Neighborhood Profile: Sunset Valley

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Schools: Sunset Elementary, Covington Middle School, Crockett High School
Average Listing Price: $790,475 (November 2016)
Nearby Restaurants: Hyde Park Bar & Grill, Cane Rosso, Stouthouse Coffee Pub
Nearby Attractions & Amenities: Westgate Shopping Center, Sunset Valley Farmers Market and Artisan Market, Gaines Greenbelt, Toney Burger Center, Indian Grass Prairie Preserve

Sunset Valley: A city within a city

Surrounded on all sides by the city of Austin and named for its landscape, a wooded valley nestled among rolling hills, Sunset Valley is a roughly one-square-mile city that prides itself on its independent identity and desire to remain a primarily rural residential community. According to the City’s website, its mission is “to foster a unique, small town sense of community that respects and protects quality of life and provides a safe and secure natural and physical environment.” Indeed, Sunset Valley provides residents excellent public services and acres of open space and conversation land while also being situated close to shopping, restaurants, and other amenities.

While the first land transaction in the area took place in 1835, the community of Sunset Valley wasn’t actually developed until the 1950s, when brothers Clarence and M.H. Flournoy purchased a large tract of land for a residential subdivision. The area was incorporated as a town in 1954, at which time it adopted a mayor/council form of government and established a public works department. Its first city hall was completed in 1977, and a police department was established in 1979. In 1998, the city entered into an inter-local agreement with the city of Austin to provide firefighting services.

Over time, there has been a series of both de-annexations of some land tracts and annexations of others. This, plus the fact that the borderlines do not necessarily align with city streets, has created some confusion around the city’s borders. However, they are roughly Hwy 290/71 to the north (along with some of the Barton Creek Greenbelt just north of 290/71); Westgate and Williamson Creek to the east; and Brodie Lane to the west (including the shops on the west side of Brodie). The southernmost street within the city limits is Oakdale Drive, with some of the land south of Oakdale also within city limits.

Since the 1970s, Austin and Sunset Valley have clashed over territory and jurisdiction. Once such clash involved the Austin Independent School District’s desire to build an athletic complex within Sunset Valley limits. A court decided in favor of AISD, and the Toney Burger Center was completed in 1976. Since that time, the city council approved the sixty-acre Brodie Lane shopping center, and though a vast majority of the city’s territory remains residential, commercial development has continued to increase in Sunset Valley, which relies solely on its sales tax revenue to fund its budget.

Today, Sunset Valley’s more than 700 residents live in small- to medium-sized single family homes and apartment complexes, many of which were built between 1970 and 1999. They host one of the city’s most well-known farmers markets, the Sunset Valley Farmers Market and Artisan Market, every Saturday year-round. The area also attracts nature lovers, who enjoy the quite calm of a hike through the beautiful, well-maintained trails of the Indian Grass Prairie Preserve and Gaines Greenbelt, home to Gaines Creek, a tributary of Barton Creek.

The aforementioned Brodie Lane is home to a variety of shopping and restaurants, and recent development along 290/71 offers residents even more spa, retail, and dining options. Students attend AISD schools and are zoned to Sunset Elementary, Covington Middle School, and Crockett High School.

Check out our current listing in Sunset Valley, 4470 Stearns Lane!

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