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1. RESIDENTIAL --- Now In Effect
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● Graphical edition by Clarion Associates of the “McMansion Ordinance” (Land Development Code, Subchapter F: Residential Design and Compatibility Standards (06Sep27). A recommendation that the City change how we measure height citywide for all uses is currently on hold.
● Powerpoint Presentation
These residential amendments change the rules to discourage very large homes built next to traditional and considerably smaller ones. We need to become familiar with them.
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These commercial amendments will apply for present and future transit corridors (MlK, Manor Rd, and Airport Blvd in 78722). UBC may “opt out” for selected commercial or multi-family properties in these corridors where we DO NOT wish them to apply. Also, UBC may “opt in” for other properties where we DO wish them to apply.
We will have UNTIL EARLY APRIL to opt either way..
 “McMANSIONS” (debating 'til Apr 25)
(A citizens’ Task Force has been charged with presenting a draft ordinance to the Planning Commission by April 25, 2006 and to the City Council by May 4, 2006 to ensure the final regulations are adopted by May 7, 2006.)
Commenting on the draft ORDINANCE to amend development regulations now being discussed will not be easy. What the Task Force is doing is complicated. The main intention is to prevent oversized structures from being put up next to single-family homes. Builders are finding these are very profitable, and critics argue that restricting “McMansions” would unintentionally forbid some desirable construction. But most home-owners don’t want to see a gigantic pod with off-the-shelf architecture going up next door.
The Code amendment draft language is legally precise, but hard to follow -- for example, “(5) Except as provided in Paragraph (6), for a lot on a block face on which four or more lots are developed for a use described in Subsection (B).” Skimming is out. One must decode.
The resulting development regime will consist of existing Code supplemented by the new amendments. Already in Code, for example, are combined height+setback compatibility standards. The new will be combined with the old.
I hope on April 4 Tina Bui can help us make sense of what is at issue, and how the various pieces will fit together. Only then might CNA adopt a position...
 VMU OPT-OUT (possible until June 11)
Simultaneously, Council is considering Interim Vertical Mixed-Use (VMU) Building development regulations. 78722 has some of these lots zoned for “mixed use” (commercial use below, residences above) along Airport Blvd, Manor Rd, and the IH35 access road. The proposed changes would apply to these.
The Upper Boggy Creek Neighborhod Planning Team could vote BEFORE JUNE 11 to leave existing MU zoning in place for any specified properties it wishes.
 TRANSIT-ORIENTED DISTRICT (timetable ?)
No details to report yet. But sometime soon CapMetro and the City will decide:
In May 2005 Council adopted a new “Transit Oriended Development (TOD) District” that would allow more intensive development around six inner-city stations. A map of a contemplated “MLK Blvd Neighborhood Center TOD District” is on p. 14. Redeemer Presbyterian’s purchase of an 11-acre site in the middle of it, on which they have announced plans to build a new church complex, has thrown a monkey wrench into the works.
CapMetro is completing a “Future Connections Study” which includes us.
__ EAST AUSTIN RAIL CORRIDOR / FEATHERLITE TRACT Summary (3 pages, 1M)
__ EAST AUSTIN FEATHERLITE Concept Design (map, 1 page, 8M)
__ EAST AUSTIN FEATHERLITE Urban Design Framework (map, 1 page, 9M)
__ EAST AUSTIN FEATHERLITE Guidelines (33 pages, 17M)
- Redeemer Presbyterian Church (PCA) (building between Manor & MLK near Airport)
- Planned site aerial photos (1 looking west, 1 looking east)
| CNA Planning and Zoning Committee Members, members of the Upper Boggy Creek Planning Team and other interested neighbors:
We will have a meeting of the CNA P&Z Committee next Wednesday, 22 September at Taqueria Los Altos at 6:30 p.m. At this time the Agenda items are as follow (please submit other proposed agenda items asap and we will accommodate them, time permitting):
I will post additional information concerning each of the agenda items prior to the meeting next Wednesday, and I'm sure that Gordon Bennett will also place corresponding notice and information at the appropriate place on the CNA Website.
Girard Kinney, AIA
|"Dohn Larson" <DLarson@tcta.org> (Hancock NA Pres) adds:|
Regarding St. David's proposed height variance.
Your meeting will precede St. David's presentation of its requested variance by one day. The Bd. of Adj. will meet on the 23 rd to hear the case. Following the variance request, we will be working with St. David's on a PUD. I understand that the PUD process involves neighbors in discussions about hospital services for the community. That is a discussion that affects everyone.
We will have a short presentation (8:30 ish) from the representatives at our NA meeting tonight. The meeting is at the Hancock Rec. Center off of 41 st , at 7:00, in the basement room
At this point, Hancock and Eastwoods NAs are still working with St. David's representative John Joseph, Sr. to discuss our concerns about the buidling. (FYI: John Joseph, Jr. is now in Carolina (North or South, I forget which) working with a development group to learn more about the development process.)
Height: We are working to figure out what they really need and plan in terms of height. The current drawings show one sub grade parking level, five above grade parking levels, and four stories of professional offices on top. There are some renderings of cutesy towers on top - apparently to deal with mechanicals, stair wells, elevators, etc. Girard one time mentioned pursuing street level uses that are pedestrian oriented. We will bring that up - and if not feasible now, ask that they plan for that possibility in their structure if in the future we finally get out of our cars.
Noise: We originally understood that the building would have a flat front facing I 35 that I thought might have potential noise impact on neighbors east of I 35. It appears that the building will step back and the open parking structure for the first 5 floors will not reflect noise directly to the east. We have also asked that the east side structure help mitigate noise impacts.
Traffic: In the near term we will have a meeting with St. David's, TxDOT(?), and the representatives to discuss traffic flow around the site. Our concern is that given TxDOT's location of the I 35 on ramp, cars exiting the new 850 space parking garage will loop the building to travel east on 32 nd from Red River to I35 to travel south. We would like to direct at least some of that traffic to Dean Keaton and then I35. What's your take on that issue.
Emergency services: Their position is that with the current expansion process, the hospital has expanded emergency services as much as it can. St. David's is required to take emergency overflow from Brack. The helicopter for neo-natal emergencies will be located on top of the new building on Red River . It's not coming any closer to you.
Appearance: We are asking that, architecturally, the long term not result in a hodge podge of styles that leave us with a disjointed unattractive mass of buildings in our midst.
|P&Z Committee Chair elaborates on Building Permits and Variances|
|SF-3 is the Zoning category that applies to almost all residential properties in our area, which simply limits the occupancy to single family residences and, where there is at least 7000 square feet, duplexes and small detached residences ("Granny Flats or Garage Apartments); and for which certain code requirements are triggered. I think the "NP" is a newly imposed designation and refers to the fact that City Council has adopted the Upper Boggy Creek Neighborhood Plan, which 5 neighborhoods, including Cherrywood, comprise.
Here is the problem, and I want to be honest with you about what my own position may be on this, apart from what may be the position of others.
To my knowledge, there are basically three reasons for side yard setbacks (which are usually 5 feet, measured inward from the side property line. They are:
(1) Utility easements. These easements are there to allow public or private utility companies to place and maintain various utilities. If you have one, you most likely will not be able to get this variance, even if the Neighborhood were to support you. Sometimes such easements exist but have no functional purpose; i.e. the electrical, telephone, gas, water, sanitary sewer or storm sewer line(s) for which they were intended were never placed or have been relocated. In these cases it is sometimes possible to have the easement vacated, and this can be a lengthy process (but worth it). If you have a survey of your property, it should show the easements, but sometimes they only show up after a variance request such as this triggers a search by the various city departments.
(2) hen both residences build up to the setback, there is still always 10 feet between the vertical structures, and even if both structures have the maximum intrusion of roof overhangs into the setback (24"), there is still 6 feet between overhangs. Since most residential construction supports combustion, this means that fire can much more easily spread from one residence to another when these setbacks are not observed. This becomes especially important when one or both of the residences is unoccupied and thus there is no one to notice the fire when it starts. One remedy to this, in lieu of disallowing intrusions into the side yard setback is to require that any construction that occurs there to consist of noncombustible materials. With a carport, for instance, this could mean steel or aluminum columns, beams, joists, deck and roof.
(3) To allow visual surveillance and access by law enforcement officers. Police use the spaces between buildings to see back into properties when they are looking for perpetrators of crimes; some who might be fleeing, others who may be trying to break in or peep in to residences. They can be more effective in catching bad guys and preventing break-ins when they can at least see, and preferably enter, these spaces between buildings. I think that this particular feature of setbacks is often defeated by legal privacy fences and thus is not usually cited as a basis for denying a variance, but it is one that the applicant and the adjacent neighbor need to consider when deciding whether to seek a variance to allow construction in a side yard. Of course a completely open (i.e. without walls) carport, if that is what you propose, would not violate this function of a setback.
I personally favor the densification of the neighborhood and thus am personally not opposed to building closer together as long as the fire safety concerns and police surveillance issues can be accommodated in some way. But I do not get to decide these things, and some folks in the neighborhood do not agree with me on this.
If you were not aware of these bases for the side yard setbacks, I hope this information is of help. As I mentioned, if your neighbor is in support, I think this would weigh heavily in the consideration of the Committee and The Neighborhood in whether to support the variance, as would consideration of the applicability of the functional considerations I mention above.
-Girard Kinney (Chair, P&Z)-
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|Planning and Zoning Committee Meeting Minutes for Thursday, August 23, 2001 (Mike Damal notes)|
|Girard Kinney, Dorothy Wade, Brian Block, and Mike Damal Attended.
Three topics were discussed--Upper Boggy Creek planning efforts, Austin Energy substation, and anonymous letter received by the committee.
The efforts of the Upper Boggy Creek planning team were discussed. MD stated he overall highly supported the efforts of the team, although he has not been greatly involved due to scheduling conflicts. He noted the planning teams seem to be directed to get the neighborhood to ""approve"" higher density development--he is not directly opposed to this, his main concern is for quality ""street friendly"" development. MD is of the belief that market forces will drive the density--we should try to influence the quality and character (street, neighborhood friendly) development. MD stated he thought the CNA''s development guidelines should be at a minimum, incorporated into the Cherrywood section of the UBC design guidelines. The committee voted unanimously to recommend CNA''s development guidelines be introduced to the UBC design guidelines. GK stated that such guidelines should be codified and be enforceable to protect the neighborhood from unwanted development. The committee was in general agreement on all aspects talked about in this area. GK and MD both emailed Lynn Estabrook about their desires to be active in the design development guidelines.
|AUSTIN ENERGY's Fiesta electric substation. <Judy.Fowler@austinenergy.com>|
|The following is in response to Gordon's e-mail of June 18. As I wrote to Gordon yesterday, I have just finished up a project that took me out of commission for a couple of days. We will see everyone on Friday at Asbury.
AS WE DISCUSSED AT THE LAST MEETING, THE LAYOUT OF THE SUBSTATION PROPER CANNOT CHANGE BECAUSE OF THE EQUIPMENT AND SITE LIMITATIONS. OUR UNDERSTANDING WAS THAT LARS WOULD WORK ON COMING UP WITH ELEVATIONS OF THE BUILDING AND WALL ALONG THE LINES PRESENTED TO AUSTIN ENERGY AT THE LAST MEETING.
LARS WILL BE WORKING WITH THE ABB STRUCTURAL ENGINEER TO MAKE SURE THAT EVERYTHING IS COORDINATED. LARS UNDERSTANDS AND THINKS IT IS APPROPRIATE THAT THIS IS AN ENGINEERING PROJECT AND HE IS COORDINATING HIS WORK ON THAT BASIS. WE HAD A PERIOD OF TIME THAT LARS CONTRACT WAS BEING DISCUSSED AND AUSTIN ENERGY HAD TO USE PUBLIC WORKS TO SECURE AND NEGOTIATE THAT CONTRACT. LARS CONTRACT WAS NOT FULLY SIGNED UNTIL THE END OF APRIL.
LARS KNOWS THAT ABB IS AVAILABLE AND I KNOW HE IS WORKING WITH THEIR ENGINEERS. HE IS COORDINATING WITH THE LANDSCAPE PERSON TO ASSURE THAT THE LANDSCAPING COMPLIMENTS THE DESIGN. AS GIRARD KNOWS BEN TURNER IS NO LONGER A PART OF THE TEAM AND TRENTON WON WAS NOT SELECTED AS THE ARCHITECT. AS YOU WILL REMEMBER LARS ATTENDED THE LAST MEETING ALTHOUGH HE HAD NOT BEEN FORMALLY HIRED.
WE STILL EXPECT THE NEIGHBORHOOD TO HAVE INPUT. CAPITAL METRO FINALLY RESPONDED TUESDAY MORNING AND THEY DO NOT WANT A BUS STOP THAT CLOSE TO I-35 BUT WOULD ENTERTAIN IMPROVEMENT IN THE ONE FURTHER WEST. AUSTIN ENERGY WILL WORK TOWARD THAT GOAL UNLESS THE NEIGHBORHOOD DOES NOT WANT ANY IMPROVEMENT IN THE BUS STOP.
HOPEFULLY THIS WILL ASSURE YOU AND GIRARD THAT EVERYTHING IS BEING COORDINATED. THE REASON WE HAVE NOT REQUESTED ANY FURTHER MEETINGS IS THAT LARS DID NOT HAVE ANY DESIGNS READY TO BE SHOWN.
AUSTIN ENERGY PERSONNEL, LARS STANLEY, ABB, AND THEIR CONTRACTORS ARE ALL WORKING TOWARD HAVING A STELLAR PROJECT. ALL OF US WANT THIS TO BE AN AWARD WINNING PROJECT.
|(Mike Damal) On another note I called into Zoning Enforcement an illegal duplex that was offered for rent at 3203 1/2 Cherrywood. Julie Wilkinson is the owner at 626-8693. I met with Julie today asking to look at the duplex (a bargain--one bedroom for only $900/month!), and then stated my intensions/concerns as a neighbor. I gave her a copy of zoning 101, development guidelines, and the letter CNA sent to David Desliva concerning the illegal activity at 3809 Cherrywood. Hopefully she will be getting permits soon for a "duplex conversion"--allowed on her lot, however most of the "work" has already been "completed".|
|I recieved a call today from Margot Brown at 3101 Robinson--she is requesting a variance for a garage apartment at her residence. I am sending her the development guidelines, approval form, and vision statement tomorrow. I have amended our letter to ask for both renter and owner approval within 200 feet and also that we have all materials three weeks prior to any city hearing. (these two points were agreed to at our last meeting). I will let you know if/ when I get any info back--she said they have a tentative hearing date mid April.|
|A 1-hour meeting was held Feb 9 (Fri) with Austin Energy attended by:
- Judy Fowler (AE Public Involvement & Real Estate Services Manager)
- Allen Small (AE Project Manager for this substation)
- Mike Damal (CNA Planning & Zoning Committee Chair)
- Gordon Bennett (CNA Web-slave)
v------------------------- Highlight Reel ----------------------v
TO BE NEGOTIATED LATER
| (Aug 3) DIAZCARL@aol.com writes:
I have contacted the city of Austin Building and Permitt Enforcement Dept in Austin (Ms. Paula Hawkins, Area Inspector, (512) 499-2404). She has verified that Mr. DeSilva has pulled permits but has never had inspectors approve any of the improvements. The permits which were issued were not for the development and/or modification associated with converting a single family home into a duplex. Also, Mr. DeSilva has not followed through with the required inspections for which the permits were originally pulled for. Ms. Hawkins mentioned that he cannot have the duplex occupied until appropriate inspections are complete and once a certificate of occupancy is obtained.
Ms. Hawkins has been very helpful and would appreciate your concerns to be
voiced to her. Carlos Diaz
(Aug3) email@example.com writes
I just talked to Mr. Desilva on the phone, and strongly suggested that he contact the CNA president (that's you, Jim), and arrange a face-to-face meeting with members of the SC. I gave him Jim's number, and let him know that a prompt meeting would be greatly preferrable to weeks and months of hostility towards his project. He was asked to explain his answer, if any, to the parking implications, among other issues. Jack Newman
(00Aug2) Mdamal@aol.com writes
In this weekend's Statesman an ad for a 4 bedroom 3 bath duplex at 3809B Cherrywood was run, for rent for $1500/mo. This is the house on the NE corner of 38 1/2 and Cherrywood, the one with all the blocks out front for many months...
The owner, David DeSilva has illegally converted the downstairs area even after neighbors have complained and the city inspectors have warned him...
Please EVERYONE please call the ad at 789-6584 and voice your concern over this illegal activity. This is someone who is adding a total of 8 bedrooms for rent, which legally requires 8 parking spaces offstreet. This house does not have this type of parking and the overflow
parking will most likely go on Cherrywood, since there is no parking allowed on that part of 38-1/2...
I plan on calling the city zoning department and ask you to do the same. Please let me know your concerns and let me know if/when you call and the response you get...
David is also the owner of Mango's on Guadalupe--any thoughts of a boycott/protest there??? Let me know what you think... Thanks, Mike Damal
| Gordon Bennett, Girard Kinney, Jim Walker, Steven Kreger, Mark Lind, and Mike Damal attended.
The neighborhood planning process was discussed in some detail. MD reported and supplied information on the process and what other neighborhood are doing with their neighborhood plan (Hyde Park, Old West Austin, Chestnut). Last Friday, MD went to the city and talked with Steve Barney on the process. He was told that Gina Kopic will be assigned to Cherrywood as our planner, and we will probably start in the "late summer/early fall" timeframe. It was noted that although this timeframe was stated any number of factors could delay it. I asked Gina and Steve what we could do to prepare for this, and the two things they said were to build awareness and start surveying/inventorying the neighborhood.
The Cherrywood neighborhood plan will incorporate an area larger than the current boundaries of CNA. It will also include the Wilshire Woods and Dellwood II neighborhoods to the north and the Blacklands neighborhood to the south. It was noted that CNA must work with and not alienate these areas.
These action items were decided concerning the neighborhood plan
1. It was determined the best initial course of action was to start a preliminary inventory of the neighborhood and increase awareness of the neighborhood planning process.
2. JW has volunteered to do the prep work for a map of the neighborhood, compatible with city guidelines, that can be used for the survey/inventory work.
3. GK and SK have volunteered to provide the organization/process of for the survey/inventory of the neighborhood. Presently the cityâ€Ts maps are outdated and do not show the proper location of business, garage apartments, sidewalks, curb cuts, etc... Volunteers will be needed to help in this effort. GK and SK will write an article for the next Flea asking for volunteers and explaining the neighborhood planning process.
4. GK is in contact with Blacklands, Wilshire Woods, and Delwood II concerning I-35 issues-- he will communicate our initial intentions on neighborhood planning, invite them to all of our meetings, and encourage them to take similiar actions.
The land at the former Value Sky Park was discussed. This is a 5.7 acre plot current zoned mostly LI (light industrial). The land directly south of this site is presently being rezoned CS-MU-CO (general commercial services, mixed use, conditional overlay) through the Rosewood and Chestnut neighborhood plans. It is thought that the best chance for rezoning will occur when we get our neighborhood plan. It was determined a proactive approach is the best way instead of being reactive to what might be built there. It is stated in planning commission minutes that any change in use for the site must go to the planning commission. MD will draft a letter to the current owner stating our concerns for development with the site, providing them a copy of our vision statement and development guidelines. [TCAD has the owner of 2900 Manor listed as 2900 MANOR LTD, 7303 SAN PEDRO, SAN ANTONIO TX 78216-6225, right south of Central Park Mall near the airport. As of 00Apr, land is appraised at $244,000, improvements at $380,000. /gb]
No new info was provided on Austin Energy transformer site. We will attempt to contact Judy Fowler to find out the progress of site acquisition/design/development.
|CHILDRENS' ADVOCACY CENTER
CAC's Sandra Martin gives these specifics: The Children's Advocacy Center 1110 East 32nd Street Austin, Texas 78722 (512) 472-1164 FAX (512)472-1167 This block across the street from the Avalon Apartments and the Children's Advocacy Center has two "residential" lots. 1105 was bought in 1996 by Richard Linklater of Detour Productions. 1107 was bought in 1997 by CAC (before then it had been the trashiest property in the neighborhood, hands down). CAC tried but failed to have it rezoned for office use. Now it sits cleaned up but abandoned. Should CNA should refrain from taking a position until we have talked through some issues ? (1) Commercial "creep" -- however positive Detour's and CAC's proposed uses might be, would a side effect be edging the commercial perimeter closer to a residential block? (2) If so, would that be bad necessarily? (3) If not, what use and design standards should we demand of non-residential "infill?"
Once the only big picture around was the TPSD's "Growth Watch."
Then came the "Sustainable Communities Initiative."
... Which spawned the "Sustainable Indicators Project."
Next was the Central Texas Visioning Project
http://www.envisionutah.org/ (Envision Utah)
Now is added "Livable City."
|New Urban News
POB 6515, Ithaca NY 14851
Visit the following sites with connections to the New Urbanism :
Vision Statement (approved by the general membership 99Jul28) The Cherrywood Neighborhood Association is committed to:
* Safe, walkable streets ;
* Neighborhood-oriented and neighborhood-friendly businesses and services ;
* Preserve and promote public and private greenspaces ;
* Respect, recognize and maintain ethnic, family, socioeconomic and cultural diversity ;
* Managing growth while ensuring livable density , a diversity of architectural styles, and a well maintained neighborhood;
* Achieving a sense of community and security by encouraging responsibility, involvement and pride among all residents and owners;
* Healthy and active relationships with other neighborhood groups, civic organizations and government agencies;
* A built environment compatible with the above goals.
Gordon Bennett's Vision Retreat 2 notes 99Jun26
VR2 was even better than VR1. Results should be evident by the July 28 Membership meeting. In particular:
|Facilitator Pat Grigadean < Pat Grigadean > drilled us in "interest-based" conflict resolution. Basically this means, first, patiently isolate important interests that need to be satisfied, then find available solutions that do that best.|
| Five steps:
1. CLARIFY ISSUES. Not just "traffic" but obstacles to improving traffic:
2. IDENTIFY INTERESTS (as opposed to general arguments for or against).
3. GENERATE OPTIONS (short-term and/or long-term).
4. EVALUATE OPTIONS in light of interests. The problem resolves to which options (a-f) best satisfy the most interests (1-5).
5. DEVELOP A PLAN (specifying time horizons for each step).
It's looks deceptively simple, even obvious, but most discussions of controversial problems do not proceed this way, and typically do not work nearly as well ....
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