SRCC EC Meeting Minutes — January 2020

Minutes
SRCC EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING  (www.srccatx.org)
Tuesday, January 21, 2020     7:00 PM
Good Shepherd On the Hill
1700 Woodland Ave, AUSTIN, TEXAS

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AGENDA

To be sure you get a vote, be 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. 7:00  Meeting procedures, etiquette, welcome & introductions of new members

Presenter throughout: Eric Cassady, SRCC President, unless otherwise noted.

2. 7:05  Membership & voting announcements. Reminder that SRCC current dues status is required to participate in SRCC business and actions such as voting and making motions. Reminder of changes to bylaws regarding voting members of EC.

3. 7:10   Approve minutes from October 22, 2019 Executive Committee Meeting

Reminder: schedule for Executive meetings: 3rd Monday of the month; 7:00pm – 8:30pm, Location Good Shepherd on the Hill.

Proposed meeting dates through rest of term: Feb. 17, April 20

See notes later in these minutes regarding changes (item 10).

4. 7:15  Report from the President: Volunteer opportunities, letter regarding fireworks permitting.

Presenter: Eric Cassady, President

5. 7:20  Committee check-ins on events/goals/issues.

Presenters: Committee Chairs.   1) Planning and Zoning; 2) Historic Preservation; 3) Finance; 4) Mobility; 5) Public Safety;  6) Parks and Environment; 7) Schools; 8) Communications

Planning and Zoning—A new school is being formed at the Church on Congress.  P & Z has been encouraging them to get a conditional use permit and they want to meet with the NA.  The only issue that P & Z foresees is parking. A neighbor asks if this might effect liquor sales in the area.  Whoever is already there is grandfathered, but new applications will be affected.

Historic Preservation—Nothing to report.

Finance—Nothing to report.

Mobility—A few more volunteers have signed up.

Public Safety—Nothing to report.

Parks and Environment—A walk around the pond and a bridge across the pond is being installed in Heritage Oaks Park (behind Public Storage).

Schools—Tomorrow a community potluck is being held at the Elementary school 5-7pm.  Neighbors are invited.

Communication—Yahoo has terminated updates to the Groups feature, which is where the SRCC listserve is housed .  As a result, there is no digest. Instead, emails are sent out as posts are made for the group. There is no way to look up prior messages.  This list was not moderated by SRCC. The communication chair shared that WordPress has a listserv option. NextDoor lacks some options that the listserve provided and includes ads.  It was pointed out that adding a third platform might make things more confusing. History of the two venues (the Google Group and the WordPress website) was shared by a member. The chair shared that she didn’t think the moderator for the Google Group would be interested in moderating through the official website.

Articles for the next issue of the newsletter will be accepted through the end of January.

6. 7:35 The finance committee has a proposed 2020 financial forecast. The Executive Committee is to vote whether or not to recommend the forecast to the General Membership for their vote in February. [VOTE EXPECTED]
Presenter: Sam Martin, Finance Committee Chair

The proposed forecast was shared.  It included 5 years of history as well as the forecast for 2020.  The only major difference between 2019 and 2020 was the amount for contributions to the three neighborhood schools.  That is, in part, because Lively was not given the additional donation of $1000 last year, so last year’s contribution will be added to this year’s contribution, and it will occur in 2020.  In addition, it is anticipated that we will be producing new SRCC Meeting Signs. $2,500 was set aside for that.

MOTION:  Sam Martin/Mary Janecek-Friedman To approve the 2020 financial forecast. 16/0/0 PASSED

7. 7:45 Regarding the South Congress Parking Study that was completed last year, consider sending a letter regarding recommendations requesting that a survey be disseminated and results published along with the consultants’ recommendations. [VOTE EXPECTED]
Presenter: Paula Kothmann, Mobility Committee Chair

The city has hired a consultant to advise them on the parking situation along Congress Avenue.  One of the difficulties along Congress Avenue is that workers for downtown park along Congress and take the bus to work.  Neighbors expressed frustration that parking is not enforced for those choosing to park all day in the neighborhood. The recommendation was made to install parking meters (even in front of homes) and stiffer enforcement of current parking rules. The chair reported that the City states that they have no money to hire personel to enforce parking rules.  A neighbor shared the history of the ‘Dillo and another suggested that it be reinstated with a shuttle between the parking along Ben White and Manchaca to downtown. There was also a discussion that the City would like to eliminate the RPP Program (Residential Parking Permits), as those streets who have it are not as full.

REPORTS OF AD HOC COMMITTEES and REPRESENTATIVES

8. 7:55 Check-ins on events/goals/issues

Presenters: Committee Chairs/Representatives. Norwood; NPCT; ANC*; SCC*; South Central Waterfront; St. Edward’s; S. Central Affordable CDC; ad-hoc Land Development Code Revision

Nothing to report. 

9. 8:05 Follow-up to the meeting with the mayor regarding the Land Development Code Revision. Consider sending a letter recapping the meeting, requesting answers to outstanding questions that remain unanswered, and summarizing participants’ ongoing concerns. [VOTE EXPECTED]
Presenter: Paula Kothmann, ad-hoc Land Development Code Revision Committee Chair

The Chair of the ad-hoc Land Development Code Revision Committee recorded the meeting and it is being transcribed.  Questions were sent in advance of that meeting, many of which were not answered. The Chair suggested that a letter from the NA be sent to the city that included the questions that were not answered and be sent registered mail.  The chair shared that many have reported that they didn’t feel heard. The President pointed out that a vote on this letter would not be needed, since we are not taking a new stance.

The committee did review various streets within SRCC and gave the city information about areas where streets are narrow or steep.  The committee recommended removing the up-zoning from those streets.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

10. 8:15 Good Shepherd on the Hill offered to allow SRCC to use meeting space at their church, including General Membership meetings. We are considering changing the venue to Good Shepherd on the Hill, and changing the meetings to occur on the third Tuesday of the month at 7:00 pm. The possibility of a move has been discussed at several General Membership meetings, an article about the possible move was included in the fall newsletter, and a survey was sent out to gauge interest in relocating the meetings. Results of the survey, which were generally in favor of relocating, will be discussed. Consideration is being given to relocating both the General Membership and Executive Committee Meetings. [VOTE EXPECTED]   

Presenter: Eric Cassady, President 

Results of the survey was discussed.  The survey included responses from 71 respondents.  Of those responding, there was a 88.7% approval rate for the move (both the date and the location).  Almost 1/3 of the respondents said they never attend the meetings. One of the questions in the survey asked if the change in location would increase attendance to the meetings, and results showed that it would.

A proposal was made to present this information in the General Membership Meetings and hold a vote.  In addition, the Executive Committee could vote to have their meetings here even if the larger meetings were still held at the old location.  The only caveat would be that the dates are dependent upon whether both suggestions pass or just the EC committee. If both pass, the third Tuesday of the month will be the GM meeting, and the 1st Tuesday is the EC meeting.  If only the EC decides to move, then the dates of meetings will remain with the GM meeting on the first Tuesday, and the EC on the third Tuesday.  For this year, we will be holding the annual elections potluck meeting on April 21st at the Good Shepherd on the Hill.

Motion:  Eric Cassady/Paula Kothmann  To recommend to the GM that the meeting location for General Membership Meetings be moved to Good Shepherd on the Hill on the third Tuesday of every month, starting at the March 2020 meeting, and that the annual potluck will permanently moved to the third Tuesday of April, starting with the 2020 meeting. 16/0/0 PASSED

Motion:  Eric Cassady/Oliver Caruso  To change the EC meeting to Good Shepherd on the Hill on the first Tuesday of the month, starting in March 2020. 16/0/0 PASSED

11. 8:30 There has been discussion about getting updated yard signs to advertise the SRCC General Membership meetings. Some of the existing signs were printed with information that has become outdated, and we would like to have a more attention-getting and welcoming design. In addition, with a potential change of meeting venue, this is a strategic time to do a yard sign refresh. [VOTE EXPECTED]   

Presenter: Oliver Caruso, Treasurer

Two designs were shown for the new yard signs.  One has a larger picture with no call to action.  The second sign included the words “Join your Neighborhood Association”, which required the picture to be smaller.  A suggestion was made to change the call to action to “Meet your neighbors”. It was also suggested that an additional part be available to add “Potluck”.  In addition, a banner would be placed on the hill of the church, on the fences of Lively and THES. The prices were shared and discussed. In addition, a possibility for a separate sign for the Potluck was discussed.  Options for the potluck/annual meeting were discussed.

Motion:  Oliver Caruso/Megan Spencer That we spend up to $1200 to purchase up to 40 meeting signs and up to 4 banners. 16/0/0 PASSED

NEW BUSINESS

12. 8:40 Nominations Committee for 2020 SRCC elections–candidates needed for President and Vice President (or Co-Vice Presidents), as well as Newsletter Editor, ANC Rep and South Central Affordable CDC.   

Presenter: Carol Martin, Membership Secretary 

The group has met twice and reflected positively on changes in the NA.  A number of suggestions have been made (for the positions). Of the elected officers, several are running again for a different position within the organization.  There is a lot of mentoring occurring in the association, as those leaving positions are staying involved. If questions come up, contact vicepresident@srccatx.org

13. 8:50 A new business is being proposed called Neighborhood Goods at 1007 South Congress, which would have a restaurant/bar component that would sell alcoholic beverages.  They are close enough to the School for the Deaf to trigger a waiver for alcohol sales. [VOTE EXPECTED]   

Presenter: Russell Fraser, Chair SRCC Planning & Zoning Committee

A new retail space, Neighborhood Goods (NG) is going in at the corner of Academy and South Congress. The will include smaller stores that vendors can rent, and a restaurant.  The NG tenant needs a waiver to serve alcohol in the restaurant as they are near the School for the Deaf.  

P & Z committee met recently with the tenant to review alcohol service details: 

  • Store floor plan was reviewed. 
  • Store is mainly an up-scale retail venue with a restaurant, alcohol service will be an accessory use (unlike a bar),In order for student to reach the restaurant where alcohol will be served, students would have to enter the only entrance door on the south end of the building and proceed through the entire retail space of the store to reach the restaurant (and alcohol service) at the extreme north end of the building,
  • Also, we have been told that there is no plan (or space) for a sidewalk cafe such as June’s or the old Doc’s beer joint.

P & Z  proposed that a letter, similar to the December 2018  letter by SRCC NA to City Council regarding the Magdalena hotel and SoHo restaurant (Music Lane) waiver, be sent and use similar language to the effect that “no position” is taken on the NB waiver.  

In the NB meeting, a member of P & Z (also chair of our Mobility Committee)  suggested bartering for a parking subsidy for employees and customers in order to support the waver.  This is a concern because we were told that the on-site parking will not be free for either customers or employees (landlord policy) nor validated for customers or employees (tenant policy). The likely result could be more pressure on the neighborhood streets.  NB Director of Operations is promising to pursue some type of workforce solution.

Members of the EC discussed the possible precedence set with a deal of this kind.  Discussion included the stance of the School for the Deaf — not opposing nearby alcohol wavers—and that SRCC has worked with AISD schools to support their concerns and oppose waivers in school situations like Torchy’s at the corner of S. Congress and Mary St.   There are concerns that a negative precedent could be set if a “quid pro quo” negotiation for support were done in this case. 

No vote was taken at this meeting, however,  a “no position” motion will be put forth at the General Membership Meeting.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

SRCC currently has the following volunteer positions open:

  • Austin Neighborhoods Council Representative
  • South Central Affordable CDC Representative
  • Newsletter Editor
  • Historic Preservation Committee Chair
  • Outreach Committee Members/Chair

Aria Grand is having their Grand Opening celebration Wednesday from 4:00 – 6:00 pm, and they would love to have people from the neighborhood come and check it out.

A scribe is needed for the February GM meeting, as Mary will be covering Membership.

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