SRCC Meeting Minutes — August 2019

Minutes
SRCC GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING  (www.srccatx.org)
Monday, August 5, 2019     7:15 PM
LIFE IN THE CITY UNITED METHODIST CHURCH (formerly Grace UMC)
205 E. MONROE, AUSTIN, TEXAS

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: Dan Fredine, SRCC Vice President, vicepresident@srccatx.org, unless otherwise noted. (8 min)

Meeting called to order at 7:19 pm.  The Vice President reviewed the procedure and etiqaette for meetings.  Amanda from High Note introduced herself. The restaurant is connected to Kerby Lane Café, and she left flyers for neighbors.  They open at 9 am on weekdays and 7 on weekends and serve all meals. She left flyers for the neighbors who are in attendance.

2.  7:23  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.  7:25  Treasurer’s Report – see reverse of agenda. All reports available upon request to the Treasurer treasurer@srccatx.org  

Presenter: Oliver Caruso (Treasurer) (5 min)

The treasurer went over this summer’s income and expenditures.  For more details, email him at treasurer@srccatx.org.

4.  7:30  Committee Chairs reports

1) Planning and Zoning-see item below; 2) Historic Preservation; 3) Finance; 4) Mobility (chair needed)–see item below; 5) Public Safety–see item below;  6) Parks and Environment; 7) Schools; 8) Communications; 9) Executive Committee; 10) Land Development Code Rewrite ad hoc committee (chair needed)–see item below

Representatives: 11) ANC*; 12) SCC*; 13) South Central Waterfront; 14) St. Edward’s; 15) S. Central Affordable CDC (20 min)

  • Planning and Zoning—The chair of P&Z told us about the involvement of members in meetings with developers of the plot of land that has been used for the Austin American Statesman; this involves  the Endeavor Real Estate Group. He also shared that there is a hearing scheduled for Monday, August 12’th, related a Sunny Lane renovation project code violations. Another member of SRCC shared information about the former Expose location: because it sat vacant for long enough that it will need to reapply for use as an adult establishment and doing business as the Red Rose; this may require a conditional use variance and P&Z will follow-up.  
  • Historic Preservation— Nothing to report at this time.
  • Finance— Nothing to report at this time.
  • Mobility—A member of SRCC shared that there is a meeting related to parking in the NA hosted with the Downtown Alliance, particularly along S. Congress avenue.  If you you want more information email wendypricetodd@gmail.com
  • Public Safety—The chair of Public Safety shared that there are three neighbors who are doing regular patrols.  They are seeking more help, particularly near St. Edwards. To volunteer contact tgroce@gmail.com
  • Parks and Environment—A neighbor who lives on the East side of I-35 shared that he and some neighbors are working on improvements to Heritage Oaks Park.  They want to encourage walking of the park and discourage camping. In addition, another member reminded us that every month there is help needed to improve the Blunn Creek Preserve.  The chair of P&E shared that members of SRCC will be meeting with the city regarding the continued improvement of Stacy Park.
  • Schools-– Nothing to report at this time.
  • Communication—The chair of communications welcomed anyone to contact her at communications@srccatx.org
  • with news they would like shared in the newsletter or on the website.
  • Executive Committee—The VP shared with the neighbors what Sara Beth Lively  Middle School (Formerly Fulmore MS) will be painting some crosswalk areas around the school.  A vice principal from the school attended the EC meeting in June and shared details about the projects.  The EC signed paperwork needed to initiate the process through the City of Austin. The vice principal of the school will return to the general membership meeting in October with the students as the projects advance.  (These are student-led projects.)
  • An issue came up after the scheduled EC meeting, so EC followed procedure for an electronic  vote [per Bylaws] for the variance for on 1202 Reagan Terrace. The variance request was to reduce the “front” setback from 25’ to 0’, though this was on a corner lot and included a 20’ vegetative buffer. The motion was to oppose the variance, but the motion did not pass.
  • Land Development Code—Nothing to report at this time.
  • ANC—Our representative to the Austin Neighborhood Council shared that there is a community meeting tomorrow to discuss the camping ordinance and the yet-to-be built homeless shelter on Ben White. 
  • SCC—Our representative to the South Central Coalition of NA  shared that the committee has been focused on the land-use code re-write.
  • South Central Waterfront–Our representative to the South Central Waterfront  introduced herself. She asked for input from SRCC in the development at 305 S. Congress.  Another neighbor shared that the land was left as industrial zoning in our neighborhood plan because the site had an industrial use: printing press. The applicant for Endeavor group, Richard Suttle, has filed paperwork stating that the industrial designation must be a clerical error and requests correction.
  • St. Edwards—The new Pavilions dorm housing 400 plus students at St. Edwards is still not open. The dorm first opened in August 2018 a year behind schedule and then flooded after a water main broke two months after students moved in. https://www.hilltopviewsonline.com/17290/news-campus-news/students-evacuated-relocated-following-water-pipe-burst-in-pavilions-residence-hall/ 
  • The students are returning and the campus is very busy.  August 24th at 9 pm fireworks will occur for Back to School. Elloa mentioned that the City may impose a Burn Ban that might preclude the fireworks  due to fire safety concerns for Sherwood Oaks neighbors. (see General Announcements below).
  • SCA CDC—Nothing to report at this time.

5.  7:50  Approve minutes from the June 3, 2019 monthly general meeting (available at www.srccatx.org) (5 min)

MOTION:  Russel Fraser, Better Weed.  To approve the minutes from the June 2019 meeting For: 30, Opposed: 0, Abstain: 0 = PASSED

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

6.  7:55  City Council has given staff direction to develop changes to the Land Development Code (LDC), and much of the direction indicated a desire for more intense development than was proposed under CodeNext. The SRCC Land Development Code Rewrite ad-hoc committee is working to develop a position paper, and has been meeting with Council Member Tovo, her staff, and other neighborhood associations to prepare to address the upcoming proposed changes. The timeline to review and comment on the proposed LDC is expected to allow limited input and review, and will likely go to Council between Thanksgiving and Christmas. [VOTE EXPECTED]

Presenter: Cynthia Milne, SRCC Land Development Code ad-hoc committee Secretary, cynthiamilne@msn.com               (10 min + 5 min Q&A)

Ms. Milne reported on the activities of the Code Next Committee, which is now meeting on the proposed Land Development Code Revision.   Ms. Milne shared that the timeline for approval of the new land development code is fast, with final approval hoped for by the city in December.  Look on the website for that timeline (to be uploaded at the time of our meeting). The Committee prepared 7 bullet points based on the SRCC approved position paper on Code Next.  These points will be presented to the meeting of the Neighborhood Associations in District 9 to be held on August 1, 2019 by Kathy Tovo, who is seeking data which can determine where in the neighborhood SRCC would accept density.

(See map & note from Bryker Woods NA). Ms. Milne passed out the map of possible density areas charted by Paula Kothman and the notes from the Bryker Woods Neighborhood Association.  Elloa discussed her work on density 

in the SRCC area using a map procured from the Neighborhood Assistance Office, which she will present in the Tovo meeting. Several neighbors shared that the proposed plan would mean that, for many in the SRCC neighborhood boundaries, any construction would become multi-family. Any affordable duplex in our NA could be built up and not be affordable any longer. With the proposed changes we are not given help with infrastructure or affordability.

  • October 4th:  Released Map and Text
  • October 26th:  First Planning Commission Meeting.

MOTION:  Paula Kothman/Alton Martin:  To write the city a letter asking for correct and accurate data about the number of  housing units can be built under current zoning within the SRCC planning area. For: 29, Opposed: 0, Abstain: 0 Passed

A discussion preceded a vote expressing concerns:

  • Why can’t density be shared equally among the different council districts of the city?
  • Current infrastructure can not handle the growth the city outlines for our area. 
  • The vision for planning is for the future, 10-20 years from now.

NEW BUSINESS 

7.  8:10  Austin Energy’s Customer Renewable Solutions Group offers programs to build a more sustainable community. They will give an overview of Austin Energy’s renewable energy subscription options as well as rebates to help reduce the up-front cost of installing a solar energy system on your home or business. Austin Energy’s solar team is offering in-person classes to help those customers make the best solar investment possible. 

Presenter/Guest: Mary C. Palmer, Conservation Program Associate, Customer Renewable Solutions, Austin

Energy, 512-972-7402, Mary.Palmer@austinenergy.com       (10 min + 10 min Q&A)

Ms. Palmer introduced herself.  She shared that Austin Energy is planning for the future and looking at alternative energy sources that are sustainable.  She shared that the goal is to be 65% renewable by 2020. They are on track to be at 51% by the end of the 2020 year. They are offering support of $3500 to allow solar panels to be installed on your house over the summer.  They also provide instruction on solar and renewable energy, which can help inform customers on how to shop and compare bids and what to expect in term of future Austin Energy bills. She brought information to share with members who are present at this meeting.

She shared ways we can support solar and wind power through a premium on our monthly bill. Some of that money has allowed them to construct community solar collectors at Palmer and in a field on Springdale.  In addition, it has allowed Austin Energy to purchase power from Wind Farms in the state. 

Neighbors asked about making a water heater powered by solar,  how to designate specifically where donations should go, and the approximate change to monthly bills.  Ms. Palmer asked the members to email her to get their questions answered.

8.  8:30 Several South Austin groups are working together to institute Community Policing. One of them, Austin Interfaith member Wildflower Church here in Travis Heights, is organizing a Civic Academy on Community Policing. The goal is to strengthen relationships and trust between the community and police, better understand the challenges we face, and begin a collaboration to help diminish fear and prevent crime. Christina Leal from Austin Interfaith will be at the meeting with details.  

Presenter/Guest: Ed Miller, Executive Director, Our House, esmiller@swbell.net (10 min)

Mr. Miller works with Our House, a neighborhood non-profit.  They have programs at Travis HS. They are working with the public and the police to develop a Community Policing program in Travs Heights.  Austin Interfaith is supporting this work, and Mr. Miller introduced Christina Leal from that organization. She shared what Austin Interfaith is and does.  She said that Austin Interfaith is hosting a “Community Policing Workshop” that includes police and community members at Wildflower Church. The first workshop is October 26th, and they would like to have neighborhood participants attend the workshop.  

9.  8:40  Cap Metro’s Project Connect includes an Orange Line which is envisioned to include South Congress. A meeting about the Orange Line was recently held that included discussion about a right-of-way expansion and parking along South Congress. Link to Project Connect Orange Line website.  

Presenter: Russell Fraser, SRCC Planning & Zoning Committee Chair, Russell_Fraser@msn.com (10 min)

Related to the Orange Line project, the chair of Planning and Zoning pointed out an article from the community newsletter Impact, from July, regarding parking and walkability with the city. He attended a meeting hosted by Project Connect, which is considering options regarding transportation throughout the city. He shared with us a map of the proposed “Orange Line” that will follow S. Congress Blvd. The options being discussed could remove the parking along S. Congress Avenue and have an impact on residential parking. (Also shared was a map of current parking available within the area Bouldin/Travis Heights area.) A presentation by the consultant has been arranged on Wednesday, Aug. 14th, between 7-8:30 pm at the Twin Oaks Library. Please come to this meeting to learn and advocate for what you want to see along Congress Avenue, as this is going to greatly impact the neighborhood.

GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • St. Edward’s University will welcome students, their families, staff, faculty, and alumni back to campus on Saturday, August 24th with the annual Hillfest celebration. In consideration of neighbors, the fireworks display is scheduled an hour earlier at 9 pm and will conclude within 10 minutes.
  • Good Shepherd on the Hill (1700 Woodland Ave) will be hosting a presentation and Q&A on “Peacefully Co-Existing with Coyotes”, led by the City of Austin’s Animal Protection Department, on Tuesday, August 27th at 6:30 p.m. 
  • Travis Heights Art Trail is scheduled for November 2-3, 2019. Charlotte Bell has more information – contact her at charwolf100@gmail.com
  • VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! We need volunteers for several open positions including 
    • MOBILITY COMMITTEE CHAIR
    • OUTREACH COMMITTEE MEMBERS/CHAIR
  • SRCC has restarted the NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH program, and is 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 8:57 pm.

*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 Janecek-Friedman, ,secretary@srccatx.orgM

Be Sociable, Share!
This entry was posted in Agendas and Minutes, General. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.