W.A.N.G. Newsletter January * 2018
PO Box 5722, Austin, TX 78763-5722 * HAPPY NEW YEAR ! *
Code Next and Tarrytown's proposed R3C Zoning.....& How will it change my Neighborhood?
No, it’s not the latest strain of flu virus going around Austin. R3C is a CodeNext residential zoning category which would replace much of the SF-3-NP (single family) zoned property throughout West Austin Neighborhoods. If you live in Tarrytown, Deep Eddy, Westfield or Brykerwoods, your property will likely be zoned R3C if CodeNext is adopted by the Austin City Council.
So what’s the difference between SF-3-NP (current zoning) and R3C (proposed CodeNext zoning?)
Number of Homes per Lot:
- SF-3-NP zoning allows either one single family house and an ADU (additional dwelling unit) or one duplex to be built on a single lot.
- R3C zoning would allow a minimum of three residential units per lot. That’s what the ‘3’ in this zoning category stands for. Three houses, three cottages, or three-plexes would be allowed on a single lot depending on lot size. A cottage court could have 6+ units per lot.
Minimum Lot Size:
- SF-3-NP zoned lots must be a minimum of 5750 SF and 50’ Wx115’L for a single family home and a minimum of 7000 SF and 50’ W for a duplex residential use.
- R3C zoned lots only have to be 5000 SF and 40’ wide for a house, cottage or duplex residence use and can be as small as 2500 SF and 25’ wide.
Design and Compatibility:
Homes built on SF-3-NP (NP stands for Neighborhood Plan) zoned property in the WANG area must comply with Chapter 25-2, Subchapter F of the current Land Development Code. The intent of this Subchapter is “to minimize the impact of new construction, remodeling, and additions to existing buildings on surrounding properties in residential neighborhoods by defining an acceptable buildable area for each lot within which new development may occur. The standards are designed to protect the character of Austin's older neighborhoods by ensuring that new construction and additions are compatible in scale and bulk with existing neighborhoods.” The Central West Austin Neighborhood Plan is taken into account in Subchapter F.
CodeNext’s R3C zoning does not protect the character of Austin’s older neighborhoods and conflicts with the Central West Austin Neighborhood Plan.
Allowing more structures to be built on smaller sized lots (up to 60 units per acre) will greatly increase potential re-subdivisions and development. R3C zoning would encourage demolition, causing removal of trees, green space, and increasing flooding. Neighborhood Plans are not mentioned in CodeNext Draft 2.
CodeNext Draft 2 states that “The code revisions offer more diverse
housing choices and building types, along with a citywide framework for affordable
housing.” It claims to “Create Affordability Incentives.” None of the R3 zoned categories
are part of the Affordable Housing Bonus Program, yet they allow more units per
property to be built. Removing an existing home and replacing it with 3 that cost more
will drive up property taxes. Demolition of older homes and duplexes will DECREASE
affordability in West Austin Neighborhoods.
What can we do?
- Read the Code! Click here Draft 2 Chapter 23-4D-2 (page 561) describes R3C Zoning
- Sign the Petition for an Austin Ordinance Requiring Both a Waiting Period and Voter Approval Before CodeNext or Comprehensive Land Development Revisions Become Effective: LINK here
- Visit www.communitynotcommodity.com for more information about CodeNext and how it will impact neighborhoods.
- Write to the Mayor and City Council, as no public comments can be made on the upcoming Draft 3 of CodeNext
- Write Comments about the proposed CodeNext zoning https://codenext.engagingplans.org/codenext-comparison-map
CodeNext is the new building code that Austin is in the process of re-writing. City officials are hoping to approve a final version of this code later this year. The draft code version has been released twice and the third draft is due to be released in February. The new code is an attempt to update the current 1980's regulations and promote diverse housing throughout the entire City. Affordability, density and traffic are issues that have been being debated and questioned.
Here are some Links to find out more information on the new CodeNext......
Frequently Asked Questions about CodeNext
Link to FAQ
Link to current draft of CodeNext: Code Draft 2
Local Architects "tested" the new CodeNext......Download the AIA Austin CodeNext Charrette Report from the American Institute of Architects: Click Here
Community, Not Commodity, CNC (click here Link) …is affiliated with Save Our City Austin, (“SOCA”), a local non-profit. For a list of the board of directors of SOCA, go here. CNC is a diverse group of grassroots community leaders from across Austin who want the new CodeNEXT to reflect the wishes of your communities and not the latest planning theories of city staff or the financial interests of developers. CNC wants a Code that protects our environment, safeguards our watersheds, and maintains and adds open space and parkland for all our communities. CNC is committed to providing you user-friendly information and effective ways to become engaged so your community and you can: Protect the character of your neighborhood and community,
- Keep Austin affordable and protect your interests and pocketbooks, and
- Maintain effective zoning rules that give you the opportunity to participate in planning decisions that affect your neighborhoods and homes.
Proposed Impervious Cover, Building Cover, Setbacks, & Height limits...
Our February Neighborhood Meeting....
Tuesday, Feb. 6th, 6:30-8:30pm
2500 Exposition Boulevard
Link to our past Annual Newsletter (October 2017)
RSVP to let us know you are planning to attend and receive an agenda as it becomes available (usually the day of the meeting)....
RSVPs are enabled for this event.
WANG Board of Directors & Committee Members
Organized 1973......"To preserve our neighborhood and protect it from deterioration"
Board of Directors
- President: Cathy Kyle President@westaustinng.com
- Secretary: Gunnar Sequist Secretary@westaustinng.com
- Assistant Secretary: Blake Tollett AsstSecretary@westaustinng.com
- Treasurer: George Edwards Treasurer@westaustinng.com
- Past President: August "Happy" Harris III PastPresident@westaustinng.com
- Elizabeth Adams ........................................... Elizabeth@westaustinng.com
- Mary Arnold ................................................. Mary@westaustinng.com
- Joyce Basciano ............................................... Joyce@westaustinng.com
- Joseph M Bennett .......................................... Joe@westaustinng.com
- Michael Cannatti ............................................ Mike@westaustinng.com
- George Edwards ............................................. George@westaustinng.com
- Haidar Khazen ................................................. Haidar@westaustinng.com
- Craig Lill ........................................................... Craig@westaustinng.com
- Holly Reed ....................................................... Holly@westaustinng.com
Honorary Committee Members
- Honorary Mayor Steve Adler
- Honorary Alison Alter
- Honorary Kathie Tovo
WANG January Meeting Minutes
JANUARY 2018 Minutes Summary
BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING MINUTES
Tuesday, January 2, 2018, Howson Library.
Call to Order: 6:33 PM by Board Member Blake Tollett sitting in for President Cathy Kyle.
Board members in attendance:
Absent Board members:
Neighbors in attendance:
Kristina and Evan Baehr
Approval of Minutes: George Edwards made a motion to approve the December 5, 2017 Meeting Minutes. The motion was seconded by Holly Reed, and approved unanimously.
Neighbor Communications: Kristina and Evan Baehr presented the Board with information regarding a variance request they will be submitting in order to construct a 37 SF elevated walkway between the second floor of their home at 2605 W 8th St. and a second floor studio over their detached garage. This walkway would allow them to use the studio as an additional bedroom for their growing family by connecting it to the house. The house is currently at 39.99% FAR. The 37 SF walkway would put the FAR just over 40%. Blake Tollett advised that the Baehrs contact their neighbors and ask them to send letters to the Board of Adjustment, stating they are not opposed to the variance. Blake also proposed that the variance (once submitted) be conditional on the Baehr’s agreeing never to make the garage habitable.
A. Butler Shores Park: The Board had a discussion of the possible use of Butler Shores Park for construction of a Major League Soccer Stadium. The proposed 20,000 seat stadium built by Precourt Sports Ventures would have no parking. A petition has been circulating in the WANG and Zilker Neighborhood Association areas, asking for a city wide vote on whether to allow this stadium to be built on City Parkland. Mary Arnold suggested WANG send a letter to City Council in support of following the process outlined in the Austin City Charter regarding use of parkland, as well as asking for an Environmental Study to determine the impact this stadium would have on the Town Lake Waterfront Overlay, the Hike and Bike Trail, numerous large heritage trees, and Barton Creek. Council will meet in February to discuss the location for the soccer stadium.
B. CodeNext: The Petition asking the Austin City Council for a citizen vote to approve CodeNext is gaining signatures. 20K signatures are needed. Volunteers will be collecting signatures on January 6th from 11-5 at the Roberta Crenshaw PedestrianBridge.
WANG will be writing to City Council with comments on Draft 2, to suggest
appropriate zoning for current single and multi family homes in the WANG area, as
well as properties zoned neighborhood office, commercial and mixed use, based on
the Central West Austin Neighborhood Plan.
Joyce reminded the Board that CodeNext Draft 3 will be released on February 12th
Neighbors Jenna and Randy McEachern will be hosting a Community Not
Commodity event at their home on January 25th at 5:30 PM.
Newsletter: The Board reported receiving the newsletter on Jan. 2. Content for the next newsletter is due on January 11.
ANC Liason Report: Joyce reported that the Austin Neighborhoods Council will have it’s first General Meeting of 2018 on January 24th at 721 Barton Springs Rd starting at 6:30PM. The new President of the ANC is Jeff Jack.
Treasurer’s Report: George reported:
$9,938.96 in the Business Account,
$ 519.36 in the Tarrytown 4th of July Parade Account
$1,206.74 in the Oak Wilt Account
Total of $11,665.06.
A. Mike Cannatti mentioned several issues regarding the City Bond Election:
1.Writing to the Bond Election Advisory Committee, asking for a category which
would provide funding to support the preservation of Lions Municipal Golf Course.
2. Hotel Occupancy Tax: On Dec. 14th, City Council tasked UT with a study of
proposed expansion of the Convention Center. A draft is due in October 2018.
Adjourned: 7:45 PM
Please mail application and check to: West Austin Neighborhood Group PO Box 5722 Austin, TX 78763-5722 Annual Memberships (Nov 1-Oct 31) $50-Friend Level; $100-Patron Level; $30-Family Level; $15-Senior Level; $250-Benefactor Level
Letters to the Board.....
Hello, Board members, and thanks for your service.
I am a Tarrytown resident and regular rider of the the Exposition/Chicon routes that are slated for discontinuance. Yesterday, while riding the bus, I had thoughts I havn't shared before and havn't seen in other comments.
I am a retired healthcare attorney, relatively affluent among bus riders, I imagine. (I was slightly acquainted with Ms. Kitchen back when she worked for Gov. Richards and I represented nursing homes ---hello, Ann.) Of course, I want the bus. I rely on it to get to a monthly doctor's appointment I am unable to drive home from. I used it yesterday to attend the installation of Dr. Margaret Aymer as a full professor at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary (the first woman of color ever to achieve that rank).
If the Bus Route 21/22 is cancelled, there will be no bus stop within a mile of my home. (The map makes it look like there is one about 0.6 miles away, on Enfield, but the map is misleading. There's no safe way to walk to it.) I will go less often to campus events. I will take a ride service to the doctor. I don't know what will become of people like the Honduran immigrant who attended Tarrytown United Methodist Church and used it to see her family in another neighborhood after church on Sundays. She worked as a live-in domestic in Tarrytown and had no other means of transportation. I don't know what will become of my 92 year old neighbor who takes the bus to the doctor and to Central Market. My granddaughter and her friend rode that bus home from Austin Ballet Theater after their dance lessons on weekday afternoons until they went on to other activities and sports. I don't know how kids like them will get around without the bus. I get the sense you all have made a decision not to provide transportation to our neighborhood in favor of more distant suburbs. I think that's wrong. I think people in central neighborhoods should be able to get downtown without using a car.
Not about transportation specifically is the erosion of our democratic ideals and sense of common purpose, as the relatively affluent are more and more excluded from community life by choice or by political decision that they that don't need public services. I looked at all my fellow passengers yesterday, mostly young, many of different ethnicities. We chatted about Dr. Aymer, and an African American man told us about the barriers his grandmother had broken in Mississippi during WW II. The young people listened. We share common conditions at the bus stop and on the bus. We greet each other. We humanize each other. In this time of so much division, I think that's valuable.
And I need my bus.
Thank you SO MUCH for your letter!
The WANG Board heard from other residents who were regular users of the 21 and 22 routes, and the board certainly let the Cap Metro folks know of our support for keeping the routes...
As the CodeNEXT draft proposes adding more and more dwelling units to the WANG area to promote less use of cars, Cap Metro is taking away public transportation.... Thus the prospect, should such a CodeNEXT be adopted, is streets filled with parked cars on each side, since parking more than one car on a lot is discouraged to accommodate more dwelling units. And no bus service.....
The very human benefits of keeping routes 21 and 22 are beautifully described in your e-mail - and a very important reminder indeed to us all....
Again, thank you...
Sincerely, Mary A.
NEIGHBORHOOD REAL ESTATE STATISTICS 01/05/18
City Council to Consider Special Events Ordinance
What's Happening in February.....
The proposed Special Events Ordinance is expected to go before City Council for consideration on third reading on February 1st.
- To read an outline of staff recommendations for the ordinance click here or paste this URL into your web browser austintexas.gov/sites/default/files/files/Outline_of_Draft_Special_Events_Ordinance_01082018.pdf
- To read the full draft ordinance click here: or paste this URL into your web browser austintexas.gov//sites/default/files/files/01082018_draft_special_events_ordinance.pdf
We Need Your Input
You can comment on the draft Special Events Ordinance prior to third reading. We have two options to make it easier for you to share your opinion:
Due to anticipated inclement weather in Austin Tuesday (Jan. 16), the Special Events Ordinance Community meeting previously scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 16 is postponed until Thursday Jan. 18, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Austin Central Library Special Events Center, 710 W. Cesar Chavez Street.
Special Events Ordinance Community Meeting (postponed - see above)
January 16, 2018
6:30- 8:30 PM
Austin Central Library, Special Events Center
*parking validation provided
The community meeting will include small group conversations regarding key issues and concerns about how the ordinance will be implemented, next steps for the ordinance to pass, and an overview of the rules development process.
Special Events Ordinance Online Feedback
The site will be live January 9th to January 19th.
Special Events Ordinance commentary
Please be aware that the proposed Special Events Ordinance eliminates property owners and neighborhood associations’ rights to object to street closures associated with events. City staff would make final decisions regarding any concerns about proposed street closures and these decisions could not be appealed to the City Council.
Under current City code, if a neighborhood association objects to a proposed street closure, a supermajority vote by the Council is required to approve the street closure. The supermajority vote requirement has been very effective at motivating event producers to address neighborhood concerns about street closures. As a result, a supermajority vote has rarely been required because event producers usually work closely with neighborhoods to minimize or mitigate negative impacts of street closures.
Removing the right to object and supermajority vote requirement will embolden some event producers to minimize or ignore neighborhoods’ concerns about street closures.
Please let your council member know if you have concerns about the Special Events Ordinance. Please attend the community meeting at 6:30 pm on January 18, 2017, and provide your input on the Special Events Ordinance. Please see the information announcement below for more details.
Please help spread the word to other neighborhoods!
Austin Code Department Updates
New Year News & Updates
Welcome to the New Year! Change and development is in the air and we here at the Code Department are rolling out a new policy. Below you will find information regarding this exciting new development.
Introducing:The International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC)
This past October, Austin City Council approved local amendments to the 2015 International Property Maintenance Code. The International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC) is a model code that regulates the minimum maintenance requirements for existing residential and commercial buildings. The IPMC is intended to establish minimum maintenance standards for basics such as structural conditions, lighting, ventilation and sanitation. For more information on the policy and its impact, please see the link below.
IPMC Local Enforcement: Insect Screen Presentation
We want to know what you think!
Code will be hosting several Live Q&A sessions through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. These live sessions will take place January 19, 10am-11:30am and February 22, 10am-11:30am and we encourage you to partake! Additionally, Code would welcome the chance to engage with community members and answer questions. To take an informational survey or to request a meeting, please see the links below.
English IPMC Survey
Crane Flies are surrounded by misinformation and misnomers. Some think that adult crane flies eat mosquitoes, but this is untrue. Adult crane flies feed on nectar or are non-feeding. Also, crane flies are sometimes referred to as “mosquito hawks” which is a misnomer. The name mosquito hawk is most often used to refer to dragonflies, but sometimes is also used to refer to a large species of mosquito with a larval stage which feeds on other mosquito species.
Crane flies can be small to large insects- topping out at about 1 inch, with long, slender legs, and a V-shaped suture on the thorax (body section behind the head). Legs tend to break off very easily, so you may often encounter these insects with less than their allotted amount of 6 legs (see image). Adults can be mistaken for giant mosquitoes and may frighten people.
Crane fly larvae are found in moist soil feeding on decaying organic matter. The larvae are wormlike, legless, and without well-developed heads. Some species feed on roots of turfgrass or other plants, but usually do not cause enough damage to be considered a pest.
In Texas, crane flies become abundant in the spring. While adults may be a nuisance when entering homes or disturbing outdoor activities, they do not cause damage and do not bite. Keep doors and windows closed and make sure screens are in good repair. Either turn off outside lights at night or use “bug bulbs” to reduce the number of crane flies drawn near the home because of light sources.
For more information or help with identification, contact Wizzie Brown, Texas AgriLife Extension Service Program Specialist at 512.854.9600. Check out my blog at www.urban-ipm.blogspot.com
The information given herein is for educational purposes only. Reference to commercial products or trade names is made with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service or the Texas A&M AgriLife Research is implied.
The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service provides equal access in its programs, activities, education and employment, without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation or gender identity.
Wizzie Brown, BCE
1600-B Smith Road
Austin, TX 78721
Connect with me!
My Blogs: http://urban-ipm.blogspot.com/