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