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Condos rezoning neighborhood meeting

A neighborhood meeting was held on July 30. The two items on the agenda were updates on the apartments and information about the planned condos project which will replace the home at 3503 Oak Creek Drive, which is on 1.2 acres.

Minutes of the meeting, including details on the condos

The condo developer team attended the meeting and described their project – up to 12 condos in 6 buildings, all will be 1800 sf 3 bedroom 2 bath, no balconies with a 1 car garage. Their target buyers are either empty nesters or singles/couples without children, probably high tech workers at the Domain. The estimated starting price is $400,000, and the anticipated project completion will be within 24 months. There will be some guest parking, no swimming pool or private yards. A Condo Owners Association will maintain the landscaping. They shared a conceptual design, which is subject to change.

Northwood is in favor of this project, and expects the zoning change to pass. To protect Northwood against unexpected changes, we requested some items be added to a Conditional Overlay, which would become part of the zoning and hence enforceable by the City. The developer declined all of our ideas.

To increase our chances of getting a Conditional Overlay, we are asking owners of property within 200 ft of the project to sign a Valid Petition. If at least 20% of the eligible owners sign the Valid Petition, at least 9 of 11 the City Council must vote to approve the zoning change (hopefully with the CO).

The most important items to neighbors which can be addressed by a CO are hooded lighting, a maximum of 25 ft in height (code allows 35 ft) and sufficient setback from adjoining properties (the required setback is 25 ft; we’d prefer at least 30 ft”. Other important items – sidewalks and trees – are addressed by the SF-6 zoning.

We need people to attend the Zoning and Platting meeting, Aug 7 at City Hall starting at 6 PM (don’t know when our case will be heard). Having enough people there will show ZAP that we really want the CO and may encourage them to recommend it to the City Council. Updates will be posted on NextDoor.

SF-6 Rezoning Plans for 3503 Oak Creek updates

Background

The house located at 3503 Oak Creek (next to St. Francis Anglican Church), which includes 1.2 acres of land, was bought by a developer who plans to raze the existing house and build condos on that tract. To do this, he will have to get the zoning changed from SF-2 to SF-6. Changing zoning requires meeting with the Zoning and Platting Commission on August 7 at 6 PM and then the City Council must vote. The first of 3 readings – the only time the public can comment – is scheduled for August 30.
City planning staff support the change to SF-6. Since city planning staff support the project, the Association expects that City Council will approve it.

8/30/18 update: zoning changed to SF-6

The City Council passed the zoning on all 3 readings. Council Member Pool’s office committed to helping us with crafting a restrictive covenant since City Legal did not agree with our conditional overlay request.

8/8/18 update: ZAP meeting result

Result of the 8/7/18 ZAP meeting: they recommended the zoning change from SF-2 to SF-6 with a Conditional Overlay that prohibits parking behind the buildings. Most of the other items that we requested were not included in the Conditional Overlay as they are (currently) in the SF-6 requirements. (Conditional Overlays can add specific zoning requirements and limits, and violations can be enforced by the City. Restrictive covenants are private agreements; the City does not enforce them.)  Legal is reviewing the CO and may determine that the item is not appropriate for a CO. A recording of the meeting is available.

ZAP only can recommend a particular action for a zoning case; City Council decides. There are 3 readings; the public can speak only at the first reading. The first reading for this rezoning is set for August 30. We plan to attend the City Council meeting to be sure our concerns regarding a conditional overlay are heard. All neighbors are encouraged to attend; we will send updates when we know the time and more via NextDoor.

7/26/18 Current development plans (subject to change)

The developer described the project and answered questions at the general neighborhood meeting July 30 6:30 PM at the Milwood Library. Meeting details

The Association officers and zoning committee met with the developer and his team on July 21. He stated he plans to build 10-12 condos in 5 or 6 buildings. Each building will have 2 units that will share a wall. He intends to sell them to individuals. Each condo will be 1,800 sq ft with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths and no more than 2 levels with a max roof height of 35 ft. They will have small private yards and at least a one car garage. There will be common space and guest parking but no swimming pool. As required by SF-6, the building will be set back 25 ft. from the edge of the property.

Diagram of Initial draft plan (PDF)  This is a very preliminary plan that may change significantly.

Neighborhood current response

Since we expect that this zoning chance will be approved, we have requested a number of items be added to a Conditional Overlay for the proposed zoning change. Conditional Overlay conditions are enforceable by the City. We have asked for the following CO items simply to protect Northwood in case there are any significant changes as the project progresses. The developer and his team are reviewing our requests and will consult with City staff.

  • 50’ building setback from all residential properties (SF-6 requires 25 ft)
  • Buildings not to exceed two stories or 25 feet in height
  • No parking between any setbacks and residential properties
  • Decorative Boundary wall along Oak Creek
  • Community trash, recycling and other refuse collection containers must be located along eastern property line
  • All exterior lighting shall be hooded to limit impact on residential properties
  • Decorative masonry wall abutting all residential properties
  • Garages will be limited to front entry only
  • No balconies facing residential properties

As a precaution, we are gathering signatures for a Valid Petition to show our concerns about the project. Only signatures of adjacent property owners are accepted for a Valid Petition. If we get signatures of property owners from 20% of the surrounding land, then instead of a simple majority vote to approve the zoning changes with a CO, 9 of 11 City Council members must vote for it.

 

 

July 4 parade

Join Northwood neighbors to celebrate July 4: decorate bikes or wagons, bring flags and meet at Oak Creek Cove (just west of Timberside) at 10:00 AM. We will walk/bike to Manhasset (side street past Silver Creek) then turn left onto Tamarack and right onto Poquoson. The parade ends in the middle of Poquoson  where refreshments will be available, courtesy of neighbors and the Neighborhood Association. Join us to celebrate the 4th and meet neighbors!

Tree Trimming by Austin Energy

Our Neighborhood Association President received a certified letter from Austin Energy dated April 25, 2 018 (read the letter, PDF) advising us that contractors will soon be pruning and removing trees from near the electric lines. They will try to notify property owners ahead of time.

The letter also explains that that property owners may request the following actions from Austin Energy and its Contract personnel.

  • You may request an on-site meeting with a Contractor representative to review the proposed tree work
  • You may request an on-site meeting with an Austin Energy employee to discuss the proposed tree work
  • You may request to have a third party present during the meetings
  • You may request modifications to the proposed tree work
  • You may request to not have trees removed on your property
  • You may request to be present when the tree work is performed
  • You will receive a written work plan (VWP) documenting the final plan for your property
  • You may request pricing on potential electric system modification to minimize or reduce tree work

For questions or concerns, contact Craig Stoughton at (512) 505-7546.

Northwood Neighborhood Garage Sale May 5

The Northwood spring garage sale is May 5, rain or shine! Located at the northwest corner of Parmer/MoPac. Here’s a map of garage sale addresses (link removed after the sale); click on an address  to see what is for sale.

For neighbors:

We’ll advertise the sale on NextDoor, Facebook and Craig’s’ List. All of those listings will include a link to this post; we’ll add a map with addresses and item categories for sale (ex: children’s clothing, furniture, books).

Register here by May 3 to have your address and for sale items included on our map.

 

General meeting Jan 13, 2018

The general meeting is January 13, 2017 from 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM at the Milwood Library on Amherst Drive. We will elect officers and discuss other issues.  The Vice President position is open. If you wish to run for office, please contact any of the officers.

You can also pay dues at the meeting.

There are other ways to become involved; if you want to help keep Northwood a great place to live, just contact one of the officers.

Please join us!

Vote for Best Holiday Yards through 12/24

It’s that time of year to vote for your – and your children’s –  favorite holidays yard decorations. Enjoy the lights and choose your favorite Holiday Lights and Children’s Choice through December 24.

How to vote? There are 3 ways – just include the voter’s name and the address of the house that gets their vote:

  • complete the voting form on this site OR
  • email northwoodna@gmail.com OR
  • write your name and the address that gets your vote on paper and drop it in the Association mailbox at 4507 Tamarack. The Association mailbox is on the post of the regular US mailbox (do not put it in the regular mailbox).

Questions? email northwoodna@gmail.com

CodeNext – who should decide?

The Northwood Neighborhood Association officers are providing the following information on CodeNext to keep you informed on a topic that may have a direct impact on our neighborhood.  As you may or may not know, CodeNext is a dramatic rewrite of Austin’s land development code and plans for Austin’s future growth. The rewrite will have a profound and decades long impact on virtually every resident in Austin. The CodeNext draft is a very complex document and many concerns have been raised regarding the impact of the changes it would bring.  As the officers of your neighborhood we agree that the citizens of Austin, upon whom these changes would be forced, deserve and should have the right and opportunity to vote on these proposed changes once the final draft is drawn. NOTE: As of now it will be voted on ONLY by the City Council.

The petition circulating is proposing that there shall be BOTH a waiting period and voter approval by election before CodeNext (or any other subsequent comprehensive revisions of the City’s land development laws) is legally effective. The petition must be signed in person, no online signatures will be accepted.  The petition requires a date, signature and printed name, street address, zip code, county of residence and either your date of birth or voter ID number (voter IDs are available at votetravis.com/vexpress/display.do). You must be a registered voter within the city limits of Austin for your signature to be accepted. The signatures will be submitted for validation. (Please only sign the petition ONE time if you are approached more than once and asked to sign it.)

To read additional information on this petition and also another petition for reasonable petition requirements for voter referendums please see indyaustin.org/petitions/.

We have seen first hand that going before the city council is a very time consuming and tedious task. CodeNext is a very complicated and lengthy document which is currently in its second draft (our CodeNext post has links to some CodeNext and petition information). Who knows how many more will come before the final one? We feel it is imperative that the citizens of Austin be allowed to review and vote on CodeNext and that it not be left in the hands of 10 council members and the mayor.

If you would be willing to collect signatures, whether it be on your street or anywhere in the neighborhood please provide your contact info on this form. If you want to get involved in assisting with the petition drive effort in other ways email info@indyaustin.org

 

 

 

CodeNEXT resources

Statesman site for coverage of CodeNEXT codenexthub.org/

Concerns about CodeNEXT’s affect on AISD schools (Statesman article)

Petition & other information from concerned citizens

4/2018  101 Reasons (and counting) why CodeNext is beyond repair (PDF by Community Not Commodity)

IndyAustin indyaustin.org/ has the petition which we are circulating and more information
IndyAustin Facebook page

10/2017 Number of units and building height – Austin Monitor

9/2017 Slide deck of review of problems in CodeNext v2 (PDF)

9/28/17 comments on CodeNext Draft 2- worse than draft 1 (PDF)

Sept, 2017 article regarding activists plans to petition for a public vote  www.austinmonitor.com/stories/2017/09/longtime-austin-activists-team-up-to-petition-for-a-public-vote-on-codenext/

Information from City government regarding CodeNext

Oct 2017 proposed zoning maps by City Council district

Read chapters of the City of Austin draft Land Development Code (CodeNext) and add comments – codenext.civicomment.org/

Timeline as of Sept 2017 (PDF on city’s website)

CodeNext home page on City’s website