SRCC GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING (www.srccatx.org)
Tuesday, August 16, 2022, 7:00 PM
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1. 7:00 General Membership Meeting Welcome
Meeting procedures, Zoom tools, etiquette, welcome newcomers. Verification of quorum. Reminder: state your name when presenting or seconding a motion. Please see acronyms below.
Presenter throughout unless otherwise noted: Wendy Todd, SRCC President (5 min)
The chair called the meeting to order at 7:03pm.
2. 7:05 Membership Report
Please send us information, stories, and photos for social media!
Membership fees, single: 1/2/3 year: $20/$35/$50; family: $35/$65/$95
To vote or make motions, pay in advance, or renew today: firstname.lastname@example.org
Presenter: Mary Janecek-Friedman, SRCC Membership Secretary (5 min)
Reminder to send any neighborhood photos, videos, stories, etc, to Mary for use on SRCC social media.
3. 7:10 Treasurer’s Report
All reports available upon request to the Treasurer: email@example.com
Presenter: Will Andrews, SRCC Treasurer (5 min)
The Treasurer presented the report for the YTD through the end of July. Income is dues and interest; expenses, advertisement for Travis Heights Art Trail, bought Big Stacy 85th posters, PO box fee, ANC dues, Quickbooks annual fee, and newsletter publishing. Net for the year is positive.
4. 7:15 Reports from Standing Committee Chairs
1) Planning and Zoning; 2) Historic Preservation; 3) Finance; 4) Mobility (Parking Transportation Management District, Project Connect, and I-35 updates); 5) Public Safety; 6) Parks and Environment; 7) Schools; 8) Communications (10 min)
- Planning and Zoning – see the SCW item later. There was a case that went to the BoA about a carport waiting to be made on Avondale; they claimed that SRCC had no trouble with the project, though we had not taken a position.
- Historic Preservation – nothing to report
- Finance – the Finance Committee met to consider two requests outside of the budgeted amount, and they were approved. Signs for the SRCC – produced 40 signs to alert the neighbors about GM meetings – contact Wendy or Mary if you would like to put one up in a high visibility area. In the past we had wanted to keep track of who has the signs and where they are located around the neighborhood. The fall newsletter will celebrate the SRCC’s 50th anniversary in color and will cost more than the originally budgeted expense.
- Mobility – TXDOT made 2 new maps for the I-35 project to illustrate the Woodland Intersection: map of Alternative 2 and map of Alternative 3. Project Connect is in the middle of an environmental assessment. The City has a new South Congress Parking District website that includes a map, background info about the district, and a video will be added to respond to FAQ. Project Connect will be at Little Stacy Park during the Little Stacy ribbon cutting for Talbot’s Art In Public Places.
- Public Safety – an analysis has been done of the crimes in the boundary neighborhoods. The following are crimes reported on KrimeLabb from July 1 – August 12, 2022 in the SRCC boundaries: Auto Theft – 10; Theft (general) – 9; Assault – 7; Criminal Trespass – 13; Burglary – 9; Robbery (jugging) – 1; Crash/leaving the scene – dozens.
Reminder that you can use the 311 app to report non-emergency issues to the City.
- Parks and Environment – there is some Austin Parks Foundation money that will be available and Jeff and David went through the park to identify potential projects. Noticed some areas that needed mulch and some recreational equipment that needed to be upgraded.
- Schools – yesterday was the first day of school. It was noted that Lively Middle School’s bell schedule is different this year, starting later (8:20am) and getting out later (3:50pm). With the added traffic related to drop off and pick up, it would be best to avoid the areas near Lively and Travis Heights Elementary School in those general timeframes, and be extra careful in those areas.
- Communications – had a problem with the ability to email the Monthly Update. We are working on updating the MailPoet add-on to the WordPress website. The people who originally set up the SRCC website have agreed to turn over the keys to the website to SRCC, so we can work on doing some upgrades to the back end of the website.
5. 7:25 Reports from Area Coordinators and Representatives
9) Norwood; 10) GSRC NPCT; 11) EROC NPCT; 12) ANC; 13) SCC; 14) South Central Waterfront; 15) St. Edward’s; 16) S. Central Affordable CDC; 17) Land Development Code Ad Hoc committee (10 min)
- Norwood – nothing to report
- GRSC NPCT – nothing to report
- EROC NPCT – nothing to report
- ANC – nothing to report, see August EC minutes
- SCC – met the City Council District 5 candidate. Zilker will be hosting a candidate forum for D5. SSC coalition was glad to hear the likely change in SRCC’s position regarding the Statesman PUD. There have been some issues with undersized PUDs where they have been granted the extra entitlements. Discussed VMU2; still in discussion about changes to compatibility standards.
- South Central Waterfront – see later item
- St. Edward’s – nothing to report
- S Central Affordable CDC – nothing to report
- Land Development Code Ad Hoc Committee – nothing to report
6. 7:35 Approve Minutes
June 2022 monthly general meeting (available at www.srccatx.org)
Presenter: Dan Fredine, SRCC Secretary (5 min)
Upcoming Meeting dates: EC Sept 6; GM Sept 20; EC Oct 4; GM Oct 18; GM Nov 15; EC Dec 6
Motion: Carol Martin/Sarah Campbell – no additions or correction, minutes were approved as posted.
7. 7:40 Downtown Austin Alliance
Introduction to purpose, programs, boundaries of DAA, and its overlap with SRCC
Presenters: Dewitt Peart, President and CEO and Bill Brice, Vice President Investor Relations (15 min)
The Downtown Austin Alliance (DAA – https://downtownaustin.com/) is the managing organization of the Downtown Public Improvement District (PID), and they have been around for 30 years, and have been recently reauthorized for another 10 years. The North boundary is currently MLK, though it will be changing to 15th St as of May 1st. The only overlap of the Downtown PID and SRCC NA is at the Statesman Tract.
There are 2 corporations; Downtown Austin Alliance and the Downtown Austin Alliance Foundation (501 c 3). The business property owners in the PID agree to assess themselves a fee to fund the DAA. The top priority is clean and safe programs. These include having downtown ambassadors who provide cleaning, such as trash collection, pressure washing sidewalks, removing graffiti, as well as providing 2 APD officers. In addition DAA provides funding related to homelessness in order to help solve the problem, as well as advocating for policy and planning. They have partnerships with other groups to provide services to people who are experiencing homelssness.
There is a professional staff including architects and planners, working alongside the City and other partners on mobility projects, parks and greenspaces, and development projects. A list of goals and initiatives was shared, which includes the South Central Waterfront.
Please see the presentation that was shared during the meeting.
8. 7:55 City Council Candidate Forums
Bouldin Creek Neighborhood Association and Hyde Park Neighborhood Association invited SRCC to co-host candidate forums live, with a virtual option to be confirmed. This includes the District 3 and District 9 forums.
Presenters: Wendy Todd, SRCC President (10 min)
Bouldin would like to host several candidate forums, including one for City Council District 3 and District 9. SRCC has been invited to one D9 forum by Hyde Park NA (there may be a virtual element) – send any questions you might have for the candidates to Wendy Todd (firstname.lastname@example.org). Bouldin expects to have a D9 forum at the Texas School for the Deaf, and would like SRCC to co-host. As co-hosts they mostly expect us to inform our membership about it and ask folks to attend and ask questions.
Also, you can submit questions to the forums hosted by the League of Women Voters forums by emailing questions to email@example.com.
It was suggested that on the website we overlay the Council districts on top of the SRCC areas. Such a map has been created and is available here: http://www.srccatx.org/city-council-districts-in-srcc/.
Motion: Wendy Todd/Ken Burnett to co-host a candidate forum. There were no objections, so Wendy will follow up with the forum hosts.
9. 8:05 South Central Waterfront
Discuss and vote on SRCC’s updated position concerning 305 S. Congress (the “Statesman PUD”).
SRCC currently opposes the project. Without a regulating plan and adequate commitments for private financing, SRCC does not recommend public funding for the Statesman PUD. A previous, and two subsequent, PUD applicants did not require public funding to meet existing codes.
From what opposing parties have uncovered, it seems the Statesman PUD applicant intends to use the South Central Waterfront Vision Framework Plan to obtain additional entitlements, without providing required and envisioned community benefits. For instance, the proposed parkland seems inadequate, vehicular and pedestrian access from Congress Avenue may be limited and eliminated in certain areas, and the affordable housing component does not meet standard code requirements. To review the applicant’s marketing materials: https://305southcongress.com
Presenters: Wendy Todd, SRCC President, Sarah Campbell, SRCC Planning & Zoning Chair, Noah Balch, SRCC Vice President (15 min) [VOTE EXPECTED]
At the request of CM Tovo, Wendy Todd (SRCC President), Noah Balch (SRCC VP), Sherri Ancipink (SRCC Rep to the South Central Waterfront Advisory Board) and Sarah Campbell (SRCC Planning & Zoning Committee Chair) met with the applicant, and it appeared that nothing had changed from the original vague plan. The developer is requesting 6 buildings at heights between 300’ and 525’. The area that is being touted as a public park space has changed to give the appearance of being part of the private development, and will be less accessible to the public, including the “great stairs” element. There is a concern about providing sufficient democratic access that doesn’t feel like one is trespassing on private property. The park does not align with what was included in the vision plan, and overall there does not appear to be a cohesive plan. In addition there is a concern with focusing public funds to subsidize a luxury development via use of the TIRZ.
The project was submitted in 2019, and just recently got an update. SRCC’s position in the past was that we wanted a Regulating Plan, which should have come right behind the Vision Plan; SRCC voted to follow the recommendations of the boards and commissions that reviewed the plans to be included as part of the project. All of those recommendations have not been incorporated into the project. The PUD is scheduled to go to Council in September; this is SRCC’s last General Membership meeting before then.
It was asked that individuals reach out to our Council Member about your position. It looks like many of the Council members have already solidified their position. The public wasn’t involved in the parkland design – normally this should go through a public park process, and the developer should pay for the park. There is also an amendment to say that any requirement by City Code or included as a superiority (for credit toward the “public contribution” component of the project) should be paid for by the developer. In order to make your voice heard, the best thing to do is to show up at City Council meetings; there is a work session on Aug 30th, and a City Council Meeting on Sept 1; at both of those meetings the public can speak and voice your opinion. There does not seem to be the votes to oppose the density and height that are being requested, but this can be used as a trade off for other amenities. It seems like there are not likely enough votes to pass the PUD as it stands right now.
It was also suggested that individuals could send a letter to the Cox Foundation sharing our concerns about the project that is being proposed in their name.
The following is a link to the letter to Council from City of Austin Parks and Recreation Board Chair, District 9 Representative, SRCC Resident Laura Cottam-Sajbel:
SRCC Opposees the PUD amendment for 5 reasons: failure to meet intent of SCW Vision Plan; the entitlements requested exceed the community benefit (specifically regarding parkland acreage and improvements, affordable housing, and the extension of Barton Springs Road); there is inadequate justification for requesting public subsidies; apparent inability to afford what other nearby development can afford without subsidies; the use of a TIRZ is intended to use public money to encourage development in blighted areas, and is not appropriate to fund a luxury development.
SRCC Motion (Sarah Campbell/Noah Balch): SRCC to send a letter to Mayor and Council to oppose the Statesman PUD based on the reasons stated above. 20 / 0 / 0 Motion passes.
10. 8:20 GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS
**PARTY** Magic Portal Celebration @ Little Stacy Neighborhood Park, Sunday, August 28, 2022 @ 9a CT
Presented by: Art in Public Places, Parks and Recreation Department, and SRCC.
There will be speakers, food, and music.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:49pm
To participate in the NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH program, please contact Tom Groce, SRCC Public Safety Chair at: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have questions about using the Neighborhood ListServ: https://groups.io/g/SouthRiverAustin
The next SRCC Executive Committee meeting is September 6, 2022.
The next General Membership meeting is September 20, 2022.
Frequently used acronyms:
ACF: Austin Community Fund
ANC: Austin Neighborhood Council
BoA: Board of Adjustment
CDC: Community Development Corporation
EROC: East Riverside/Oltorf Combined Contact Team
FLUM: Future Land Use Map
GSRC NPCT: Greater South River City Neighborhood Planning Contact Team
NCCD: Neighborhood Conservation Combining District
NHPA: National Historic Preservation Act
NPCT: Neighborhood Planning Contact Team
PC: Planning Commission
PUD: Planned Unit Development
SCC: South Central Coalition of neighborhood associations
SF: Single Family zoning category
ZAP: Zoning and Platting