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South River City Citizens (SRCC) Neighborhood Association

April 4, 2005 (7 p.m.) General Membership Meeting MINUTES by Tim Mahoney

1. Introductions and SRCC Committee Sign-up

2. Treasurer’s Report (Terry Franz): we have a positive bank balance ($414 new monies from last March Annual Membership meeting).

3. Riverside project (127 E. Riverside Dr.): Guest Speaker: Steven Metcalfe, MSDMvK

(Thank you Mary Lovell for this portion of the report) South side of Riverside, presently equipment yard, currently zoned Light Industrial, looking down-zoning to CS/Mixed Use, proposed 145 or so apartments, and perhaps small restaurant and other retail/office uses. Has worked with members of the has worked with the SRCC Zoning Committee on developing appropriate future uses. Need relief from 210 feet set backs to 15 feet set back. Working with Mike Lyday with City Watershed. Presented pictures of Bouldin Creek, plan restoration of Creek, discussion of overlays (Creek also runs past 611 S. Congress, outside of project area on the eastside of neighborhood).

4. Norwood Bath House (NW corner of IH-35 and Riverside), Guest speaker: Janet Abbott, Spa Waters of Texas

7:20 pm. Janet Abbott gave a 10 minute presentation about proposed return of the hot water mineral bath, the Norwood Natural Warm Water Project. First drilled in 1929, until 1980’s, when capped. High in mineral content, which is beneficial. Last Fall first visited with CM Daryl Slusher, then City Manager, then PARD Director, who drew up plan of potential obstacles. At least 4 other municipality-owned hot springs that speaker was aware of in other areas in U.S.. As to the dogs, there is continued environmental concerns about having the dog park there, regarding its close location to the river and the hot springs itself, and that there are about 11 other lease free zones in the City. Current plan calls for incorporating the house in the design of the hot springs, but it is in bad shape and first there needs to be an initial assessment if the house can withstand rehabilitation. If the house can not withstand rehabilitation, then Spa Waters of Texas would return to the neighborhood in its status report.

For more information, contact Janet Abbott at, 3601 S. Congress Avenue, #B-500, Austin, Texas 78704, 512.448-9573,

Paul Addington, Friends of Norwood Park, also spoke about the current uses of the park, and the work that they have done to maintain the park.

5. Watershed Bar and Grill (1123 S. Congress). Speaker: Neil Francois, McAllister & Associates)

Wants to make a traditional "joint" effect in their Bar and Restaurant on the old D&M Tire, most recently Doc’s Motorworks. Said not interested in late night liquor permit at this time, but will have a full service bar permit. No plan to have loud music, but acoustic only irregular, perhaps Sunday brunch. A discussion was had that they are not interested in making a contract regarding future uses and/or permits. Said that the property is not designed for loud music, that they would not want to have any speaker playing music pointing at residences.

According to their presentation, they do not need any variances, zoning changes, or any other matter that would require neighborhood approval. Want to have good relations with this neighborhood because it is their market.

As to parking, employee parking will be in School for the Deaf, and there will also be valet parking, with cars driven to the School for the Deaf. Additional parking perhaps in the lot, but that is still speculative. At the end of the presentation, they indicated that they are a team of people that care about the neighborhood, and anther team might not. They are not affiliated with Southwest Strategies.

Discussion and voting:

8:10 pm. Discussion of 127 Riverside: Motion by Betty Weed, second by Mary Lovell, "Support project proposed with variance requested and overlay." Passes 25 for, 1 against, 1 opposed.

Norwood: Motion for by Terry Frantz, seconded Betty Weed: Discussion included concerns about the welfare of people who currently use the "dog park." Vote: Passes with 23 for, 1 against, abstain 4.

8:30 pm

  1. Letter of Support for Galindo Neighborhood’s (GENA) fight to same South Austin Park. Motion for support by Carl Betencourt , second by Tim Mahoney. Vote: Passes with 24 for, 2 against, abstain 3.
  2. Zoning Issues:
    1. 5701 E. Riverside – (VP Toni House) close to Baty Elementary, proposed Goodwill location, City Staff has manipulated votes in the Planning Process. Motion to support East side planning process by opposing the proposed zoning changes by Elloa Mathews, seconded by Jean Mather. Passes with 23 support, 0 opposed, 2 abstentions.
    2. 1213 Newning variance hearing (Danette Chimenti): (Same people as have done the Bickler property, aka Glenn McMillan agent for Seamus Donohue, 845-8546) Evidently question of whether any people have received legal notice. Motion by Carl Betencourt, second by Betty Weed to oppose variance on height, support variance only for 5 foot setback. Passes with 27 support, 0 opposed, 0 abstentions.
  3. Neighborhood Planning Report – Jean Mather
  • Purchase of Smarter Land Use Project Modeling Kit – Tim Mahoney, Motion for Purchase of Kit (estimated as $350 or so) by Tim Mahoney, second by Elloa Mathews. Passes by 19 for, 0 against, 4 abstain.

    Planning Meeting for Areas A&B next Wednesday, April 6, 6:30 pm, infill options, amnesty for small lots. Also important is request for roll-back of height limitation roll-back of height limitation to 30 feet or two stories; current allowed SF-3 height is 35 feet. There was a discussion where many people said attendance was important because of tendency of City Staff to otherwise mis-construe neighborhood interests.

  • 9. Committee and Project Reports:

  • St. Edward’s Committee: Resolution on Glenrose Engineering (Elloa Matthews): re negotiations at Alpine and Warehouse property (one lot) have agreed to donate that property to someone, probably with the City, so that this can be the beginnings of some sort of Blunn Creek protection green belt. This was in exchange for higher zoning in a related tract that they own by the area.**
  • 10. New Business and Other Announcements

      1. April 23rd "It’s My Park Day"
      2. Elloa made a report on various Blunn Creek park and watershed projects from Ben White to Riverside.
      3. Eastside Planning process is tomorrow night at AMD
      4. Meeting tomorrow at Capitol Showroom re new Westside development next to Guerro’s

    **As summarized by Elloa: Elloa Mathews gave a report on the activities in the Blunn Creek Watershed from the headwaters near Ben White to Little Stacy Park.

    Matt Hollon, the engineer hired by SRCC last year to advice the association on flooding in Sherwood Oaks and larger issues in the Blunn Creek watershed, has been hired by the City of Austin. Matt will be working in watershed protection and Lauren Ross, the owner of Glenrose Engineering will continue advising SRCC on watershed matters.

    Elloa reported that Jim Bennett, representing the Jung family, had agreed to Elloa's request on behalf of SRCC for the Jung family to donate their property on Alpine Rd. so that this property, through which Blunn Creek runs, will never be developed and will be the beginning of the Blunn Creek greenbelt in the area south of Woodward. For the property to be developed, there would be a City required 25 foot setback on each side of the creek, which runs through the middle of the property, located at the dead end of Alpine Road, east of the VFW Hall. This setback would make the property, currently zoned SF-3, very hard to develop. The Jung family also own the Twin Oaks Shopping center and other property in our neighborhood.

    Other issues under consideration to protect the Blunn Creek Watershed:

    * Removal of the asphalt "turn-around" area behind the gravel playground at Travis Heights Elementary (THE).

    * Replacement of part of the asphalt with a pervious pavement material (e.g., pervious concrete) for a bus to be able to drive through (the school requests this in case they ever grow enough so that they are using buses again and need a drive through area).

    * Construction of bio-filtration or infiltration system between the pervious pavement and the creek (north end of school) which treats approximately 4.7 acres of neighborhood drainage. There is a possibility that an additional 11 acres could be diverted to this pond. We will be investigating that further.

    * Grading and landscaping to control run-off from the gravel playground at the north end of the school.

    * Removal of the closed off asphalt road on Sunset Lane at Little Stacy Park and replacement with a gravel trail.

    * 3 areas of streambank stabilization.

    *Upper Blunn Creek/ AISD Structural Retrofit: Preliminary study to begin soon about the feasibility of retrofitting a wet pond or equivalent in the headwaters area with erosion control and/or baseflow enhancement features. Would treat ~80-plus acres of highly impervious runoff from Ben White freeway and south of Ben White.

    St. Edwards University Low Impact Development Discussions

    Matt Hollon, Jean Mather and Elloa Mathews met with St. Edwards staff on Feb. 23 to talk about SEU Master Planning.Hollon and SRCC reps stressed the need for integration of Low Impact Development components into all future project designs (disconnected impervious cover, localized detention and retention, vegetated water quality controls, reduction of IC [structured parking instead of surface], etc.). SEU reps noted that it would be developing modifications to the Master Plan in September with drafts to be available prior to this time.