SRCC EC Meeting Minutes–August 2020

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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.

Meeting called to order at 7:06 pm.  Timekeeping will be adhered to in order to honor everyone’s time.

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.

No votes are on the table for tonight.

3. 7:10   Approve minutes from June 2, 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: ???

With no objections, the minutes from the June 2, 2020 EC Meeting are approved.

4. 7:15  Report from the President: Changes to meeting timekeeping and general policy on voting due to remote meetings.

Presenter: Eric Cassady, President

5.  Committee check-ins on events/goals/issues.

Presenters: Committee Chairs.   1) Planning and Zoning (10 min); 2) Historic Preservation (5 min); 3) Finance; 4) Mobility; 5) Public Safety;  6) Parks and Environment; 7) Schools; 8) Communications

Planning and Zoning–The chair of P & Z shared information about a development on I-35 ramp (east side) office and retail building site for a multi-level building. Street address is 1829 S SH 35 SVRD northbound.  The FAR is above the limits and the P&Z committee wants to be informed as a concerned  party, although all entrances on to the property will be from the ramp, not the neighborhood.  There was talk that residences were considered, 50% affordable housing and condos, although it is not reflected in the documentation on the CoA website.   There is another development in the St. Edwards area that Elloa at 406 E. Alpine.  The owners of the VFW hall are trying to sell the property along with an abutting lot.  They want changes to the zoning. It will require a change to the FLUM, which is a major hurdle.  The chair of P & Z shared information about prior agreements with VFW to allow serving on alcohol to their members.  This agreement will be void if the property is sold.

Historic Preservation—The chair of Historic Preservation.  The Travis Heights/Fairview Historic Area is a go and will be voted on in a public meeting in early September.  Oct. 30th is when it goes to the historic preservation commission to be adopted.  This designation means that more attention is paid any time a demolition is requested.  On another note, street sign toppers can be available for local historic districts, which would apply to the Mary Street district.  Here’s the link to the historic district, if you’re interested. Also facts about National Register Historic Districts generally. Scroll down for the link to Travis Heights:  https://www.thc.texas.gov/sbrmeeting  

Finance—Nothing to report

Mobility—The chair of mobility has been paying attention to Cap Metro improvements.

Public Safety—The chair of public safety reported that the neighborhood watch is still doing its job.

Parks and Environment—Nothing to report

Schools—The chair of schools reported that families from Travis Heights are sick, and teachers/admin from Travis Heights Elementary is quarantining.  School is supposed to start on Aug. 18th and the trustees are considering postponing until September 8th, with only distance learning available at that point.  Teachers and families are very worried.  Anyone who is concerned can email the trustees can encourage them to postpone the beginning of school.  We are hoping that those who can afford it to keep their children home for distance learning so that families who really need in-person learning can receive it.  Travis Heights is at 60-65% disadvantaged.  The district is trying to supply a device and a wi-fi hotspot to those who need it.  Even with those being available, there are still barriers for many families.  Many neighbors expressed concerns about the viability of in-person learning and how that might work safely. [UPDATE: Start of school has been postponed until 9/8/2020]

Communications—Nothing to Report

6. REPORTS OF AD HOC COMMITTEES and REPRESENTATIVES

Presenters: Committee Chairs/Representatives. Norwood; NPCT; ANC* (5 min); SCC*; South Central Waterfront (5 min); St. Edward’s; S. Central Affordable CDC; Ad-hoc Land Development Code Revision; Ad-hoc Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (5 min)

Norwood:  Norwood received a certificate of appropriateness, so they are continuing to make progress.

ANC—Our representative attended 2 meetings and notes can be viewed here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/15VfNeeVR340NThWGq2s1KmE1ddSLWYLk/view?usp=sharing

Interesting news: applications for redistricting committee being accepted; the CoA has changed Street Impact Fees which will require every new development to pay the fees, rather than just big developments.  The development community has gone to the council to gut that plan for new developments in central Austin.  Another member of SRCC shared that a presentation in April made it seem that the fees were being watered down already.

St. Edwards:  St. Ed’s will start classes on 8/24 on campus (as of 7/30).Students will move-in on 8/17 in dormitories. 

South Central Waterfront:  The chair sent two updates to the VP:

Announced by Assistant City Manager Rodney Gonzales in June 2020, within the FY2020-2021 budget  Neighborhood Housing and Community Development (NHCD) is proposed to merge with the Planning and Zoning Department (PAZ) to become the Housing and Planning Department (HAP).

305 South Congress (Statesman) filed a response to their original site plan application on June 26.  Planning and Zoning will respond to the applicant with comments sometime in mid-August.  It will not go before any boards and commissions until comments are cleared sufficiently for staff to recommend (or not recommend). 

SC Affordable CDC—Nothing to report.

Adhoc Land Development Code—A court hearing mandated that a supermajority of the City Council for passing the new Code.  The CoA has filed a request for clarification for the judge’s decision.

Ad hoc Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion—The committee has met a couple of times and is currently looking at how we can be more expansive to attract people of color and different backgrounds.  The group is doing a lot of reading and learning.  Clearer objectives will be shared moving forward.  A place to start could be to feature the history of houses in the NA who were historically owned by people of color. 

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

None.

NEW BUSINESS

7. 8:00 Prior to the issues with COVID, SRCC had expected to hold officer elections in April, though they had been delayed due to lack of physical in-person meetings. The Nominating Committee is pleased with the slate of candidates that has been identified, and feels that it would be advantageous to schedule elections in September. 

Presenter: Dan Fredine, SRCC Nominating Committee Chair 

Our Vice President indicated that COVID-19 has made the recruitment of new officers more difficult than usual.  Our president is going to be moving, so we need to fill the roles and move forward with an election.  We don’t have a candidate for president, but we have a strong slate of candidates, including two candidates for co-VP’s, as well as other executive committee members who can share the task of chairing the meetings.  The candidates have all previously held roles within SRCC and have already started training.  The proposed slate is

  • Co-VP: Megan Spencer
  • Co-VP: Cynthia Milne
  • Treasurer: Oliver Caruso
  • Secretary:  Dan Fredine
  • Membership Secretary: Mary Friedman
  • ANC Representative: Betty Weed
  • Standing committee chairs are appointed by the new executive committee.

There has been discussion about ways to hold elections in light of the use of distance meetings throughout the past few months.  Motions have been proposed in advance and a similar method can be used for nominations for the officer positions so that the names can be inputted in the poll in advance of the meeting in which the election is held. The current slate would be announced, along with the election date, and it would include an online call for nominations “from the floor” in advance of the election. Nominations that come in prior to the deadline would be reviewed by the Nominating Committee. In the past, we have voted on the slate as a whole.  We could use the same method this time around unless additional nominees come forward, in which case the officers would be elected individually, and Zoom polls would need to be set up ahead of time.  The election would be held at the September General Membership Meeting (September 15th).  The announcement of the slate would occur electronically in advance.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

The Travis Heights Art Trail is planning to happen Nov. 7 – 8 this year. Everything will be outside with masks provided and social distancing practiced.

SRCC currently has the following volunteer positions open:

  • Historic Preservation Committee Chair
  • Outreach Committee Members/Chair
  • SRCC Parking Management Position

Agenda Prepared by Dan Fredine, vicepresident@srccatx.org

Minutes Prepared by Mary Janecek-Friedman, secretary@srccatx.org

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