SRCC General Membership Meeting Minutes 6/1/15

Monday, June 1, 2015 7:15 PM

To be sure you get a vote, become a member. You can join or renew online Not sure if you are current? Email and we’ll let you know.

1. 7:15 Meeting procedures, etiquette, welcome newcomers. Verification of quorum. Reminder: state your name when presenting or seconding a motion. If an acronym is stated during the meeting and you don’t know what it means, please feel free to raise your hand and ask (see also footnote*).
Presenter throughout: Sounthaly “Tune” Outhavong, SRCC President, unless otherwise noted. (5 min)

2. 7:20 Membership and voting announcements. Pay multiple years in advance and 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
NOTE: In order to vote, dues must be paid a month in advance, with the exception that if a former member’s
dues have lapsed no more than 2 years, they may renew at the meeting and be eligible to vote. (2 min)

3. 7:22 Approve minutes from May 4, 2015, last regular monthly meeting (available at (3 min)

MOTION: Jean Mather / Marc Davis – to approve the minutes from the May 4th meeting = PASSED

4. 7:25 Treasurer’s Report – see attachment to agenda distributed at the meeting; all reports are available upon
request to the Treasurer.
Presenter: Nancy Byrd, Treasurer (5 min)
Please email for details.

5. 7:30 Committee Chairs reports
1) Parks, Schools, Environment; 2) Planning & Zoning; 3) Transportation & Public Safety; 4) Norwood; 5) Historic District–item below; 8) Finance; status of projects funded by SRCC; 9) ANC*; 10) Communications (10 min)
ANC Meeting Summary – 5.27.15 Bill Oakey with Austin Affordability came to speak against the new Travis County Courthouse. He feels it is too expensive when it is compared to other comparable projects in other parts of the country. This was a counterpoint to Judge Sarah Eckhardt’s presentation last month citing the reasons why the city needs a courthouse downtown.

Mike Hebert, a business lawyer who has dealt extensively with land development issues gave a summary of the findings of the Zucker report. (The Zucker Report reviewed the Planning and Development Review Department in response to dissatisfaction from both residents/neighborhoods and developers). The Zucker team has done over 150 similar reviews in other cities across North America and sited gross mismanagement issues that are among the worst they have seen. They noted and acute lack of responsiveness to customers in terms of permitting lead times, in-person visits, and phone inquiries. Employees are extremely dissatisfied and cite a lack of clarity in their responsibilities. Staff are frequently unaware of changes to zoning requirements – thus residents are builders only find out about new code when permits are denied. Unlike other planning departments they do not include infrastructure plans in their mapping as part of CodeNext (the Land Use Code Rewrite).

Mayor Steve Adler came to speak and gave a summary of key priorities for the city right now. He urged incrementalism in dealing with findings from the Zucker Report. The City Manager will come back with his response to the findings of the Report on June 30th. The city is filing challenges to property valuations. He believes that commercial properties are severely undervalued in appraisals and is working with City Council to remedy this.

The Mayor noted that the flat homestead exemption was not approved by the state legislature so any increase will have to be on a percentage basis. He views development and growth in Austin as a balance between supply and demand. When we have brought companies to Austin we have also had to import people to fill most of the jobs. He feels we now need to upskill labor not import it (and deal with the ongoing strains on infrastructure). While we do need to contribute to the supply of housing stock, introducing smaller and smaller housing in the core that is more expensive cannot be viewed as a solution to affordability.

The Clean Affordable Energy Resolution and Resolution Regarding Flood Mitigation resolutions passed (SRCC voted in favor of both).
There is one proposed resolution: Resolution Regarding Mopac South Expansion. The Texas Department of Transportation is considering adding elevated lanes and a flyover at the Mopac South Bridge. There is concern that this will tower over Zilker Park, Austin High and create noise pollution in surrounding areas. Other cities like Boston, San Francisco and Portland are trying to bury lanes and create green space not elevate them.
The resolution:
1. urges Austin City Council to oppose proposed elevated lanes and flyover on Mopac South Bridge.
2. supports resolution #20150507-026 urging Capital Area Metropolitan Organization to define the MoPac South expansion project as not exceeding two managed lanes in either direction.
3. asks City Council to urge the Texas DoT to identify solutions that do not include elevated lanes or a flyover.

MOTION: Claudette Lowe / Jeff Kessel – to support the ANC resolution = PASSED

6. 7:40 Bluebonnet Hills Local Historic District–quick update
Presenter: Gretchen Otto, SRCC Vice President (5 min)
The Bluebonnet Hills LHD went to a vote and was approved by Planning Commission. June 11th it goes in front of City Council for another vote.

7. 7:45 1813 Brackenridge St. demolition/variance–possible new vote needed
Presenters: Jean Mather and/or Marc Davis, SRCC P&Z Committee (5 min)
The demolition was postponed at the Historic Landmark Commission. A deal was struck with the developer to not demolish the building in exchange for a variance to build larger. The lot is a through lot and the developer wants to build a duplex but the compromise would be to preserve the house and build the other unit but since they would not be physically connected it does not qualify as a duplex. The increase in square footage simply allows them to build something larger than allowed as an accessory dwelling unit. The overall square footage is smaller than what was originally proposed (3900 sqft), the original home is 1,700 sq ft so the additional structure and variance would total what was allowed as new construction. The existing building will be restored inside and out.

MOTION: Marc Davis / Ken Anshutz – to support the 1,000 sq ft variance the developer requested on the accessory dwelling unit provided that the developer preserves the interior and exterior of the existing Brackenridge structure and with no additional variances = PASSED

8. 7:50 1602 Alta Vista–proposed demolition and new construction
Presenters: Michael C. Stouse, architect, 512-466-4600,; Kari Blachly, 512-289-0010, (5 min/5 min Q&A)
The assessment of the building is that the foundation is in need of repair and there is already a 3rd party that wants to relocate the house to a property on Lake Austin. There is a 12 ft drop across the property so the drainage issues could be resolved with new construction. The owners have had the house for 6 years and are currently living down the street while the construction occurs with the intention of occupying the home. The proposed structure is 2,600 sq ft with an additional 1,000 sq ft basement. The current house is non-compliant with the front setback. Water drainage was a identified as a concern by neighbors. No action was taken by the SRCC Zoning Committee so no vote was made. Kari also let us know that the Larry Monroe Memorial Bridge mosaic project in Stacy Park should begin at the end of this week.

8.5 — 1801 Brackenridge Variance Request – Jean Mather
The existing building was a duplex before being turned into a single family home and now they would like to turn it back into a duplex.

MOTION: Jean Mather / Karin Ascot – to not oppose the variance request to be turned back into a duplex = PASSED

9. 8:00 South Austin Christian Church (SACC) 206 E Annie St–Rebuilding plans and BikeTexas involvement–motion and vote possible
Presenters: SACC Pastor JD Elshoff, SACC member Margo Gregory, and BikeTexas Executive Director Robin Stallings, 512-476-7433, , (5 min/10 min Q&A)
The building burned to the ground 14 months ago and they are looking to rebuild but given declining membership they looked to partner with another organization and have chosen Bike Texas. Margo Gregory was unable to attend, but Ms. Joi Hansen provided much history about herself as a resident in the neighborhood and the church on Annie. A presentation was provided by Robin Stallings. The church and Bike Texas want to share the building but it is zoned SF-3 and the proposal is not allowed. They are asking to rezone 15% of the property to ‘neighborhood office’ to legally exist. The office space would exist in a high efficiency modular building and the property would be updated to include green technologies. BikeTexas also wants to place 2 steel, shipping containers on the property for storage. The church owns the property. The requested zoning change is to accommodate the footprint of the building. Bike Texas works on policy changes, they have 5-8 employees and don’t have walk-in traffic. Marc talked about the complexities of zoning changes and precedent as being a problem with this request. There was no vote by the Zoning Committee. The property consists of three SF-3 lots. The general consensus was to gather more information on the plan because there were lots of concerns and questions about options and then possibly vote in August. Please email your questions and concerns to

10. 8:15 Austin Parks and Rec Urban Forestry Program–tree management plan
Presenters: Jeff Kessel, SRCC Transportation and Public Safety Co-Chair,; Lara Schuman, Program Manager of Urban Forestry Program, City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department, 512.974.9545 |, (5 min/5 min Q&A)
Jeff and Lara have been discussing tree management in the area. Urban Forestry takes care of trees in public parkland with trees in the right of way being managed by Public Works. There was recent work done in Stacy Park as a new proactive policy. 27 total employees work within Urban Forestry with most of them being certified arborists. Lara will contact SRCC representatives before undertaking tree work in our parks to discuss plans.

11. 8:25 City plans to address erosion problem in Blunn Creek along Little Stacy Park and Sunset Lane
Presenter: Janna Renfro, City of Austin Watershed Protection Department/Stream Restoration Program, 512-974-3422 |, The material Janna will be presenting is available at this link: (10 min)
Janna shared some slides about erosion problems in Blunn Creek at the hard right turn by the creek as it passes along Sunset Lane near Little Stacy Park. You might be familiar with similar efforts upstream from this area. One proposal is to close that section of Sunset Lane to vehicular traffic but keep a hike and bike trail. This would expand the overall pedestrian footprint of the park. This would qualify as a passive restoration project since there would be no heavy equipment or large limestone blocks. Many of the details are still be figured out based off the direction provided by the neighborhood. The current state of the road is so bad that EMS refuses to use it. Direct all your questions to Janna.

12. 8:35 Auto body shop located at 2311/15 Rebel Rd.–violations of code, neighbor concerns regarding noise and pollution, request for support
Presenters: José E. Martínez, SRCC Member from Rebel Rd., (512) 517-3096, (10 min)
Jose is asking for an enhanced level of inspection and monitoring of the auto body shop and a letter from the SRCC to the owner. Long time residents have noticed for 20+ years that wrecked cars are often dropped on the street instead of on the shop’s property. These are customer cars and often times immobile. Another concern is that painting is being done with the doors open and the fumes are traveling into homes. The shop has been operating for nearly 10 years without a permit but is now back in operation. The business’ dumpster is often times placed outside the property and drops litter with the residents needing to call to have it moved back in. Bodywork is being done during late hours and on the weekends. It was suggested that a petition be signed by affected neighbors.

MOTION: Karin Ascot / Marc Davis – to write a letter of support asking the City Council and Kathie Tovo for an increased level of inspection and monitoring of the business as well as a letter to the owner expressing dissatisfaction = PASSED

13. 8:45 RPP request for Brackenridge from Milton to Annie for Thurs-Fri 5pm-10pm, Sat-Sun 1pm-10pm
Presenters: Dean Janeff, 1709 Brackenridge St., (5 min)
Dean has already filed an application for his RPP request for Brackenridge from Milton to Annie for Thurs-Fri 5pm-10pm, Sat-Sun 1pm-10pm. It was suggested that the request be made for only one side of the road since the other side does not have residential lining it, but this suggestion was rejected by Dean.

Presenter: Gretchen Otto, SRCC Vice President

NO GENERAL MEETING IN JULY–next meeting will be August 3.

BRIDGE CLOSURE: Rain has delayed the Larry Monroe Memorial, but work is scheduled to begin next week. The bridge will be closed to vehicles for a week or two.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! We still need a volunteer to chair our neighborhood watch program, and also someone to coordinate a 4th of July picnic. Bring Your Own Everything! PICNIC WILL TAKE PLACE AT LITTLE STACY PARK AT NOON.

We are still in need of Neighborhood Watchers!

Account reconciliation, Profit & Loss and Balance reports available upon request from
Presenter: Nancy Byrd, Treasurer

*Frequently used acronyms: ACF: Austin Community Fund; ANC: Austin Neighborhood Council; SF: Single Family zoning category; FLUM: Future Land Use Map; GSRC NPCT: Greater South River City Neighborhood Planning Contact Team, NCCD: Neighborhood Conservation Combining District

This entry was posted in Agendas and Minutes. Bookmark the permalink.