SRCC EC Meeting Minutes–October 2020

SRCC EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING  

TUESDAY, October 20, 2020  7:00 PM

Zoom Teleconference

via THE INTERNET

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: Megan Spencer, SRCC Vice President, unless otherwise noted.

Called to order at 7:05

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 August 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.

MOTION:  Mary Freidman / Dan Fredine:  To approve the minutes from August 4, 2020, executive committee meeting.  Approve: 12, Oppose: 0, Abstain: 2; PASSED

4. 7:15  Proposed meeting dates through rest of term: ???

Discussion about resuming monthly GM meetings and regular EC meetings. It was stated that ANC is currently inviting guests to speak at every meeting, including representatives from various City departments. Concern that it may be another year before we can resume in-person meetings. City commissions are still meeting virtually. General consensus seemed to be that we should get back onto a regular schedule. 

A suggestion was made that once we are past the pandemic we may want to include some meetings to focus mostly on the social aspect.

It was proposed that the officers toss around some good dates for resuming GM and EC meetings, and putting together a schedule.

5. 7:25  Standing Committee check-ins on events/goals/issues.

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

Planning and Zoning: See later items.

Historic Preservation:  The SRCC General Membership voted to oppose demo of Rutherford and Alta Vista houses. Any time that the SRCC votes to oppose demolition, it could result in at least 3 meetings with the Historic Landmark Commission, which typically are there to delay the demo, to give the owners an opportunity to talk about alternative options for the property. Committee members have been writing letters and attending meetings to oppose the demolitions. Need to get more participation from nearby neighbors. The owner has indicated they may keep the house on Rutherford to serve as a guest house to the Alta Vista house. The HLC has not yet released the demo permit. 

Finance: If anyone has receipts for reimbursement, please present them to Sam or Will soon. Discussed that if 2020 revenues exceed expenses, the committee may recommend that the balance be spent for a good neighborhood purpose, TBD. Once we resume in-person meetings, we may want to continue to include Zoom, so that we can involve more people. There are paper files that SRCC needs to maintain from previous years, and they will be put in the garage of the future treasurer. The Zoom account needs to be transitioned to someone other than Eric.

Mobility: There are strong feelings both for and against the Project Connect proposition, and there are concerns about the legality of the ballot language related to it. Paula will be meeting with a journalist to discuss the S. Congress Parking Study.

Public Safety: There continues to be an uptick in crime. Neighborhood watch continues to patrol.

Parks and Environment: Nothing to report at this time.

Schools: In person learning has begun, which has been challenging for the staff, though it is proceeding without too many problems. The in person participation will continue to ramp up. Teachers are doing a lot of really hard work to support both in-person and distance learning, and are amazing.  At THES the principal would like to have individual candy bags to distribute to kids in class. Anyone who wants to contribute can drop them off to Mary to distribute. They also want to treat teachers with muffins and coffee – let Mary know if you want to contribute.

Communications: Nothing to report at this time. 

REPORTS OF AD HOC COMMITTEES and REPRESENTATIVES

6. 7:40 Check-ins on events/goals/issues

Presenters: Committee Chairs/Representatives. Norwood; NPCT; ANC* (1 min); SCC*; South Central Waterfront (1 min); St. Edward’s; S. Central Affordable CDC (1 min); Ad-hoc Land Development Code Revision; Ad-hoc Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (1 min)

Norwood: Nothing to report at this time.

NPCT: Nothing to report at this time.

ANC:  The last ANC meeting was Sept 23. There was discussion about Austin City Charter Amendments – possibility of changing to a Strong Mayor, instead of a City Manager. This is common in big cities, really depends on how good of an administrator the Mayor is. There are 4 changes proposed: move mayoral election to presidential years, shift to ranked choice voting for Council/Mayor, implementation of a “democracy dollars” program, and change to Strong Mayor (including adding an 11th District).       

There was another presentation warning about issues with CodeNext.

SCC:  Nothing to report at this time.

South Central Waterfront: There is a rezoning meeting next Tuesday for the Statesman tract. Staff will likely not recommend it, since they haven’t completed their review process. Both SRCC and Bouldin Neighborhood Associations are in opposition. There are concerns that the developers are interested in bringing this to Council in November. Sounds like there is a push to move the 20% affordable housing component (which is required by the South Central Waterfront Plan) to not be located in the development. It was suggested that we’re not really at that point yet, since there’s not housing included in this project at all (just luxury mixed use).

St. Edwards:  Nothing to report at this time.

S. Central Affordable CDC:  Nothing to report at this time.

Ad-hoc Land Development Code Revision:  This process has mostly been on hiatus. A judge decided that the number of protests resulted in the requirement of approval for the new Land Development Code by Council supermajority, which they don’t have with the current councilmembers. This will be impacted by the results of the upcoming Council election – both Alter & Pool are up for reelection, and they are in opposition to the proposed code. There is concern about new affordability projects that would replace existing housing, and would result in new “affordable housing” that is actually less affordable than the existing. 

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

None.

NEW BUSINESS

7.   7:45  Confirmation of SRCC Standing Committee Chairs: Vote to confirm all standing committee chairs for upcoming term. VOTE EXPECTED.  Presenter: Angela Reed, past Historic Preservation Chair and Megan Spencer: Vice President.  

The current Chair of the Historic Preservation Committee (Angela Reed) stated that Paula Kothmann has expressed interest in chairing the Historic Preservation Committee, and Paula had been very active in the most recent case.  The Historic Preservation committee has voted to recommend Paula for Chair. If confirmed as Chair of the Historic Preservation Committee, Paula would step down as Chair of the Mobility Committee. 

The following is the list of proposed standing committee chairs:

Planning & Zoning – Russel Fraser

Historic Preservation – Paula Kothmann

Finance – Sam Martin

Parks and Environment – David Todd

Public Safety – Tom G

Mobility – Vacant

Schools – Gretchen Otto

Communications – Betty Weed

The proposed committee chairs were confirmed by assent.

8:00  SRCC Treasurer: Nomination to fill Treasurer’s position. Oliver Caruso, our former Treasurer, has moved away from the SRCC area.  VOTE EXPECTED. Presenter: Sam Martin, Finance Chair 

The Finance Committee met after it was learned that the current treasurer (Oliver Causo) will be moving from the neighborhood and will no longer be eligible to serve. They expressed support for the excellent job that Oliver has done, and that he will be missed. Will Andrews volunteered to serve as treasurer, and the Finance Committee recommends him for the role. Will Andrews has been on the Finance Committee for more than 10 years, in his role on the Finance Committee Will has audited the treasurer, and he is very familiar with SRCC. 

Motion by the Finance Committee – approve Will Andrews as SRCC Treasurer for the remainder of the term.

Will was confirmed by assent.

8:10  SRCC 2021 Financial Forecast for discussion and approval. VOTE EXPECTED.  Presenter: Sam Martin, Finance Chair

The Finance Committee Chair presented the 2021 Forecast and the 2020 Actuals vs Forecast. The 2021 forecast includes a reduced expected contribution to the church (for meeting space) and reduced newsletter costs (due to not having a printed newsletter during the pandemic), and slightly increased office expenses (to cover Zoom subscription). The forecast does not include budget for meeting signs, but in the future we may consider getting new signs to advertise Zoom meetings.  Earlier in 2020 it appeared we would have a deficit, but are currently at a surplus. It is expected that we will have a surplus in 2021.

Motion by the Finance Committee – approve the 2021 Forecast. Approve: 17, Oppose: 0, Abstain: 1; PASSED  

8:30  A contribution of $1000 from our General Fund balance to the Capital Area Food Bank has been proposed. Discussion. VOTE EXPECTED. Presenter: Sam Martin

The Finance Committee looked at the SRCC general fund balance, and noted a considerable surplus. The committee proposes that the SRCC use part of our surplus to make this donation to help the community. 

Motion by the Finance Committee – SRCC to contribute $1000 from the General Fund balance to the Capital Area Food Bank.

The motion was passed by assent.

8:40  P&Z: 1839 S. IH 35 Development Project. The development company wishes to change the Future Land Use designation for the property within the Riverside/Oltorf Combined Neighborhood Plan from Commercial to Multifamily. Discussion.  Presenter: Russell Fraser,  P&Z Chair

The applicant wants to change to MF-6 (most dense multifamily zoning). The EROC NPCT has opposed the project, mostly based on the lack of compatibility with the adjacent single family houses (the proposed structure is 90’ in height). Some neighbors are getting signatures on a petition to oppose. The developer is seeking to get the variance under the Affordability Unlocked plan, which waives most compatibility requirements. Toni House indicated that the EROC neighborhood does support a previous site plan by this applicant – a 3 or 4 story mixed use building. The applicant has asked for an indefinite postponement. 

The SRCC Planning and Zoning committee voted to oppose this development, in support of EROC. No action is currently required by the SRCC EC, but a vote may be required in the future.

P&Z: 1100 Manlove. Request to change Future Land Use designation of the specified properties within the East Riverside/Oltorf Combined neighborhood plan from Single Family to Neighborhood Mixed Use. Presenter: Russel Fraser, P&Z Chair

The owner is proposing to go from single family to mixed use zoning, which would allow commercial uses. This is a single family house at the end of a dead-end street. Toni House indicated that the applicant has let the house deteriorate for the past 5-10 years. He claimed the variance would allow his employees to work out of the home during the pandemic, even though he has several acres of commercial land adjacent to the property. The concern is that this is ploy by the applicant to extend the Riverside Corridor mixed use zoning from the commercial property into the neighborhood. Previously he has asked to rezone ⅓ of this single family property to allow for access to the commercial property from the neighborhood streets.

In the past SRCC has entered into a Restrictive Covenant with other developers. This property owner has previously refused to put up a bond for us to review with an attorney.

Rachel McClure asked if SRCC could vote against this ahead of time. Toni is presently collecting signatures for a protest. There is not a hearing set as of yet. Russel indicated that the SRCC generally would vote after EROC, in order to support their position, and will work with the EROC team.

At 1501 Nickerson, the owner is planning on a remodel in an older home. Ian Reddy has looked at this and recommended that SRCC P&Z not oppose the requested variance. The owner is requesting a 1% FAR variance, so that they can add a second floor and keep the existing ADU. The SRCC P&Z committee voted unanimously not to oppose.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:40pm.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

SRCC currently has the following volunteer positions open:

-Mobility Committee Chair

-Outreach Committee Members/Chair

-SRCC President

Agenda Prepared by Megan Spencer, vicepresident@srccatx.org

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