South River City Citizens (SRCC): minutes for meeting of general membership, October 3, 2011 return to SRCC home page

7:15 PM
205 East Monroe; Austin, Texas


SRCC General Membership Meeting Minutes Ė 10/3/2011

1. 7:15 Meeting procedures, etiquette, welcome newcomers
Presenter: Marc Davis, Vice President, unless otherwise noted below
2. 7:20 Membership & voting announcements
Presenter: Carol Martin, Membership Chair
3. 7:25 Approve meeting minutes from September 5, 2011
MOTION: To approve, by Jean Mather, seconded by Russell Fraser, passed with one abstention.

4. 7:30 Herbicide spraying along Blunn Creek -- latest news concerning filing an official complaint.
Presenters: Sarah Campbell and Jeff Kessel, members.
Jeff Kessel gave a brief history of SRCC's interactions with PARD (the City's Parks and Recreation Department) since residents started noticing and reporting herbicide spraying in the park by a lone individual last summer. A group of neighbors formed an informal task force to deal with the issue, as there were numerous upset (and a few outraged) residents. The task force met formally with PARD twice; the SRCC task force submitted a list of questions, concerns and issues they wanted addressed by PARD. Later, PARD shared with SRCC a draft internal memo to the Director explaining how the spraying incident came about, reporting on after-the-fact findings in the field, and addressing some of SRCC's concerns. PARD did not solicit and SRCC did not provide feedback on the draft, although the task force found it lacking and unsatisfactory. PARD finalized the memo in early September. The task force sent a consensus reply expressing disappointment and requesting a meeting with the City Manager's Office. The reply was copied to Council Members, their aides, the Directors of PARD and Watershed Protection Department, and Parks Board and Environmental Board Members. The Parks Director wrote an angry reply. Council Member Tovo's office notified Jeff that it was setting up a meeting. The task force wants assurance that the sprayer (Daniel White) will never be allowed to work in City parks again, and wants to know how PARD will proceed. Jeff will pursue a meeting with the City Manger's office.
No action was taken.

5. 7.40 Imagine Austin - Comprehensive Plan Discussion
Presenter: Jeff Jack, member and past President of SRCC
Correct Jeff's affiliations to read as "past President of Zilker Neighborhood Association and the Austin Neighborhoods Council".
Jeff Jack gave a very brief overview of the Imagine Austin comprehensive planning process that has been going on for the past two years by the City. He thinks 4 or 5 growth scenarios were decided beforehand, and that all the input of residents over the two years was made to fit into them. On September 26th, the City presented its draft Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan (with a "Preferred Growth Scenario" map) for public review and comment. Neighborhood activists have not been satisfied with the process from the beginning. The Citizens Advisory Task Force appointed by Council to advise and guide the plan is severely divided over the draft plan.
One of the main sticking points is the projected densities required along major traffic arteries of 7500 people per 2 miles. Reaching such new densities along these corridors would require incursion into the neighborhoods that would totally violate the adopted neighborhood plans, although the City has said all along that these plans will be respected.
Two Resolutions will also go to Council this week, one from ANC and the other from Council Members Tovo and Morrison. The latter is Item #66 (or 61?) scheduled for a public hearing starting at 3pm, Thursday, October 6th. Both essentially make the same arguments and request that the comprehensive planning process go back to the Citizens Advisory Task Force for thorough evaluation.
MOTION: To support the Resolution of Council Members Tovo and Morrison, by Sarah Campbell, seconded by Mary Lovell, passed unanimously.
6. 8:00 St. Edward's Natural Science Facility 2 SP-2011-0204C
Presenters: Jean Mather, Chair of Zoning & Planning Committee
The facility is part of St Ed's master plan, with no surprises or changes. No action needed.
7. 8:05 City Code Amendment C20-2011-014 - Requirements relating to art production on residential property
Presenters: Jean Mather, Chair of Zoning & Planning Committee
Numerous artists in Austin make and sell art from their home studios, and several well-advertised and attended art/studio shows have become regular events. The City found a problem with these events in the Code, in response to impacted neighbors' complaints primarily about parking overloads during events. The result is a negotiated change to the Code that will allow a limited number of events per year with parking plans addressed beforehand. No action needed.
8. 8:10 Land Development Code Amendment for Flag Lots C2O-2011-011
Presenters: Jean Mather, Chair of Zoning & Planning Committee
The minimum width of a flag lot will be increased from 15 to 20 feet. A flag lot is often flag-shaped in that its connection to a street is by the "pole" of the flag lot and its street frontage is the width of the pole. Flag lots ensure that land does not become landlocked and inaccessible from a public right-of-way. We aren't really sure what the effects of the change will be. ¬ Jean will find out and report back.
No action.

9. 8:15 South Congress Advisory Group - latest update Presenters: Mary Lovell and Matt Lynaugh, members.¬ Mary Lovell reported on the last meeting of the Group wherein 25 ideas for helping to resolve the parking problems on S Congress were voted on and ranked. [See related article under Transportation for listing of the ideas]. Susan Helgren, whose family owns the west side block of S Congress that includes Wahoo's and who is a member of the Advisory Group, passed out her cards and offered to help personally to resolve issues between businesses and neighborhoods. One idea she mentioned is some nice signs placed at appropriate places that say something like "respect the neigborhood" or "you are now entering a neighborhood".
No action needed.
10. 8:20 Update from the Transportation and Public Safety Committee about the ongoing neighborhood watch and patrol program.
Presenter: Marc Davis, Chair Transportation and Public Safety Committee
Marc reported on progress of the Pilot Program in SRCC Areas 4A & B, Woodland to Oltorf, IH 35 to Blunn Creek. As of the last training held by residents, there are now 34 people trained for car patrols, although the newly trained are slow to sign up for actual patrols. We are getting lots of positive feedback from police. There were 2 arrests recently due to resident activism in calling police, and things¬ have been real quiet since. Year over year, crime is down 20% this year, although it may not seem like it. Pilot will go to January and then be analyzed for effectiveness to see if Committee recommends expanding to cover more of SRCC area.
11. 8:25 Update from the Finance Committee about their efforts to prepare a financial forecast for 2012
Presenter: Sam Martin, Chair Finance Committee
Sam reported that he has put together a great Committee team including beside himself, Treasurer Les Case and Will Andrews, all of whom have finance and/or accounting backgrounds. They are working on next year's financial forecast, and they recently got approval to purchase a one-year subscription to QuickBooks which will standardize our bookkeeping and ease transitions from Treasurer to Treasurer over the years.
11. 8:30 General Announcements - BeWellWalk on Sunday October 2, 2011 from 4PM to 7PM with a few lane closures.
12. Travis Heights Elementary update by Joellen Peters -- the school started dual language program last year on its own, however, last spring, TH became an official dual language school for present kinder through third graders. The goal is that as these kids progress, they will be bilingual for speaking and reading (but not writing) by the end of 5th grade.
Last year, the school offered an after school program in Korean which attracted the attention of the Korean Ambassador in Houston, and now the program is paid for by the Korean government.
TH is holding a raffle to raise funds. There are now $6000 worth of items donated for the raffle. Tickets are $5. Be on lookout for kids selling tickets!


return to SRCC home page