SRCC General Meeting Minutes – February 2016

Monday, February 1, 2016 7:15 PM
(formerly Grace UMC)

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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.

2. 7:20 Membership and voting. 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.

3. 7:22 Approve minutes from Dec. 7, 2015 monthly general meeting (available at

MOTION: Hugh Lowe / Diane Presti – to approve the minutes from the Dec 7th, 2015, 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. 7:30 Committee Chairs reports
1) Parks, Schools, Environment–see below; 2) Planning & Zoning; 3) Transportation & Public Safety; 4) Norwood; 5) Historic District; 6) Finance; 7) ANC*; 8) Communications; 9) CodeNEXT
CodeNEXT – (Elloa Mathews) – This most recent meeting was two hours of citizen input versus the usual fifteen minutes due to complaints about stakeholders not having enough say in the process. Staff has decided to redo some of the group walks so as to make sure the input is recorded properly. The entire process is now doing to be delayed and recommendations will not be made to city council until 2017. CodeNEXT is the City’s effort to rewrite the land development code to modernize and streamline it. A handout, with an article published in a recent Community Impact, details some of the more recent developments and groups participating in the process. It is too early in the process for the SRCC to take a position.

6. 7:40 Little Stacy Park improvement projects update showing updated design concept that takes our feedback into account; need help prioritizing to fit within budget. The City has added the boards from the last public meeting to the Little Stacy Park website for those who were not able to attend that meeting. You can find them along with previous images from the input process at the website here:
Presenter: Margaret Robinson, Asakura Robinson Company, LLC,; Brendan Wittstruck,; and Gary Gregson, Project Coordinator, Austin Parks and Recreation Department,
This stakeholder process has been going on since September with much public input. The goal is to improve the park while also coordinating with the City’s effort to stabilize the creek. Details from the mosaic on the bridge might be carried over into the park. ADA compliance updates throughout. The basketball court can be rotated and changed to a full half court so that missed shots will end up on the hill rather than bouncing into the playground. Natural elements will be worked into the play areas. Rain gardens will be used to mitigate runoff and will work as a cohesive unit versus individual pockets. The splashpad was removed from the design due to the initial cost and ongoing maintenance. The current budget does not accommodate all of these improvements so savings are being examined as well as private investment. A hillside slide will be installed, probably made of metal, and surrounded by rocks to act as a scramble or ladder. Wheeled devices are a regular occurrence at the park so they are looking at making most all of the trails stroller, wheelchair and bike friendly versus being stairs. This is all being funded from a previous bond election and the construction budget is currently $450,000.

7. 8:00 Bylaws Committee update–First meeting recap
Presenter: Sounthaly Outhavong, SRCC President
The first meeting of this ad hoc committee was a two hour review of the current bylaws. All meeting minutes are posted publicly on the SRCC website. The goal of the committee is to clear up outdated or conflicting information as well as reflect current practices that have been adopted through the existing processes.

8. 8:05 Heights on Congress – Existing low-income apartments being redeveloped to include low-income and luxury units
Presenters: Elloa Matthews,, SRCC Area 5 Coordinator; Marty Peck, SRCC member
This is a ten acre apartment complex where Cumberland and Congress intersect, next to St Edwards. The District complex next to McDonalds on Oltorf is being used as an example of how this redevelopment can include major stormwater runoff controls. The north half would be a luxury highrise and the southern end will be low-income without displacing any current residents. Existing residents speak highly of this complex. All but one of the heritage oaks can be preserved with the one in question being removed due to poor health. This project will trigger a downzoning in order to get particular low interest financing. MF-6 would allow for a 90’ tower. They will need a zoning change to downzone. Concerns about displacement persist.

9. 8:15 Update on upcoming officer elections and ad-hoc nominating committee
Presenter: Sounthaly Outhavong, SRCC President
As we near our elections a number of residents have stepped up to participate as officers so we are reviewing the process to make sure everyone gets a fair shot at being an esteemed SRCC officer. Be a registered and dues paid member by FEBRUARY 8th and you will be able to vote at the potluck election. While we are encouraging candidates to identify themselves early, you can also be nominated from the floor on the night of the election. Early candidates get the benefit of some exposure and consideration by the nominating committee prior to the voting. More details will be posted to the website this week.

10. 8:20 Occupancy limits of unrelated adults in a residence–regulations passed by city council two years ago are up for reconsideration–THERE WILL BE A VOTE ON THIS ISSUE
Presenter: Mary Sanger, speaking in favor, Hancock Neighborhood Association,;
Andy Cantu, speaking against,
Mike Hebert joined Mary Sanger to present. Hancock is just north of UT. She expressed concerns about the demolition of affordable homes that were replaced by large duplexes. The incentive for developers to buy older homes and replace them was due to a market where individual rooms are being rented for $1,000. The ordinance stops there from being more than four unrelated occupants in a new development and six in grandfathered buildings. One option being floated is to set the limit at five. A coalition of neighborhood associations supports the limit. Andy Cantu spoke against the limit and feels that affordability is a result of a lack of housing and believes the duplexes give a younger demographic the ability to share costs in order to be able to afford living in the central neighborhoods. “Unrelated” is defined by the City as not connected by marriage, blood, partnership or adoption.

MOTION: Diane Presti / Claudette Lowe – that we request the City Council and Mayor to extend the expiration date on the Occupancy Limit Ordinance indefinitely = PASSED

11. 8:35 Big Stacy Park footbridge repairs and drainage improvement project–quick update on timelines, also tree removal/trimming/air spading near pool, updates on Blunn Creek Nature Preserve
Presenter: Gretchen Otto, SRCC Vice President; David Todd, SRCC Parks Chair
Some of the foot bridges in Big Stacy Park were damaged by recent flooding. All flood related repairs are to be completed by the end of February. The tree over Little Stacy Pool was trimmed to meet safety requirements. A tree at Big Stacy Pool was removed due to it growing horizontal and blocking access by maintenance vehicles. Some of the trees around Travis Heights Elementary will be air spaded and roped off due to soil compaction over the critical root zone. Improvements to the open field in Stacy Park are complete and is now being allowed to grow in unless adjustments are needed. Water is pooling due to some bedrock so this project is not complete. David Todd added that Helen Flemming has been working on the new Heritage Oaks Park and it is looking great. You can contact David if you’d like to help. Blunn Creek Nature Preserve has been battling invasive species for years and now the AFD are looking to remove dead wood from the preserve to reduce the potential of fire. The work is only being done in a fifteen foot buffer zone around the park where it abuts homes or Travis High School. A new home owner who has a home that backs to the preserve has noticed a spike in activity in the buffer zone as well as off-leash dogs which are prohibited.

Presenter: Gretchen Otto, SRCC Vice President,
Annual Potluck and Elections on Tuesday, March 8. Potluck at 6pm. Elections immediately following at 7:15pm.  New members must pay dues by February 8th in order to be eligible to vote at the potluck.

We still need a volunteer to chair our neighborhood watch program, someone to take over organizing the July 4 picnic, an Area co-Coordinator for Area 2 and an Area co-Coordinator for Area 6.

Newsletter is being crafted now. Alert Gretchen immediately if you have an article to include. Newsletter to be distributed in late February ahead of SRCC elections.

Monthly Review: Stay up-to-date on neighborhood news and SRCC announcements by signing up for our Monthly Review emails at These simple, easy-to-read digests are available to all area residents.

Account reconciliation, Profit & Loss and Balance reports available upon request from or

*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

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