SRCC GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING
Monday, February 2, 2015 7:15 PM
GRACE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
205 E. MONROE, AUSTIN, TEXAS
CALL TO ORDER/APPROVAL OF MINUTES
1. 7:15 Meeting procedures, etiquette, welcome newcomers. Verification of quorum. Reminder: state your name when presenting or seconding a motion. If an acronym is stated during the meeting and you don’t know what it means, please feel free to raise your hand and ask (see also footnote*).
Presenter throughout: Sounthaly “Tune” Outhavong, SRCC President, unless otherwise noted.
2. 7:20 Membership and voting announcements. Pay multiple years in advance and get a discount. Single membership: 1-yr $20; 2-yr $35; 3-yr $50 / Family membership: 1-yr $35; 2-yr $65; 3-yr $95
NOTE: In order to vote, dues must be paid a month in advance, with the exception that if a former member’s dues have lapsed no more than 2 years, they may renew at the meeting and be eligible to vote.
3. 7:22 Approve minutes from January 5, 2015, last regular monthly meeting (available at www.srccatx.org).
MOTION: Jean Mather / Betty Weed – to approve the minutes from the Jan 5th, 2015 General Membership meeting = PASSED
4. 7:25 Treasurer’s Report – see attachment to agenda distributed at the meeting; all reports are available upon request to the Treasurer.
Presenter: Nancy Byrd, Treasurer
Highlights: We received a $100 donation in January along with membership dues.
5. 7:30 Committee Chairs reports
1) Parks, Schools, Environment–item below; 2) Planning & Zoning–item below; 3) Transportation & Public Safety; 4) Norwood; 5) Historic District; 8) Finance; status of projects funded by SRCC; 9) ANC*; 10) Communications–item below
Historic District – The Bluebonnet Hills Historic District was approved and now goes to the Planning Commission.
ANC – The ANC met after a 2 month post-election reprieve. Three major themes running through the agenda were affordability, zoning concerns, and the public input process.
· Ora Houston, newly elected Council Person for District 1 discussed the need to view affordability more broadly than creating more density in the core for Millenials. With 25% unemployment in parts of East Austin and displacement of low-income communities to outlying area, growth in Austin is not serving all residents. She urged ANC to address this.
· Austin NAACP president Nelson Linder echoed Ora Houston’s concerns and discussed the need to follow through on proposals to shift investment focus away from downtown to needier areas.
· AISD Superintendent Paul Cruz discussed the need to retain tax revenue that is diverted from Austin to other parts of the state. It will be difficult to address the needs of Austin’s inner city children without it.
· Jeff Jack, former President of the ANC discussed the real concern that neighborhood plans will be discarded under the CodeNEXT code rewrite process. This could mean that zoning in neighborhoods could be completely changed to allow denser, larger construction. The ANC is working on a resolution to ensure that neighborhood plans will be preserved.
· Ora Houston urged patience while a new committee structure for city council is put in place. The goal will be to get public input earlier in the process and then ensure that city countil meetings don’t go late into the night to accommodate an unlimited number of speakers.
· Paul Robbins, environmental activist and consumer advocate, discussed the implementation of “scorecards” for elected officials in Austin. The purpose is to create transparency around how well elected officials serve communities vs. special interests. Further work will be done around this idea.
6. 7:40 Torchy’s alcohol waiver–Update on their plan to resubmit the request for a waiver. Folks who feel strongly about this issue are encouraged to get involved.
Presenter: Kurt Cadena-Mitchell, Austin Interfaith, firstname.lastname@example.org
A couple months ago Torchy’s came to speak about their flagship restaurant on South Congress in the old Fran’s Hamburgers location. The concept includes having a full bar which requires an alcohol beverage waiver appliction from Torchy’s because the restaurant will be within 300 feet of Fulmore Middle School. SRCC voted to support the AISD policy that opposes the sale of alcohol within the designated distance. Torchy’s appears to be pursuing this variance despite opposition from AISD, SRCC, BCNA and Austin Interfaith. Kathie Tovo was present and has voiced support for our position along with other Council Members. The point was made about the precedent of allowing a variance/waiver after having established a very clear policy against it. It was suggested to include an article about this in the newsletter. Anyone looking to join an effort to oppose this requested waiver can contact Kurt about steps that can be taken in the coming weeks.
6. 7:50 Reagan Signs property–Development of a Commercial Storage building on the Reagan Signs site at Woodland and I-35
Presenter: Marc Davis, SRCC Zoning and Planning Committee
This property is on the NW corner of Woodland/I-35 and is heavily wooded. The owner expressed an interest in building an upscale storage facility with some restrictions versus the office space it is zoned for and that we requested. Two years later they have started an administrative site plan process and should be pursuing the agreed upon project but don’t necessarily have to do the plan negotiated. The private restrictive covenant forces the SRCC to enforce the restrictions agreed to. As of right now there is no real reason to believe they will stray from the agreement but will not know until their plans are publicly available.
7. 7:55 Grant from Austin Parks Foundation for Heritage Oaks Park–summary of the scope of the project, requirements we must meet, Q&A
Presenter: Carol Martin, SRCC Membership Chair
Near Oltorf and Parker Lane there is a new pocket park where we helped to fund some improvements using SRCC funds and grant money from Austin Parks Foundation. The extra funds allow for an expansion from one bench to multiple benches and amenities as well as ADA compliance. We are hoping the project will be completed sometime this Fall. Keep Austin Beautiful will be hosting an It’s My Park Day sometime this Spring. The grant requires that we invest volunteer hours as part of our commitment.
8. 8:05 City Council–changes to operational structure
Presenter: Sounthaly Outhavong, SRCC President
The City has a new engagement structure they are proposing that requires issues to go through a committee process prior to going in front of the full Council. On some occasions an issue brought directly to a City Council member can be fast tracked with support from four other Council members. Our President, Tune, attended a City meeting intended to gather feedback from the community and voiced a concern about our Council member being able to represent us to a committee that they aren’t on. Kathie Tovo spoke to the issue and confirmed that your Council member would be allowed to represent your concerns and participate with the committee but not vote unless they served on it. Council voted on a slight variation on this proposal and approved it. It has not been established if the committees will meet on a regular schedule. The committees would be a great place for concerned individuals to voice their opinion early in the process before it is up for a full vote. More information can be found at http://www.austintexas.gov/department/public-engagement-new-city-council-committee-proposal
9. 8:15 SXSW event permits–Planning for this year’s batch of special events on South Congress, Q&A
Presenter: David Murray, Sound Engineering Consultant, City of Austin | (512) 974-7817 | email@example.com; Don Pitts, Manager, Music and Entertainment Division of Economic Development Department, City of Austin | (512) 974-7821 | firstname.lastname@example.org
They have reduced the number of music permits on South Congress by 25% in an attempt to scale back SXSW’s impact across the City. A short list of venues requesting permits so far are to include Penn Field, Freebirds, Yard Dog, Jo’s, Doc’s, Home Slice, Baptist church and Front Gate Tickets. This department is not the same as enforcement. 8pm during the week and 10pm on the weekends with 75-80 decibels at the property line is the sound limit. A mobile sound monitoring system will be leased that can wirelessly notify organizers if there is a violation. TABC also plans on increased patrolling. A business can have a year round outdoor music permit but if they are having an event in their parking lot then they need one of these temporary permits.
10. 8:30 Communication efforts–Working on new monthly email roundup, other possibilities to improve engagement with neighborhood.
Presenter: Justin Chang, SRCC Communications chair
Justin moved into the area early last year and jumped right in as the new Communications Chair. We have met to discuss ways in which the SRCC can expand our reach to members and neighbors alike. After analyzing the existing tools we determined that there would be a benefit in creating a more direct sharing of current and relevant SRCC issues by way of a monthly recap email. This email will go out shortly before an upcoming meeting to inform subscribers and allow them to respond directly to the Executive Committee with their thoughts and concerns. This will first be rolled out to paid members but will be open to anyone interested in staying up to date without the extra chatter or open forum format of the listserv. This same information will still be sent out to the listserv but will not require you to be subscribed to the listserv in order to receive it. If you are interested in writing about SRCC issues that you are passionate about, this is your opportunity to create content to be shared through this new outreach channel. Please send ideas, articles, thoughts and feedback to communications@SRCCatx.org.
11. 8:40 Google Fiber–Presentation and Q&A on services, infrastructure, and status of rollout
Presenter: Megan Clark, Field Sales Lead – Google Fiber, email@example.com | o: 210-908-7188 c: 903-408-7298
Construction crews have been active in the area to lay the foundation for service. ROW and easements allow for service to be installed on telephone poles, in service boxes or along the edge of properties. Depending on the zone, a $10 deposit secures your service that might otherwise not be available for an indeterminate amount of time. Installation times are set times rather than a range. A service box will be installed on the house by your other service boxes along with a jack on the interior. Apartments are treated differently and will have service installed in chunks at different rates than single family. Hardwired devices get 1 megabit service but wifi will reduce that to 200-400 megabytes, this is a hardware limitation. Some of the existing coax can be utilized. They are 6 weeks into a 3 year process of rolling out service to the city. Smaller condo complexes of 9 or fewer are treated different from apartment complexes where individual units are required to sign up for service without the HOA being involved.
The annual SRCC potluck and elections for our executive committee are coming up on TUESDAY March 3 at 6pm. All four current elected officers have indicated their intention to run for re-election and we will also be voting to confirm 20 Area Coordinators (approximately 2 each for 10 areas). If you’d like to add your name to the ballot for any of the positions please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to verify you are a current dues paid member and declare your intention.
Executive Committee meetings take place 3rd Mondays in February/April/October. Dates for 2015 are: February 16, April 20, October 19. Put them on your calendar now! Everyone is welcome to attend, but especially all members of Executive Committee which includes Area Coordinators.
Volunteers still needed for 2015 Special Events Committee.
Reminder for the logo contest! This will be voted on at the annual potluck so be sure to submit your ideas now. Email images or hand them in on paper – email@example.com
Account reconciliation, Profit & Loss and Balance reports available upon request from firstname.lastname@example.org
Presenter: Nancy Byrd, Treasurer
*Frequently used acronyms: ACF: Austin Community Fund; ANC: Austin Neighborhood Council; SF: Single Family zoning category; FLUM: Future Land Use Map; GSRC NPCT: Greater South River City Neighborhood Planning Contact Team, NCCD: Neighborhood Conservation Combining District