RNA Meeting Minutes – 2015 September

Call to Order

President Dale Gray called the meeting to order at 6:55 p.m.

Welcome to Councilmember

Dale extended a welcome to Councilmember Sheri Gallo who was in attendance.

Swim 512 Initiative

Wayne Simmons, Austin Aquatics Manager, gave a brief explanation of the plan by the city to assess and then develop a use strategy for all of the City of Austin aquatic structures and services.

The three phases of this initiative are:
Phase I: Conduct an assessment of the existing aquatic structures, mechanics and infrastructure.
Phase II: Conduct a variety of community engagement activities to gather information and hear Austin residents’ opinions and suggestions related to the existing aquatic amenities
Phase III: Develop a city-wide aquatics masterplan.

Phase I is complete. Dr. Laura Cortez, of Cortez Consulting, and her staff have been hired to complete Phase II. Their strategy will include sponsoring community focus groups to solicit ideas about the pools, structures and aquatic programming. If you are interested in signing up for a Ramsey Park aquatics focus group, contact information can be found on the Aquatics Department website under Swim 512.

The Ramsey Park pool was built in 1941 and renovated in 1999. Structurally the pool is sound but the bathhouse and pool decking need major work that could only be accomplished with bond money. Councilmember Gallo was asked to help get the Ramsey pool renovations included in the next bond package. An extension of the hours as well as the addition of more shade and seating are also recurring requests made in relation to Ramsey pool.

Ramsey Park Updates

Alison Alter gave the following updates.

  • The Mother Earth Head Sculpture, part of Austin’s Art in Public Places, will be installed in Ramsey Park during the week of September 28th.
  • A tree planting event is scheduled for November 7th from 9:00 to 12:00. Thirty trees will be planted and mulch will be spread on the picnic table area. Many volunteers will be needed for this project.
  • Improvements coming soon to the park will be: new bleachers, more picnic tables, an adult fitness area and shade structures over the nature play area.

Alison encouraged widespread support for the Ramsey Park pool in the above mentioned Swim 512 Initiative.

Zoning

Chris Allen gave a brief update on the variance Request for 1403 W. 45th Street. This request that has been previously presented and discussed. The owner is trying to obtain variances to build a house on a substandard lot. Chris will be setting up a meeting with the property owner and interested nearby neighbors.

Chris gave an update on the variance requests previously presented by Jim and Diane Howard in regard to duplexes that they own at 4705 and 4707 Rosedale. The variances for allowing duplexes to be built on a substandard lot and for retaining their original building layout were granted. The variance for increased impervious cover was denied. The Howards will proceed with the renovations and will comply with current impervious cover limits.

Travis County Constable

Carlos Lopez, the Travis County Constable for Precinct 5 introduced himself and gave a brief description of his duties as constable. Among other duties, the Constable serves as the law enforcement arm of local courts. In fulfilling his duties, Constable Lopez said that his office will treat all residents with respect, professionalism and compassion.

BCRC Update – - The Grove at Shoal Creek PUD

Gina Allen, RNA’s BCRC representative, gave a report about the continuing work of the Bull Creek Road Coalition on The Grove PUD process.

Gina reported that the BCRC group is on the second set of reviews and that the PUD components are being evaluated by different Austin departments, including Transportation, Parks, Environmental, Zoning and Platting and will eventually be heard by the City Council.

Gina had prepared several visuals of existing nearby projects to give examples of scale and density as related to what is being planned at The Grove.

Many questions were asked and discussion followed concerning the traffic impacts and other effects of planned the traffic improvements, parkland dedication process, greenspace placement and changes to the square footage for the bar/cocktail zoning.

Brad Urrutia

Mr. Urrutia introduced himself as a candidate for judge of a new Travis County District Court.

Annual General Membership Meeting / Nominating Committee

As the last order of business, Dale announced the members of the nominating committee to propose the slate of officers and steering committee members for 2016. The members are Jeff Archer, immediate past president, Karen McLinden and Dianne Holley Mountain.

The meeting was adjourned.