SRCC GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES (www.srccatx.org)
Tuesday, November 15, 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 7:08pm.
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, members must be current: firstname.lastname@example.org
Presenter: Mary Janecek-Friedman, SRCC Membership Secretary (5 min)
We have 198 paid households, and have a quorum tonight.
3. 7:10 Treasurer’s Report
All reports available upon request to the Treasurer: email@example.com
Presenter: Will Andrews, SRCC Treasurer (5 min)
For the year we are cash positive, including the newsletter and yard signs.
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)
1) Planning and Zoning. Statesman PUD – the developer is working through outstanding issues with City staff/Council, passed second reading at City Council on Nov 3rd, scheduled for 3rd reading on Dec 1st.
311 – 315 S Congress is a proposed PUD at the old Firestore location. The development assessment is complete and a presentation was made to Council today; they are asking for 400’ height and 15:1 FAR.
200 E Riverside is a proposed PUD, currently in the development assessment process where staff gives feedback prior to PUD submission. Still trying to get more details from the developer. It is located across from Thundercloud on Riverside. They are planning to demo 2 2-story buildings and build 2 office towers with retail/commercial on the ground floor, resulting in 1.4 million feet of office space.
901 S Congress is a site plan that would require demolition of existing older apartments, then would likely build office space. Wendy met with the developer for the property on Congress; this is a huge developer, who is also considering redeveloping the Ego’s location.
2) Historic Preservation. Nothing to report.
3) Finance. Finished the financial review for the past year. There was a recap of the methods that SRCC uses to be accountable for SRCC funds. Mary Freidman, Will Andrews, and Gayle Goff were involved in this most recent financial review.
4) Mobility. S Congress PTMD – currently working on prioritizing potential future improvements projects.
Cap Metro Orange line – expect revisions to the plan in 2023.
5) Public Safety. Nothing specific to report, but looking for additional patrollers for Neighborhood Watch. Crime has been pretty low other than on boundaries of major streets; car theft, break ins, mail theft, etc..
The point-in-time survey of people living without permanent housing will occur in the new year – training programs are starting up for this count – please contact Wendy for more info.
6) Parks and Environment. On Nov 5th had It’s My Park Day at Blunn Creek Nature Preserve. Pulled invasives, planted things, and had a visit from a local celebrity (Steve Jackobs, elected as ACC Trustee).
Travis High School is slated for major renovation, and we are hopeful that the new design will embrace Blunn Preserve (the school shares ½ mile of property line with the preserve). If anyone has contacts with AISD planners, please get in touch with David Todd to see if we can constructively influence the planning.
There was a Little Stacy Park celebration of the Kaboom playground equipment on Saturday, November 12th.
7) Schools. All AISD bonds passed in the recent election. As part of the bond package, Travis High School is going to be completely rebuilt.
Lively Middle School is having a fundraiser with Magnolia Cafe on Thursday – say “I’m here to support Lively Middle School”; you can also buy a ticket for a happy hour at the restaurant from 5:30 – 7:00.
Wendy was able to tour Rosedale School for people with disabilities. It is an incredible facility , next open on Wed Dec 1st and you can RSVP online.
8) Communications. The SRCC website is currently getting cleaned up. Still need to remove the reference to meeting at Good Shepherd. There was a resolution that is being sponsored by CM Tovo to make Election Day a day that no City meetings are scheduled.
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)
9) Norwood – nothing to report
10) GSRC NPCT – waiting to see what Council does regarding allowing mixed use. For the Woodward tract will be talking with the City. If allow residential and commercial there is a question about proximity to highways due to pollution.
11) EROC NPCT – nothing to report
12) ANC – nothing to report
13) SCC – nothing to report
14) South Central Waterfront – nothing to report
15) St. Edward’s – nothing to report
16) S. Central Affordable CDC – nothing to report
17) Land Development Code Ad Hoc Committee – nothing to report
6. 7:35 Approve Minutes
October 2022 monthly general meeting minutes (available at www.srccatx.org)
Presenter: Dan Fredine, SRCC Secretary (5 min)
Upcoming Meeting dates: EC Dec 6
Motion was made to approve the October minutes by Carol Martin/Mark Thompson. No comments or changes, and minutes were approved as posted.
7. 7:40 Planning and Zoning
406-428 Alpine – Construction of safety improvements at the intersection of Alpine Rd and S. Congress will begin sometime in November and last about a month. For more information, call AustinMobility at 512-974-2300 or email: AustinMobility@austintexas.gov
Presenter: Sarah Campbell, SRCC Planning and Zoning Chair (5 min)
The project at 406-428 Alpine is currently on hold. Council is considering a resolution to allow residential uses in CS-1 (commercial with alcohol sales) and less restrictive uses. There is the requirement for an affordable housing component for it. The proposal for allowing allowing residential uses in CS-1 and less restrictive uses is scheduled to be reviewed by City Council on Dec. 1st.
There is currently a pedestrian hybrid beacon crosswalk at the E. Alpine and S. Congress intersection. The City will start construction in November to convert the intersection to full traffic light controlled.
*Unofficial note – after publishing of minutes it was determined that a pedestrian hybrid beacon was being installed at E. Alpine and Congress, not a fully controlled traffic light.
805 & 821Woodward, an upcoming project (currently not filed with City) includes removal of SACHEM chemical plant, land cleanup/remediation, rezoning and new construction. The tract with SACHEM is currently zoned LI-NP while the other is zoned LI-PDA-NP. The applicants want both tracts to br LI-PDA-NP. The PDA allows for a mix of industrial and commercial uses. Unclear what they want to do, but SRCC will be on a call with the developer to get more details. This is next to multifamily, so it would be useful to remove the industrial uses.
Q: Have requests been made for Neighborhood Plan Amendments and zoning change requests on these projects? Not yet on the Woodward project; not sure about 200 E Riverside. Typically developers have been requesting a neighborhood plan amendment prior to a zoning change or a proposed site plan or usage.
Penn Field – there are 2 zoning categories. The developer is asking for a smaller piece to be rezoned similar to larger parcel as CS-MU-V; 12.5 acres. Planned to be multifamily and office, but will not go to Planning Commission or Council until 2023.
8. 7:45 Mobility
Mark Thompson to introduce Yorgos Economos as a new Mobility volunteer. Provide time for Yorgos to express I-35 expansion concerns, and recent pedestrian fatality on Riverside Drive.
Presenter: Mark Thompson, SRCC Mobility Chair (10 min)
Yorgos Economos lives on Alameda., and has volunteered to help us consider how we respond to the I-35 proposals, as part of the Mobility Committee. They are concerned about safety and the environment. Yorgos is helping to work through some of the I-35 issues. TXDoT proposed the 35 capital express projects; there are 3 parts from 45 to 290/2222 (north section); 290 to ben while 71 (central section); south from ben white to Buda/Hays County (south section). The proposal includes adding 2 lanes dedicated for high occupancy vehicles, and includes excavation in downtown. This would result in up to 20 lanes across. There was a groundbreaking yesterday on the South section. Our part is the Central section; we should expect to see a preferred alternative come forward in December. There is a lawsuit pending from Rethink 35 and others, alleging that TXDoT broke the project up into 3 sections to avoid an environmental review.
There is an effort by the City to alleviate some of the impact in the downtown area, by using “caps” over the interstate at street crossings.
This winter we should expect to be able to provide feedback on the TXDoT plans. There is some consideration about calming traffic on the service roads, and reducing the culture of speeding.
9. 7:55 SRC or SRCC
Some consider the word “citizen” exclusionary. However, Merriam-Webster defines citizen as “an inhabitant of a city or town.” Accordingly, we are all South River City Citizens. But less is more and South River City is simpler and certainly won’t offend anyone unless they don’t like rivers.
Presenter: Wendy Todd, SRCC President (10 min)
The City recently changed the “Citizen Communication” portion of City Council meetings to be “Public Communication”. We may want to consider ourselves South River City, instead of specifically using the word Citizen. Citizenship is not a requirement for participating in the SRCC NA.
The intent was to focus on the people who live in this area and are civically engaged in the City and City Planning, as part of the bigger picture.
Citizen is a contextual word and can be less exclusionary than from a legal perspective.
SRCC does not discriminate about membership and ownership – the neighborhood association is for people who live here.
It was suggested that if we change anything we should add the words “neighborhood association”.
10. 8:05 Parks and Environment
Austin Parks and Recreation will share plans for open spaces in the neighborhood, particularly Blunn Creek.
Presenters: David Todd, SRCC Parks and Environment and John M. Davis, Conservation Program Coordinator, Austin Parks and Recreation Department (10 min)
John Davis is the program coordinator for PARD, Land Management Program. This program is an effort to heal nature preserves and natural areas.
The Problem – our natural areas provide mental and physical benefits. Our ecosystem services are important, and we need healthy nature preserves. In the City we have 74% of acreage in preserves and natural areas, but only 0.3% of the budget is assigned to natural areas. Existing preserves are being degraded, with a reduction in biodiversity. This includes issues related to wildfire preparedness, which PARD is working towards.
The Plan – consultants were hired to assist with ecological restoration, and are putting together a comprehensive land management plan. It will have clear goals and long term strategies, though some of these strategies might be questioned. It is not a master plan or vision plan, an implementation plan, or a public engagement process. It is more about looking at existing plans and more of a toolbox on how to achieve goals.
The goal is to create large management complexes of about 10,000 acres; this is a large area. The plan will include a site analysis, including a climate vulnerability analysis within parcels. The document will reflect 10 years of work, with a 50 year horizon. Timeline – kicked off in Feb 2022; expect Council approval in early 2023.
The Partnerships – there are a lot of tasks, but just voicing public support can contribute a lot to this effort. They are looking for public partners over the next year to help influence City Council.
They know how to do the work and move a habitat, but it’s the scale that’s the challenge.
The presentation slides from the meeting are available here.
11. 8:15 Zilker Draft Plan Update
On November 15, project team will release Zilker Park Vision Plan. Virtual meeting December 7 (Zoom Registration); in-person meeting December 10 @ McBeth Recreation Center.
Presenter: Noah Balch, SRCC Vice-President (5 min)
This is related to the Zilker rewilding project.
12. 8:20 GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS
Now through Thanksgiving, Operation Thunderjoy: match with a family in need to help fulfill holiday wishes, please register here.
This is a program that the school community has been doing for several years that is a way to help lift up all families that may not have much around the holidays. Travis Heights is a pretty diverse community that includes people that have a lot and people that have very little. The organizers can help pair up volunteers with families in need. The volunteers can get gifts for the families who need them.
SRCC is looking for someone to maintain the Area Coordinators’ database.
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 General Membership meeting is in 2023.
The next SRCC Executive Committee meeting is December 6, 2022.
The chair adjourned the meeting at 8:34pm.
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
Agenda Prepared by Noah Balch, email@example.com Agenda subject to change. Please check www.srccatx.org for most recent version.