Upcoming Neighborhood Team meetings / Reuniones del equipo del vecindario

Third quarter regular meeting is not yet scheduled.

There are lots of smaller gatherings and project activities between quarterly meetings. Check out the calendar and the articles on our site for something that interests you, and join our email list.

Hay muchas reuniones de grupos pequeños y actividades en proyectos entre las reuniones trimestrales. Consulte el calendario y los artículos en nuestro sitio por algo que le interesa, y unirse a nuestra lista de correo electrónico.

As Austin’s most international district, the North Lamar/Georgian Acres neighborhood plan contact team believes that every resident is a valued member of our community, deserves to be treated fairly and with respect, and that when some of our residents live in fear of contact with public officials it makes all of us less safe, and has a negative impact on our community.

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Comida de verano para niños y jovenes / Summer meals for kids and teens 2018

Complete list / lista completa Eat right, find a site! / ¡Come Bien, Encuentra un Sitio!

watermelonVarias escuelas, parques y otros sitos en nuestra área ofrecen comidas saludables gratuitas durante el verano a cualquier persona de 18 años o menos a través de un programa del ministerio de agricultura de EEUU. Para obtener más información, llame al 211 o text FOODTX a 877-877. Eso es CUALQUIER persona de 18 años y menos – no importa de dónde eres, donde vives, donde (o si) vas a la escuela.

Several schools, parks, and other sites in our area offer free, healthy meals during the summer to anyone 18 and under through a US Department of Agriculture (USDA) program. For more information, call 211 or text FOODTX to 877-877. That’s ANYONE 18 and under – it doesn’t matter where you’re from, where you live, where (or if) you go to school.

Special Cap Metro deal June 8 – September 1 – Kindergarten through 12th grade students ride free on the bus and the train.

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May 22 primary runoff election

Voter turnout in our precincts:

Pct 139 (183 to the creek) 6.7% ( 6.0% Dem + 0.7% Rep)
Pct 164 (creek to Applegate) 3.4% ( 3.1% Dem + 0.3% Rep)
Pct 211 (Applegate to Braker) 8.1% ( 6.9% Dem + 1.2% Rep)

Complete election results.

Our next chance to vote will be the general election on November 6. Register to vote

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E Powell/E Wonsley housing

1. Housing tenure
The south part of Georgian Acres, between Powell and 183, is over 96% rental, almost all in apartment complexes.
(Since the 2010 census, our planning areas have added a few handfuls of 1-2-unit housing and ~130 units of multifamily at Lotus Village, and we’d anticipate the Austin Suites regularization of another ~220 units. That is, the balance going forward would be more weighted towards rental than in 2010.)

2. Housing stock
According to the real estate market research CodeNEXT consultants EcoNW produced, average number of bedrooms is around 1.3-1.4, with average square footage of a one-bedroom unit 625-675.

3. Children and schools
According to the census, almost 30% of the residents in this area are children.
AISD‘s current intention is that Webb Primary would be dissolved into TA Brown when their new building opens, which they plan to be January 2020.

4. Income
The median income for the census tract south of Powell is right at half of the median for the Austin MSA. That is, housing targeted to 60% MFI would be out of reach of most people here now, although not all, and not far out of reach.

5. Healthy food access is limited

6. Section 8 prices and availability (voucher- and project-based)

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DRAFT minutes May 12, 2018 regular quarterly meeting

May 12, 2018, 3-5pm at Little Walnut Creek Library

Officers: Lisa Hinely, Colin MacDougal
Voting Members: Karen Bissett, Rodney Thrailkill

Discussion of conflict of interest section in bylaws
– Our bylaws use exact wording from city-supplied template
– Definition of “substantial interest” is overly broad, such that it includes interests which clearly are not substantial. (Hypothetical: A lawn-mowing contract for someone working on a neighborhood plan amendment case.)
– Suggestion of a threshold dollar amount
– Consensus that per our bylaws, tenants at Austin Suites do not have a substantial interest that would disqualify them from participating in a vote related to that neighborhood plan amendment application, even if there is an agreement involving a cash payment to them.

Discussion of neighborhood plan amendment applications (Austin Suites, 8300 N IH35, and 600 E Powell/401 E Wonsley)
– Handout of neighborhood plan amendment goals, objectives, recommendations or text relevant to Austin Suites and E Powell Ln neighborhood plan amendments
– In concept, Austin Parks Foundation agrees they can accept a donation from these developers to be used for safe transportation to Georgian Acres Neighborhood Park. This might include local area traffic management on E Powell and E Wonsley, a median for pedestrian refuge, or other devices.

Discussion of response to Austin Suites neighborhood plan amendment application
– Discussion of whether recommendation in this case would set precedent for changes to neighborhood plan relating to residential uses on the interstate, stormwater and water quality goals, and tenant rights. Consensus that Austin Suites is a unique situation, because it is used as residential even though zoned and licensed as motel. Communication to Planning Commission and to Council must draw that distinction.
– Consensus that neighborhood team will conduct a special electronic meeting to vote whether to recommend approval of the neighborhood plan amendment application and other neighborhood plan changes needed for consistency with the Future Land Use Map change. All voting members will receive hand-delivered notice. Recommendation for vote will be: 1. tenant relocation package to be negotiated individually or collectively by tenants, no less than the initial offer from Artesia; 2. memo of understanding between Artesia and ECHO or comparable agency to provide case management for 20 units to be held affordable at 60% MFI; 3. contribution to transportation safety of $50K from Artesia; 4. neighborhood team support for applicant’s FLUM change to mixed use.
– Consensus that neighborhood team will formally recommend that the City gather information on the scope and develop a policy on tenant relocation from motels.
– Consensus that neighborhood team will formally recommend improving access to public transportation for residents of Austin Suites and other properties located on the interstate access road.

Discussion of response to E Powell Ln neighborhood plan amendment application
– Applicants, who do not own these properties, have not presented any reason that the neighborhood plan and Future Land Use Map need to be changed, other than it would be more profitable for them. Colin and Rodney will meet with applicants for further discussion of considerations that could make their project more consistent with the neighborhood plan, including particularly mixed use.
– [May 14 update: E Powell/E Wonsley housing]
– [June 17 update: Lyn research summary and position statement]

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Sudden Violent Death 2012-present

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DRAFT minutes called meeting / reunión llamada April 25, 2018 (Austin Suites rezoning)

Little Walnut Creek Library, April 25, 2018, 6:30pm

Voting Members: Lyn Galbreth, Lisa Garner, Monica Guzmán, Lisa Hinely, Colin MacDougal, Daniela Nuñez, Rodney Thrailkill
New Members: Austin Suites (Stephen Rye), Danita Houston, Jerold Kyser, Regis Reed, Larry Wash, Nathan Wheeler
Guests: Amy DeFrank, Maureen Meredith

This called meeting of the North Lamar/Georgian Acres neighborhood plan contact team was held in conjunction with a community meeting on the neighborhood plan amendment application for 8300 N IH35 (Austin Suites), facilitated by city staff. That meeting was arranged by city staff at a location outside of the North Lamar/Georgian Acres planning areas. No interpretation or childcare were provided. Residents of the motel were notified by a posting in the lobby.

Maureen showed the Future Land Use Map (FLUM) and described a neighborhood plan amendment process involving Planning Commission and City Council. Contact team member was allowed to point out that the neighborhood plan contact team existed, and would also make a recommendation, with meeting attendees eligible to vote. No information offered about the remainder of the neighborhood plan, and did not provide copies or web links.

Austin Suites’ agent Stephen Rye handed out generally the same information packet as to the neighborhood team at their February 10 meeting. He went through each of the offers in the owners’ March 29 email.

Motel resident Q: When will the remodeling take place?
Rye A: Four to six months from now, assuming approval. The permits will take 60-90 days.

Motel resident: I’m afraid of getting locked out.
Rye A: I give you my word you won’t be locked out.

Motel residents expressed concerns about economics of renting an apartment vs staying at a motel. There are late fees at an apartment, rather than informal arrangements they have now with the manager. Apartments require deposits and utility payments. Rye says that after the apartment conversion Austin Suites will not be all bills paid. Offer of $500 payment would be to everyone at the motel the day official notice of relocation is given, regardless of how long they’ve stayed.

Discussion of looking at residents’ history at the motel (eg payment, behaviour), rather than considering only an apartment rental application for acceptance and for deposits. Residents shared that they had lived there for many years.

Residents expressed concern that the only notice they got of this meeting was if they happened to see the paper posted in the lobby. Contact team member expressed strong concern that Rye had told her he would make sure they got the same notice as the city mailed. City staff person suggested motel residents didn’t need notice until the Planning Commission hearing was scheduled. Rye suggested second meeting at motel, with residents notified individually. Contact team and neighborhood association members asked that be a public meeting, to continue to assure that all stakeholders were getting the same information and having the same discussions with each other. [Update: Rye instead held this meeting privately on May 4.]

Remodeling will take place all at once. Pool will be repaired. Resident asked if elevators would be repaired. Interiors will be renovated. Exterior changes will be cosmetic.

Remodeled units will “probably” be targeted at 60% of median family income (MFI) for the austin-area. Rye thinks it would be a Class B property after the remodel. (Realtor definition: “Class B properties can be 10 to 25 years old. They are generally well maintained and have a middle class resident base of both white and blue-collar workers. Some are renters by choice, and others by necessity.”)

Austin Suites is prepared to sign a Memo of Understanding (MOU) with ECHO (Ending Community Homelessness Coalition) relating to reserving 20 units for households in HACA’s tenant-based rental assistance (TBRA) program.
Q: Will owners commit to accepting other vouchers (eg Housing Choice, Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing)?
Rye A: Don’t know. They might since they’re willing to accept these.
Q: Will ECHO be paid for their services to manage the program?
A: No, this program is funded through the city.

Other promises the applicant is making could be included in a private restrictive covenant. The city would not enforce if there were no city money involved. The neighborhood team does not have organizational capacity to bring a lawsuit if that were needed. Another group such as Austin Tenant Council or BASTA could do that. The private covenant could include the applicant putting up a bond to assure performance.

Discussion on timeline for the case was that Austin Suites would like to continue any needed conversations, but they have a small cash flow from the property since most (~150 out of ~220) of the units are empty. They do not expect that they would get to city council until after July. Planning department staff wasn’t sure when Planning Commission would resume hearing contested cases.

Maureen ended the meeting before remaining issues could be raised, or any discussion of tradeoffs in stakeholder/applicant desires. Rye did provide contact information and expressed willingness to hear any questions.

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