SRCC EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING
TUESDAY, December 1, 2020 7:00 PM
via THE INTERNET
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CALL TO ORDER/APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Meeting called to order at 7:02
1. 7:00 Meeting procedures, Zoom tools, etiquette, welcome & introductions of new members
Presenter throughout: Megan Spencer, SRCC Vice President, unless otherwise noted.
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.
3. 7:10 Approve minutes from November 2020 Executive Committee Meeting
Reminder: schedule for Executive meetings: 1st Tuesday of the month; 7:00pm – 8:30pm, Location: teleconference during 2020 (eventually will return to Good Shepherd on the Hill).
No additions or corrections – the minutes were approved.
4. 7:15 Standing 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 (15 min)
1) Planning and Zoning – planning commission hearing for the proposed change from SF to Neighborhood Mixed Use at 1100 Manlove on Dec 8th, which the SRCC GM voted to oppose. Will report results of City meetings at the next GM meeting.
2) Historic Preservation – see separate agenda item #7 below.
3) Finance – nothing to report.
4) Mobility – see separate agenda item #9 below.
5) Public Safety – nothing specific to report, but shared that krimelabb.com will show you very detailed crime statistics for the City. There have been recent issues with graffiti and trash in the park. The chair is going to reach out to our APD contact to see if we can get more patrols.
6) Parks and Environment – a handicapped parking space is being constructed at Little Stacy Park. There was a question about some shrubs/trees recently planted in the neighborhood with water bags. It was indicated that a neighbor has been doing this unofficially as a service to the neighborhood.
7) Schools – all schools are virtual this week due to anticipated higher contacts during the week of Thanksgiving. The district sent emails to the teachers, saying they would not allow any work from home accommodations (have granted about 50 for next semester, as opposed to the 1000 that were granted last semester). It was suggested that we contact our AISD trustees to let them know if we have concerns about this.
8) Communications – nothing to report.
REPORTS OF AD HOC COMMITTEES and REPRESENTATIVES
5. 7:30 Check-ins on events/goals/issues
Presenters: Committee Chairs/Representatives. Norwood (1 min); NPCT (1 min); ANC* (1 min); SCC* (1 min); South Central Waterfront (1 min); St. Edward’s (1 min); S. Central Affordable CDC (1 min); Ad-hoc Land Development Code Revision (1 min); Ad-hoc Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (1 min) (10 min)
Norwood – nothing to report
NPCT – nothing to report
ANC* – nothing to report
SCC* – nothing to report
South Central Waterfront – SRCC got notice that the City is moving forward with the economic development entity. A South Central Waterfront Advisory Board Working Group was on a call with the Assistant City Manager, the Director of Housing and Planning, and the Assistant Director/Interim Lead Planning and Zoning where there was discussion about the PUD application at the former Statesman property. This is the 3rd review by the City. But they are indicating that the PUD does not demonstrate superiority, and there are a lot of questions. The term of the SRCC representative to the SCWAB expires in February, and they plan to step down; members of the EC have been contacted about possible replacements.
A member asked about the enhanced heights that are being requested by the Statesman PUD applicant and how that applies to the PUD and the waterfront. The Council-approved “Vision Plan” does define some of those things.
St. Edward’s – nothing to report
S. Central Affordable CDC – nothing to report
Ad-hoc Land Development Code Revision – see separate agenda item #8 below. Alison Alter is now in a runoff for her Council position; she was in opposition to the code revision. If she is not re-elected, then the code revision may attain a supermajority.
Ad-hoc Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion – nothing to report
6. 7:40 Agendas in the Time of COVID-19. Guidelines for SRCC online meetings and how Zoom Polling works. Presenter: Gretchen Otto, Advisory Committee (10 min) Q&A (5 min) (15 min)
Most of the motions on zoom come from a committee – if it has been agreed upon by the committee – a second is not required in order to take a vote.
In order to ensure that all voters are members, we use the Zoom Polling function, which captures the name and vote of each responder. This allows us to confirm that all voters are active members. For logistical reasons we need to have the exact wording of all motions ahead of time, in order to set up the polls before the meeting. If you are proposing a motion, when the draft agenda goes out, please double check to make sure that the motion language is correct (it should also match the poll, and match the language used in the meeting when discussing the motion).
In the past, P&Z came up with some recommended wordings with regard to an proposed change (rezoning, variance, etc.) – Oppose, Support, or Take No Position. We want to try and utilize this language wherever possible. We don’t want to have a motion to “write a letter”. This all needs to be worked out well before the meeting so that the polls are set up properly.
If a vote is taken and a motion fails, things get complicated. If someone else wants to make a different motion in the meeting after the initial motion fails, how do we handle it since we won’t have had a poll set up ahead of time? How would we handle amended or alternative motions? It appears that you cannot build a new poll on the fly during a meeting (at least not from the active meeting window).
There was discussion about having the alternate motion (or friendly amendment) be written into the Chat window, and we could have a generic backup poll for each item that lets you choose generic options: A, B, or C. The chair could put the motion in the chat window, and indicate what the poll selections of A, B, or C means. Another option would be to have people vote in the Chat window for a motion that occurs without a Zoom Poll, but it would be cumbersome to count all those votes. We may want to test these out ahead of time in a small group and see what is feasible.
When sending out the draft agenda, we could emphasize that the wording needs to be worked out ahead of time, and if changes to the motions are desired, to contact the officers.
It might be useful to have a discussion at the beginning of the GM meetings, talking about the protocols, the time restrictions, etc. The chair could also mention the polling at the start of the meeting, and the limitations of Zoom. Could also ask for feedback or suggestions on the processes – let officers know after the meeting if you have ideas.
7. 8:00 Demolition Notices. Discuss how demolition notices are handled. Presenter: Paula Kothmann, Chair Historic Preservation Committee Chair. (10 min)
The Historic Preservation Chair mentioned that they were new to the committee, but there are people on the committee who have been on it for a while and the previous chair is still on the committee, so they are getting some helpful direction.
Once a property is sold, the developer sometimes will ask the previous owner to be the applicant to get the neighborhood to be more amenable to a demolition request. We often don’t get the demolition notices much ahead of the hearings. There was a concern that people may feel that owners who are considering a demolition don’t get the opportunity to come to an SRCC meeting to share their plans. Often when it’s a developer that is applying for the demolition, they don’t really want neighborhood involvement. The demolition requests may come from a developer who is trying to maximize profit – increasing height, using as much of the land as possible. The committee can try and help the developers to work with neighbors to minimize the impact of these changes.
The first step of the committee is to reach out to the owner. It may be useful to make it clear in presentations to the membership that the attempts were made to contact and discuss with the owner, and what the response was (if any). Often the HLC will delay the case to allow an opportunity for the applicant to talk with the neighbors so that they could come to a compromise.
There are incentives associated with rentals within the NHRD, so it would be worthwhile to publicize this, in case that may encourage someone to preserve a home instead of demolishing it. Our committee is working to identify some of the incentives and the details.
8. 8:10 Information about tax incentives for people to rent ADUs at affordable rates. Presenter: Paula Kothmann, Chair LDCR Ad Hoc Committee (10 min)
One of the goals of the LDCR is affordability. It was suggested that we could maintain the existing housing stock (possibly more expensive houses), with smaller (more affordable) houses on the lot by utilizing accessory dwelling units (ADUs). There was some concern expressed about the costs associated with building these units. The LDCR committee would like the City to consider the ability to give affordability incentives for ADUs, similar to what developers get when building affordable housing. City staff is working on getting some incentives to build ADUs on existing lots.
This could help people who are renting, as well as existing homeowners on fixed incomes (ADU income to help them stay in their home and pay for rising taxes).
There was some discussion about representing SRCC’s position in discussion with City staff. One of the SRCC GM’s previous votes in September of 2019 included adopting some of the SRCC’s LDCR goals, one of which was encouraging ADUs.
There was also discussion about home maintenance grants that are available to homeowners, that would allow neighbors to continue to live in their homes.
9. 8:20 Information on TxDOT proposed changes to I-35 between Airport Blvd and Ben White. Public comment on this until 12/12/2020 (only 2 weeks). Follow this link to the TxDOT Project Presentation for more information:
Presenter: Sam Martin, Chair Finance Committee (5 min)
TxDOT has started open houses to alert people to the proposed changes and options for I-35; the time for comments ends on Dec 12th [after this meeting, the deadline was extended until Dec 31st] . They have proposed 3 different alternatives (as well as a no-build alternative). Between Oltorf and Ben White there are no changes proposed. Between Lady Bird Lake and Oltorf, the following options are proposed, which would have a big impact on our neighborhood:
Option 1: Raise the main lanes, tunnel under with HOV lanes
Option 2: Lower the main lanes of the highway below grade
Option 3: Would have a upper deck for the main lanes
The initial thoughts are that neither #1 or #3 are particularly attractive, but #2 might help alleviate some of the noise. There are concerns that the options are somewhat outdated and don’t represent a good use of the infrastructure. It was noted that if you comment on the plan, you don’t need to accept any of these options – you can suggest an alternative.
They are lowering the highway as it goes through downtown. They are no longer proposing to build a plaza on top of the highway as it goes through downtown, but it is being built to allow this in the future. This could allow for bridging between East Austin and West Austin. There was discussion about the importance of keeping the Woodland connection between the east and west sides of I-35 (and of SRCC). In the past TxDOT had proposed to close this connection, and many neighbors were concerned about the impact on their daily lives.
The liaison to this project is Casey Burak with the Downtown Austin Alliance, who we have worked with on other projects. She may not know that much about the impact on South Austin, but she knows a lot about the projects as they affect the downtown area.
10 8:25 ANNOUNCEMENTS
SRCC currently has the following volunteer positions open:
-Mobility Committee Chair
-Outreach Committee Members/Chair
A member has asked about the transition from the Yahoo listserve to Groups.io. The SRCC Neighborhood Association does not control the listserve, but it can be joined by:
● Going to https://groups.io/g/SouthRiverAustin
● Scroll down and click the blue button that says “+ Apply For Membership In This Group”
● Provide your email address and follow the instructions.
The next SRCC General Membership meeting is scheduled for January 19, 2021. There is no Executive Committee meeting scheduled at this time.
Meeting was adjourned at 8:44 pm.
Agenda Prepared by Megan Spencer, email@example.com