SRCC General Membership Meeting Minutes – May 2nd, 2016

Monday, May 2, 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.*
Presenter throughout: Gretchen Otto, 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 March 8 and April 4, 2016 monthly general meetings (available at

MOTION: Betty Weed / Danette Chimenti – to approve the minutes from March 8th and April 4th = PASSED 23 for, o against, 0 abstain

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 (10 min)
Austin Neighborhood Council (ANC) – The Mayor attended the meeting. The Fire Chief is requesting more technology to expedite travel. May 3rd is the final meeting to address Austin’s affordability issues. There were three CodeNEXT presentations with the first two (from the code advisory committee) speaking about how over the first two or three years of development they have never actually seen any code. They encouraged everyone to speak up to your Council Members about the lack of transparency. The Mayor spoke about mobility and affordability and referenced having something on the ballot in November. One idea is to make a lane of I35 a toll lane.

MOTION: Bruno Conegliano / Betty Weed – to request that the City make whatever CodeNEXT code released immediately to the Code Advisory Group and the ANC = PASSED 26 for, 2 opposed, 0 abstain. It was suggested to send it to City Council, Manager and Greg Geurnsey.

Schools – At Guero’s tomorrow night there is a school fundraiser for Travis Heights Elementary’s Camp Champions program. The food must be purchased outside under the oak trees to count towards the fundraiser. You can sponsor a kid to go to this camp for about $150 per student. On May 18th the THES PTA is holding a public action event in the THE gym to bring attention to the following three issues… publicly express opposition to Torchy’s request for an alcohol waiver, support funding for the school and to hold the owner/redeveloper of The Heights to their word to minimize or eliminate displacement of student families during the transition. Torchy’s has refiled and will be heard on May 19th at Council.

6. 7:40 Update on Little Stacey Park Improvements and request for a recommendation from SRCC as they present the plan to the Parks and Recreation Board. Possible Vote.
Presenters: Gary Gregson, Project Coordinator, Austin Parks and Recreation Dept.; Margaret Robinson, Asakura Robinson Company, LLC,; Brendan Wittstruck,
After six months of public input they are nearing the completion of the site plan to update Little Stacy Park. Sunset Lane will be turned into a multi-use trail without vehicular access due to road erosion issues. The younger kid items will be consolidated into a single area to make it easier on parents to watch over them and to make space for rain gardens to treat stormwater. The tennis courts will be improved by redirecting stormwater that has damaged the surface. New lighting will be installed or upgraded throughout the park and will comply with the Dark Skies Initiative. The basketball court will be changed to a half court and the volleyball court will be reclaimed for a possible future community garden. The total project budget is about $700,000. The bathrooms will be refurbished.

MOTION: Danette Chimenti / David Todd – to support the Little Stacy Park improvement plan = PASSED 33 for, 0 opposed, 0 abstain

7. 7:55 New Constable-Elect Precinct 4, George Morales will introduce himself to the membership and answer questions. Presenter: Constable Elect George Morales,
He is our new Constable after Maria Conchola retired. Constable-Elect Morales is a lifelong resident of the precinct, a Fulmore Falcon, a Master Peace Officer, a mental health officer and civil process proficient. They will work to pass through the area in marked cars whenever possible.

8. 8:05 District 9 Parks Board member to discuss parkland and recreation facilities in the area and to seek input from the membership.
Presenter: Rick Cofer, Austin Parks Board District 9 appointee,, 512-771-6266
Last March the City created a Parkland Events Task Force to address the invasion of privately run events in our public parks. The dog park at I35, congestion at Big Stacy Pool, the size of events in general, the acquisition of new parkland and the erosion of trails were all concerns brought up. Please email Rick with any questions or comments.

9. 8:15 Property Tax Question & Answer session.
Presenters: Tiffany D. Seward, Director, Communications & Training, Travis County Tax Office, (512) 854-9706,; Bruce Elfant, Travis County Tax Assessor and Collector, (512) 854-9743,; and Marya Crigler, Chief Appraiser, Travis County, (512) 834-9317,
The appraisal district is required to attempt to find the current market value of property. There are 2 million people within the district and 150 people a day moving into it. The residential and commercial markets are both up higher than state and national average with commercial property going up 30% each of the last two years. Your homestead exemption is the best tool you have to keep your taxes from rising as fast. Be sure to make sure you are getting your over 65 and disability exemptions as well as payment deferments if needed. Austin ISD pays the highest amount of recapture back to the state. There is a 7% penalty for not paying your taxes on time and it goes up from there. Save yourself the check or trip and pay digitally with an e-check for a dollar. Texas is a non-disclosure state for sales data. If your purchase price is lower than the appraised value, bring that info when you make a protest hearing. A collection of 5 sales and 10 equity comps are used to come up with the value. A current bank-ordered appraisal is a relevant form of protest.

10. 8:3o Proposition 1. Former Austin City Council Member and Former Austin Neighborhoods Council President Laura Morrison will argue against Proposition 1, and an Uber/Lyft driver TBD will be arguing in support. Presenter:,, Uber Driver,
The representative in favor of Prop 1 did not show up at our meeting to speak.
The Council passed a standard of safety for ride-sharing services in Austin and believes the proposition paid for by Uber and Lyft is a substandard level of safety. Both of those companies have been sued, and lost, over exaggerated safety claims. There are a number of cases where the background checks are not sufficient and resulted in drivers with felonies being hired on. She encouraged everyone to vote against prop1 not because it is a vote against ride sharing but a vote against corporate money determining city policy and run misleading campaigns. Uber is based in Bermuda and pays 2% or less in taxes. A local company called Get Me is looking to fill the void where Uber and Lyft has threatened to leave.

11. 8:45 RPP request for Brackenridge from Milton to Annie for Thurs-Fri 5pm-10pm, Sat-Sun 1pm-10pm. Possible Vote.
Presenter: Dean Janeff, resident of Brackenridge St.,
Dean is looking for RPP due to an inability to park on his street during these hours. The pastor of Life In The City church expressed a concern about the expanded limitations on parking. Employees of the South Congress Hotel property are reportedly not allowed to use the onsite parking and are using the neighborhood instead.

MOTION: Danette Chimenti / Diane Presti – to support the request for RPP as described = PASSED 21 for, 8 against, 2 abstain
MOTION to table: John White / Andy Cantu – to table the motion = FAILED 10 for, 19 against (voted first)

Presenter: Diane Presti, SRCC Vice President,
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! 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 1.
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.
Torchy’s Tacos alcohol waiver to be heard by city council on May 19. Public Action to be held on May 18. Please let Gretchen know if you want attend either of these.
Note from Tom/Great Outdoors – Thank you to everyone for your support.
There are reports of typhus being carried by fleas in Austin.

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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