SRCC General Membership Meeting 5/21/24


Tuesday, May 21, 2024, 7:00 PM

Zoom Meeting

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SRCC:  See the future. Shape the future.


To vote or make motions, please become a member. Join or renew: Not sure if your membership is current? Email: and we’ll let you know. We welcome members and non-members to join our meetings. Please register 24 hours in advance.

1.  7:00  Welcome Members and Guests

Verification of quorum. Reminder to state your name when presenting or seconding a motion. Try the PayPal subscription option for automatic annual renewals:

Presenter unless otherwise noted: Noah Balch, SRCC President  (5 min)

2.  7:05  Approve General Membership Meeting Minutes

Vote on motion to approve minutes. Meeting minutes available at:

Presenter: Chris Phillips-Frishman, SRCC Secretary (5 min)

Upcoming meetings:  GM Jun 18, Aug 20, Sept 17, Oct 15, Dec 17

EC Jun 4, Aug 6, Sept 3, Oct 1, Dec 3

3.  7:10  Treasurer’s Report

All reports available upon request:   

Presenter: Will Andrews, SRCC Treasurer  (5 min)

4.  7:15  Membership Report 

Members must pay dues to participate in SRCC business and actions, such as voting and making motions. Try the subscription option for automatic annual renewals. Presenter: Mary Janecek-Friedman, SRCC Membership (5 min)

5. 7:20 Reports from Standing Committee Chairs

a) Planning and Zoning; b) Historic Preservation; c) Finance; d) Mobility; e) Public Safety; f) Parks and Environment; g) Schools; and h) Communications  (10 min)

6. 7:30  Reports from Area Coordinators and Group Representatives 

a) TECHS CAT; b) ANC; c) SCC; d) South Central Waterfront; and e) St. Edward’s (10 min)


7.  7:40  Election of SRCC Standing Committee Chairs

Slate for SRCC’s Standing Committee Chairs election.

Planning and Zoning Committee: Anita Tschurr

Historic Preservation Committee: Susan Armstrong-Fisher

Finance Committee: Sam Martin

Mobility Committee: Mark Thompson

Public Safety Committee: Tom Groce

Parks and Environment Committee: David Todd

Schools Committee: Gretchen Otto

Communications Committee: Betty Weed

Nominations Committee: [Propose 1 EC member, 1 non-EC member; (3-5 total)]

Presenter: Noah Balch, SRCC President (10 min)

8.  7:50  Austin Parks and Recreation Fire Prevention

Discuss possible prescribed burn of small piles of shrubs in Blunn Creek Preserve.

Presenter: David Todd, SRCC Parks and Environment (5 min)

9.  7:55 Land Development Code 

Discuss new land development code revisions in H.O.M.E. Phase 2.

Presenters: Anita Tschurr, SRCC Planning & Zoning (15 min)

10. 8:10 General Discussion re: Deed Restrictions

An SRCC area coordinator, Jon David Swann, questions the effect of land development code revisions on building permit applications for deed-restricted lots. The city addresses this topic on its website: “The Land Development Code does not affect the enforceability of deed restrictions.” Indeed, “[d]eed restrictions are a civil matter enforced by the parties named in the restriction,” such as an owner or association. Simply put, the city does not enforce deed restrictions; it is up to the parties to that private contract to enforce their rights. As such, “[i]f a building permit application complies with the LDC, then staff must approve the application whether or not it conforms to a deed restriction.” Accordingly, applicants are responsible for conflicts and violations, not the city.

To place this in context, SRCC has restrictive covenants in place with developments in our neighborhood, such as Hotel Magdalena. SRCC can enforce those restrictive covenants. If Hotel Magdalena starts booking late-night outdoor concerts, SRCC can sue the hotel. Even if the city passed a city-wide ordinance allowing late-night outdoor concerts, that does not mean Hotel Magdalena can hold those events. SRCC could still sue. But SRCC cannot sue the city for passing the late-night outdoor concert ordinance. That ordinance would not affect our restrictive covenant with the hotel because the covenant is a contract between two civil parties. Contract law governs the dispute and the parties would adjudicate the dispute according to the contractual dispute provisions, i.e., in Texas state court or arbitration. 

SRCC’s bylaws state that, “the association shall​ ​address​ ​shared​ ​concerns,​ ​goals,​ ​and activities​ ​that​ ​affect​ ​the​ ​quality​ ​of​ ​life​ ​of​ ​its​ ​residents and​ ​the​ ​character​ ​of​ ​SRCC​ ​neighborhood​ ​and​ ​neighborhoods generally.” This general mission statement does not mean that SRCC must enforce every individual land owner’s rights. In fact, that would stretch our resources and SRCC is not funded for legal fights. Negotiating and drafting the Hotel Magdalena restrictive covenant cost over $40,000 in legal fees. And that is a paltry sum compared to litigating deed restrictions in court or arbitration, which could easily cost upwards of $500,000 to $1,000,000.

Mr. Swann proposes drafting a letter to the Mayor and City Council stating that “our members and other property owners are concerned that newly-proposed development rules will violate their rights.” To start, the LDC does not violate anyone’s rights. If a landowner applies for a building permit in violation of a deed restriction, that landowner violates the deed restriction. Therefore, that landowner violated the rights of the counterparty to the deed restriction. The counterparty must sue the offending landowner to enforce its rights. It is not the city’s responsibility to sue or block development based on private party deed restrictions. 

Mr. Swann continues, property owner’s rights “have not been abandoned or surrendered.” This is true but redundant as the city’s website makes it clear that the LDC revisions do not change anyone’s rights. Again, deed restrictions are not affected by the LDC revisions. Everyone would agree that no one is abandoning or surrendering rights, but why would SRCC need to state the obvious. 

The proposed letter continues, “any ensuing lawsuits would create a cost burden to both the city (and all its taxpayers) and to the property owners. To avoid those costs, our organization is asking the City to refrain from permitting any development in violation of deed restrictions.” There is no support for the argument that people will sue the city. Thus, the city and taxpayers will not be burdened by any costs. Parties to the deed restriction must sue their counterparties to enforce their rights. They cannot sue the city for granting permit applications because, (1) the city is protected by governmental immunity and the Texas Tort Claims Act, and (2) the counterparties are not in privity with the city (no standing) so they must sue the counterparty instead. 

At bottom, the city is not responsible for enforcing deed restrictions. Accordingly, writing a letter to the Mayor and Council on the false assumption that people are going to sue them is specious. It is an implied threat that seems unwise and possibly in violation of SRCC’s Bylaws. It seems unnecessary to write this sort of letter. SRCC’s President cautions against it. 

Presenter: Jon David Swann, SRCC Area Coordinator (10 min)


NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH: contact Tom Groce, SRCC Public Safety Chair at:  

If you have questions about using the Neighborhood ListServ:

Check crime reports and statistics here:

The next General Membership meeting is June 18, 2024 (@Good Shepherd on the Hill).

The next Executive Committee meeting is June 4, 2024.  

Frequently used acronyms: 

ACF: Austin Community Fund

ANC: Austin Neighborhood Council

BoA: Board of Adjustment

CDC: Community Development Corporation

EROC: East Riverside/Oltorf Combined Contact Team

FLUM: Future Land Use Map

GSRC NPCT: Greater South River City Neighborhood Planning Contact Team

NCCD: Neighborhood Conservation Combining District

NHPA: National Historic Preservation Act

NPCT: Neighborhood Planning Contact Team

PC: Planning Commission

PUD: Planned Unit Development

SCC: South Central Coalition of neighborhood associations 

SF: Single Family zoning category

TECHS CAT: Travis Early College High School

ZAP: Zoning and Platting

Agenda Prepared by Noah Balch, Please check for updates.

ZOOM LINK:  Click here

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