Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 7:07 pm. The meeting was held at the lunch room in the Redeemer School. The meeting was called to order by the president.
The attendees went around introducing themselves, including how long they have lived in the neighborhood and where they live. There were 12 Wooten neighbors attending the meeting. This includes neighbors that lived in various parts of the neighborhood, including neighbors from Burrell, Kromer, Fairfield, Weyford, Kenbridge, and Villanova street.
Reading of the Minutes
The Secretary reported on the previous meeting minutes and mentioned they were posted on the Wooten Website and Facebook. The meeting’s general topics were discussed, including the approval of the new signs.
Wooten has three accounts with the following balances: Savings ($25), WNA General Fund ($1542.05), and Wooten Park Fund($2068.12). The General Fund will be reduced once the signs are purchased. The President commented that we might consider increasing before the next cycle, which starts in September.
We are still looking for a Vice President and need a new President starting in September. The current President has served about four years due to the COVID Pandemic even though the term is for two years.
The Austin Water representative was not able to attend, however, he will be planning on attending the next meeting. In the meantime, he provided a flier that discusses issues on spikes in water usage, when to water, and billing cycles. Any questions for Austin Water should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or at email@example.com before the next meeting if you cannot attend.
It’s my Park Day which was held in March. They used the time to weed the garden and mulch the trees. More weeding is needed for the island but the team is waiting until it rains to pull additional weeds from the island. Discussions also revolved around whether the park committee would start taking care of the medians. The Park Committee did state that they did include the median close to the park for Park Day. Some members said they would volunteer cleaning and keeping up the medians in the neighborhood.
Chito Vela’s representative, Timothy Bray was at the meeting to discuss current issues in the district. The main item is the Texas House of Representative item related to Austin Transit and I-35 expansion.
Planning Contact Committee
Representatives of the Neighborhood planning contact team were in attendance to discuss when they meet and their role. The planning contact team typically meets the month opposite of the Wooten NA meeting, however, they’ve had no business so they have not been meeting. They are scheduled to meet in June, but a special request has come up related to zone change in the area highlighted below (e.g., the Anderson Square parcel of land where the Hobby Lobby currently resides).
Anderson Square Request to Apply for a Zoning Change
Alice Glasgo, a representative for the owners’ of the Anderson Square, came and discussed with the neighborhood association on a request that will be presented to the Wooten Planning Contact Committee. Her request centers around obtaining an approval to submit an application for a zone change request. If the planning team does not give her the approval to submit an application, the owners can petition the Council or wait until February 2024 to submit the application to request a zone change.
The Anderson Square plot of land is 16 acres with 7 acres of impervious cover (e.g the parking lot) that is currently owned by two local property owners. This plot includes the Hobby Lobby store, but not the NTB store (see brown section with a red outline below).
The current owners would like to change the zoning from a brown to a dark brown so they can plan in the future (in two to three years, once the current leases expire). The owners would like to change it from a Commercial zone (e.g. brown) to a Commercial Highway (CH) with a PDA (Planned development area) (e.g., dark brown). This would allow an overlay to add uses and can increase height as they cannot build structures that are over 90 ft. The owners would like to build for at least 120 feet, but the zone change could give them up to 250 feet.
Once the request is submitted, the city would convene with the neighborhood and begin the process of obtaining input on the request.
Neighbors present at the meeting discussed the importance of being involved during the planning process in order to request improvements beneficial to the neighborhood and how to ensure the fees collected during the zoning/development process would stay in the neighborhood. Several neighbors discussed getting improvements and reconfigurations of the roadways as the intersection at Anderson Sq./Anderson Ln can be difficult. Neighbors and Councilmen Vela’s representatives also discussed various options that can be agreed upon (e.g., vegetation ,better streetscape) during the zoning and development process. Vela’s representative also discussed making sure that the neighborhood was part of the zoning discussions and changes. Other questions revolved around if there would be a tax implication if there was a change in zoning. Vela’s representative answered the question that it shouldn’t impact the taxes because of the comparable houses/properties; appraisers are looking for comparable houses (age, type, etc).
The conversation ended with discussing next steps. The next steps include the planning contact team having a meeting where they consider the approval to apply for a zoning change. Once that meeting information is provided, then Alice (as the owner’s representative) would send the information on what is being requested. The contact team would decide in that meeting whether they would approve the ability to apply and then submit a letter to the city to start the process. Questions did arise on what should be included in the letter and Alice said she could provide an example.
Neighborhood Activities Report
Google Fiber – Still no update. They have added boxes, but no date on when Google will have the rest of the neighborhood will get Google Fiber.
Wooten NA Signs – Secretary provided an update on the signs. They have not been purchased, but will be in the next few weeks and will be available for the next meeting. WNA Officers are still looking for volunteers. Two people in the meeting said that they would be willing to host the sign. Secretary said she will follow up once we have them. One neighbor requested a QR code be put on the sign so they can find the website.
Fliers – Neighborhood fliers are available to be used for the neighborhood. Please reach out to the secretary if interested in getting printed copies.
Newsletter – There was a request to start the newsletter again. Treasurer said that she found someone that might be interested in helping us. Secretary added that they get a lot of people saying that they are interested in helping with the newsletter or website, but then they don’t follow up. Until we have a consistent volunteer base, the current officers do not have the time to update or create a newsletter.
The meeting closed at 8:15 pm.