March 2012 Meeting Minutes

Wooten Neighborhood Association
Minutes from the March 12, 2012 meeting

Vice President Carolyn Spock called the meeting to order at 7:03 pm. Steve Rogers made a motion to approve the minutes from the January meeting. Jim Bedrich seconded the motion, and the motion carried.

Treasurer Marilyn Rogers reported that we have a bank balance of $2890.98 with no bills outstanding. Our recent income is due to selling advertisements for the newsletter.

Vice President Spock thanked those who had helped with writing and delivering the January newsletter, including Betsy Thaggard, Marilyn Rogers, Sarah Gregory, and Joshua Merritt. Steve Rogers said that he thought the previous newsletter is one of the best ever and had some good information about the Neighborhood Watch.

Burton Anderson, the head of the Neighborhood Watch committee, reported on recent activities. The Neighborhood Watch Kick-Off meeting was on February 20. The meeting was well-attended with twenty eight people in attendance.

On Tuesday April 3rd at 7 pm there will be a training meeting for neighbors who would like to be Block Captains or Patrol volunteers. This meeting will be in the Redeemer Lutheran School cafeteria.

Also, Anderson has recently met with our district police representative, Chris Megliorino, as well as representatives from the Allandale Neighborhood Watch and Krimelabb.

Anderson discussed upcoming plans to purchase and install Neighborhood Watch signs. Steve Rogers suggested that Anderson and his committee create an ordered list of the top 20 locations for Neighborhood Watch signs. Then, if any property owners object to having a sign in their yard, their location would be skipped and the next person on the list would be considered. Because the funding for approximately 15 signs has already been approved by WNA, we do not need to wait until the next WNA meeting to purchase signs. President Merritt asked that Anderson and his committee create this ordered list and email their proposal to the listserv before purchasing. Anderson committed to finishing the map and proposal by the beginning of April. After the signs are ordered, we should expect to wait 6-7 weeks for installation.

Marilyn Rogers pointed out that Anderson has spent a lot of his own money to make copies for the kick-off meeting and for future trainings. LaVerne Stouffer made a motion to reimburse Anderson for up to $200 of the cost of copies and miscellaneous expenses related to neighborhood watch meetings and trainings. Melissa Winans seconded the motion, and the motion carried. Anderson will keep receipts in order to be reimbursed.

Anderson brought up his plan to purchase magnetic car signs for the neighborhood patrol. President Merritt proposed that we buy one sent of community signs. If members of the patrol chose to buy their own signs, we could offer to buy them back if they ever chose to leave the patrol.

Anderson talked about his plans to bolster communication about suspicious activity in the neighborhood. He likes the idea of phone trees and Facebook, but he is exploring the possibility of developing a texting network. He will keep us posted on that.

Marilyn Rogers mentioned that she really liked the information that was shared at the Neighborhood Watch Kick-Off on how to make your home safer for $1 by replacing the screws in the front door striker plate with 3 inch screws. This prevents door kick-ins. She said, “Wouldn’t be nice if WNA bought packages of 3 inch screws and local handymen volunteered their time to install them?” President Merritt suggested that she put this idea on the listserv to see if local handymen would be interested in volunteering for this.

Vice President Spock reported that there was a tree planting hosted by Sustainable Neighborhoods last Sunday. Treelings were planted at 8 bus stops in the Wooten and Allandale area. Tire-sized water boxes were installed to condense and collect water for the seedlings. The idea is that the seedlings will be “self-watered.” President Merritt mentioned that Sustainable Neighborhoods is a nonprofit organization that uses its resources to help our neighborhood as well as surrounding neighborhoods. He is involved in the organization and does not want to make a motion that WNA make a donation; however, he would support donating money to them. Also, he encourages WNA members to volunteer their time to help Sustainable Neighborhoods or to make individual donations.

Vice President Spock reported on upcoming community workshops hosted by the city. There will be a series on Bond Development. The announcement states: ‘This workshop will provide residents with the opportunity to learn about potential bond projects. “Spend the City’s Money” in a fun group exercise and interact one-on-one with City staff.’ It will be held at 6:30 on Tuesday March 20 at the First Evangelical Free Church. There will be additional workshops on March 21 at Gus Garcia Recreation Center, March 26 at the Dove Springs Recreation Center and on March 31 at Anderson High School.

Steve Rogers reported on the Wooten Neighborhood Plan Contact Team (WNPCT). They will be meeting next Monday at 7 pm at ShuShus. Steven Zettner of Sustainable Neighborhoods will be presenting his “white paper” which includes a statement of support for both the Burnet and Lamar Corridor improvement projects. He feels that it’s important not to pit Burnet Road improvements against those improvements being proposed on Lamar and that North Austinites will benefit from improvements to both Burnet and Lamar. He would like WNA to sign a resolution stating their support. His goal is to collect similar signed statements from neighborhood associations throughout North Austin. He will present these statements to city council. Steve encourages all neighbors to attend.

President Merritt made a motion to approve Sustainable Neighborhood’s “white sheet” which will show our support for improvements to the Burnet and Lamar corridors. Vice President Spock seconded the motion, and all members were in favor.

Kevin Luke wondered if a formal bond proposal had been developed for the Burnet Corridor improvements. President Merritt explained that there is a formal proposal, but the bond has not been approved yet. Also, there are no specific designs yet (as far as time frame and exact cost).

Steve Rogers reported that the WNPCT had met with Kevin Weir, the chair of the development committee in the North Shoal Creek Neighborhood Association. North Shoal Creek had held a special meeting to discuss the pending development on 8100 Burnet Road. They wanted special stipulations, including reserving a 300 square foot area, restrictions on lighting, and access to Ashdale. Their main concerns were traffic, especially during rush hours. WNPCT planned to support the North Shoal Creek proposal.

Last Tuesday the city Planning and Zoning Commission approved the MF6 zoning for 8100 Burnet Road. The agreement included additional overlays to limit the development to 300 units and to develop a maximum of 75 units/acre. Steve Rogers and others spoke against the MF6 zoning at the meeting; however, Steve was pleased that the developers agreed to North Shoal Creek’s stipulations. The developers agreed to contribute money towards traffic calming, an urban trail, and 20% of the cost of a light at Burnet and Teakwood, if the city agrees to install one there.

Vice President Spock said that this zoning change will be officially considered at an upcoming city council meeting on April 2nd. After the developers receive official approval, President Merritt expects the ground breaking to happen within the year.

Steve Rogers reported that according to WNPCT by-laws, the committee will need to elect a new chairman and secretary this fall. The Chair’s position has a term limit of 2 years. Anyone interested in these positions should speak with Steve Rogers or attend the upcoming WNPCT meeting (Monday, March 19 at 7 pm at ShuShu’s).

Vice President Spock reviewed some of the necessary conditions in order to get approval for traffic calming (speed bumps, etc.). President Merritt has submitted an application for Mullen/Teakwood. However, it has been rejected twice. The first time because he lives on Mullen and would not be authorized to include Teakwood in his request, and the second time because it was submitted via fax instead of mail. He has re-submitted it again for Mullen, and he will keep us posted on the progress. Spock reports that an application that includes private funding may expedite the process of getting approval for traffic calming. Usually, it is a very long process to get approval.

President Merritt re-addressed the topic of the dangerous crosswalk conditions on Anderson Lane near Lacks and Genuine Joe’s. In the past, KXAN filmed Susan Westbrook crossing while cars zipped by. She has spoken with Steve Ramirez, a city traffic planner, but he has not taken any initiative on this issue. Reg Westbrook plans to re-submit a proposal for a pedestrian crossing light at this crosswalk, and he would like to include WNA’s endorsement. President Merritt will reach out to Crestview NA and get their endorsement as well. Marilyn Rogers recommended that he include endorsements from Sustainable Neighborhoods, Enchiladas y Mas, and Genuine Joe’s. She also recommended that the Westbrooks send a copy of the application to the city ADA Coordinator.

Melissa Winans moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:15 pm. Steve Rogers seconded the motion, and all were in favor.

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