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Mueller Neighborhood Assn Steering Committee Minutes 9/6/2012
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Steering Committee Meeting Minutes
4001 Mendez St
September 6, 2012
7:00 pm


A. Introductions, call meeting to order – all (5 min)

B. Review and Approve Minutes - Candice (10 min)
a. New note – Members need to pay dues by end of Dec in order to vote in Jan meeting (where SC members will be voted upon)
b. Diane moved we adopt minutes
c. Kathy seconded
d. d. Motion carries

C. Treasurer’s Report - Diane (5 min)
a. $3975.11 balance

D. Existing Business - various (30 min)
a. Grant/fundraising procedures – guest Belinda
i. Catellus has advised that they will no longer fund three neighborhood events: 4th of July, Halloween, and Egg Scramble
ii. Belinda is requesting that the MNA SC receive the funding from previous donors and grant to her team to fund the events
iii. They have their own events with marketing opportunities
iv. This party will be different and separate
b. Reminder that donations are not tax exempt.
c. Diane suggested that Belinda contact/join the Residence Activities Committee for POA funds
i. Mention that we should consider revising our procedures & policies to establish a MNA Events Committee that funds similar events.
ii. We also need to consider that there could be competition among MNA events and POA events as well as within groups.
d. Ashley suggested that we make the Egg Scramble & Halloween events official MNA events for the SC to fund with a report & photo of the event.
e. Dennis moved we set up an Events sub-committee to facilitate the Eggs Scramble, Halloween, & 4th of July events with a chair that reports to the SC
i. Money would be allocated to the sub-committee
ii. Sub-committee will submit a mission & a budget
iii. Sub-committee will have the authority to raise money for the event
1. Shellie seconded
2. Motion carries
f. Mention that we should reconsider our $125 grant maximum (if that’s the case)
i. Concern that there will be a liability if there is an issue for an MNA-sanctioned events
ii. Discussion that there are other events to consider
iii. Discussion of where our dues go (POA vs MNA, etc)
iv. Reminder of funding MNA vs funding individuals
g. Halloween night poses a potential risk with lost kids & people spilling into the streets. Belinda suggested we open a conversation w/ APD for security suggestions & parking directions, etc.
i. Betsy volunteered to approach Antoine Carver with the topic

E. e-ballots
a. MEAT grant - up to $125 for AISD campaign: Kathy proposed we approve up to $175 grant request to fund the MEAT letter-writing campaign in favor of public schools in and around Mueller
i. Kevin seconded the movement (“ditto”)
ii. Motion carried (after clarification) on 8/21
b. Airport Florist property - Support other neighborhoods in opposing gas station use: New Gas Station (7-11) on the corner of Airport Blvd & 38 ½: Kathy moved that the Steering Committee take a stance on this issue, join with Cherrywood and Scieffer-Willowbrook Neighborhood Associations, and discourage construction of the 7-11 at 38th 1/2 and Airport via a letter from the SC (see Addendum A)
i. Jerry seconded
ii. Motion carried (with edits) on 8/29

F. Neighborhood Watch: nothing new to report. Curtis is planning to set up an additional meeting after the next general meeting for those who signed up on the list indicating they’re interested
a. Suggestion that neighborhood watch group could pitch in to help with Halloween – Belinda

G. National Night Out is in Aug, but we celebrate on Oct. 2 – Dennis
a. Planning has begun and activities are established to begin at Ella Wooten park, followed by neighborhood activities, followed by block parties. Music will be provided by neighborhood talent (volunteer basis).
b. Event has been registered with APD & National Night Out
c. Block Captains will be furnished w/ rosters of block POCs for circulation
d. Unrelated mention that it might be worthwhile connecting back-door neighbors via block captains to help protect garages

H. New Business (10 min) (if any)
a. Process for SC elections in January
i. Jerry, Betsy, Dennis will lead the efforts to solicit/encourage volunteers for Steering Committee
ii. Call for everyone to help find interested people
b. Future meeting locations: Call to consider moving monthly meetings at various locations
i. Agreed to keep Sept mtg at Wildflower and consider other spots for October (hangar, SEDL, Ronald McDonald, etc)
ii. Diane agreed to look into SEDL location

I. Action Items (5 min) (if any)
a. Plan for September 15 general meeting (10 min) –
i. Austin Partners in Education - Kathleen Schneeman
ii. RMH Lights of Love (Dec. 7) - Ann Jerome
iii. CASA Superhero run/walk - Sept 30 (brief reminder)
iv. 7-11 Update
v. Announcement that we’ve established an Events committee and reminder not to solicit funds on behalf of the MNA unless you’re a sactioned group

J. Additional Business/Open comments – all

K. 7-11 Update: Florist owner has made a deal w/ a local developer with a contract to sell upon approval of site plan. Plan has been approval that only required minimal review prior to administrative approval. Flags have been raised regarding the flood plain that and possible heritage, 19”-oak tree that might delay approval. Kathy and team met w/ local developer to discuss 7-11 plans. 7-11 claims that they support local businesses and farms. Owner indicated he’s open to other opportunities (that don’t sell gas), but it is not likely a new buyer would be identified in time. It looks like we’re getting a 7-11 with gas pumps in the near future.

L. CBAC (Citizens Bond Advisory Committee) has entertained several presentations from the planning groups for
a. They are recommending new elementary schools in NE (including Mueller) & SE. Mention that it is most important that we get a NE elementary school in the bond (for May 2013) and make sure the discussions about free land take place as soon as the bond happens.

M. Adjourn
a. Kathy moved
b. Shellie seconded
c. Motion carried


ADDENDUM A

August 27, 2012

Mr. John Davenport
210 Barton Springs Rd, Suite 550 Austin, TX 78704
Re: COA Case Number: SP-2012-0202C


Dear Mr. Davenport:

I am writing to represent the Mueller Neighborhood Association Steering Committee, and we are writing to inform you that we are standing with our neighbors, the Cherrywood and Scieffer-Willowbrook Neighborhood Associations, in strong opposition of the proposed 7-11 gas and convenience store at 3848 Airport Blvd, Austin, TX 78722 (Case Number: SP-2012-0202C).

We do not know how familiar you are with this part of Austin, but the proposed site is very close to a major in-fill, urban redevelopment located at the former Austin airport. The neighborhood is called Mueller, just like the former airport. The Mueller development is a vision that has been decades in the making. The new urban design will be a dense, mixed-use neighborhood with over 13,000 residents and 13,000 jobs. Mueller is a great place for utilizing other modes of transportation - biking, walking, and mass transit, and will only become stronger as full development is reached in the coming years. Many of us have rid ourselves of an extra car and bike or walk for transportation. And, many of us are participants in the Pecan Street, Inc. smart-grid demonstration project, and have recently purchased electric vehicles (EV) as part of this research project. We are sure you are aware that some of the EVs run on both electricity and gasoline, but for local errands and every day commuting, the use of gas is generally not necessary. All this to say that we, residents of Mueller and neighbors of the subject property, as well as potential customers of any development on this site, are a different crowd that may not fit your normal marketing models. Many of us have been discussing the 7-11 proposal and are very opposed to another gas station at this intersection. We would much prefer to see a different type of development - one that would bring services adjacent neighborhoods really need - to this property.

Neighborhoods on both sides of Airport Boulevard have been working with the City of Austin in envisioning and planning the future of this corridor. Currently, the section of Airport Boulevard north of IH-35 is a Core Transit Corridor and under review for form-based zoning to encourage pedestrian-oriented mixed use, and the planning process will soon incorporate the southern portion of Airport Boulevard, along which the property is located. This Plan, once in full swing, will place high priority on pedestrian and bicycle oriented uses, multi-modal transit, and mixed uses including housing and urban density. The addition of a gas station at this property does not fit with this vision.

There are two gas stations with convenience stores at the same corner of 38 ½ Street and Airport Boulevard: CITGO in the southwest corner of the intersection and Shell in the southeast corner. Furthermore, there is another Shell gas and convenience store at intersection of Manor Road and Airport Boulevard, and a recently renovated Speedy Stop at the corner of Berkman and 51st Streets. Currently, an HEB grocery store is being constructed within Mueller, which will also contain 8 additional gas pumps at the corner of Berkman and 51st Streets.

There are a plethora of walkable, neighborhood businesses taking residence in the area of 38 ½ Street/Airport Boulevard/Anchor Lane such as the Get Babied Doula Collective and Contigo Restaurant. These businesses are adding to the quality of life; our neighborhood wants to add to the diversity of locally-owned, neighborhood-serving businesses. We are a diverse, engaged, and active community who seeks to cultivate and patronize local businesses above large corporate franchises.

Residents are also concerned with traffic using 38 ½ Street as a cut-through connecting IH-35 and Airport Boulevard. By adding a gas station at this corner, vehicular traffic could be encouraged to use this road. On the contrary, projects that encourage pedestrian and bicycle traffic and minimize automobile trips could aid to the decrease in traffic on this very residential street.

We note that the gas pumps and underground fuel storage tanks are very close to an urban creek and that the topography of the site slopes toward that creek. We are very concerned about the possibility of underground leakage into the aquifer or the likelihood of thousands of small gasoline spills above ground during fueling that will inevitably occur over time finding its way overland to the creek. Addressing these issues would be much more affordable at a site located farther from an urban creek.

In reviewing the site plan, there is a 19” Post Oak that is marked for removal. This tree is protected and not on the property itself but in the ROW. This is a mature, native, healthy tree that should be preserved in an age of drought-stricken, stressed trees.

In conclusion, this is not an optimal use for this property and the larger surrounding community is joining together to express their concern. We envision a better use and a higher quality development for this beautiful corner property on the creek. We are hopeful that you are open to hearing these concerns of the community and seek to locate your establishment at another, more fitting location.

Thank you for your time, and please feel free to contact me.

Kathy Sokolic
Vice Chair, Mueller Neighborhood Association Steering Committee
4104 Lawless St.
Austin, TX 78723
512-809-3497
ksokolic@gmail.com


Cc: Austin City Council
City of Austin Planning Commission
Michelle Casillas, City of Austin Case Manager
Chair, Cherrywood Neighborhood Association
Chair, Scieffer-Willowbrook Neighborhood Association
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