Minutes October 5, 2010

2010.10.05 Meeting Minutes

1. August 12 minutes approved

2. New voting members

3. Member interest area reports
– Work with city staff to identify businesses not conforming to zoning requirements Robert Atkinson has not had any further communication with city staff on this, so he will follow up to get the list of the ones they know about. Marzella Zumalt will talk to auto-related businesses on Ferguson to understand where they are not conforming and their needs as far as being permitted. Mona Noll has info on the businesses that don’t have a certificate of occupancy or a permit for their site plan, which she will give to Marzella.

– Street lighting
Mona Noll reported that Lisa Garner has requested from Austin Energy cleaning, bulb replacement, or ballast replacement for all streetlights where improvement is needed.

– Brownie Park and 10000/100 block capacity building
Lisa Hinely reported that the playground is being regularly maintained by Parks and Rec, and is beginning to be used by neighborhood children and adults. Solid Waste Services coordinated an effort with residents, Watershed Protection, and Texas Disposal Services (TDS) to change the dumpster placements along the street so that the sidewalk is not blocked. Regular patrols are assuring that graffiti is reporting to police and to the city for cleanup. Lisa will work with Parks and Rec for a small cleanup project to remove invasive plants and bulky trash items.

– North Austin Coalition of Neighborhoods (NACN) report
Mona Noll reported that NACN will go to quarterly meetings. They are promoting the development of Neighborhood Watches, with materials available in english and spanish, and training through CLASP (Citizen Led Austin Safety Forum). They have also been supporting APD’s installation of security monitoring cameras around the I-35/Rundberg intersection, with visibility to North Creek and Middle Ln, and development of infrastructure for monitoring the cameras. APD is anticipating a federal grant to fund this effort. NACN is also working on implementing a panhandling ordinance at intersections along I-35. Later in October, NACN will lead a discussion of the proposed homeless RV Park on city land near Braker and Burnet.

– Community garden and native plant public land plantings
Lisa Hinely reported that fall plantings are in at the E. Lola community garden. Wildflower seed ball planting will be the last Saturday of October, along remaining stretches of Powell and Wonsley. At Mona’s suggestion, she will investigate including parts of the fields at the intersection of Middle Fiskville and I-35. TreeFolks eliminated resources for our planned effort to partner with absentee landlords to plant and maintain street trees. However, we will be eligible for the similar Austin Community Trees program next fall.

4. Yard Parking
Lyn Galbreth reported that the city’s legal department is still pondering how the yard parking ordinance would apply at properties, which have non-comforming, but possibly legal, driveways and parking areas. (For example, a home which has a gravel driveway that was in use before the property was annexed into the city.) She will work directly with legal to get clarification by the January meeting. Mona Noll reports that while Mockingbird Hill has had the ordinance for five years, it has rarely been enforced.

5. Priorities for FY 2012 City of Austin budget – sidewalks and ramps
Lisa Hinely has been researching and making 311 requests for individual items related to pedestrian safety included in Georgian Acres’ priorities. She also spent a couple of hours with a city engineer looking at sidewalk and ADA issues around Barrington Elementary (safe routes to school) and along Powell and Wonsley (safe public transportation access for people in the apartments along I-35). The curb cuts at Cooper and Slayton and some other ADA-related items are on the city’s project list, and should be completed when the city is working on those sorts of projects in our area. The segment of Powell from Georgian to Lamar would require significant water drainage infrastructure before sidewalks can be constructed, including storm drainage for the section nearest Georgian, and reworking of the erosion under the street at the S-curve nearer Lamar. The magnitude of this work makes it very unlikely a sidewalk project would be approved. The similar requirement for drainage work exists on Powell and Wonsley between Georgian and the interstate, but existing issues are less severe. Lisa will communicate with Austin Water and with property owners along those streets to develop alternatives.

5. Tornado Bus Company
The company has applied for a development permit to operate the property at the corner of Wonsley and I-35 as a bus terminal. This property is currently operating under a temporary permit as a flea market, with food vending and bus service. Members present at the meeting welcoming the idea of convenient interstate transportation for residents and noted that this use is consistent with our future land use plan. However, there are health and safety concerns, including food trailers adjacent to diesel buses, parking, security in such a high street crime area, whether vehicle maintenance will take place, etc. Robert Atkinson will contact the development reviewer for the city to understand the process and to determine how the contact team should most effectively make our concerns heard. He will report via email, since this item probably will require action sooner than our next meeting in January.

6. Organizational Development
– Robert Atkinson will investigate the many communications from the City that are going to neighborhood association contacts, but not to the neighborhood plan contact team.

– Mona Noll will draft proposed amendments to the contact team by-laws, to clarify that the team can seek monetary as well as in-kind contributions to support its work, and to provide for a decision-making process outside of quarterly and called meetings.

7. Comprehensive Plan
This is the 30-year strategic plan for the entire city. All of the development models under consideration include significant impact on our area, due to expansion of transportation infrastructure. Individuals can provide input through the city’s website or by small meetings using the “meeting in a box” materials provided by the city.

8. Working together to make our neighborhood look like a place where people care
– Robert Atkinson has been contacted by UT to host their community service day next fall. He will get more information about the resources they provide, what we would contribute, and the success of their past projects.
– Felipe Trimiño says that Lanier students working to avoid truancy court could also be a service resource
– City staff have urged the neighborhood to apply for funding from Austin Parks Foundation and from the Neighborhood Partner program.
– Gethsemane is interested in developing one of their lots as a park, with amenities for nearby apartment residents. They already partner with the Humane Society, as well as allowing neighbor children to use their playground and sports field. Lisa Hinely will talk further with them.

Documents distributed
October 10 Agenda
August 12 minutes
North Austin Wastewater Overflow Abatement Project map, overview, and contact information

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About nlct

The North Lamar/Georgian Acres neighborhood is a diverse and connected mixed-use area bounded by 183, North Lamar, Braker, and I-35. The "North Lamar/Georgian Acres contact team" (NLCT) works to achieve our vision of a safe healthy neighborhood for residents, property owners, and businesses.
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