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Mueller
 
FAQs
 

 
Development Outreach & Information

MAOnline
  • Is there anything I am not allowed to say on the Message Board?
    The Message Board is a family-friendly environment, please be courteous. Profanity and vulgar topics are not welcome and the site administrator reserves the right to delete malicious posts.
  • Can I choose an alias to use on MAOnline?
    No, since every user must verify their identity to accept the site’s Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions, you must use this identifying information to access the site. The site administrator reserves the right to delete any accounts that provide misleading or incorrect information including names and contact information.
  • Do you have to be with TimeWarner/RoadRunner to access MAOnline?
    No, you can access the site from anywhere there is internet access with any browser.
  • What is MAOnline?
    MAOnline stands for MuellerAustinOnline.com, a community site for residents and people interested in Mueller. There are two levels of access to MAOnline. A  visitor and a closed resident may see different topics as they relate to their involvement with the community. Homebuyers under contract with a builder are visitors until they have closed on their home.

Mueller Property Owners' Association
  • Do owners have the right not to pay assessments if they don't like what is happening at Mueller
    The governing documents require the payment of assessments and are an independent part of the contract entered into by the owner upon purchasing the property. An owner cannot simply choose not to pay assessments. Failure to pay assessments, even if the owner doesn’t like what is going on, will subject the owner to personal liability for the unpaid assessments and may result in a foreclosure of the owner’s home. The Associations provide members with many
    ways to get involved, serve in decision-making positions, and influence the affairs and decisions of the Associations and the community.
  • Generally speaking, what are the responsibilities of the Community manager?
    The guiding document on the responsibilities of the manager is the contract between the Associations and the manager. The manager takes direction from the Board of Directors and generally fulfills the role of managing agent to the Associations and Board, as well as providing administrative support to the  Associations and the Board of Directors and collecting assessments and fees on behalf of the Associations. The manager is responsible for keeping the records of the Associations (minutes, corporate report, financial statements, owners' files, contracts, maps, etc.). The manager is also responsible for inspecting for maintenance needs and supervising maintenance activities and for ensuring compliance with rules or other legal requirements. The manager will typically provide advice to the Board as to when to seek legal counsel.
  • Generally, how are the levels of assessments determined?
    Estimated expenses in the approved budget allow the Associations to establish the annual assessments necessary to operate the community. Under the Covenants, the total budgeted expenses, less any surplus in the budget from prior years and any income anticipated from sources other than assessments, are set at an equal rate per “Assessment Unit”. A property within Mueller may be assigned one or more Assessment Units; this number, multiplied by the rate, equals the unit’s “Base Assessment.”
  • Generally, how does insurance operate in the Associations? What does the Association insure?
    The Board of Directors purchases insurance annually for the Associations that covers items required under the governing documents, include certain buildings and grounds designated as Service Areas, personal property of the Associations, general liability for the common areas, including amenities, fidelity coverage for the monies of the Associations, and professional liability coverage. The governing documents dictate what coverage the Board should purchase and for what coverage the individual owner is responsible.
     
    It is important for owners to maintain their own insurance to cover their property. The unit owner needs to purchase liability insurance for anything that occurs within their property. Owners should always seek the help of a qualified insurance professional when determining what coverage and limits are needed or recommended.
  • How are the Associations affected by state law in Texas?
    There are three state statutes that specifically affect community associations. Title 11 of the Texas Property Code governs restrictive covenants in general, whether applicable to a master planned community, a condominium community or some other type of common interest community. The Texas Uniform Condominium Act governs condominium communities and associations and may be found in the Texas Property Code, Section 82.001, et seq. And, Section 22.001, et seq. of the Texas Business Organizations Code governs nonprofit corporations such as
    the Associations. There is also a broad variety of state laws that affect the operation of associations, such as state insurance, labor, land use, foreclosure, debt collection, and many other laws.
  • What are the governing documents?
    The governing documents refer to the Mueller Master Community Covenant, the Mueller EC/TC Community Covenant, the Mueller Mixed-Use Community Covenant, any supplemental or subordinate covenants, and any amendments or supplements thereto (collectively referred to as the “Covenants”). They also include the Community Fee Covenant, the map, plats and plans, the Articles of Incorporation, the Bylaws, and any Rules and Regulations, policies or procedures, including any architectural or design guidelines or other documents that govern
    the operation of the Community and determine the rights and responsibilities of
    owners/members. Any owner may obtain the governing documents from the Association management.
     
    An Association's Covenant is at the top of the governing document 'pyramid' and delineates the basic powers of the Association. The Association's Bylaws explain how the Association governs and operates, such as when meetings are to be held and what quorums are necessary. The Articles of Incorporation create and maintain the Association as an entity and separate legal person. The Rules and Regulations, Mueller Design Book and Association policies are often
    adopted by the Board to clarify instances where the Covenant is silent or ambiguous. Rules and Regulations and guidelines and policies can be the most flexible or easily changed of the governing documents.
  • What are the owners’ and the Associations’ responsibilities for exterior maintenance?
    Responsibilities for exterior maintenance are detailed in the governing documents. The following is a general summary:
     
    Single-family homes: Generally, owners are responsible for all maintenance of the exterior of the home and landscaping, and the Associations are not responsible for any exterior maintenance.
     
    Row Homes / Town homes: Generally, owners are responsible for the windows, doors and garage doors as well as all portions of the unit except the roof and exterior siding. The Associations are responsible for any area designated as a Service Area, including the exterior of the building including the roof and siding.
     
    Condominiums: Generally, owners are responsible for the windows and doors of their unit and the interior of the air space from the drywall inward, together with all fixtures and utilities existing within the unit or servicing the unit exclusively. The Associations are responsible for all exterior maintenance, with the exception of the windows and doors that service each unit. If a condominium property has inside lobbies, corridors, elevators, etc., these are generally also the responsibility of the Associations.
  • What Association records are accessible to the various owners?
    Generally, all records of the Associations are accessible to owners. A few exceptions to this broad right of inspection exist such as for legally privileged information. Provisions in both the law and the governing documents detail how an owner may access Association records. Typically, the Associations’ records will be in the custody of the manager.
  • What do assessments pay for?
    Generally speaking, assessments cover Master Community facilities, such as pool maintenance, recreational amenities; landscaping of common areas; insurance; common fencing; entry signage and lighting; the services of the community manager; a bookkeeper and/or accountant to prepare the annual tax return; and attorney fees of the Associations.
  • What is the difference between the Mueller POA, the MCA and Neighborhood Association?
    The Mueller Property Associations, also known as the POA, HOA or Mueller Community Associations are the same thing. As a resident at Mueller you belong to at least two Associations, the Mueller Master Community Association and the Mueller Mixed Use Association. This is why you often see an (s) when we are discussing the Mueller Community Associations. Membership in the Associations is mandatory. When you buy a lot or unit in the Community, you have entered into a contract and obligated yourself to membership in the Associations and to following and obeying all rules and regulations and other conditions and restrictions contained in the Governing Documents.
     
    Without the Associations, the construction of the amenities planned for Mueller, such as the pools, trails and parks, etc. and the operation and maintenance of roads, landscaping and infrastructure within Mueller would not be possible.
     
    There is also a Mueller Neighborhood Association or MNA, which is a voluntary group of Mueller Residents that have formed the Neighborhood Association.

Parks and Pool
  • Can I have a party or event at Mueller?

    Yes, and groups of 20 or less do not need approval to use the parks.  Groups of more than 20 do require approval and a fee. The fees and process varies based on the scope of a proposed event. Fees start at $25 for groups of 50 or less.  Large events using the facilities extensively, like a run or a gala, could incur much higher fees which go towards offsetting costs.  The pool is not currently available for private parties or events.
     
  • How can I report a maintenance issue or concern that I see at Mueller?
    Any maintenance issue in the common areas (i.e. parks and pool) should be reported to Alliance Customer Service at 512-347-2888 or info@allianceonline.net. You can also log on the Message Board under Reported Repairs. The Community Manager is automatically notified if a new item is posted in that thread.
     
    As residents you will see potential issues more often than we can so please do not be shy! We are always appreciative of suggestions and emails that report these concerns. Often we may be aware of a reported issue, but not always so please let us know.
  • Who can swim at Ella Wooten pool?
    As Mueller was being planned by local citizens and the City of Austin, it was envisioned that the parks and amenities would be available for public use.
     
    True to that commitment, the Pool Committee worked with state requirements for lifeguards at public pools, establishing rules and the basis for the current pool schedule inviting public access “Open Swim” on a schedule and fees consistent with City neighborhood pools. Pool hours without lifeguards meet state Resident Swim criteria and manage operating costs. Rules also allow for resident guests.
  • Who can use the parks at Mueller and who owns and maintains them?

    The parks at Mueller are open to the public. They are owned and maintained by the Mueller Community Associations (MCA).  Maintenance is funded primarily by monthly fees paid by the commercial and residential property owners in Mueller, with the City of Austin contributing a small proportion to costs.  The property owners’ association was created to carry forward the design and green building requirements at Mueller, as well as maintain these new regional parks without creating a financial burden for the City of Austin.
     
    In the future, the Northwest Greenway, Southwest Greenway and the planned Southeast Greenway will be deeded to the City of Austin, but the MCA will continue to be responsible for the maintenance and costs. The interior parks, such as Lake Park, Ella Wooten Park, including the pool, Paggi Square and others, will continue to be owned and maintained by the MCA and open to the public.
     
  • Who do I contact about the parks for events, maintenance, rules, etc.?

    Park information is available at www.MuellerAustinOnline.com, including rules, upcoming events, event applications and how to report a repair. You can also contact the MCA through Alliance, the management company, at info@allianceonline.net or 512-347-2888. You can report a repair 24/7 to 512-347-2888.
     
  • Who makes decisions about the parks?
    Decisions about the parks and pool are made using the input of specialists like the contract landscaping and pond vendors or the pool maintenance and lifeguard companies. They often involve the MCA committees for the pool and parks and include the recommendation of Alliance Association Management, the property management firm for the MCA. Final decisions are made by the MCA board of directors.  
     
  • Why don’t we drain the pool?
    Professional pool maintenance companies do not recommend draining outdoor commercial pools as a regular maintenance item because it is not needed, is a waste of water and risky to the equipment. The commercial pumps and filters keep the pool clean, regular filling due to evaporation and backwashing keeps a steady flow of new water coming into the system. Draining the pool also exposes plaster and pool equipment, designed to be under water, to weather elements they are not designed to handle.
  • Why is there algae or trash in the ponds?
    The Mueller ponds are beautiful, relaxing and great wildlife habitats but they are primarily designed to be water quality features. They are catch basins for flood water and run off. They provide the perfect environment for stopping trash and harmful bacteria from running downstream or getting into our drinking water. For these reasons, swimming in them is not allowed. Fishing is allowed but we ask that you do not eat anything you catch.
     
    After a big rain there will be increased trash in the ponds. Once a month, Oteka Ponds cleans all of the trash from the ponds, trims back vegetation and maintains our fountains and aerators. Between these cleanings there will be trash in the plantings and in the water.
     
    Algae is also a normal part of this process. During the summer, when it warms up the algae will bloom and it will appear there is a lot of it throughout the pond. This is part of the pond's normal cycle. At the end of the summer, in late August or September, Oteka ponds will come and scrape the algae off the top of the pond. This will remove most but not all of the algae in the ponds.

Pool
  • How can I get a pool key?
    If you do not have a pool key (or need a replacement) you can come by Mueller Central. Please be sure to bring a photo ID with you.
     
    Antonia will be handing out pool keys during open hours Tuesdays – Fridays, 9am to 5pm, and Saturday 9am - 3pm.
     
  • How much does it cost to swim?

    Non-resident patrons can swim at rates that match the City of Austin pool rates for Day Pass Fees: Adult - $3.00; Junior (12-17) - $2.00; Child (11 and under) and Senior - $1.00. Season passes are also available. Residential property owners pay monthly fees to the MCA for park and pool maintenance.  Visitor fees account for approximately 4% of the annual pool operation costs.
     
  • Is Ella Wooten’s pool open to the public and is it a City pool?

    Ella Wooten’s pool is open to the public but it is not a City pool.  It is owned, operated and maintained by the MCA with no City support.  To open Ella Wooten’s pool to the public, interested neighbors, the MCA pool committee and board worked together to develop a pool operating plan that would meet state requirements (below) and have a schedule and fees similar to existing City neighborhood pools. 
     
    Pools are subject to State licensing.  Ella Wooten has a ‘hybrid” licensure. It operates as a Class B pool when open to the public, which requires it have lifeguards.  It operates as a Class C pool when lifeguards are not present at which time law restricts its use to residents and their guests. The pool is closed for a period when lifeguards come on duty or leave with the change from Class B to Class C operation to prevent overlap and to allow the lifeguards to set up.
     
  • What are the Swim Season pool hours?

    Open Swim: Tuesday – Sunday 1:00 PM – 7:00 PM; lifeguards on duty; meets State requirements for use by resident patrons and non-resident patrons.
     
    Resident Swim: Tuesday – Sunday 5:00 AM – Noon; 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM. no lifeguard supervision. State requirements limit use to resident patrons.
     
  • What if my pool key is not working?
    The pool keys can become inactive if exposed to a magnet, most notably a metal detector at the airport but also new credit cards etc. If your card is not working, please call Alliance Customer Service at 512-347-2888. They will be able to tell if the gate is offline (power failure, someone cut the phone line etc.). They will also be able to notify you if the gate was intentionally turned off because of maitnenance issues, such as poop in the pool.
     
    If the gate should be working but is not then they will "ping" or "reactivate" your card while you are on the phone. 9 out of 10 times, this will work. If the card was irreversibly damaged then you can exchange it at Mueller Central.
     
    We recommend that you call while you are standing at the pool so you can test it while on teh phone with them. However, you can call anytime, just have your pool card number with you.
  • What is the pool schedule?

    The pool is generally open for Swim Season from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Off-Season, the pool is not lifeguarded and may be open for Resident Swim during the months of April, May, September and October. Specific dates and times are determined each year.  The pool is closed on Mondays (with the exception of some holiday Mondays) for cleaning and maintenance. 
     
  • Who builds the parks and pools at Mueller and how are they paid for?
    The park improvements at Mueller are built by Catellus, the master developer, as a part of infrastructure construction along with things like streets and drainage.  The infrastructure at Mueller is paid for through tax increment financing which is ultimately funded by the new sales tax and property tax revenue being generated at Mueller, along with Mueller’s land sales. 
     
  • Who can swim at Ella Wooten pool?

    Anyone can swim at Ella Wooten when the pool is lifeguarded – referred to as “Open Swim”. During pool hours when no lifeguards are present, state law limits swimming to residents and their guests – referred to as “Resident Swim”.  Like City pools, there are also age requirements to swim without supervision. Complete pool information can be found at www.MuellerAustinOnline.com under the Pool tab.
     

Residents
  • How should I set my irrigation system?
    The landscaped yards at Mueller are primarily Texas native plants or adapted species that can withstand the intense heat and rough Texas summer.
     
    Even during the intense heat of Texas summer, your Bermuda turf needs only about 1 inch of water each week. It's best to water deeply once or twice a week. Watering deeply encourages the roots to grow deeper and stronger.
     
    Always keep the watering restrictions in mind when setting your irrigation timer.  Irrigation cannot be allowed to run off into the street or onto the sidewalk. Please remember to irrigate the street trees at your residence, they are the yard home owner’s responsibility to maintain.
     
  • What do I do about utility pipes sticking up on my property?
    You can call the utility department that owns the pipe (Could be cable, gas or City of Austin electric) and ask them to cut down and cap off. These are typically seen along the alleys but I’ve seen a few in front yard corners.
  • What is the IPM (Integrated Pest Management Package also known as Mueller Environmental Education Packet)?
    Integrated pest management (IPM) is an environmentally-sound method of controlling pests (weeds, diseases, insects or others). Pests are identified, action thresholds are considered, all possible control options are evaluated, and selected control(s) are implemented.
     
    Most of us are familiar with the handy “Grow Green Guides” we see at home improvement stores to organically banish snails from your garden or get rid of the aphids on your roses but did you know that the Grow Green Guides are also part of the deed restrictions at Mueller?
     
    Residents were provided a packet called the Mueller Environmental Education Packet from your builder, it includes many tips for a greener home and landscape and the Integrated Pest Management Plan. The Mueller Master Community Associations also use least toxic approaches throughout Mueller by requiring their landscapers and other vendors to follow the program.
     
    IPM takes advantage of all appropriate pest management options. Control options used to prevent or remedy unacceptable pest activity or damage include:
     
    • Biological - recognize, encourage, and/or introduce beneficial predators in your landscape.
    • Cultural - plant native, pest-resistant plant varieties, and give them proper light, water and nutrients.
    • Mechanical - hand-pick insects, or use traps, barriers, or water blasts to infected areas.
    • Chemical - use botanical, mineral, and insecticidal soap or synthetic chemicals
    Choice of control option(s) is based on effectiveness, environmental impact, site characteristics, worker/public health and safety, and economics.
     
    Residents are encouraged to check out the City of Austin Grow Green website at http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/growgreen for great information and tips.
  • What is the Mueller Community Assessment Fee or the Mueller Foundation?
    As you may remember from when you closed on your home initially, the Mueller Community Assessment Fee is a fee charged at the time of any sale of property in Mueller (0.25% fee of the sales price) that is paid to the Mueller Foundation. This relevant covenant is called "Mueller Community Fee", document # 2006050355 and not related to the POA. However, at closing, the instructions to collect this fee are provided to title companies by Alliance as a courtesy to the title company.
     
    The Mueller Foundation exists to sustain affordable housing at Mueller and to support the social goals of the Mueller neighborhood with an emphasis on quality education and sustainability in Central and Northeast Austin schools and neighborhoods. For more information on the Mueller Foundation, please visit their website at www.muellerfoundation.org.
     
  • What is the Pecan Street Project?
    Pecan Street Inc. was been granted federal funding for a smart grid demostration project which will take place at Mueller.  
      
    Headquartered at The University of Texas at Austin, Pecan Street Inc. is a research and development organization focused on developing and testing advanced technology, business model and customer behavior surrounding advanced energy management systems. Their flagship effort is the Pecan Street Demonstration, a smart grid research project in Austin’s Mueller community.
     
    For more information please see their website at www.pecanstreet.org. 
     
  • Who do I call when streetlights are not working or street signs are down?
    Please report it to the City of Austin via 311.

Rules and Regulations
  • Are dogs required to leashed at Mueller?
    Yes, please remember to always have your dog on a leash. This is a City of Austin law and applies to Mueller’s parks and open areas. You can be ticketed at the parks if you have your dog off leash. If you see a dog off the leash in the park please call 311 or 911 if you feel in danger to report this. There is not currently any area that dogs are allowed to be off-leash in Mueller.
  • Are PODs allowed at Mueller?
    PODS are not allowed on Mueller streets due to the narrowness of the streets. The roads are public and the City of Austin can ticket someone for parking a POD on the public street or haul it away.
     
    The City of Austin has indicated this would only occur if someone else complained about it but they considered them a significant safety concern because if an emergency vehicle needs to get in that area the POD cannot be moved quickly like a vehicle could.
     
    There are smaller PODS that can fit into driveways. Of course, you can use one of those as long as it does not block the alley at all.
  • Are the alleys one way? Safety in the alleys
    Please remember that the alleys are public right of ways, they are the same as any other one way road in Austin. Walking and biking is allowed in the alleys, so use caution when driving and be on the lookout for cyclists or pedestrians, just like you would on any other residential street. If you are walking or biking in the alley also use caution. Please never drive the wrong way down an alley or block the alleys for any reason; you can be ticketed for both offenses.
     
  • Can I wash my car on the streets at Mueller?
    No, this is against the rules because it is a waste of water, can cause drainage issues and create a nuissance for other neighbors.
  • Can residents park on the street?
    Yes, residents and their guests can park on the street for up to 72 hours. Please be courteous to your neighbors and make an attempt to park in front of your own home and keep car noise to a minimum if after 10pm.
  • Can Row Home owners add solar panels to their roof?
    Yes, after intensive research and thoughtful planning by the Row Home Maintenance committee and consultations with the POA's insurance and attorney this will be allowed. Owners will need to follow the Residential Solar Guidelines outlined in the Mueller Modification Guidelines. There will be additional paperwork required for Row Home Owners but the process will be the same.  Please feel free to submit an application and contact Alliance with any questions at 512-347-2888.
  • Do I need POA approval to make a change to my home? If so, how can I get it?
    Most changes do not require prior approval by the Modifications Committee. Interior changes do not require approval. Most modifications that are not publicly visible do not require pre-approval unless they might impact drainage or grading. The Modifications Committee strives to allow diversity at Mueller while upholding the intent of the Mueller Design Guidelines.
     
    Landscape changes do not require approval as long as they follow the Residential Landscape Modification Guidelines that were released to residents in spring 2008. Please keep in mind that the street trees cannot be removed or changed. If a street tree dies it is the homeowner’s responsibility to replace it. The Mueller Plant List provides excellent leadership on plants that will thrive in our soils while saving water.
     
    The Mueller Modification Guidelines were revised in May 2010 to include additional architectural improvements that could be made without approval. You can find a copy of the new guidelines under Documents and Forms.This includes replacing a roof with the identical color and material or upgrading to a metal roof with natural galvalume finish do not require approval. While solar panels are encouraged they still require review and approval by the committee. Most lighting changes require review and prior approval with the exception of low voltage landscape lighting. Floodlights will not be allowed.
     
  • What if my street tree dies?
    Residents in single family homes are responsible for their own street trees (Row Home owners are an exception to this), they are responsible for the irrigation, trimming and regular maintenance. If it dies then it must be replaced with the same species of tree that is at least 60 gallons in size or 3" caliper.