South River City Citizens (SRCC): minutes for meeting of general membership, February 3, 2014 return to SRCC home page

7:15 PM
205 East Monroe; Austin, Texas


1. 7:15 Meeting procedures, etiquette, welcome newcomers. State your name when presenting or seconding a motion.
Presenter throughout: Marc Davis, President, unless otherwise noted.
2. 7:20 Membership & voting announcements. 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, he or she may renew at the meeting and be eligible to vote.

3. 7:22 Approved minutes from December 2, 2013, last regular monthly meeting
MOTION: Eric Rangel / Marty Peck - to approve the minutes = PASSED
4. 7:25 Treasurer's report (to be distributed at meeing; will also be available at Web site)

Account reconciliation, Profit & Loss, and Balance reports available upon request
Presenter: Nancy Byrd, Treasurer

5. 7:30 Committee Chairs' reports--
1) Parks, Schools, Environment;
2) Planning & Zoning--Kim McPherson thanked the neighborhood for supporting the Travis Heights Elementary School (THES) in-district charter school. A key component of the school is "service learning" that is all about teaching children to become good citizens. A national expert has provided the training for the teachers to implement this program and things are moving forward. Volunteer opportunities and donations are handled through the Web site.
2) Planning & Zoning--item(s) below;
3) Transportation & Public Safety--This committee has a new chair, Marty Peck, and anticipate lots of activity in the coming months. Please let us know if you'd like to participate;
4) Norwood--The Norwood House restoration project received funds from SRCC to help rebuild the front porch;
5) Historic District--no update;
8) Finance; status of projects funded by SRCC--The grant project is moving along. The curb cut project for Blunn Creek is in the works. The Heritage Oaks Park projects are also making use of the grant money as well as a donation from a film crew that could possibly be used for park benches. Blunn Creek Preserve also benefited from the grant process and will be planting lots of seedlings and bushes along with additional signage;
9) Reps to ANC (Austin Neighborhoods Council)--There is a growing concern amongst the ANC about the CodeNext land development code changes. Jeff Jack offered to come to a meeting to inform us all on these changes;
10) Communication--no update;
11) Quality of Life--no update

A public open house will be held at ACC Highland from 9:30-noon. Project Connect is working to implement new transit options to connect the airport to downtown. The Jeff Kessel has volunteered to be SRCC contact, attend the meetings, provide feedback based on the SRCC positions and report back to the General Membership. Please let him know if you'd like to participate.

6. 7:40 Update on Congress Avenue Baptist Church request (C14-2013-0022) to up-zone to GR (with conditional overlay) to allow for commercial parking and the eventual construction of a parking garage on the back half of its lot.
Presenter: Marc Davis, President
This property extends from Congress Avenue eastward to Nickerson. CABC wants to upzone the eastmost half of the lot, which is behind the church building. The church has been leasing out parking spots to nearby businesses without the proper zoning to do so. The upzoning would allow it to legally do this but it has requested GR (general retail) zoning, which is more than adequate to accommodate this use. It seems the goal is to build a parking garage on the site. Planning Commission (PC) reviewed the request in January and voted against the upzoning. Neighbors pulled together a "valid petition that requires City Council to have a super majority in order to get the desired changes.
7. 7:50 Report on South Central Waterfront Overlay plan. Waterfront walking tour December 7, 2013; 9:50 am to 12 noon.
Next event: Waterfront Talk-a-bout 2, February 12, 2014; 7:00-9:00 pm, St. David's Episcopal Church, 301 E. 8th Street Presenters: Garret Nick, Secretary; Alan Holt, Principal Planner, Urban Design Division at City of Austin, Planning & Development Review Department; Kate Mulholland, Planner, Comprehensive Planning Division, City of Austin
Alan Holt provided an update about the South Central Waterfront Plan Initiative. The South Central Waterfront is an area of 97 acres bounded by South First Street on the west, Blunn Creek to the east, Lady Bird Lake on the north, and East Riverside Drive and East Bouldin Creek on the south. Thirty private property owners and 97 acres of prime real estate are under pressure to be developed in the near future. The City is looking to gather stakeholder input on how we can develop this area while maximizing benefits for public and private interests. Supporters of this plan believe that relying on existing building standards alone, this property will not achieve its full potential and will underperform compared to other models that have been developed during past efforts and especially in the last two years. The SDAT in 2012 and the Sustainable Places Project in 2013 both lay out a vision for achieving a better future for Austin's South Central Waterfront. City Council has directed the committee to produce a plan as soon as possible. The official website now has a video of the presentations given at the recent talk-about. There will be more walk and talk abouts starting with the next talk-about on February 12, at St David's Episcopal Church from 7-9 pm. The two major property stakeholders representatives were present at these events and are very interested in making this vision a reality. A grant was received by the City of Austin that brought together the SDAT team. A recommendation was made to tap into the Sustainable Places program, a HUD program, to analyze the various scenarios for financial and civic viability. The Austin Board of Realtors is helping to obtain another grant to bring in more professional input. Given the complexity of the initiative and all the information involved, Mr. Holt encouraged those interested to visit the Web site, study the material, and then come to the events to give feedback. Members expressed concerns that the new plan might not adhere to the existing Waterfront Overlay code requirements that restrict building heights, distance from the shore, and other key factors.

8. 8:05 H 35 Capital Area Improvement Program; plans for changes to IH 35 at Oltorf and Riverside Drive. Proposal to close east/west traffic at Woodland Avenue / IH 35 underpass.
Presenters: Steven Miller, HTNB Corp, consultant to Texas Department of Transportation; Gary Schatz, City of Austin Transportation Department; assisted by Beverly Silas; Stacey Benningfield, Mobility Plan Project Manager, Texas Department of Transportation , Gary Schatz, Assistant Director in Austin Transportation Department; and Steven Miller, consultant to Texas Department of Transportation,TxDOT
presented background information behind the proposed I-35 changes being referred to as the IH35 Capital Area Improvement Program (see slides presented). Attendees were encouraged to sign up for the mailing list to be notified of all the future meetings. The CAIP currently stretches along a 65-mile stretch from Georgetown to San Marcos. The goal is to improve the traffic flow and add capacity to I-35 by maximizing what is already there with a minimal amount of land acquisition. East/West connectivity is a factor as well as increasing mobility for all users. They are developing different design criteria for the various types of roads involved. The projected cost of the program is between 1 and 2 billion dollars. The centerpiece of the plan is the Future Transportation Corridor (FTC), the goal of which is to add an additional lane in each direction. Ramp modifications, collective-distributor roads and innovative intersections are being considered. We are in phase 2 of a 5-phase process and concepts are preliminary. Phase 1, conceptual design is ending and now moving into Phase 2 Plan Implementation. Phase 3 will be Environmental Design studies; Phase 4 will be Construction Plans; Phase 5 will be Construction. Presenters did not provide timeframes but assured the attendees that they are still considering alternative options. The current conceptual plan involves closing the Woodland crossing and adding turnaround lanes at the intersections to the north at Riverside and to the south at Oltorf. An alternative conceptual plan flies Woodland over a depressed I-35 but the grade difference along Woodland creates some challenges. The third alternative conceptual plan leaves Woodland mostly as is while making some changes to I-35. The main concern of attendees is maintaining the East/West connectivity of Woodland. The plan that includes closing Woodland was very unpopular with most attendees. Residents who live along Woodland Avenue also voiced concerns about the current amount of traffic along Woodland and encouraged others to consider the benefits of reducing traffic on Woodland. Emergency vehicle access was discussed as another concern and it was noted that APD and other emergency services are involved in the process. All ramps will be re-evaluated during this process and updated to current standards. Presenters stated that best way to affect these decisions is to participate in the process defined by information on
9. 8:25 Proposal to open Woodland Avenue gate access for residents of Brook apartment complex (1824 S. IH 35).
Presenter: Matt Holloway
Currently, residents of the Brook apartments cannot access Woodland directly from their property, but must exit onto the frontage road and drive through the neighborhood to reach destinations north of Woodland or west of I-35. There are two gates that could be opened but the gate on Woodland is closed based on a restrictive covenant that was agreed upon for safety reasons during negotiations with the developer. Concern for safety is based on the very steep hill, lack of visibility at this section of Woodland, and speed of traffic heading east. The potential for accidents involving drivers going east and residents exiting onto Woodland is significant. Comments made that only right turns would be considered in any case. Rather than change the restrictive covenant, there was a suggestion to implement a pilot program for a couple months and include a right turn only sign. No action was taken.
10. 8:40 Variance request for 1201 Woodland Avenue
Presenter: Jean Mather, Zoning committee; Sarah Campbell, member
The applicant has a large lot and is looking to divide it into two legal lots. There is a 100' frontage but the existing home is centered on the property. The Code requires a 50' frontage for each subdivision. An earlier proposal included 30'/70' split and creatively divide the property but given the location of the trees, the house and the property line it would require a variance on the side setback. A new proposal has been submitted. The committee will need to review the new proposed changes before being brought to a vote.
11. 8:50 Variance request for 1806 Drake. Request by David Cancialosi. Owner: Connie Leaverton
Presenter: Jean Mather, Zoning Committee
There is a concrete walkway which leads to an existing concrete pad that was grandfathered but given that it was within the side setback the addition of a covering on the pad triggered the need for a variance. A new letter was sent by the city addressing impervious cover limits but our Committee reviewed the letter and it was determined that the request was still appropriate.
MOTION: Jean Mather / Russell - to support the variance requests = PASSED

Save the Date: SRCC annual membership meeting / pot luck dinner / elections. Tuesday March 4, 2014; starts 6:00 pm. Bring a dish. Kids welcome.

Marc Davis, the current SRCC President, and Carol Martin, the current Vice President, have both stepped down. Eric Rangel has expressed his intention to run for Vice President but the position of President is still up for grabs. If you'd like to add your name to the ballot for any of the positions please send e-mail to verify you are a current dues-paid member and declare your intention.

Thank you.
Garret Nick, Secretary

Agenda Prepared by Marc Davis
656-2841 - cell


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