SRCC Meeting Minutes — September 2020

Minutes
SRCC General Membership Meeting  (www.srccatx.org)
Tuesday, September 15, 2020     7:00 PM
Zoom Teleconference
via THE INTERNET

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: Gretchen Otto, Former SRCC President, gretchenotto7@gmail.com, unless otherwise noted.

Meeting called to order at 7:07 pm.  A quorum is present.  The agenda was shared on the screen.  Please keep yourself muted during the zoom meeting.  If you need to speak, please raise your hand, using the controls in the participant pane.  For motions on the agenda we have polls set up.  You must be a member to vote.  Carol has already talked to those whose dues have lapsed.  

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.

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)

Our treasurer shared our last couple of months in terms of income and expenses. The only expense recently is for Zoom.  

4.  7:15  Committee Chairs reports

1) Planning and Zoning; 2) Historic Preservation; 3) Finance; 4) Mobility; 5) Public Safety;  6) Parks and Environment; 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*; 13) SCC*; 14) South Central Waterfront; 15) St. Edward’s; 16) S. Central Affordable CDC

Committee Reports

Planning and Zoning—The chair of P & Z reported that the owner of the property at 1829 S. I-H 35 SVRD NB wants to change the zoning from commercial (GR-NP)   to multifamily (MF-6-NP: multi-family highest density district).  The property is just south of Woodland on the Northbound side of the I-35.  Over 100 apartments at 90 feet in height, possibly affordable or possibly for sale.  Zoning case # is C14-2020-0025 and the plan amendment case # is: NPA-2020-0021.01. 

Historic Preservation—The chair of Historic Preservation reported that the Historic District went to the state board of review and it was passed last Saturday.  That means it will now move to be registered with the National Parks Service, and once that’s complete, we have a National Historic District. The boundaries are the south bank of the Colorado River (Lady Bird Lake), just above Edgecliff Terrace on the north, to E. Live Oak Street on the south, and from the east (rear) property lines on the east side of Kenwood Avenue on the east, to the rear (east) property lines of lots and blocks fronting onto the east side of S. Congress Avenue, on the west. The  historic district structures are dated 1877-1970.  This is not connected to CoA Zoning, so any demolition requests of contributing structures would require that they are reviewed by the Landmark commission and could be delayed, but not ultimately prohibited.  Here is a link to the draft proposal:  https://www.thc.texas.gov/public/upload/preserve/national_register/draft_nominations/Travis%20Heights-Fairview%20Park%20Historic%20District%20SBR%20Draft.pdf  The boundaries were determined by a consultant and were decided upon due to the historic boundaries as well as  the percentage of contributing properties. For questions, email reed.as@gmail.com.  For information about tax credits and benefits for income-producing contributing structures:  https://www.thc.texas.gov/preserve/projects-and-programs/preservation-tax-incentives/about-preservation-tax-incentives.

Finance—The chair of the finance committee reported that the committee met last week to discuss the cost of Zoom. The committee approved a one-year subscription, which will save approximately $30.  Committees are able to use the account for meetings, contact the treasurer. The money that had been set aside for meetings at the church was used to make the purchase.  Next year’s budget will be discussed before the end of the year.

Mobility—The chair of mobility reported on a couple of bonds that will be on the Nov. 3rd ballot.  One is the payment of sidewalks, and the second is a bond for Project Connect. For the median home, this would cost approximately $300 in taxes a year.  This additional cost would go into effect for January 2021 property taxes.

Public Safety—The chair of public safety reported that the neighborhood watch continues to make patrols.

Parks and Environments—The chair of parks and environment was unable to attend.  A member reported that Parks and Environment Chairs met with Little Stacy Park project manager and landscape architect to discuss alternate locations for accessible parking space and Art In Public Places commission. SchoolsSchool started last week, all virtual.  In-person classes will start phasing in on October 5th.  Travis Heights Elementary is doing a membership drive.  Memberships are  for one year, so you can sign up to renew.

CommunicationsThe chair for communications shared that there was information about the arts in public places artist on the website and offered to also add information about the National Historic District to the website.

Executive CommitteeThe EC has been planning for tonight’s election.

Land Development Code Rewrite ad hoc committee—The chair of the committee reported that on the Sept. 17th council meeting that there will be a discussion about two overlays (one around the Dell Medical Center and one around the airport).  If anyone wants to speak at the meeting, they would need to sign up by tomorrow (Sept. 15th at noon).

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion ad hoc committee—A group of members are reading and sharing resources to support diversity, equity and inclusion in the NA

Representative Reports

ANC—Our representative to ANC reported about the recent meetings.  It was reported that people are seeing an uptick in up-zoning without going through the city council with a hearing.  In particularly, there are two projects that are going to affect historically African American communities on the east side of Austin.  Another presenter’s opinion was that the price tag for the Project Connect bond was high and urged everyone to vote against the bond. Our mobility chair shared that other communities have funded similar projects without using property taxes.  You can see notes here:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-M5aULQxQcwVBLxzUpiWjagI5-IBM6XC/view?usp=sharing

SCC—Nothing to report

SC Waterfront—The city is considering a private-public partnership which may affect whether monies for affordable housing stay in an area where the money was collected.

St. Edwards—Nothing to report.

S. Central Affordable CDC—Nothing to report

Norwood House—A certificate of appropriateness has been approved by the Landmark Commission. The goal is for work to be completed by 2022, which is the hundredth anniversary of the Norwood House.

5.  7:35  Approve minutes from the June 16, 2020 monthly general meeting (available at www.srccatx.org)

Motion:  To approve the minutes  June 16th, 2020 monthly general membership meeting.

Vote occurred by a poll.  Approve 33; Opposed 0; Abstain 1, PASSED.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS 

None.

NEW BUSINESS 

6.  7:40  This is the 18th year of the Travis Heights Art Trail, and it will be taking place November 7th and 8th. This year the entire show will be held outdoors, and strict regulations for safety will be in place. 

Link to Travis Heights Art Trail website.

Presenter: Charlotte Bell, Travis Heights Art Trail , charwolf100@gmail.com (5 min)

Charlotte Bell reported that the show has been approved so long as Austin stays at a level of 3 or below

(Covid Level:  https://www.austintexas.gov/page/covid-19-risk-based-guidelines).

There will be 12 houses and 29 artists will be part of the trail.  Everything will be outside, under tents or on porches, with masks available at each house.  The budget for advertising is limited, but look for the yard signs and banners.

7.  7:45  A developer is requesting a permit for demolition of two houses on adjacent lots in Travis Heights, 815 Rutherford and 1204 Alta Vista. The developer wishes to demolish both houses, build new houses on both lots, and re-sell the properties. Both existing houses are modest structures but are listed as “contributing” to the pending National Register Historic District. The SRCC Preservation Committee would like SRCC’s support in opposing these demolitions. If the demolitions are approved, the pending National Register District will lose three contributing structures from its inventory – two houses and a garage. The house on Rutherford is of particular interest given its distinctive Tudor revival style, which is one of the predominant styles in Travis Heights that gives the neighborhood its whimsical, eclectic character. But because of the modest size of Tudor homes, they are vulnerable to development pressure. This case will go before the Historic Landmark Commission on September 28th. [VOTE EXPECTED – Motion: To submit a letter to the Historic Landmark Commission stating that SRCC does not approve of the requested demolitions at 815 Rutherford and 1204 Alta Vista.]

Link to the Notice of Public Hearing for Demolition for  815 Rutherford Place.

Presenter: Angela Reed, SRCC Historic Preservation Committee Chair, reed.as@gmail.com

(10 min + 5 min Q&A + 10 min vote)

Both houses are considered contributing to the National Historic District and if demolished  will be a loss to the district.  The preservation committee requests that SRCC supports opposing the demolition of the houses.  The Rutherford House is a tudor-revival, which is distinctive to the neighborhood. The owner is not intending to live in the neighborhood and intends to demolish both buildings and re-build and sell. A neighbor shared that the house on Alta Vista has recently been rented for $1300, which would be considered affordable at this point. A neighbor asked if the immediate neighbors oppose the demolition.  One neighbor said they would prefer a restoration rather than demolition.  Anyone in the NA can write the Landmark Commission to express your opinion.  To view information that was shared with the Historuic Landmark Commission: https://docs.google.com/document/d/131emWsi_aLZtAvV0Re3mTT5JjuDN4fOlcTNveJOeFgU/edit?usp=sharing

Motion: To submit a letter to the Historic Landmark Commission stating that SRCC does not support the requested demolitions at 815 Rutherford and 1204 Alta Vista.  Approve 31; Oppose 0; Abstain 1, PASSED.

Re: Rutherford and Alta Vista demolitions, Here is the Historic Landmark Commission website with all email addresses: https://austintexas.granicus.com/boards/w/d0ea2b1eccda64f0

Please also copy Steve Sadowsky at the City Historic Preservation Office,  steve.sadowsky@austintexas.gov. Here is the backup material about the house, http://www.austintexas.gov/edims/document.cfm?id=345639

8.  8:10  Report from the Nominations Committee/Officer and Area Coordinator Elections. The SRCC Nominating Committee has identified an excellent slate of strong candidates for the election! Several are current officers in SRCC and others have previously filled leadership roles in the organization. Note that a candidate for president was not identified and we are deliberately presenting this slate without a president; we are confident that the organization will continue to be effective with the current slate of candidates. The slate of candidates is:

  • President: vacant
  • Co-Vice President: Megan Spencer
  • Co-Vice President: Cynthia Milne
  • Treasurer: Oliver Caruso
  • Secretary: Dan Fredine
  • Membership Secretary: Mary Friedman
  • Austin Neighborhoods Council (ANC) Representative: Betty Weed
  • Area Co-Coordinator – Area 1: Claudette Lowe
  • Area Co-Coordinator – Area 1: Marylin Orton
  • Area Co-Coordinator – Area 2: Russell Fraser
  • Area Co-Coordinator – Area 2: Eugene Kubelka
  • Area Co-Coordinator – Area 3a: Jo Webber
  • Area Co-Coordinator – Area 3a: Sara Newsom
  • Area Co-Coordinator – Area 3b: Brooks Kasson
  • Area Co-Coordinator – Area 3b: Marc Davis
  • Area Co-Coordinator – Area 4a: Sam Martin
  • Area Co-Coordinator – Area 4a: Carol Martin
  • Area Coordinator – Area 4b: Kris Asthalter
  • Area Co-Coordinator – Area 5: Neal Nuwash
  • Area Co-Coordinator – Area 5: Elloa Mathews
  • Area Co-Coordinator – Area 6: Rachel McClure
  • Area Co-Coordinator – Area 6: Laura Gass Weaver
  • Area Coordinator – Area 7: Richard Whymark
  • Area Co-Coordinator – Area 8: Kim Lanzillotti
  • Area Co-Coordinator – Area 8: Vicky Moerbe

Presenter: Dan Fredine, Nominating Committee Chair (20 min)

The Nominating Committee Chair introduced all of the candidates. There were no names submitted from the floor.  The chair declared the nominations closed.  There being only one nominee for each position, the chair declared the nominees from the slate as elected officers and area coordinators.

8:30   GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! We need volunteers for open positions including 
    • 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

Meeting adjourned at 8:34 pm.

*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 Friedman, secretary@srccatx.org

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