clean Colorado, 1984-1985
4 Mailings and flyers, undated
5 Meeting minutes, 1983-1988
6 Membership, 1987, undated
6 Newsletters, 1982-1988
8 Resolutions and position papers, 1981-1987

II. Save Austin's Neighborhoods and Environment (SANE)- the People's PAC., 1984-1989

Box Folder
1 9 Administrative records notebook, 1984
10 Campaign treasurer, 1984
11 Correspondence, 1985
12-13 Financial records, 1984-1985
14 Gary Nunn concert tickets and receipts, 1984
15 Mailings and flyers, 1984-1987
16 Meetings, 1984-1987
17 Membership, 1984-1985
18 Notes, 1987, undated
19 Resolutions and position papers, 1984-1988, undated
20 Sworn Statements of Contributions and Expenditures, 1984-1986

III. United South Austin (USA), 1982-1987

Box Folder
1 21 Bylaws and articles of incorporation, 1984-1986
22 Correspondence, 1982-1986
23 Deposition exhibit no. 4, 1982-1986
24 Deposition exhibit no. 5, 1983-1984
25 Financial records, 1984, undated
26 Mailings and flyers, 1986-1989
27-28 Meetings, 1983-1985
29 Membership, 1983-1985, undated
30 Newspaper clippings, 1982, 1985
31 Resolutions and position papers, 1983, undated
32 Salvation Army, 1984-1985
33-34 Williamson Creek law suit, 1985

IV. Zilker Neighborhood Association (ZNA), 1981-1991

Administrative Files, 1981-1991
Box Folder
2 1 Bylaws, 1989, undated
2 Correspondence, 1987-1988
3 General notifications, 1986
4 Hearings uncontested, 1986
5 Meetings, 1985-1991
6 Membership, 1985-1988, undated
7 Planning, 1981-1983, undated
Neighborhood Planning and Concerns, 1981-1990
Box Folder
2 8 406 Sterzing Street, 1986, undated
9 1207 and 1209 rear Kinney Avenue, 1984, undated
10 1518 Barton Springs Road, 1988-1989, undated
Location FlatFile
qAR 04/01/017 Architectural plan, undated
Box Folder
2 11 2001 La Casa,, 1986-1987
12 2006-2100 Melridge Place, 1986
13 2114 Oxford, 1983, undated
14 Austin Transportation Study, 1986
15 Campanile Del Mar, 1985
16 The Cloisters, 1982
17 Duplex signs, 1983
18 High rise, 1984-1985
19 Kinney Condos, 1981
20 Lost Canyon Condos, 1982
21 Neighborhood roll back, undated
22 Neighborhood traffic management, 1986-1987
23 Neighborhood watch, 1981, undated
24 Property tax revolt, 1984, undated
25 Resolutions, 1986-1990, undated
26 Seaholm to Salem Walk project, undated
27 Talisman Condos, 1982
28 Texas Center (One Texas Center), 1980-1983
29 Town Lake Park Comprehensive Plan, 1987-1988
Location FlatFile
qAR 04/01/014 Save the Park poster, circa 1987
Box Folder
2 30 Umlauf Gardens, 1986
31 Widening of South Lamar, 1986-1988, undated
32 Jalepeno Charlie's (Xalapeno Charlie's Restaurant), 1983, undated
33 Assorted zoning concerns, 1982-90, undated
Printed Materials, 1982-1995
Box Folder
2 34 News about the neighborhood, 1982-1991
35 Z News, 1982-1995, undated

V. Other Organizations, 1983-1989, undated

Box Folder
2 36 Austin Forum, 1987, undated
37 Pay Equity Task Force, 1986-1987
38 RC3 (River City Coordinating Council), 1983-1987, undated
39 Town Lake Park Alliance, 1981-1989

VI. Assorted Oversize Materials, undated

Location FlatFile
qAR 04/01/015-016 Oversize materials 1944, 1952