SRCC General Membership Meeting Minutes 10/07/2013

MONDAY, October 7, 2013 7:15 PM

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1. 7:15 Meeting procedures, etiquette, welcome newcomers. Reminder to state full name when presenting or seconding a motion.
Presenter throughout: Marc Davis, President, unless otherwise noted.

2. 7:20 Membership & voting announcements. New membership fee structure effective immediately. Pay multiple years in advance, get a discount.
Single membership: 1-yr $20; 2-yr $35; 3-yr $50 / Family membership: 1-yr $35; 2-yr $65; 3-yr $95

3. 7:25 Approve minutes from August 5, 2013, last regular monthly meeting (available at

MOTION: Jean Mather / Marty Peck – to approve the minutes = PASSED

4. 7:28 Treasurer’s Report
Account reconciliation, Profit & Loss and Balance reports available upon request from
Presenter: Nancy Byrd, Treasurer

5. 7:35 Committee Chairs reports
9) Reps to ANC Austin Nbhd Council; 10) Communication

1) Parks, Schools, Environment: Kim McPherson provided an update at TH elementary on their first year as an in-district charter. THE will be on the Travis Heights Art Walk and showcased at a home on Travis Heights. The in-district charter allows for more freedom with teaching and the faculty has used this freedom to include more physical movement in the curriculum and are always looking for volunteers and tutors. They will be hosting a haunted house again this year. Check for more information.
2) Planning & Zoning; see agenda items
3) Transportation & Public Safety; no report
4) Norwood: Last month an updated survey was acquired. Donated funds have allowed them to move forward on more fundraising and inspections.
5) Historic District; no report
8) Financial: The window for submitting capital project proposals to be funded by remaining funds in the Austin Community Fund has closed. The process has begun for evaluating and presenting them to the Executive Committee (EC) and to general membership. REMINDER: Finance committee presents capital project proposals to EC 10/21/2013; General membership to vote / approve proposals at November meeting 11/4/2013.

11) Quality of Life: A meeting with Home Slice took place to address some noise and trash issues that were identified by neighbors and patrons. The meeting resulted in an increase in trash collection frequency but the city is also planning to add more trash cans in the near future. Noise from the ACL festival was reported and affected neighbors are encouraged to call 311 and also the ACL hotline, both calls are needed in order to be the most effective. ACL hotline – (646) 432-0753


6. 7:45 Congress Avenue Baptist Church’s request (C14-2013-0022) to up-zone to GR (with conditional overlay) to allow for commercial parking and the eventual construction of a parking garage on the back half of their lot
Presenter: Marc Davis, President and Greg Jacobsen, member
This hearing, scheduled for 10/8 has now been postponed for two months because the South Congress Merchant’s Association has asked to be included in the discussion given their interest in increased parking. Since the last SRCC meeting, members of the Zoning committee and the neighboring residents have met with the applicant to discuss any possible way to allow for the church to be able to charge for parking on their current lot but not open the door to the possibility of a commercial parking garage. The proposals on the table were evaluated but deemed to be to risky to consider and they did not address the fundamental problem of commercial zoning creep and compatibility. After extensive discussion, the committee recommends that SRCC oppose the up-zoning for the following reasons:

– SRCC supported up zoning on the western part of the lot – it is currently CS and the neighborhood prefers any parking garage to be located there rather than on the eastern part of the back lot
– up-zoning is not appropriate on SF-3 property or bordering on SF-3
– the adjacent street Nickerson is SF-3 residential from one end to another
– this up-zoning violates the neighborhood plan by allowing commercial creep and failure to maintain the residential nature of entire street

MOTION: Ken Anshutz / Marty Peck – to oppose the upzoning = PASSED

7. 8:00 517 E. Oltorf – Apostolic Assembly of the Faith in Christ Jesus, Inc.’s request (C14-2013-0081) to upzone to GR (with conditional overlay) to increase their impervious cover limit and allow for additional construction
Presenter: Elloa Matthews and Marty Christman, members and Jim Bennett, Owner representative
The church is asking for a variance on impervious cover and an upzoning. Elloa, Marty and David met with the church to discuss the issue. Current SF-2 zoning allows for 45% impervious cover but it has 83% and looks to increase to 85%. There is a retaining wall between this property and the District at SoCo where leakage has been observed. This property drains into sherwood lane and down to Blunn Creek without restriction, detention or water quality. GR zoning on this property would allow for Bail Bonds, Exterminator, Pawn Shop, Hotel, Service Station and others in the future if the church were to move. Current church zoning exempts them from paying property taxes on a property valued at a million dollars and also owns three of the duplexes across the street. To bring Sherwood Lane into compliance to allow for GR upzoning would require the street to be widened by six feet and estimates a traffic increase of 107%. The recommendation by the committee is to support the variance in exchange for water quality controls that do not currently exist versus changing the zoning or creating any restrictive covenants or otherwise.

MOTION: Marty Christman / Mary Lovell – to oppose an upzoning but to support the impervious cover variance in exchange for water quality and runoff controls = PASSED  19 approved; 1 opposed; 0 abstained


8. 8:20 600 E. Riverside – Joe’s Crabshack request for a Change of Use from Restaurant to Professional Office
Presenter: Jean Mather, Chair of Zoning Committee and Michael Whalen, Owner representative
The buyer of the property is looking for a change of use permit from Restaurant to Office use. Current zoning is L (lake) and requires a conditional use in order to make the change. The Lake zoning and the fact that almost all of the property is in the floodplain means that the property is under a lot of restrictions. The applicant has plans to redevelop the property but knows there will be significant challenges – they are asking for the change of use as the first step before they spend too much money on designing the property. It is likely that they will need future variances due to all the restrictions so SRCC is focused primarily on height and general neighbor-impact issues with the change of use. A redeveloped property under the current restaurant use could go as high as 45’ but they are proposing limiting the height of their office project to 37’.

MOTION: Eric Rengel / Cynthia Milne – to meet again with interested parties and the applicant to agree on a set of restrictions that would be acceptable enough to support the change of use to office. These recommendations would be then brought to the Executive Committee for a final vote = PASSED; 15 approved; 1 opposed; 0 abstained

9. 8:40 Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (ICRC)’s Preliminary 10-One District Map splits SRCC into 3 parts and separates SRCC from other neighborhood associations in  78704 zip code
Presenter: Marc Davis, President
The preliminary recommendation by the ICRC splits SRCC into 3 different 10-1 voting districts and excludes most of SRCC from other neighborhoods in  the 78704 zip code. The SRCC EC has voted to oppose this map on the grounds that our neighborhood cannot be effectively represented on City Council if our voting power is diluted.
NOTE: Toni House reported that  EROC contact team expects that in future maps  based on current voting precincts, SRCC areas 6 & 7 (east of IH35) will be in a 10-1 voting district separate form other SRCC areas. Carol Martin noted that at the ICRC meeting that night, Steve Bickerstaff told Commission that state law no longer required that local districts are strictly followed.

MOTION: Carol Martin / Jean Mather – to oppose the current map and communicate to ICRC that we want the entire SRCC neighborhood association areas to be included in a single 10-1 voting  district  along with the rest of 78704 = PASSED: 15 approved; 0 opposed; 0 abstained

10. 8:50 C20-2013-017 – Amendments to the Land Development Code with respect to Drainage and Water Quality
Presenter: Jean Mather, Chair of Zoning Committee
This has already been voted on by City Council – no longer an issue that needs our input.

11. 9:00 Coyote Coexistence – a proposal to include a flyer in our next newsletter to educate our residents about coexisting with the coyotes in our neighborhood
Presenter: Francine Pilkington, member
Recently there was a coyote trapping effort by the city in the Blunn Creek Preserve and Stacey Park that resulted in coyotes being euthanized. Some neighbors have organized and worked to educate park and preserve users as well as to change the City’s policy.

MOTION: Jean Mather / Cynthia Milne – to include the coyote flyer in the next SRCC newsletter = PASSED; 15 approved; 1 opposed; 0 abstained

A. The Grace United Methodist Church will be having their annual pumpkin patch and is looking for volunteers to help unload the truck. Please show up at 4pm on Friday, refreshments will be provided.

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