Wooten Neighborhood Association
Minutes from the WNA Meeting, July 13, 2015
President Chris Gregory called the meeting to order at 7:01pm. Chris asked neighbors to report any good news in the neighborhood. A neighbor reported that 2205 Ohlen Rd., which has been vacant for two years, will become a daycare center soon. It was also the location where an Al Pacino movie, Manglehorn, was filmed last year. Steve Rogers said the City had paved sidewalks along Burnet Rd. all the way up to 183, which he was grateful for. Dale Ritzen said the berms to prevent further erosion on the Wooten Park trail seem to be working to keep the gravel in.
The minutes from the May WNA meeting were approved. Treasurer Victor Engel was not available at this meeting, but will provide updated balances later. (7/27/15 update: The current balance is $2197.56, which includes $25 in WNA’s savings account, leaving an available balance of $2172.56.)
Marilyn Rogers explained that in 2013, Wooten installed ten crime watch signs in the neighborhood. Now, Wooten is going to submit more locations to the City to put in more signs. WNA bought 25 signs in 2013, and the City will install 100 per year city wide on a first come, first served basis. Wooten can submit four to ten requests for the neighborhood, and these must be submitted by October 1. There is a map on wootenna.com that shows where the poles are that can hold the watch signs.
There are currently signs at Ohlen and Burnet, Teakwood and Burnet, Ohlen and Spearman, Putnam and Joy, Burrell and Beckett, Lazy and Anderson, Burrell and Dale, Villanova and Burrell, and Dale and Gault. Suggestions for new locations included Kromer and Fairfield facing 183, Lazy and 183, Ohlen and Shadowwood, and somewhere around Burnet Middle School. Marilyn asked for volunteers to form a committee to select addresses for the requested signs, and to help get the locations’ property owners’ consent to put them in.
Laura Tomlinson and Joanne Garrett provided a Park Committee update. On June 6, we had a National Trails Day, and mulched the trees, redistributed gravel from the flooding, built a berm, and weeded the corner bed near the park sign. On June 24, we had a maintenance day, and six volunteers weeded the corner bed. On July 3, we spread 18 bags of donated mulch at the corner of the park.
On July 9, there was a Park Committee meeting at La Reunion co-op, which included discussion of wanting to develop a formal master plan for long-term goals and vision for the park. The committee is asking for neighbors’ thoughts on this to be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. There was discussion about how no team sports are allowed at the park without PARD’s permission, and how changing the wording on those signs might encourage more activity there. There was also talk about partnering with the Wooten Elementary School PTA. The committee felt they needed to do more fundraising—perhaps selling t-shirts, having a kite festival, or a centralized yard sale.
Joanne explained that the Austin Park Foundation’s Park Fund Management Program manages donations on parks committees’ behalf, but the cost is $50 plus a 2% fee every January. Sarah Gregory suggested that we could use some money from the WNA general fund for the management program’s fees. Marilyn clarified that WNA does have a tax-exempt status designation, if possible donors need one before they can contribute.
Ryan said he would reach out to the City’s Watershed Department about possibly funding projects to help with watershed on the Burrell side of Wooten Park. The Park Committee wants to try to schedule more regular maintenance days, including July 19th from 9-11am, to clean up the raised flower box areas.
Chris provided an update on 8007 Burnet Rd. Chris shared an email he received from Amy Smith, Councilwoman Leslie Pool’s chief of staff. The email, which Chris also posted to the WNA Yahoo! Listserv, said that the City’s Code, Fire, and Health Departments had all conducted an inspection of the property, and Code determined “there was no evidence indicating noncompliance with the congregate living use classifications.” The current zoning is GR-MU-NP and does allow for congregate living. Code will not continue to monitor the location, now that their investigation has closed, but Leslie Pool’s office will continue to follow up if there are more complaints about the property. Smith said that the appropriate contact person for those issues is Marlayna Wright, who can be reached at 512-974-3135 or email@example.com.
A neighbor asked about making an open records request for the 8007 Burnet property, and Chris said he would look into what that process requires. (7/20/15 update: neighbors may go to https://www.austintexas.gov/online-form/public-information-request to make a records request, and may contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.)
Elections for new WNA officers will be held at the meeting in September, and we need a nominating committee prior to that. Marilyn Rogers and Autumn Righino volunteered for the committee. One more person (not a current WNA officer) is needed, and anyone interested should email Chris at email@example.com.
Rhan Jackson said that he will not be able to attend the next APD Commander’s Forum on July 29th at Reinli Church, and asked for a volunteer to attend in his place.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:06pm.