SRCC General Membership Meeting Minutes – June 6th, 2016

Monday, June 6, 2016 7:15 PM
(formerly Grace UMC)

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.*
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 May 2, 2016 monthly general meetings (available at

MOTION: Elloa Mathews / Kathleen Littlepage – to approve the minutes from the May 2nd meeting = PASSED 20 for, 0 opposed, 1 abstain

MOTION: Elloa Mathews / Marylyn Ordman – to amend the minutes from the March 8th meeting (6. 7:55 Update on SXSW fireworks at Auditorium Shores requiring trail closure from 6pm-10pm on March 18-19 Presenter: Elloa Matthews,, Area 5 Co-coordinator
Elloa announced that the City denied the request to close the hike and bike trail for fireworks during SXSW honoring the input from the Austin Parks TRAILS Foundation and nearby neighborhood associations.)= PASSED 18 for, 0 opposed, 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; 2) Planning & Zoning; 3) Transportation & Public Safety; 4) Norwood; 5) Historic District; 6) Finance; 7) ANC*; 8) Communications; 9) CodeNEXT
ANC – (*notes listed at the end of the meeting minutes)
Parks, Schools, Environment – AISD is looking to liquidate some of its properties, one of which is located near the Wal-Mart at the headwaters of Blunn Creek. David Todd has been meeting with AISD to see if we could preserve this land.

6. 7:40 1) Update on Torchy’s; 2) Update on the Heights on Congress redevelopment; 3) Update on One 2 East Development; 4) Report from Task Force on Community Engagement
Torchy’s – Two hours before the hearing Richard Suttle withdrew Torchy’s alcoholic beverage waiver case. This happened after dozens of neighbors made arrangements for childcare and other things so they could be present for the meeting. Torchy’s can apply and withdraw as many times as they like without any restrictions. Council Members Poole, Garza, Tovo and Kitchen showed support for the neighborhood. Councilmember Tovo expressed interest in introducing a general rule to the effect that if a party withdraws their request for a waiver they must wait one year before they can resubmit the request.
Heights on Congress – At the Travis Heights Community Action meeting, the owner of the Heights promised to manage the transition of tenants such that no one will be displaced without proper care and for a short period of time.
Report from Task Force on Community Engagement – A representative came to an Executive Committee meeting to talk about the Task Force and that report has now been published.

7. 7:50 Information about new Travis Heights magazine
Presenter: Sara Wright,
This is a newsletter magazine for Travis Heights to help build community and to highlight businesses in the area. The area being covered is Lady Bird Lake, Oltorf, I-35 and Congress. This is a free publication paid for by the business sponsors. It is currently not being published electronically and is mailed only to single family residences. If you are in the area and not currently getting the magazine you can contact Sara to be added to the mailing list.

8. 7:55 Discussion of density and community development with Sallie Burchett, AICP, LEED Green Associate. Ms. Burchett has been involved with planning since 1993, including serving on the Board of Adjustment.
Presenter: Sallie Burchett,
Sallie has worked with a couple dozen various cities, most of which are in central Texas. “Affordability” is considered one third of your income going towards rent/mortgage, utilities and transportation costs. Density does increase housing stock but doesn’t necessarily mean that stock is affordable. ADUs are great tools but most developers are generally looking to max out a lot versus build within the character of the area. Housing tax credits can help with affordability but usually apply to larger projects. What tools can Austin use to encourage or require affordable housing?

9. 8:15 Update and information on CodeNEXT, the future land development code for the City of Austin.
Presenter: Paul DiGiuseppe, Principal Planner for City of Austin Planning Dept,
This planning effort is now in its third year. Code prescriptions are recommendations to be released in January of 2017. In July they will address mobility. There will be a total of four code prescriptions to prep everyone on the issues prior to the release of the final CodeNEXT document. There is an advisory group that meets monthly and Paul encouraged everyone to stay involved. The goal of the prescriptions are to help ease citizens into the concepts and language that they will get deeper into once the draft is released. The prescriptions are not specifically addressing existing Neighborhood Plans but those concerns are included in Imagine Austin which is the guiding framework for this effort. Concerns were raised about the effect of density on the environment and specifically flooding. Subdivision regulations will also be updated to address not only new development on the outskirts of town but also the redevelopment of properties closer to the center of town. A lack of new park space to keep up with density is also a concern. There was a general frustration about the code not being released to the CAG (citizen advisory group). The role of the CAG was to provide outreach but they will not see the code until it is released to the public. It was requested that comments are posted on the website. There are efforts made to provide all of this information to immigrant and refugee communities but there has been low involvement aside from one major centrally located event.

Presenter: Diane Presti, SRCC Vice President,
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! We need volunteers for several open positions: neighborhood watch program organizer, Special Events Chair to organize the July 4 picnic, a new Communications Chair, a Newsletter Editor, and an Area co-Coordinator for Area 1.
Austin Monitor discount: SRCC16 for 20% off subscription
The next newsletter will be printed in mid-June and should be delivered by the end of the month.
There is no formal plan for a July Fourth Picnic or Parade this year due to lack of volunteers. Informal picnic meetups are encouraged!
A member was present who had their home broken into twice in the last week and wanted to warn everyone.


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

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

Agenda Prepared by Diane Presti, and Gretchen Otto,

Agenda subject to change. Please check for most updated version.

*ANC General Meeting notes from James Bilodeaux– 5.25.16
Susana Almanza came to speak about Cactus Rose Trailer Park. A petition for changes in zoning would forcibly displace them from their neighborhood. This was held up as an example of the dislocation happening thoughout the neighborhood.

Leslie Pool, Council Member for District 7 came to speak about the Council’s “year of mobility”. City Council will be fast tracking a transportation bond this year. Her focus is on sidewalks, bikeways, and trails. She stated she knows that I35 is priority for many people but this will be something undertaken at the state level.

Marya Crigler, Travis County Chief Appraiser provided a briefing on Annual Property Taxes. This was similar to past presentations in that she stated they can only try to reflect market values, they can’t lower tax rates (the tax setting bodies do that in late summer/fall). She referred to the continued influx of people (the greater Austin MSA now has 2 million people), and low housing inventory (currently only 3 months vs. the “normal” 6 months). The average citizen pays $1200 in “recapture” back to the state to fund school districts elsewhere.

Mike Hebert is a land development attorney. Linda Bailey is a professor at UT McCombs school of business. They reiterated the findings of the Zucker report which is that Austin’s planning and zoning development is the worst of over 300 metropolitan areas that they have analyzed. They came tp present on the lack of meaningful metrics to track performance of the department. They are proposing metrics that are aligned in with the Imagine Austin comprehensive plan that are currently not measured:
Transportation ridership
Sidewalk density
They’ve written two papers describing what metrics the city should track. [NEED LINK]

Ellizabeth Mueller and Nuria Zaragoza member of the Citizens Advisory Group for CodeNEXT came to speak about affordability. Older construction is more affordable yet we are providing incentives to demolish it. We should focus on greenfield developments, not razing existing houses. Despite the fact that we are fastest growing, we are the most economically segregated. Growth corridors and land use patterns have reinforced this. We need to think about creating new “centers” for commerce/community outside the core vs. bringing everyone in downtown and straining our transportation system even more. New developments that are being placed on growth corridors (e.g. Lamar) are bringing in people that actually don’t use buses. [NEED LINK]

Jeff Jack, architect and neighborhood activist, came to speak about the Density Bonus Program. This was created to provide incentives (additional sq. footage) encourage developers to create more affordable housing. A developer would pay $25/sq. ft for additional square footage through this program yet they only $1, 3, 5/sq. ft. The City Auditor has found the current affordable housing program completely inadequate. Because there are no metrics, any outcome can be considered a success.

Ed Wendler is a developer who came so speak about linkage fees. These are fees paid on new construction. Dozens of cities use these to fund affordable housing e.g. Denver, San Francisco. In most cities range from $1-$6. They are paid at time of building permitting. If we were to adopt $2 / sq. ft. would raise $60 million/yr. for affordable housing. Fees can be used to subsidize or purchase housing. So the city doesn’t have to work through developer. This will enable affordable housing down to 30-50% of MFI vs. 60-80% of MFI. The major apartment developers in town would support this if all types of new development would had to pay it – so across all new growth. This makes new growth paying for itself. The administration is a lot simpler and the city doesn’t have to monitor what’s actually affordable and is provided by developers.

Vincent Harding was former Chair for Democratic Party in Travis County and now is leading new Ride Austin, new non-profit ride sharing network. Joe Butts is political consultant who worked against Proposition 1. Uber spent close to $12 million on the campaign. Most voters wanted finger printing. But more significant (according to their polls) was that voters did not like the ability of a corporation to override city rule making.

TX DOT is putting up blue signs on 360, Capital of Texas Highway, that advertise services. They are overriding City of Austin ordinances. Please sign this petition if you would like to voice your opposition.

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