Agenda: May 8, 2017 Meeting

Windsor Park Neighborhood Plan Contact Team Meeting
Open to All Windsor Park Neighbors and the Public
Windsor Park Public Library,
May 8, 2017, 6:30-8:00 PM

  1. Call meeting to order;
  2. Approval of April meeting minutes
  3. Briefing from Mark DeLoach on his apartment project
  4. Briefing from Chair on AHA development and program
  5. CodeNEXT update
  6. Motion regarding attendance at April 25th meeting
  7. Ongoing discussion and potential action on ongoing bylaws revisions
  8. Possible election of new members
  9. Discussion and announcements
  10. Adjourn by 8PM

Notes from the Chair:

Item 2: See the draft minutes below.

Item 3: Mark DeLoach is a neighbor who owns an apartment complex on Wheless west of Berkman. I believe he is reopening the complex after a fire and will be hosting disabled veteran residents. He will come to talk to us about the project.

Item 4: I did a fair amount of research into the AHA development, specifically the state 811 program and best practices for affordable housing complexes. I’ll offer a brief update on what I’ve found out.

Item 5: CodeNEXT maps are out. Brian Graham will lead a discussion on what he’s learned. Those of you who were able to attend the meeting on the 25th already received some of his materials. We’ll likely focus on what we want to do as a contact team, and perhaps divvy up some tasks for better understanding what the proposals mean for Windsor Park.

Item 6: There was some confusion regarding the special April 25th meeting to review the CodeNEXT maps, and whether it was an official meeting. Just to clear up any ambiguity, I will be proposing that anyone who attended that meeting will have it counted towards their attendance for the purpose of maintaining an active membership, but that those who did not attend will not have it counted against their attendance.

Item 7: More rules discussion. This meeting I’d like to discuss our requirements for attendance. Secretary Rodney Ahart will discuss our current attendance records. I think we’re going to either start enforcing our attendance requirements or change them – we’ve been lax for a while and I don’t think that’s good for the body.

Item 8: Hopefully we’ll have more folks interested in joining the team!

Also a reminder that Brian Graham and I will be presenting information on CodeNEXT to the WPNA meeting on May 13th.

Respectfully submitted,
Conor Kenny, Chair

DRAFT April meeting minutes:

PRESENT: Brian Graham, Scooter Cheatham, Steve Speir, Margi Bienemann, David E. Golden, Nadia Kahn, Elaine Bohls-Graham, Margaret Dahl, Lane Hicks, Ami Davis, Arthur Turner and Rodney Ahart.

ABSENT: Conor Kenny, Kenny Gaston-Kilgore, Walter Olenick and Jamie X. Guerra

GUESTS: Rick Krivoniak, and Jeanette Swenson

After determining a quorum was present, Scooter Cheatham, vice chair of the WPNPCT, convened the meeting. Minutes from the 3-13-17 meeting were distributed and reviewed. Margi Bienemann moved to approve minutes as presented. Lane Hicks seconded.

Minutes approved.

Brian Graham briefed the team on the latest CodeNEXT happenings. The draft zoning categories have been released and the maps illustrating the changes are scheduled for release April 18. The contact team will be holding a special called meeting Tuesday, April 25, to review the maps. The group discussed options for reviewing the new code. Several members stated more information was needed to better understand what the zoning changes mean, particularly for Windsor Park. Concerns were raised about the potential impacts of up-zoning to the traditional residential nature of the neighborhood. Moreover, Mayor Adler’s Housing Initiative hopes to achieve 135,000 affordable housing units in the City of Austin over the next ten years.

Margaret Dahl discussed her recent conversation with the City of Austin Economic Development Department. She would like for the city to assist with recruiting more restaurants and cafes to our area, and support the two businesses, Odelay and Cenote, currently experiencing difficulties in opening their establishments.

Nadia Khan discussed a pending storage facility being built on the corner of 53rd Street and IH-35. She would like to see more neighborhood friendly development targeted for the east side of IH-35 along Cameron Road.

Scooter Cheatham polled the guests in attendance for interest in joining the contact team. There were no guests interested in serving at this time.

Elaine Bohls-Graham expressed concerns with the evacuation plans for the AHA! Property proposed for Gaston Place. Since a substantial number of the residents are differently-abled, removing the residents out of harm’s way in a timely matter in the event of a fire could be greatly compromised with the existing three story layout of the property.

Margi Bienemann made a motion to adjourn; the motion was seconded by Ami Davis.

Meeting adjourned.

Agenda: March 13, 2017 Meeting

Windsor Park Neighborhood Plan Contact Team Meeting
Open to All Windsor Park Neighbors and the Public
Windsor Park Public Library,
March 13, 2017, 6:30-8:00 PM

  1. Call meeting to order;
  2. Approval of February meeting minutes
  3. Discussion to gather input on future of 1800-1900 block of Briarcliff Blvd. including the Austin Affordable Housing Corporation property (1920 Gaston Place) being partially leased to Accessible Housing Austin
  4. Proposed subdivision and re-zoning of lot at 2501 Wheless.
  5. Ongoing discussion and potential action on ongoing bylaws revisions
  6. CodeNEXT update
  7. Possible election of new members
  8. Discussion and announcements
  9. Adjourn by 8PM

Background on items from the chair:

2. February minutes: Minutes will be distributed and available on as soon as they are available.

3. 1800-1900 block of Briarcliff Blvd: Accessible Housing Austin was not able to attend our March meeting. I have checked in with AHA’s executive director and they definitely heard a lot of the concerns that some neighbors have about the project. However, they expressed that they would appreciate more suggestions on the design, particularly the streetscape, including the landscaping, hardscaping, and street-facing portion of the building, so that they can incorporate and respond to that feedback in their revised site plan.

I think we can wait to have a discussion on whether or not the contact team wants to formally support or oppose their site plan revision until they have an actual proposed site plan drafted. In order to give AHA the opportunity to respond to neighborhood input, this will be a feedback session in which we will gather suggestions/concerns to share with AHA and the neighborhood at large.

Simultaneously, I have been working on the design for a Neighborhood Partnership Plan proposal with contact team member Margaret Dahl. The idea is to rejuvenate the entire streetscape of the north side of Briarcliff from the MBC station to the floral distributor at Wheless. Components might include:

  • Currently, the Wheless-Briarcliff intersection is extremely wide due to the angle of the intersection, making it very unsafe to cross for pedestrians, especially kids walking home from nearby Harris Elementary. We could pour a new curb to fill-in a triangle of the intersection and make it a true “T” intersection of standard size. The filled-in triangle could become a small pocket park.
  • The sidewalk by the MBC dumpster needs to be re-poured and the dumpster moved so the sidewalk is passable (I have discussed with the owners and they are supportive).
  • The four-way intersection at Wheless-Briarcliff-Westminster-Gaston (in front of the service station) is not ADA accessible (it has no wheelchair ramps) and the slip lanes allowing yield right turns are unsafe for pedestrians (the elementary school is on one corner) and in violation of current Austin design standards. The curbs could be cut for ramps and the slip lanes filled in to allow planting of a tree with a high canopy and some low landscaping (such as at the Berkman – 290 median). This would still allow a left-turn and straight/right-turn lane for each road as it enters the intersection.

I have discussed with AHA that they would be pouring a new sidewalk along the portion of the property they are leasing from the Austin Affordable Housing Corporation and that any site plan needs to address and improve the overgrowth from the high shrubs along the other portion of the property. AHA is interested in joining with Windsor Park on a Neighborhood Partnership Program, including integrating their site plan with the overall vision for the block and potentially providing part of the neighborhood match through landscaping and irrigation for a pocket park at Wheless and Briarcliff.

In summary, we will be collecting feedback for the block both for the NPP proposal and for AHA to try to address in their revised site plan.

4. Proposed subdivision and re-zoning of lot at 2501 Wheless: Isaiah Tibbs, a local small-scale developer, has approached the team to seek support for subdividing and re-zoning the lot at 2501 Wheless (map), which he has purchased. The lot is currently very large, contains one house, and is zoned Single Family-3 (current lot survey). Mr. Tibbs states that he believes he could obtain a subdivision into three SF-3 lots, which would allow him to build three duplexes. However, he wishes instead for the contact team to support a subdivision into six smaller lots to be zoned as cottage lots with six smaller homes (proposed subdivision). He states that the homes would be similar to one he just built on 52nd st. (rendering one and two). It is my hope that we can come to a decision in just one meeting on this one – it’s a pretty simple proposal. Mr. Tibbs will be in attendance at the meeting.

5. Ongoing bylaws discussion: I will pass out an updated summary of the bylaws that we agreed to change at the January meeting and the remaining decision points. We can discuss and hopefully take final votes in April.

6. CodeNEXT: Draft zoning categories have been released and the maps showing us which are proposed to be applied to each property will be coming out on April 18th. We’ll have a brief discussion on the process going forward.

Respectfully submitted,

Conor Kenny, Chair

Agenda: February 13, 2017 Meeting


Windsor Park Neighborhood Plan Contact Team Meeting
Open to All Windsor Park Neighbors and the Public
Windsor Park Public Library,
February 13, 2017, 6:30-8:00 PM

  1. Call meeting to order;
  2. Approval of January meeting minutes (6:30)
  3. Discussion with representative from Accessible Housing Austin regarding development at 1920 Gaston Place. (6:35)
  4. Discussion with Rex Zgarba on group homes in Windsor Park (7:00)
  5. Discussion and potential action on ongoing bylaws revisions (7:20)
  6. CodeNEXT preview (7:50)
  7. Possible election of new members (7:55)
  8. Discussion and announcements (7:58)
  9. Adjourn by 8PM
(Times are approximate and are to guide discussion only.)


Background on items from the Chair:


2. Here are the DRAFT January minutes from Secretary Ahart. Members, please bring any suggested edits to the meeting.


3. We will have Accessible Housing Austin Executive Director Isabelle Headrick and others to talk about their project at Briarcliff and Wheless. I have talked with Ms. Headrick a few times and she is very interested in getting feedback on their design with the goal of making the project an asset to the neighborhood, so bring your ideas ready.


4. WP Neighbor Rex Zgarba, who is an attorney, is going to discuss with us some research he has done on the group homes in the neighborhood and whether they are operating businesses on residentially zoned properties in violation of city code.


5. Our ongoing revision of the contact team’s bylaws. Here is the document I passed out at our last meeting that compares each section of our current bylaws to the city’s template for reference.


6. CodeNEXT is coming. I don’t want to get into a substantive discussion at this meeting because while some of the zoning categories have been released, the maps have not, so we don’t know what actual changes may be coming to any given property. I do want to briefly walk through the process of the city’s adoption over the next year+. This is going to be one of our main areas of discussion in 2017.


7. New members are always welcome! Anyone who is attending their third meeting in the last five months is eligible to put their name in for election.


Respectfully submitted,
Conor Kenny
Chair, Windsor Park Neighborhood Plan Contact Team

Agenda: January 9, 2017 Meeting

Windsor Park Neighborhood Plan Contact Team Meeting
Windsor Park Public Library,
January 9, 2017, 6:30-8:00 PM

  1. Call meeting to order;
  2. Approval of November meeting minutes (6:30)
  3. Election of 2017 officers (6:35)
  4. Discussion and possible action on new site plan to add two multi-family apartment buildings to the development at 1920 Gaston Place. (6:45)
  5. Discussion and possible action on request by owner to re-plat the properties at 6100 Friendswood Drive. (7:05)
  6. Ongoing discussion and possible action on contact team bylaws (7:15)
  7. Possible election of new members (7:50)
  8. Discussion and announcements (7:55)
  9. Adjourn by 8PM
(Times are approximate and are to guide discussion only.)


Background on items from the chair:


3) Election of officers for 2017 – As a reminder, the only nominees are Conor Kenny (re-elect as chair), Scooter Cheatham (re-elect as vice chair), and Rodney Ahart (elect as secretary). I’d need to consult my Robert’s Rules of Order but it may be possible to suspend the rules and make further nominations if someone desires to run and the team so desires.


4) 1920 Gaston Place – The development has been filed by Accessible Housing Austin. It is participating in the city’s SMART affordable housing program. 100% of units will serve people with 50% of median family income (50% of $77,800 for a family of 4 is $38,900). They are requesting a site plan amendment to change the existing approved 20 units to 27 units in two three-story buildings. I will see if I can get someone from Accessible Housing Austin to come to the meeting. The site plan does not require input from the contact team, but we could avail ourselves of the option to speak up on it. At least one neighbor has expressed some concerns to me, so let’s discuss. More information is here:
UPDATE: More info on the development here: 


5) 6100 Friendswood – This is a re-plat, presumably for development purposes, of several tracts that stretch behind Bertha Sadler Means middle school up to Wheless Ln. The owner is seeking a plat into a 24-lot subdivision. We have discussed this case at prior meetings but it appears that the owner is once again moving forward. Elaine Bohls-Graham has been following this case and may have more information for us. Elaine has been in contact with the city, but we have not officially weighed in as the contact team. But we could decide to do so. Because we have gone over this project extensively at prior meetings, we’ll try to limit the discussion to next steps and only 10 minutes. The city’s file on the project is here:


6) Bylaws – The discussion on our bylaws and potential revisions continues.


7) As a reminder, our current bylaws allow someone to be nominated or self-nominate at their third meeting, as long as it is the third meeting in the prior five regular meetings


Preview for next meeting (bumped due to a packed schedule):
Group homes – Windsor Park residents have been dealing with the group home issue for some time. In this case we are specifically referring to group homes in which individuals are under some sort of assistance or care due to disability or substance abuse issues (not criminal justice issues). I was surprised to find that this issue was addressed back in 2006 as part of our neighborhood plan, but may need more attention. WP resident Rex Zgarba lives near some of these homes and is also an attorney and will hopefully be able to attend and share some of his experience and legal research, which I understand may indicate a lack of compliance with state or local statute or regulations by some of the homes. I honestly am not sure what the course of action will be, so I imagine we will spend our time coming back up to speed and gather information for further discussion.


Respectfully submitted,


Conor Kenny
Chair, Windsor Park Neighborhood Plan Contact Team