SRCC GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES (www.srccatx.org)
Tuesday, January 17, 2023, 7:00 PM
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The meeting was called to order at 7:05pm
1. 7:00 Welcome to General Membership and City Council Members
Meeting procedures, Zoom tools, etiquette, welcome newcomers. Verification of quorum. Reminder: state your name when presenting or seconding a motion. Please see common acronyms in the list below.
Presenter throughout unless otherwise noted: Wendy Price Todd, SRCC President (5 min)
Yuri Barragan was attending on behalf of District 3 Council Member José Miguel Anwar Velásquez’s office and introduced themselves. Sara Barge, chief of Staff for CM Zo Quadri introduced themselves. There is a board and commission website at the City’s website where folks can apply to represent their district in different boards and commissions, and it was encouraged that people see if there’s a board that they would like to participate in.
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
Presenter: Mary Janecek-Friedman, SRCC Membership Secretary (5 min)
3. 7:10 Treasurer’s Report
All reports available upon request: firstname.lastname@example.org
Presenter: Will Andrews, SRCC Treasurer (5 min)
The year 2022 ended with a small deficit, which is not an issue.
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; and 8) Communications (10 min)
- Planning and Zoning. See later item. The location of the Firestone at 311 S Congress has filed a PUD application. Penn Field (S Congress) – talked to the developer’s project manager about their effort to try and rezone to make the entire site consistent as CS-MU-V-NP. The PM would like to come to our February meeting. SACHEM at 821 Woodward – talked to the PM, and they plan to submit for rezoning and a FLUM change on Feb 1, and possibly present at a future SRCC meeting. They have been very collaborative. It was suggested that it might be useful to have an in-person informational meeting at Twin Oaks Libraries or other locations, not necessarily as part of a regular SRCC meeting.
- Historic Preservation. At the Historic Landmark Commission meeting demolitions were on the agenda for 1804 Breckenridge, 512 E Monroe, 1315/1317 Newning were up. Breckendridge got postponed. Monroe and Newning continue to get postponed, and they will likely be pushed off the agenda if they don’t reapply for demolition.
- Finance. See later item. The finance committee made a recommendation for this year’s budget and the EC approved it. The committee discussed making a contribution for the Central TX Food Bank – it isn’t included in the budget, but they will likely propose a contribution in the near future.
- Mobility. See later item.
- Public Safety. Brian Leykum will be joining the committee. Would like to post a crime status update on the website. Our neighborhood has been fairly fortunate with regard to crime recently, compared to others. There was a homeless encampment on the gazebo at Live Oak and S Congress – it got cleared out, but then they returned. It took several calls to get the case back open. The officer said they spend 3-4 days a week moving and cleaning up homeless encampments. It was suggested that we get the gazebo removed and turn it into a garden to discourage the camping. A portion of this land belongs to PARD and some to Cap Metro. Could use additional people on neighborhood watch patrols. There is a point-in-time survey (interviewing people experiencing homelessness) on Jan 27, and there is a need for volunteers.
- Parks and Environment. Had a Jan 7 volunteer event at Blunn Nature Preserve. There will be another cleanup in the Stacy portion of the greenbelt, on January 28th at 9am, meeting at Woodland and the greenbelt. The recent purely social SRCC-related events have been fun and successful, and it was suggested that we do some regular music events, maybe at Little Stacy Park during the day, maybe during ACL or SXSW, in order to help raise awareness of SRCC.
- Schools. Our AISD board trustees have changed due to new boundaries and the November election. We have 3 trustee boundaries that overlap with SRCC – District 5 is Lynn Boswell (THES, Lively MS); District 6 is Andrew Gonzales (there is not a school in SRCC for this area); District 2 is Ophelia Zapata (Travis HS).
- Communications. The next newsletter will be coming out in April. Please send articles to Ruth (email@example.com) no later than the second week of March.
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; and 17) Land Development Code Ad Hoc committee (10 min)
- Norwood. The Norwood house is along Riverside near I-35 and it is a historic house in need of restoration; the intent is to restore it and use it as a public meeting space. The Norwood Park Foundation has been shepherding the project along, and they are dissolving. They are looking for another organization to partner with in order to continue the restoration. The project is shovel-ready and there is $3M of public funding available specifically for the project. If anyone knows of potential candidates, please contact Wolf Sittler or Wendy Todd.
- GSRC NPCT.
- EROC NPCT.
- ANC. Meeting is next week.
- South Central Waterfront. Meeting tonight.
- St Edward’s. Trying to keep communication lines open.
- S. Central Affordable CDC. Attended a meeting at Twin Oaks Library with folks from Zilker, and they are looking at the redevelopment of the Hyatt Hotel that should provide funding for some affordable housing.
- Land Development Code Ad Hoc Committee
6. 7:35 Approve Minutes
December 6 executive committee meeting minutes (available at: www.srccatx.org)
Presenter: Dan Fredine, SRCC Secretary (5 min)
There was confusion about the minutes up for approval. As such, the November 15th, 2022 General Membership meeting minutes will need to be voted on at a future meeting.
Upcoming Meeting dates: GM Feb 21, Apr 18, May 16, Jun 20, Aug 15, Sept 19, Oct 17, Nov 21
EC Feb 7, Mar 7, Apr 4, May 2, Jun 6, Aug 1, Sept 5, Oct 3, Dec 5
7. 7:40 Planning and Zoning
406-428 Alpine – Recommendation of the Planning Commission on a zoning case without a stronger setback from Blunn Creek:https://services.austintexas.gov/edims/document.cfm?id=396275 Area map on Page 10
Presenter: Sarah Campbell, SRCC Planning and Zoning Chair (5 min)
This project recently went to Planning Commission and did not get any concessions. We would like larger setbacks from the creek than are being proposed, in order to protect the creek and the trees in that area. It goes to Council on Feb 9. The main concern with this project is that it is encroaching on the headwaters of Blunn Creek and the standard setbacks are not sufficient in this situation.
8. 7:45 Mobility
Updates regarding the Parking Transportation Management District Map; discuss the I-35 Capital Extension; Central Environmental Impact Statement Draft comments: https://my35capex.com/draft-eis/
Deadline for comments 3/7/23: https://www.austintexas.gov/SouthCongressParking
Presenter: Mark Thompson, SRCC Mobility Chair (10 min)
There is an opportunity to give esthetic feedback on the I-35 project, at an in-person meeting on January 24th at the Conley-Guerrero Senior Activity Center. This meeting will address the central portion of the project, in particular the locally funded aesthetic improvements (LIVE- locally influenced visual enhancements). This affects the crossings at East Riverside, Lady Bird Lake, Woodland, and East Oltorf.
Feb 9th is the big in person meeting to discuss the central portion of the I-35 project; it will be held at Millenium Youth Complex. They are seeking to get comments on the draft environmental impact statement, as well as making a presentation of the preferred alternative (alternative mod 3, which closes Woodland to cars).
The S. Congress PTMD now has a map, which was presented and reviewed during the meeting, though it hasn’t been formally released. Some areas will be no parking areas, some will be designated for employee parking. There was a question about if this would prevent people from camping overnight in camper vans. Right now there are ongoing discussions related to disallowing overnight parking. There is discussion for slightly increased hourly parking costs for the longer that you stay. This will go to the Urban Transportation Commission on March 9th. If there are any people with comments or have mobility challenges in the area, please contact Wendy and/or Mark. It was suggested that we have an in-person meeting to specifically discuss this initiative.
9. 7:55 Historic Preservation
409 East Monroe: Questions and answers regarding this project to clear up some confusion about demolition and the developer’s plans: https://services.austintexas.gov/edims/document.cfm?id=400448
Presenter: Susan Armstrong (5 min)
Demolition efforts on the house began in December. The demolition permit was applied for, but there was no notice to the neighbors pursuant to regulations. It was postponed to the January meeting of the Historic Landmark Commission. There was confusion between the main house’s demo and the garage apartment since the garage apartment (407 E Monroe) was already approved for demolition. But it looks like the 409 E. Monroe (main house) was being demolished without proper procedure. The commissioners were going to unanimously vote to designate the house at 409 E. Monroe as historic. One commissioner thought it would be best to postpone every month so that the owner could consider changing the design of their renovations or deciding against demolishing. This will come back up at the Feb 1 meeting. There were 8 people who spoke in opposition, which is a lot for such a meeting, as well as 18 letters in opposition.
10. 8:00 Parks and Environment
Update regarding the Zilker Park proposal.
Presenter: David Todd, SRCC Parks and Environment (10 min)
The deadline has passed for public input on the Zilker Vision Plan. There was some disappointment about the quality of the tracking of the public comments.
David introduced Jonathan Ogren, who has been working as a consultant to PARD on the Zilker Vision Plan which was released in November. There have been 5 major public input forums, as well as other popup events. His firm was looking at the environmental and ecological health of the project.
Q: There is concern about a plan to possibly construct garages.
A: There are 3 potential garages – this is at the concept level, not a detailed design, since it is a vision plan. This would go through multiple design and development reviews, including some public processes before being approved for construction. Zilker currently supports a lot of parking, but it dominates a fair amount of the landscape. The 3 parking garages are proposed at the polo fields, the area under Mopac, and the area next to Umlauf Sculpture Gardens (these 3 garages would be equivalent to the existing parking, including unofficial parking). Those 3 garages would allow for the removal of parking along the Great Lawn, the polo fields, some along Bartons Springs Road, and in the rugby fields. Consolidating this parking results in 8 acres less of impervious cover. There is also consideration for having private parking outside of the park, and potentially a reduced demand due to changes in mobility.
Q: Why does it seem like there was so little City support for the Zilker Rewliding Plan?
A: The Barton Springs Conservancy wanted to jump-start the Vision Plan process; needed a site assessment to understand ecology. This is on the Barton Springs Conservancy website. There was an effort to try and incorporate elements of the rewilding plan into the vision plan. The project decided on using the “Ecological Uplift” terminology – increasing ecological functionality (biodiversity, water infiltration, climate infiltration and mitigation); felt that the Rewilding term didn’t fit the project, though some of the elements of the rewilding plan are included in the Ecological Uplift plan. Out of 351 acres, 256 are going to be managed for ecological health.
Q: Would this be designed in such a way that we would continue to have large activities like ACL fest there every year?
A: Large events such as ACL, Kite Festival, and Blues on the Green all occur at the park. This vision still allows those events to happen.
Q: When would we see the impact of the ecological changes being proposed?
A: The ecological uplift timeline is an ongoing process with multiple timelines. But they can make large changes in 5 years, 10 years, and 20 years.
Please send any comments or questions about the Zilker Vision Plan to David Todd at firstname.lastname@example.org, and he will forward them to Jonathan for informal inclusion in the planning process.
11. 8:10 GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS:
Community Clean-Up, Volunteer Drive, and Social Activity
Meeting adjourned at 8:45pm.
NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH: contact Tom Groce, SRCC Public Safety Chair at: email@example.com
If you have questions about using the Neighborhood ListServ: https://groups.io/g/SouthRiverAustin
The next SRCC Executive Committee meeting is February 7, 2023.
The next General Membership meeting is February 21, 2023.
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