SRCC EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING (www.srccatx.org)
Tuesday, May 5, 2020 7:00 PM
via THE INTERNET
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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.
This is our first Zoom Meeting. Please try to keep background noise to a minimum by muting unless you want to talk. Membership attendance will be taken through the registration process.
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 March 3, 2020 Executive Committee Meeting
Reminder: schedule for Executive meetings: 1st Tuesday of the month; 7:00pm – 8:30pm, Location Good Shepherd on the Hill or via teleconference.
Proposed meeting dates through rest of term: June 2
MOTION: Oliver Caruso/ to approve the minutes form the March 3, 2020, Executive Committee Committee Meetings Approve: 14, Against: 0, Abstaining: 0; PASSED
4. 7:15 Report from the President: coronavirus impact to SRCC and yard signs.
Presenter: Eric Cassady, President
We have not met since the beginning of March, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our last meeting was on March 3, 2020. Gretchen posted the most recent newsletter through the website rather than have them delivered to houses.
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: See agenda item below.
Historic Preservation: Progress has been delayed on the Travis Heights-Fairview Park National Register nomination It is tentatively scheduled to go before the State Board of Review in October.
Finance: We have had an expenditure to be able to hold our meetings with ZOOM.
Mobility: The chair of mobility reported that the SOCO parking study was completed using the same consultants that completed a parking study for downtown. Their recommendation is to install parking meters. Our chair presented concerns from surrounding neighbors. The city is not looking at other solutions, such as hiring parking attendants and providing another form of local transportation (like the old Dillo). A neighbor shared that there is a video that explains what the consultants considered and it seemed reasonable. (There is a link to the video on the SRCC home page.) The chair pointed out that the cost of the installation and maintenance of the parking meters is such that several years will need to pass to see any profitability. It was also pointed out that there enforcement of the RPPs that have been approved, due to there being differences between each individual RPP application. The chair shared that residents in the NA who had a parking meter installed in front of their home would be given a code to use rather than have to pay.
Public Safety: The chair of public safety shared that crime has been down because a lot of people are at home during the day. The biggest problem we have had lately is car break-ins late at night. Our neighbors are still patrolling.
Parks and Environment: The chair of P & E reported that the work in Little Stacey has been paused. The engineer for the Watershed Protection Department, Janna Renfro, explained that construction has been suspended due to the City’s Stay-At-Home and Social Distancing Guidelines. There has been a contract made with the artist James Talbot to create a project that will be made, funded by Art in Public Places. He has produced preliminary designs for a gateway structure near the Larry Monroe Forever bridge. Our VP reported that he has had communication with Marjorie Flanagan, project manager for the Art in Public Places program, that Mr . Talbot is interested in presenting something with the NA.
Schools: Our teachers have been good at helping keep the learning going with the students during this time of of the pandemic. Some of our families in the NA are struggling with food needs. If anyone is interested in particularly helping families who are part of our neighborhood, you can donate to the school via their website travisheightselementary.com and the Parent Support Specialist at Travis Heights will help with getting them basic necessities. The Capital Area Food Bank also accepts donations. Travis Heights Elementary is trying to figure out how to hold some events remotely. Usually during this time of year, there is a fund-raiser held at Guero’s. Parents from the school are organizing a virtual dance party and encouraging people to buy food to-go from Guero’s that night. To find out more or donate, go to the website for the school: travisheightselementary.com
Communications: Nothing to report
REPORTS OF AD HOC COMMITTEES and REPRESENTATIVES
6. 7:40 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
ANC: Our representative to the ANC reported that there was a presentation on Austin’s Street Impact Fee study. Fees are assessed to developers after the city determines the impact that new developments have on the streets. In the past, impact fees were only required of units of 2000 units or more. That is changing so that there is not a size limit any more. Next, there was a presentation on how the city will continue to have citizen input on city business via “virtual meetings” during this time of quarantine. Finally, a group from East Austin requested that ANC provide support to the “East Crescent” and write a letter. A neighbor shared that some developments receive a reduction in their Street Impact Fee for affordable housing.
South Central Waterfront: Last week the SCW Board was given a presentation about a proposed economic development corporation for the entire city. This sort of corporation would allow for a public/private partnership which would allow the city to accept and receive money from outside entities. (Outside of Austin.) See link above.
Planning and Zoning Department will be requesting an Indefinite Postponement for the Site Plan Application for 305 S. Congress (Austin American Statesman tract) scheduled for 5/26/2020 meeting of Planning Commission.
Ad hoc land development—Fairview Park initiated steps to oppose many of the changes in the revision of the land development code. In addition, a case was taken to court that resulted in a statement that said some of the proposed changes were not legal. It is expected that this decision will be appealed.
7. 7:55 Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, and in order to protect our members and neighbors, SRCC has cancelled our March and April General Membership meetings, postponed our Elections Potluck, and has seen a lot of activity slow down. The City’s Stay Home – Work Safe Order is currently in effect through May 8th, though it could get extended. Some issues and questions related to this situation include:
- EC Meetings
- Holding via teleconference
- Voting at EC meetings via Teleconference
- Schedule for 2020
- Criteria for resumption of in-person meetings
- GM Meetings
- SRCC bylaws and options for holding GM meetings
- Bylaws requirements for a minimum number of annual GM meetings
- Schedule for 2020
- Criteria for resumption of in-person meetings
- How/when to address the Elections Potluck
- Additional expenditures related to COVID-19
- Zoom subscription, including alternatives
Presenter: Eric Cassady, President
The members discussed the prediction of needing to use remote meetings for the remainder of the year. Several members agreed that using Zoom for committee meetings. Rather than upgrade to the level of Zoom for multiple hosts, the free version that has the 40-minute limit could be ideal for committees, who are relatively few people. The logistics of holding the General Membership Meetings require more thought. One member shared that they had experience a “Town Hall” or “Webinar” feature of Zoom. That option raises the price of Zoom for SRCC. It would also require more preparation by the host.
- There was discussion about the rule in the bylaws that requiring 9 meetings a year. The EC decided that not meeting this requirement would be understandable under the circumstances.
- Using teleconferencing would mean that voting at General Membership Meetings would require checking that those who voted were the appropriate members. A preliminary result could be announced at the meeting, to be verified afterwards.
- The EC discussed the difficulties of holding GM meetings remotely. It was decided that hold another EC meeting will occur this month to discuss or plan for a General Membership Meeting in June.
- There was discussion having officer elections at that first GM meeting. A concern was expressed about assuming officers would remain in office in the longer tenure due to the circumstances. A concern about having a new officer take their role while we are unable to hold meetings the way we are used to. (We don’t know how long this situation will last.) It was also discussed that having the election be at the first GM meeting that was held remotely might not be fair for some in the NA, as they might not be skilled at how to use the technology.
8. 8:15 Update from Ad-hoc Nominating Committee. Candidates have been identified for some positions, though volunteers are still being sought for some key positions. Open elected positions include President and Co-Vice President.
Presenter: Dan Fredine, Ad-hoc Nominating Committee Chair
The Chair shared that no progress has been made in finding neighbors who would be willing to be nominated for some key offices.
9. 8:20 The Music Lane development will include a paid-parking garage. There is a concern from nearby residents about the possibility of patrons and employees parking in the neighborhood instead of paying for parking in the garage. It is being suggested that SRCC write a letter to the owners of the garage to request that they provide free or affordable parking for the future work force. [VOTE POSSIBLE]
Presenter: Paula Kothmann, Mobility Chair
The Mobility Chair reported that many of the workers for the shops involved with Music Lane are unlikely to afford paid parking, which would push more congestion into the neighborhood. Parking onsite is not free, and only customers who buy something can have their parking validated. The entity who is managing the parking is separate from the entities that are opening the shops. Many of those who live right near the development are greatly affected by the congestion caused by street parking in the neighborhood. They also have been influenced by the construction that has been occurring there over the past year or two. In the past, neighbors could apply for a Residential Parking Permit requirement for their street, however the Chair suggested that it is likely that the RPP program will be suspended, due to changes coming to SOCO parking.
The policy of SRCC has been to hold votes at General Membership Meetings, not at EC meetings.
MOTION: Carol Martin/Oliver Caruso to postpone this discussion for a later meeting. PASSED
10. 8:35 Two Hands is a new restaurant being proposed in the Music Lane development on South Congress. They intend to have a selection of beer, wine and specialty cocktails, but alcohol is expected to be about 7-9% of total sales based upon their other locations. They are close enough to the Texas School for the Deaf (TSD) to trigger a waiver for alcohol sales, and they have been discussing this with SRCC’s P&Z Committee.
Presenter: Russell Fraser, SRCC Planning & Zoning Chair
P & Z voted last week to take no position on the waiver (4 votes with one abstaining), and the waiver hearing won’t be until June according to store principals.
Neighbors at the meeting discussed an understanding about whether Music Lane had already been answered, and this store would reside within Music Lane. Russell pointed out that the wording of the December 7, 2018 SRCC letter to Council pertaining to the alcohol waiver for Hotel Magdalena and SoHo House (restaurant?) contains language that could be construed to extend “take no position” of the letter to the entire Music Lane project, as well as the hotel. Russell recommended that even if this interpretation were true, we should continue to meet with retail store principals requesting alcohol waivers in the future to ensure that there is no blatantly visible or accessible alcohol service (e.g. Torchy’s) to TSD or their students.
The chair will pass on the P&Z recommendation (take no position) to the store principals and advise them that SRCC Executive Committee is now considering electronic meetings, and or voting, for the general membership in the future Until that time a letter to Council cannot be voted on by the membership.
11. 8:50 The Parker Lane United Methodist Church closed last year. Foundation Communities has applied for Housing Tax Credits for a proposed low-income apartment complex at that location (2105 Parker Lane).
Presenter: Richard Whymark, SRCC Area 7 Coordinator
Parker Land Methodist Church has been vacant for a year. Foundations Communities has a tentative agreement with the church to purchase the land, but they have not been able to find funding as of yet. Foundation Communities has the intention of continuing services that are already being offered at the location. Members of the EC were encouraged by the possibility and several offered some contacts to help with finding funding.
SRCC currently has the following volunteer positions open:
- -Historic Preservation Committee Chair
- -Outreach Committee Members/Chair
Agenda Prepared by Dan Fredine, firstname.lastname@example.org
Minutes Prepared by Mary Friedman, email@example.com