SRCC Meeting Minutes — August 2018

Monday, August 6, 2018 7:15 PM

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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: Eric Cassady, SRCC Co-Vice President,, unless otherwise noted. (10 min)

2. 7:25 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 or make motions, 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)

Meeting called to order at 7:20 pm. by Eric. Sarah Campbell reintroduced herself, J.B. Sigmon, and Carol Castlebury introduced themselves. Eric reviewed meeting and voting procedures.

3. 7:27 Approve minutes from June 4, 2018 monthly general meeting (available at (3 min)

Motion: JB Sigmond/Claudette Lowe to approve the minutes from June 4, 2018, general meeting. For=15, Against=0, Abstaining=1

4. 7:30 Treasurer’s Report – see reverse of agenda. All reports available upon request to the Treasurer
Presenter: Eric Cassady for Oliver Caruso (Treasurer) (5 min)

Oliver is out of town. Eric shared the July expenses & income report.
August:  Finance Committee complete Mid-year review – Pending
September:  Donate $100 to schools within SRCC boundaries – Pending

5. 7:35 Committee Chairs reports
1) Planning and Zoning; 2) Historic Preservation; 3) Finance; 4) Mobility (chair needed); 5) Public Safety; 6) Parks and Environment; 7) Schools; 8) Communications; 9) Executive Committee; 10) CodeNEXT ad hoc committee
Representatives: 11) ANC*; 12) SCC*; 13) South Central Waterfront; 14) St. Edward’s (10 min)

Planning and Zoning: Russell Fraser reported about 3 open cases: 1) Bickler Road Case, which will be discussed later in the meeting. 2) 205 E. Riverside is memorializing their parking area, which means documenting for the city how many parking spaces they have. 3) The SoCo assisted living and memory care is about to break ground (west of Walmart). Once the construction is completed, there will be no access from Alpine Road to Walmart. Neighbors discussed the water retention/flood prevention area that is located near the site, and Russell is awaiting feedback from the City on this issue.

Historic Preservation: Angela Reed shared information about the demolition of Andre Hall on St. Edward’s University, which had historic value. The committee asked that the University share their future plans with the Landmark Commission and SRCC before demolition. The Landmark Commission did delay the demolition and St. Edwards said their plans would be available online by Aug. 1st. One of the Landmark Commissioners also wanted to use the delay to further research the historic significance of Andre Hall.
– A historic property at 307 Leland, a 2-story house on a large property, has been approved for demolition. The owner is considering moving the building rather than being demolished, but if they are moved out of the district, the historic fabric of our neighborhood is still impacted.
– A house at 1811 Brackenridge was in the process of being moved when neighbors walked by. The police were called and it was discovered that the moving permit had already been approved, although neighbors do not remember being notified. Angela shared that the committee is going to find out what the process is for moving historic homes, and whether that differs from demolition, which provides the committee time to review the property and discuss with owners to encourage preservation.

Mobility: Eric Reported that we have a new volunteer to head the Mobility Committee. The Executive Committee will vote to fill this position at the next Executive Committee meeting.

Public Safety: Tom Groce reported that the Neighborhood Watch has been set up to start. He reported that, even though several people have been expressed an interest and been trained, but no one has stepped forward to do it. Tom is seeking feedback on how to encourage participation. He reported that a lot of the crime is happening during week days. If you have ideas or want to participate, feel free to email Tom at . Or you can contact Eric and he can put Tom in touch with you.

Executive Committee Update: Eric shared that the EC agreed to endorse a letter to the City of Austin from the Parks Foundation calling for full funding of the Parks Foundation for fiscal year 2019.

Code-NEXT: Eric reported that work is still being done on Code-NEXT, but news reports make it look like it is not going to be approved.

ANC: Elloa shared this letter with us from June (related to McKalla Place).


6. 7:45 Request for a variance has been filed related to the construction of a secondary structure at 1219 Bickler Road, which will be larger than the existing, original structure. SRCC’s Planning & Committee have met with the owner and architect, and SRCC’s Historic Preservation Committee has met with some neighbors. VOTE EXPECTED.
Link to 1219 Bickler variance applications with hardship information
Presenter/Guest: Russell Fraser, SRCC Planning & Zoning Committee Chair, and Norma Yancey, AIA, Principal, Sidetracked Studio, (10 min + 10 min Q&A)

Russell shared that two members of SRCC Planning & Zoning committee met with the owner, Ms. Susan Polo, and Ms. Norma Yancey, the owner’s architect, prior to this meeting. The other 3 P&Z committee members have not been available to participate in person this month, but one voted via email. Upon a vote, 2 had no objections and one objected this project with two not voting.

The property has a small bungalow on the front of a 10,ooo square foot lot. The variance is basically to allow a larger 2-story 25oo square foot residence in the back of the lot, in essence “flipping” the ADU and main house from their normal positions on the site. This site plan would preserve the historic streetscape by preserving the 1930’s bungalow fronting the street. The objection is based on the fact that neighboring residents object. SRCC Planning and Zoning committee asked SRCC Historic Preservation committee chair to weigh in on this. Angela Reed shared that allowing this variance allows the historic bungalow to be preserved. The SRCC Historic Preservation committee voted approval for this variance.

Ms. Yancy distributed schematic site plan, elevation diagrams of the planned and existing structures, and photos of the streetscape. She discussed that erosion and flooding concerns are dealt with in the building permit process. (This property backs on the Blunn Creek.) Only one 13-inch tree will be removed. The plans include also adding a second bathroom onto the bungalow. Concern was expressed that updated rain data will make changes to the 500 year flood plain. Ms. Yancy stated that the plans for the construction would then be adapted.

Motion: Russell Fraser/Sarah Campbell That SRCC send a letter of no objection to the variance at 1219 Bickler. For= 13 Opposed=3, Abstaining=4

7. 8:05 Presentation from an Animal Protection Officer with the City of Austin’s Animal Services on how to respond to coyotes in the neighborhood. With denning season underway, it is important to know appropriate ways to respond to their presence, how to keep your pets safe, and when hazing should be implemented.
Link to SRCC website post including “Coyotes 101” flyer.
Presenter/Guest: Sarah Whitson, Animal Protection Officer,     (20 min + 5 min Q&A)

Sarah shared that in the last 100 years coyote populations have reached across the continental United States. Did you know that hunting these animals doesn’t work, because coyote litters become larger when the population wanes. (A normal litter is 3-5 pups, however in times of low population litter sizes can reach 10-14.) Coyotes are omnivores. They enjoy the wild diet, with rats, rabbits and fruit being main food sources. They have adapted and will eat pet food if available. Leaving pet food out for feral cats and fruit that drops to the ground in yards draw coyotes into neighborhoods. Once there, coyotes notice regular pet activity and will begin eating cats and small dogs. To train coyotes to stay away, a whole area needs to work together to “haze” the coyotes. Hazing means giving them negative stimulus. Examples of hazing would be maintaining eye contact and make loud noises, waving arms. Carry a whistle or a can of rocks to startle them. Teach the coyotes that humans are not friendly to them, so they stay away.

There is a den right on Matagorda, in our neighborhood. They have been here for years, but they have been drawn in by food that was left out for feral cats. They have become a nuisance this year. Leaving food out is actually a code violation and the neighbor has been notified. The food has been feeding rats and feral cats. All three (food, rats, and feral cats) have drawn the coyotes into the area and accustomed them to being in yards.

If you ever experience a coyote who doesn’t respond appropriately to hazing, call 311. They will follow you, too, if you are near their den. Call 311 if that happens.

Foxes are also a problem all across Central Texas. They den under porches and decks and in yards. When approached by humans they react differently than coyotes to protect their kits. They may growl or move towards you. It is important to stand your ground. If you find a fox den on your property, call 311. To discourage them, soak rag with ammonia and place it near their den or use a portable radio to make noise.

You can call 311 to have your yard inspected and get help with making it less appealing to wildlife.

8. 8:30 Laura Morrison will provide some information about the effort to bring a soccer team to Austin, the use of McKalla Place as a potential stadium venue, and competing proposals for affordable housing at the site.Council is expected to vote on this in an August 9th meeting.
Link to July 28th Statesman article about the potential deal.
Presenter/Guest: Laura Morrison, former Austin City Council member and Austin Mayoral candidate, (15 min + 10 min Q&A)

Laura Morrison introduced herself and shared her position on the effort to bring a soccer team to Austin. She feels it isn’t appropriate for the City to subsidize a for-profit developer, even if it is for a sports team.

She referred to a recent term sheet describing the project. There are a lot of unknowns in the term sheet that has been agreed upon so far, but there is a strong push to sign off to proceed. She listed a number of concerns, including high cost to taxpayers, Precourt would not pay property taxes, the rent Precourt would pay is far less than the value.

The volume of information could not be captured for the record, but residents are encouraged to read reports being published and contact their council representatives.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! We need volunteers for several open positions including
-MOBILITY CHAIR— we have a volunteer
-Area 7 Coordinator
-Neighborhood Watch is looking for volunteers (Contact Tom Groce)
Greater South River City Neighborhood Planning Contact Team members are stewards of our 2005 Neighborhood Plan. To join or for information, visit this page:
Contact Terry Franz if interested:
Austin Monitor discount: SRCC16 for 20% off subscription

Meeting Adjourned at 9:13 p.m.

*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; SCC: South Central Coalition of NAs

Agenda Prepared by Dan Fredine,
Minutes Prepared by Mary Janecek-Friedman,

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