SRCC EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING – MINUTES
TUESDAY, May 4, 2021 7:00 PM
via THE INTERNET
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CALL TO ORDER/APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The Chair called the meeting to order at 7:04
1. 7:00 Meeting procedures, Zoom tools, etiquette, welcome & introductions of new members
Presenter throughout: Cynthia Milne, President, unless otherwise noted. (8 min)
The Chair introduced the new officers and new officer roles. There was discussion about capturing the Zoom chat.
2. 7:08 Membership & voting announcements. Reminder that SRCC current dues status is required to participate in SRCC business and actions such as voting and making motions. (2 min)
3. 7:10 Approve minutes from April 2021 Executive Committee Meeting
Reminder: schedule for Executive meetings: 1st Tuesday of most months; 7:00pm – 8:30pm, Location: teleconference during 2020 (eventually will return to Good Shepherd on the Hill).
Remaining meeting dates in 2021: GM May 18; EC Jun 1 (tentative); GM Jun 15; EC (tentative) Aug 3; GM Aug 17; EC Sept 7 (tentative); GM Sept 21; EC Oct 5 (tentative); GM Oct 19; GM Nov 16; EC Dec 7. (5 min)
There were no comments or corrections to the minutes, and they were approved as posted.
4. 7:15 Treasurer’s Report. All reports available upon request to the Treasurer @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Presenter: Will Andrews, Treasurer (5 min)
The Treasurer gave the report for the year to date. Income mostly from dues, expenses have been flat in April, no changes to the Austin Parks Fund balance. The Membership Chair indicated that there would be a handful of new membership income from renewals coming up shortly. There was a question about the possibility of applying for community grants, but the Treasurer had not already been contacted about it.
5. 7:20 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)
- Nothing to report.
- Another milestone for NHRD – the state agency approved the housing inventory. They are asking to add the garages and sheds to the inventory. This puts us a step closer to getting approved, which would lead to incentives for investors to preserve the structures. Moving forward, the committee will keep track of houses in SRCC that are slated to be demolished and will discuss them in each meeting.
- Nothing to report
- Cap Metro had a meeting regarding the stops on the orange line (ending at Stassney); at St. Ed’s the stop is planned for Lightsey Road, at Oltorf the stop is planned for the existing 801 bus stop. The SoCo stop is still under discussion – there is a requirement that the platform location be 400’ long and 24 wide, and cannot be on a hill or a curve. No update on parking – Austin Transportation Department will be at the May GM meeting to discuss.
- The neighborhood watch has declined in participation where there are only about 2 participants. The chair is looking to put together a push for more volunteers. Russell indicated that in the past they had moved out some urban campers, but there had been little crime activity. Most reports recently have been about the burglary of unlocked cars at night. It was suggested that we have the APD district rep come talk at a GM meeting.
- The Windsor Park Neighborhood Association Climate Committee contacted us regarding climate change initiatives, and the Chair is following up with them.
- A lot of kids have been going back to school, especially at the elementary level. End of year events are being planned; most events are restricted due to capacity limits.
- Some of the website pages have been updated with the new officer information. There are some less visible pages that may be outdated – if any of these are identified, please alert the Chair and they will address.
REPORTS OF AD HOC COMMITTEES and REPRESENTATIVES
6. 7:35 Check-ins on events/goals/issues
Presenters: Committee Chairs/Representatives. Norwood; NPCT; ANC*; SCC*; South Central Waterfront; St. Edward’s; S. Central Affordable CDC; Ad-hoc Land Development Code Revision; Ad-hoc Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (10 min)
- Norwood – nothing to report
- NPCT – nothing to report
- ANC – had a meeting on April 28, Council Member Mackenzie Kelly spoke. There was discussion about the homeless situation. The City Manager attended and provided updates related to Winter Storm URI, with several department heads (including Austin Energy and Austin Water). They are eliminating water usage from the month of February for wastewater averaging purposes. CodeNext sounds like it is still on hold.
- SCC – nothing to report
- SCWAB – At the last meeting there was discussion related to the new board. Held elections and re-elected the president and vice-chair.
- St Ed’s – nothing to report
- Ad Hoc LDC – the development side is very well organized, and are petitioning the legislature. The Chair asked that anyone willing to testify against CodeNext contact her to get on the record.
- Ad Hoc DEI – the folks on the committee have been overloaded and didn’t have enough participation to continue to meet. For now the committee will dissolve, and can restart as people are available to participate.
7. 7:45 Confirmation of SRCC Standing Committee Chairs:
Presenter: Cynthia Milne, SRCC President
Vote to confirm all standing committee chairs for the upcoming term. VOTE EXPECTED (5 min)
- P&Z – Russell Frasier
- Finance – Sam Martin
- Mobility – Mark Thompson
- Public Safety – Tom Groce
- Parks – David Todd
- Schools – Gretchen Otto
- Communications – Betty Weed
- Historic Preservation – Paula Kothmann
Motion by Dan Fredine, seconded by Mark Thompson to confirm Committee Chairs. 14 in favor, 0 opposed, 0 abstentions. All standing committee chairs were confirmed.
8. 7:50 1601 Brackenridge Request for Variance
Presenter: Russ Fraser, Chair, Planning & Zoning Committee
This is a “through lot.” (The lot spans the area between Brackenridge and Drake). If the variance is granted, the new owners will preserve the existing home and build an ADU – on the Drake side. The owner is requesting a variance from the current 25’ front setback on Drake to a 5’ foot setback. The neighbors are in favor and this is the trend along Drake for this type of lot. SRCC P&Z recommends that we support this variance. The variance meeting with the Board of Adjustment is May 10, 2021. VOTE EXPECTED (10 min)
This is the old Montessori school at Brackenridge and Monroe. The lots on this block are through lots that go to Drake; the houses front on Brackenridge. The intent for most of the original lots was that they came with one house fronting Brackenridge, and they were eventually going to build another house on the lot, fronting Drake. Most houses built garages and ADUs. The owner of this lot (they recently purchased it, and were in attendance) is an architect that wants to restore the home, and wants to build an ADU. Due to the 25 foot “front” setback (facing Drake), they can’t build the ADU, and thus are asking for a 5’ setback from Drake, which would put the ADU 15’ from the curb, 5’ from the property line. P&Z has voted to support the variance, due to the benefit to the neighborhood – keeping an older home out of the landfill, possibly restoring it to historical standards, and increasing density via an ADU. This goes in front of the Board of Adjustment next week. The P&Z committee unanimously voted to support the variance.
The motion is for the SRCC EC to support the variance request for 1601 Brackenridge to change from the 25’ front setback on Drake to a 5’ setback to accommodate an ADU, and the preservation of the existing home. 13 in favor, 0 opposed, 2 abstentions. The motion passes.
9. 8:00 What are options for making Zoom meetings run more smoothly? How will technology be integrated into SRCC meetings once we return to in-person meetings?
Presenter: Mary Friedman, Membership Secretary (10 min)
The presenter had been told by several people that they would like us to continue to have Zoom meetings once we go back to face to face. One of the difficulties is the ability to facilitate voting in both in-person and online meetings. One option would be to have streaming meetings, which would allow for others to participate remotely, but not necessarily vote. Maybe we go back to face to face initially, then try to talk with the members and see what their interest level is for remote attendance.
One member suggested that we could have a social element in the face to face meetings.
We could have an ad-hoc committee to discuss. If any member would like to chair an ad-hoc committee, they need to contact the EC and let them know.
10. 8:10 The Printed SRCC Newsletter
Presenters: Betty Weed, ANC Representative and Mary Friedman, Membership Secretary
Due to the pandemic, delivery of the printed Newsletter was discontinued. Neighbors have expressed interest in continuing the hand-delivered SRCC Newsletter. The Newsletter reaches those who do not subscribe to the ListServ or the SRCC Monthly Update. Should we print and distribute the newsletter to reach more people? We are looking for a newsletter designer and editor. (10 min)
We need to find a way to bring back the newsletter, specifically finding an editor and someone to do layout and design. If anyone is interested, Gretchen has old files from previous newsletters, and can talk to them about that process. Typically we do 3 newsletters a year, and the editor tries to get EC members to write the articles, and then the editor lays it out. The key right now is to find someone to be the editor. A future discussion could be whether or not we have a printed newsletter versus an electronic one. One idea is to include an appeal for a volunteer under Announcements on the General Membership meeting agenda. Russell said he had previously researched the cost of sending a postcard to everyone in the area, with a couple paragraphs and some basic teasers, as an alternative to manually distributing a printed newsletter.
11. 8:20 2105 Parker Lane
Presenter: Frederick DeWorken, Area 7 Representative;
Sabrina Butler, Director of Real Estate Development; Megan Matthews, Director of Design
To update the membership on the status of the Parker Lane project and the options before the City Council on May 6, 2021. See Parker Lane FC Flyer here. See Parker Lane FC Learning Center here. (10 min + 10 min for Q&A)
Fred presented some information about 78741. There are 19,400 MF units with 11% rentals which are classified as affordable to residents earning less than $25,000. The neighbors were concerned because there was very little Civic zoned space amongst the MF in this area. The Planning Commission voted unanimously for the upzoning. The neighbors have a valid petition, which will require a supermajority of Counil members to approve the upzoning. Since the vote, a site plan was provided, and it shows the removal of the heritage trees at the front of the property.The neighbors are now asking for limitations on the development of the property; partially to ensure that it won’t be flipped after getting the upzoning. It looks like the project can be built with MF2 zoning and the Affordability Unlocked project, though the applicant’s request is for MF4 zoning. The neighbors see a middle ground with an MF3 zoning with a Restrictive Covenant; the original plan for a Conditional Overlay is not workable since they are not compatible with Affordability Unlocked projects.
Sabrina said that last time Foundation Communities met with SRCC they didn’t have anything on paper, so there was no site plan. They are required to any heritage trees that are determined to be healthy, and will do so. They are planning to have 135 units, which is a lower density than what is allowed based on the requested zoning, but they need the higher zoning for other aspects of the project. Foundation Communities had hoped to work with the neighborhood to come up with some Conditional Overlays, but since found out about the Affordability Unlocked incompatibility with Conditional Overlays. They are willing to go down to an MF3 zoning, and are aware of the Civic FLUM change. They put together a 2-page flyer about the learning center (see link above), and intend to retain the nonprofit partners that are existing in that property, as well as providing office space for the church.
The request to staff was MF4 and that’s what Planning Commission approved. But after discussion with the neighbors, Foundation Communities agreed to go to MF3 (which aligned with the recommendation from City Staff).
A comment was made that some other Foundation Communities sites seemed insular, and were wondering how they would advertise their services to the public? Currently they are advertised through the residents and Facebook.
What is the possibility of using a Restrictive Covenant that runs with the land? It was stated that Restrictive Covenants are difficult to enforce, and give lenders pause, which is why Foundation Communities had hoped to resolve via Conditional Overlays. The Church also has a position against Restrictive Covenants. There is a Restrictive Covenant on one of the Foundation Communities’ Mueller properties, and the Church has done so in the past.
12. 8:40 ANNOUNCEMENTS
SRCC currently has the following volunteer positions open:
-Outreach Committee Members/Chair
The neighborhood ListServe is on the new Groups.io platform. Find everything you need to know about SouthRiverAustin group here:
The next SRCC General Membership meeting is Tuesday, May 18, 2021.
The next SRCC Executive Committee meeting is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, June 1, 2021.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:50
Agenda Prepared by Megan Spencer, email@example.com