SRCC Meeting Minutes — June 2020

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CALL TO ORDER/APPROVAL OF MINUTES

1.  7:00  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 7:05 pm. The president welcomed all members and guests.  This is our first remote meeting with the general membership.  Participants are requested to raise their hand on the screen if they have something to say and will be called on in the order requested, given enough time. Technical help can be received in the chat box.  The schedule will be strictly adhered to, in order to honor everyone’s time and finish by 9:00 pm.  (If anyone is talking and goes over their time, they will be muted to maintain our schedule.)

2.  7:08  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.       

To vote, a poll will be put on the screen.  Advanced registration for this meeting was requested to allow our membership chair to reach out to those whose membership might have lapsed.  Only members are allowed to vote.  We will only be voting on motions that are scheduled in the agenda.  All other motions will be called out of order.  (This, again, is to help stick to the agenda and honor everyone’s time.)

3.  7:10  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 reported income and expenses that have been incurred since our last meeting.  For details, email him at treasurer@srccatx.org.`

4.  7:15  Committee Chairs reports

1) Planning and Zoning – see item below; 2) Historic Preservation; 3) Finance; 4) Mobility [5 minutes] – see item below ; 5) Public Safety;  6) Parks and Environment – see item below; 7) Schools; 8) Communications; 9) Executive Committee; 10) Land Development Code Rewrite ad hoc committee; 11) Diversity, Equity and Inclusion ad hoc committee

Representatives: 12) ANC* [3 minutes]; 13) SCC*; 14) South Central Waterfront; 15) St. Edward’s; 16) S. Central Affordable CDC                                                                                                                                                                              (20 min)

Planning and Zoning:  The chair of P&Z shared that we have had an outdoor music venue request across from the School for the Deaf (in the Music Lane development).  It is for a restaurant that is behind some apartments and businesses on Congress Avenue.  The permit was withdrawn at this time.  (The P&Z committee had already taken a straw vote which resulted in 4 not opposed and 1 abstaining.)

Historic Preservation:  The chair of historic preservation shared that the committee intends to work with the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion ad-hoc committee committee to publish neighborhood and community histories that are more  inclusive.  If you are familiar with WordPress and would like to help, contact  reed@as.gmail.com  Our historical area in SRCC has been placed on the agenda for September to become a National Historic District.

An ad-hoc committee has been assembled to look at  Diversity, Equity and Inclusion within SRCC.  They are intending to look at SRCC’s current issues and ways that diversity and inclusion can be supported.  A visitor shared this link in the chat section of the meeting: http://www.austintexas.gov/edims/document.cfm?id=279626

Finances:  Nothing to report

Mobility:  Due to the Covid shut-down, mobility issues have not been as prominent as they have been at other times.  

Public Safety:  The chair reported that crime has diminished during the Covid shut-down.  If you are interested in data regarding local events with law enforcement, you can see information here:  krimelabb 2020 . Our neighbors are still running patrols.  If you are interested in joining in, contact the chair at tgroce71@gmail.com.

Parks and Environment:  Nothing to report.

Schools:  The chair of schools reported that AISD has not made a final decision about how to proceed in the fall.  For updates, go to austinisd.covid19  They are going through a process to hear what the public’s thoughts and concerns are.

Communications:  There will not be a newsletter this summer.

Executive Committee:  The EC has met twice, in May and June, since the Covid shut-down.  Much of the time was used to figure out what to do in preparations of this meeting and moving forward.  In addition, a couple of roles have been filled.  Megan Spencer has been appointed co-vice president, and Betty Weed has been appointed as our ANC representative.

Land Development Code Re-write Ad Hoc Committee:  The committee is on a temporary hold while the Land Development Code is in legal proceedings.  

ANC:  ANC met at the end of May.  They are working on rebuilding their relationship with the city and city staff, which has been tense during Code Next.  In the May meeting, the City provided information about what is  being done for the homeless during the pandemic.  Members of the ANC have brought forward issues regarding Project Connect and the Schlotsky’s PUD, which will be discussed later in this meeting.

SCC*:  Nothing to report

South Central Waterfront:  Nothing to report.

St. Edward’s:  Nothing to report.

South Central CDC:  The CDC is still looking for more people to be involved.  If you are interested in supporting affordable housing in Austin, please contact Gretchen Otto at gretchenotto7@gmail.com

5.  7:35  Approve minutes from the February 3, 2020 monthly general meeting (available at www.srccatx.org)         (5 min)

MOTION: Eric Cassady, President of SRCC:  To approve the minutes from the Feb. 3, 2020, general membership meeting.  Agree: 25;   Disagree: 0; Abstaining: 3;   PASSED.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS 

6.  7:40  The City of Austin Art in Public Places (AIPP) program is commissioning a professional visual artist, or artist team, to design and fabricate mosaic artwork for the Little Stacy Neighborhood Park.  Artist James Edward Talbot has been commissioned by the City of Austin Art in Public Places Program to design artwork that creates a visible, aesthetically pleasing experience at the entrance of the park and draws inspiration from moments of play occurring within.  Talbot would like to share a presentation and get some community input on his working design for artwork at the entrance to Little Stacy Park.  

Link to information about the Little Stacy Neighborhood Park Art in Public Places Project.

Presenters/Guests: Marjorie Flanagan, Art in Public Places Sr. Project Manager, marjorie.flanagan@austintexas.govand James Talbot, Neverland Designs, talbot@talbotworld.com                                                                              (15 min + 5 min Q&A)

Ms. Flanagan shared that 2% of every development is provided to the Art in Public Places program.  Those funds can only be used for artwork, not landscaping or other things.  She reviewed some goals that were developed with SRCC and a location was chosen.  She is meeting with us to get SRCC’s feedback, just as she has done in the past.    The piece is supposed to be in place for 20 years and approved by a committee of volunteers from the community.

Examples of Mr. Talbot’s work: the sculpture at Congress and Live Oak, at Nicholas Dawson Park  and at the Bouldin Creek Coffee House.  He also contributed to the mural at the Monroe Bridge.  Goals of his work include:

  • Magic Portal—An entrance into the park and another world that you might imagine
  • Fun & Playful
  • Unique in a 78704 kind of way
  • Interactive and invite creativity
  • Invite pretending
  • Make a good photo op
  • Integrated with the natural surroundings and the manmade structures that already exist.

He shared working models that demonstrate that it is a portal, not a gate.  It lends itself to community involvement.  There is a central throne and a main arch, with room for a wheelchair to move around.  At the top of the arch is a mosaic and mirrors.  Included are flanking structures that reflect vines and trees that are nearby.  The location will be just outside the critical root zones of two trees and in front of where a sign exists right now. (Will replace the existing sign.)  He shared several visuals.  His design includes a main seating area and framed photo-op area.  The colors will be a reminiscent of the colors on the Monroe Bridge.  Mementos that can be imbedded inside the structure and calls for help in the building of the structure will be called for later.  For information about calls-outs:  publicartist.org and austincreates.com newsletter.  For any tree concerns, email Kirsten.schneider@austintexas.gov.  Mr. Talbot thinks the project will be done within the year.

NEW BUSINESS 

7.  8:00  Neighbors on the 1300 block of The Circle have had an increase in parking-related issues on their short street. While The Circle connects Drake and Academy, a large portion of it is trail, and people have regularly been parking in front of and blocking peoples’ driveways. In addition, the parked cars on both sides of the street are regularly restricting access to emergency vehicles. An application has been made to include The Circle (between Drake and its end/Academy) in the Residential Permit Parking (RPP) program, and all property owners on the street are in support. These neighbors are asking for SRCC to support an application for RPP on The Circle. [VOTE EXPECTED – Motion: To endorse RPP application for The Circle between Drake and The Circle Row Greenbelt.]

Presenter/Guest: Paula Kothmann, SRCC Mobility Chair, mobility@srccatx.org  and  Paul Clarke, The Circle Resident,pclarke@clarkewyndham.com                                                                                                             (10 min + 5 min Q&A + 10 min vote)

The chair of mobility shared that parking meters are being considered along S. Congress and a few blocks into the neighborhood.  A report was shared that the income from the parking meters would take approximately 8 years to pay off.  Many businesses along the Avenue are not being required to provide parking for their customers or employees.  The city has stated that they will not consider any RPPs until after the parking study has been submitted by the consultants.  See notes from the mobility chair.

A resident of The Circle discussed that a drainage ditch has been filled in by a contractor of the CoA by accident. This has made the street appear wider and led to parking on both sides of the street.  The parking has made it impossible for the residents to reach their homes and for emergency vehicles to navigate the street..  People who aren’t aware of the closure of the street often pull in and have to turn around in a driveway to exit.

A neighbor pointed out that the situation will be much worse once the construction along S. Congress is completed and office workers will be coming and going throughout the day.  It was suggested that the this RPP reflect the  time periods of those in RPPs nearby.

MOTION: Paula Kothman, chair of Mobility:  To endorse RPP application for The Circle between Drake and The Circle Row Greenbelt. Agree: 28; Disagree: 0; Abstain: 1; PASSED.

8.  8:25  Dave Piper of the Zilker Neighborhood Association will present on their opposition to a proposed development at 218 South Lamar Blvd, currently the site of Schlotzsky’s. It is located within the Waterfront Overlay, which restricts large developments. The applicant asks to increase the height of the building to 96 feet on a 1.266-acre site. The PUD was approved at the May 12 Planning Commission over the strenuous objections of Zilker Neighborhood Association (ZNA), and will go before Council on July 30th. [VOTE EXPECTED – Motion: To support Zilker NA position of opposition to the Scholtzsky’s PUD.]

Link  to Zilker NA website article about Schlotzsky’s PUD.

Presenter/Guest: Dave Piper, Zilker Neighborhood Association President, http://zilkerneighborhood.org/, president@zilkerneighborhood.org                                                                                                (10 min + 5 min Q&A + 10 min vote)

Mr. Piper from Zilker, gave an overview of the proposed PUD, which includes a parking garage and an office building.  In order to get a PUD less than 10 acres, you have to have special circumstances.  The special circumstances they are using are the actual restrictions required by the Waterfront Overlay Ordinance. He gave a brief history of the Waterfront Overlay Ordinance.  Later, the PUD Ordinance came out.  There have been conflicts between the two ordinances.  The City of Austin has interpreted that the PUD Ordinance supersedes the Waterfront Overlay Ordinance.  If this particular PUD is approved, it would further nullify the Waterfront Overlay restrictions.  Members of Zilker have looked at both ordinances and think that the Waterfront Overlay Ordinance supersedes the PUD Ordinance.

The Town Lake Corridor Study, which is incorporated into the Waterfront Overlay, prohibits large office buildings in the Butler Shores sub-district. The actual requirements of the Waterfront Overlay Ordinance itself are being used as special circumstances that allow it’s development, and the ZNA has gotten a notification from the Assistant Director of Planning and Zoning that the additional square footage requirements for PUDs in the Waterfront Overlay are voluntary.

One of our neighbors pointed out that the Waterfront Overlay Ordinance went into place as a neighborhood response to the building of the Hyatt, which limits the public’s access to the hike and bike trail along the riverfront.  It (the Waterfront Overlay) puts into place rules about any new construction between Butler Shores to Riverside, so it will affect the waterfront in SRCC.  The chair of P&Z has talked to Alan Holt (from the City) during the process with the Statesman PUD and asked if this new development falls within the SCW Vision.  Mr. Piper shared that it does not.  Other topics discussed:

  • Extra traffic/parking in the area
  • Impact to residents who live on T0omey Road

Motion:  Dan Fredine, SRCC Vice President: To support the Zilker Neighborhood Association’s position of opposition to the Schlotszky’s PUD.  Agree:  27; Disagree:  0; Abstain:  0; PASSED

9.  8:50  An application has been made for an Outdoor Music Venue permit for a new restaurant named Aba at 1011 S. Congress. This is in the SoHo Club in the Music Lane development. The application is to allow amplified music from 11am – 8pm Sunday through Thursday, and 11am – 10pm Friday and Saturday, up to 70 decibels. [VOTE EXPECTED – Motion Pending]

Link to Aba application for Outdoor Music Venue permit.  

Presenter: Russell Fraser, SRCC Planning & Zoning Chair, russell_fraser@msn.com  (5 min + 5 min Q&A + 10 min vote)

Permit application has been withdrawn, no vote is necessary at this time.

GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! We need volunteers for open positions including 

  • CO-VICE PRESIDENT
  • PRESIDENT
  • HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMITTEE CHAIR

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 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

*Frequently used acronyms: ACF: Austin Community Fund; ANC: Austin Neighborhood Council (https://www.atxanc.org/); 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; PUD: Planned Unit Development; SCC: South Central Coalition of NAs

Agenda Prepared by Dan Fredine, vicepresident@srccatx.org

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

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