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SUNSET VALLEY, TX

SUNSET VALLEY, TEXAS. Sunset Valley is off State Highway 71 in southwestern Travis County. The community began in the early 1950s when brothers Clarence and M. H. Flournoy bought property twelve miles outside of Austin for a residential development. The landscape, a wooded valley nestled among rolling hills and on the western edge of Austin, inspired the name Sunset Valley. The town incorporated on September 17, 1954, as a strictly residential community and established a mayor/council form of government. Clinton Vilven served as the first mayor. About a month after incorporation, Sunset Valley experienced the first of what would be a series of de-annexations through the years as petitioners applied to de-annex various tracts while the town annexed other tracts. This led to confusion over the boundaries of Sunset Valley. In 1957 the town had a population of 181. During the late 1950s and early 1960s an annual youth rodeo in town became the largest of its kind in the state. Sunset Valley provided additional services in the 1960s with the construction of an elementary school, acquisition of a fire truck, and appointment of a village marshal. By the 1970s, as the growth of Austin impinged upon the boundaries of Sunset Valley, the two cities increasingly clashed over territory and jurisdiction. In 1970 residents objected to the plans of the Austin Independent School District to build an athletic complex within the corporate limits of Sunset Valley. The City of Austin wanted Sunset Valley to de-annex the land, while the Sunset Valley government argued that their zoning laws would not allow the complex. A court decided in favor of AISD's right to build the complex which was completed in 1976, and boundary disputes continued between Sunset Valley and Austin in the 1980s and 1990s. In 1990 Sunset Valley's city council approved a sixty-acre shopping center. That year the population was 327. In 1993 the city completed the construction of a wastewater system and established a public works department. The city had a population of 365 in 2000. The U.S. Postal Service officially recognized Sunset Valley as a destination for mail delivery in 2001. 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. Sunset Valley has various civic clubs and activities. By summer 2001 the city had organized and plotted the Sunset Valley Organic Community Garden.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Austin History Center Files. Carol F. Knight, An Informal History of Sunset Valley, Texas, 1954–2004 (Sunset Valley, Texas: City of Sunset Valley, 2004).

Laurie E. Jasinski

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Laurie E. Jasinski, "SUNSET VALLEY, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hls88), accessed July 30, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.