SRCC Meeting Minutes – November 2018

Minutes
SRCC GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING (www.srccatx.org)
Monday, November 5, 2018 7:15 PM
LIFE IN THE CITY UNITED METHODIST CHURCH (formerly Grace UMC)
205 E. MONROE, AUSTIN, TEXAS


AGENDA
To be sure you get a vote, become a member. You can join or renew online www.srccatx.org. Not sure if you are current? Email membership@srccatx.org and we’ll let you know.

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.*
Presenter throughout: Eric Cassady, SRCC President, president@srccatx.org, unless otherwise noted.
Meeting called to order at 7:22. The president reviewed our protocols for meetings.

2. 7:25 Membership and voting. 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 or make motions, 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. (2 min)

3. 7:27 Approve minutes from October 1, 2018 monthly general meeting (available at www.srccatx.org).

MOTION: Laura Gass Weaver/Claudette Lowe to approve the minutes from the October 1, 2018, general membership meeting. For=31 Opposed=0 Abstaining=0  PASSED

4. 7:30 Treasurer’s Report – see reverse of agenda. All reports available upon request to the Treasurer treasurer@srccatx.org.
Presenter: Oliver Caruso (Treasurer)
The treasurer reviewed September’s income, interest, expenses, net income, balance and balance for Austin Parks Foundation Fund. Copies of the forecast for the remainder of 2018 and all of 2019 were distributed at the meeting, and changes discussed. For details, email treasurer@srccatx.org.

5. 7:35 Committee Chairs reports
1) Planning and Zoning; 2) Historic Preservation; 3) Finance; 4) Mobility–see item below; 5) Public Safety; 6) Parks and Environment; 7) Schools; 8) Communications; 9) Executive Committee; Representatives: 11) ANC*; 12) SCC*; 13) South Central Waterfront; 14) St. Edward’s.

Planning and Zoning: The chair for P&Z shared that the city contacted him regarding an ordinance for mobile food establishments. The P&Z committee will review the ordinance and share any concerns at future meeting. (At this time the City says our neighborhood has opted in, which means agrees to abide by the ordinance and abide by the City’s process with concerns.) A second project, which is an assisted living facility on Payload Pass, about which some in SRCC are concerned, reviewed a map of the project with Flood Mitigation and P&Z to discuss, as SRCC has 4 restrictive covenants that affect the area. A neighbor discussed that the new flood plain information is being reviewed by the City to see if there might be a need to change the permit for the site plan that exists. The chair of P&Z shared that in the past that recommendations could be “approve”, “disapprove”, or “no objections”. This will be changed to “support”, “oppose”, or “no position taken”. This is for future projects and will not affect prior positions taken by P&Z or SRCC in general.

Historic Preservation: none

Finance: none

Mobility: see notes below

Public Safety: The chair of public safety expressed a need for more participants. SRCC is considering getting more magnetic signs that attach to cars when patrolling, and neighborhood signs and locating them so that volunteers can access easily. A neighbor suggested that we share crime statistics through the newsletter to encourage participation. At this time the chair gets information about details of individual crimes. Another neighbor shared that they had installed a Nest doorbell and caught someone ransacking their car. There exists something similar called an “owl” for cars. He suggested networking together with other homeowners to share information and help protect their property.

Parks and Environment: The chair of parks and environment shared that last Saturday was “It’s My Park Day”, and there were clean-ups at both Little Stacey and the Blunn Creek Preserve. He anticipates that the architects of the improvements of Little Stacey will present at our December SRCC meeting.

Schools: The chair of schools told us that parent tours are starting at Travis Heights Elementary and asked that the word be spread to parents of young children. Dates for these tours are: Nov. 9th, Dec. 7th, Jan. 18th, and Jan. 29th. This Saturday night the elementary school is having a fund-raiser that is a cocktail party. This fundraiser is to support Project-Based Learning, which requires some special materials. (To find out more about Project-Based Learning see: https://www.travisheightselementary.com/project-based-learning/. In December, the school also hosts a Tamalada (December 5th, 3:00-6:00 pm) and Cultural Festival (December 8th, 10:00-12:00 pm), and the community is invited. More information can be found on the school website: https://www.travisheightselementary.com/events/

Communication: Newsletters have been distributed. If you have not received yours, contact your area coordinator. Contact information can be found at www.srccatx.org

Executive Committee: The president let us know some details regarding the EC meeting in October:  http://www.srccatx.org/2018/10/21/srcc-ec-meeting-minutes-october-2018/.

Norwood: A book about the history of Travis Heights has been published and there will be book signing at the Norwood House on November 10th.

ANC October 24 meeting report: A new ANC website has been designed and will launch in January 2019. Neighborhood Assns. now have the option to renew membership online, paying with paypal. The CoA is also developing a new website and they are requesting feedback; send comments to BC-David.Alexander@Austin.Texas.gov. ANC is in the process of filing for 501(c)(4) status. The membership approved spending $1500 for an ad in the Austin Chronicle, in support of Prop J. The ANC established a Land Development Committee to focus on CoA Planning Commission actions and the expected CodeNext re-boot. CoA presented the Austin Strategic Mobility Plan (ASMP), outlining focus, process, and how Project Connect, ASMP and CodeNext will coordinate. Survey for feedback is closed but maps will be released 11/19, followed by another survey. To give feedback on ASMP, visit austintexas.gov/asmp. Distracted driving recommendations will be voted upon during next meeting. The officers for 2019 were voted on and approved, and Pat King is the new president of ANC. (See ANC Meeting Agenda and ANC Meeting Minutes)

SCC: South Central Coalition of Neighborhood Associations: Our representative to SCC shared that the City is finally beginning to track data about events in our part of the city. (See attachment.) This is impacting the surrounding neighborhoods, and they are asking to have some events moved to other parts of the city. The time for providing feedback for scooter rules has passed. If you see scooters on hike and bike trails (including the boardwalk), call 911. Do the same for blocking sidewalks or disabled access. CoA Planning Commission members Jeff Thompson(District 3) and Greg Anderson (District 6) proposed a Code amendment that would establish VMU Overlay Districts within each Commercial Zoning District for all parcels within ¼ mile of Core Transit Corridors. Neighborhood plans would be disregarded and no compatibility standards were included. This was one of the contentious elements of CodeNEXT. COA Planning Department Greg Guernsey submitted a letter in opposition to the amendment. Vote on Code amendment was postponed.

St. Edwards: If you haven’t seen the hashtag St. Ed’s memes, you might want to look at it.

South Central Waterfront: A tour of the Waterfront (about a mile walk) will occur, starting at the bat statue on Congress and Riverside on Wednesday, November 7th, at 9 am. Our representative for South Central Waterfront shared that a lot of development is planned to happen in the area, and it will greatly impact SRCC. Properties along the south central waterfront have been purchased and some site plans have been submitted.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS
6. 7:45 Residents have concerns with the lack of public engagement and notification related to fireworks displays by private entities. Neighbors would like to engage Council and Austin Fire Department to work on the processes related to fireworks displays. To see David’s letter to the city manager: Cronk Letter
Presenter: David Swann, SRCC Member, expfc@att.net
David Swann updated us on the issue discussed at the last general membership meeting. Fireworks are not legal in the CoA. A citizen or entity can apply for approval to hold a fireworks display. There is a procedure to approve the application. At this point in time there are not provisions for public comment. David shared that the Sept. 7th fireworks display at ST. Edwards proved that the City’s process was inadequate. The display this year was very loud and lasted longer than usual. David wrote letters to council members (a follow-up letter to the Austin City Manager is attached) and had conversations with APD Officer Black. David’s main concerns are that the citizens have some input when fireworks displays have an effect on them and that commercial entities holding the fireworks display fund all costs for regulating these events.

Another neighbor was inspired by the discussion at the last meeting and did some research. She spoke to the fire marshal who approves all fireworks displays in the CoA. She also spoke with a representative from ST. Ed’s and found out that two different departments at St. Ed’s are responsible for putting on the display and communicating to the community about the display. Another neighbor shared that Dawson NA asked that we join them in objecting to the St. Edwards annual fireworks display. (The fireworks are shot right over their neighborhood and have embers falling on their property. They are concerned about fire and noise.) The Dawson NA was waiting (to take action) on SRCC because the fireworks display occurs in our NA. David stated that this is a city-wide issue.

7. 8:00 The Magdalena Hotel and Music Lane developments planned on South Congress are in proximity to the Texas School for the Deaf, requiring waivers to be granted in order to serve alcohol at restaurants on site. This item was previously discussed at the October 2, 2017 meeting as well as the September 3, 2018 meeting. SRCC has not voted whether to take a position on this waiver.
Link to minutes of October 2, 2017 SRCC meeting (see item 10).
Link to minutes of September 3, 2018 SRCC meeting (see item 6).
Presenter: Marc Davis, SRCC Planning & Zoning Committee Member, marc.davis@gmail.com
Marc Davis briefly reviewed what has been discussed at previous meetings regarding the request for alcohol wavers. (See minutes from September Meeting) At this point, SRCC has not taken a stance on this issue. SRCC is concerned that our action or non-action isn’t taken as a precedence to be used for future variances. Marc stated that a memo is being drafted that outlines the special nuances that has led to this position of the NA. The schools committee is participating in drafting the nuanced response. The memo will be presented and likely voted on in the December SRCC meeting.

NEW BUSINESS
8. 8:10 Update on the recent start of construction of Saigebrook affordable housing development, at Woodland and I-35. In 2017 SRCC supported the rezoning of this property for the development (with several conditions).
Link to key points about the project and a rendering.
Presenter/Guest: Nathan Henry, Development Associate at Saigebrook, nathan@saigebrook.com
This update is postponed until a later time. Construction has begun. If any neighbors have concerns, please email Nathan (above). Construction was planned be completed by December of 2019, but the rains may have effected that deadline.

9. 8:20 SRCC asks neighbors with SRCC meeting notification yard signs to put them in strategic locations starting one week before a meeting, to alert residents about the upcoming meeting. We have budget this fiscal year to replace the current yard signs, which are outdated in content and style.
Presenter: Eric Cassady, president@srccatx.org
Eric shared the yard signs announcing these meetings will be replaced. He asked that input be sent to him or any of the officers. The new signs will be in color, display the website url more prominently, use the current name of church. Additional strategic locations and more visibility of the signs will be considered, to encourage awareness of and participation in the NA.

10. 8:25 As part of the I-35 at Oltorf Street project TxDOT has permanently closed the southbound I-35 exit at Oltorf Street; the existing Woodland exit has been repurposed as the Woodland/Oltorf exit. Residents are concerned about additional cut-through traffic on Woodland/Annie, as traffic backs up on the service road.
Link to TxDOT’s information page about the project.
Presenter/Guest: Julie Richey, CD&P (Representing TxDOT, the consultant who gets information out to the public), jrichey@cdandp.com  or 512-810-8710)
Karen Lorenzini, TxDOT Austin District (512-832-7369 or karen.lorenzini@txdot.gov) introduced Epi Gonzalez (512-292-2401) the engineer in charge of the project, as well as Bruce Merrill (512-619-6260, bruce.merrill@txdot.gov), the project manager of the Oltorf construction. . Karen shared that she had reviewed her original presentation to SRCC from 2015. At that time, she was excited that the Oltorf project was the first one funded by state Prop. 1, which authorized oil & gas taxes to fund transportation improvement. When she presented to SRCC in 2015, the public input sessions had just been completed. At this point in time, it looks like the project will be completed by June of 2019. (A punch-list may need some details to be completed after that date.) Karen shared that the schematics had all included the closing of the Oltorf exit. Perhaps neighbors were distracted by the potential closing of the Woodland passage under I-35. Woodland will remain open under I-35, the Oltorf bridge is being widened, a U-turn is being added, and I-35 is being widened to 4 lanes. The Oltorf off-ramp is closed and the frontage road will be reduced to one lane from Woodland to Oltorf. A neighborhood asked how the overflow into the neighborhood was being considered. Karen shared that they are communicating with the CoA and working in partnership to adjust timing of lights. Concern was shared about a lot of backup on Woodland going eastbound, coming from Congress and nighttime traffic on Woodland. Karen shared several groups are coordinating (including a bicycle group) to meet with neighbors in the future. She shared that they are using online data to help keep an eye and figure out solutions. Another neighbor asked for these representatives to meet with those living along St. Edwards Drive. Another neighbor thanked for all of the representatives who came to our meeting. She shared that the plans are very hard to read. She asked how we communicate with those involved, because frustration is mounting, and asked that that information be ready to present in December. (Perhaps notify 311.) Another neighbor expressed frustration that there is no plan for signage that notifies travelers who are planning to go to Oltorf will need to sit through the light at Woodland (southbound). Another neighbor shared that the light for southbound traffic on the feeder road is long enough for those traveling to Oltorf, however traffic is backing up on Woodland. Another neighbor gave feedback about dangerous situations that have occurred to changes of patterns that lacked signs with flashing lights/arrows. Another neighbor shared about an unsafe occurrence on Summit, east side of I-35. Karen shared that there had been lots of discussion internally about signage before each change, and acknowledged that there were problems and changes were made. You can contact Bruce Merrill (512-619-6260 or bruce.merrill@txdot.gov) or call 311 to provide feedback.

8:40 GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! We need volunteers for several open positions including
    • AREA COORDINATOR – AREA 7
    • AREA COORDINATOR – AREA 4A
  • SRCC is restarting the NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH program, and are looking for participants. Anyone interested should contact Tom Groce, SRCC Public Safety Chair at tgroce71@gmail.com to get involved!
  • Greater South River City Neighborhood Planning Contact Team members are stewards of our 2005 Neighborhood Plan. To join or for information, visit this page: http://www.srccatx.org/about/greater-south-river-city-neighborhood-plan/
    Contact Terry Franz if interested: tmfranz@airmail.net

Meeting adjourned at 9:07.

Account reconciliation, Profit & Loss and Balance reports available upon request from treasurer@srccatx.org or financecommittee@srccatx.org

*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; SCC: South Central Coalition of NAs

Agenda Prepared by Dan Fredine, vicepresident@srccatx.org
Minutes Prepared by Mary Friedman, secretary@srccatx.org

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