Category Archives: community involvement

Vote for holiday yard of the month through 12/28

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 28.

How to vote? There are 2 ways – just include the voter’s name and the address of the house that gets their vote:

Questions? email northwoodna@gmail.com

Land Development Code update from Council Member Pool

The following is an update of the LDC process copied from an email received Nov. 25, 2019 from Council Member Pool’s office

We are nearing the dates for the public hearing and the first vote at council on the Land Development Code (LDC) revision. My staff and I have been visiting with many of you at your neighborhood meetings and in small gatherings, reading your emails, and taking your phone calls. I am listening to your important concerns, and focusing my efforts on making improvements to the proposed code and maps.

I know many of you are worried about the new “transition zones” that have been mapped in your neighborhoods that are designed to increase the number of dwelling units allowed on lots that are currently single family. Many of you are asking about the potential of increased property valuations on your homes. I’m hearing your concerns that the new code may relax current and hard-won environmental and tree regulations, and your worries that the rewrite could add more impervious cover in neighborhoods with existing local area flooding. I share these concerns and my staff and I continue diligently to surface these legitimate worries with city staff so they recognize the impacts and we can work together to mitigate them.

My staff and I have been collecting the many questions you’ve asked, whether in person at our town hall or by phone or email. We have posted many of the questions that you have asked and the code rewrite team have now answered many of them. Please visit the Council Q&A portal to the questions and the answers that city planning staff have posted. Not all of the questions have been answered yet, but staff are working diligently to get those responses posted.

Right after the Thanksgiving holiday, you’ll have a number of opportunities to watch council discussion on the code revision. Two key dates for your calendar are the public hearing on Saturday, Dec 7, and the council meeting on Dec 9 when the council is scheduled to take its first reading vote. The LDC is an ordinance, which requires three readings at council before approval.

LDC Timeline and Events
Austin City Council LDC Work Session: Tuesday, December 3, 1pm
Austin City Council LDC Work Session: Wednesday, December 4, 12-4pm
Austin City Council Public Hearing: Saturday, December 7, 10 am
Austin City Council LDC First Reading Vote: Monday, December 9, 10am

The December 7 public hearing , is the opportunity for the community to voice their opinion on the draft code and maps to council. Sign up ahead of time to ensure your name will be on the list of speakers. You can find more information on how to sign up here.

The December 9 council meeting will be the final LDC discussion of the year. At this time I expect the item will be brought back to council in late January or early February. You can watch meetings live on ATXN or from the city’s archive.

LDC Resource Link
Here is our LDC Resources table listing important planning, transportation, housing, and environmental documents that helped to inform city planning staff on the LDC revision draft.

My staff has been reaching out to District 7 neighborhood leaders for several months now to engage in discussions on the LDC revision, and we will continue to do so through this process. Please email my policy advisor Louisa.Brinsmade@AustinTexas.gov with your questions, or with invitations to join your neighborhood group for discussion.

Oct 24: District 7 Town Hall on Land Development Code: results

District 7 Town Hall Meeting Results

Here are notes from a neighbor who attended Council Member Pool’s town hall on the new Land Development Code. There were two handouts (PDFs):

flyer for people living in or near a transition zone  – flyer from Allendale resident about concerns and causes of flooding

  • All people there were against the code!
  • Preserve our neighborhoods!
  • A woman from RiverPlace (by 2222 near FM 620) talked – she asked that the process be slowed down.  That area is getting hit HARD with the code changes.  They are in a MAJOR wild fire hazard area, and the code does not provide an infrastructure to quickly evacuate the proposed amount of density.
  • People asked for transparency & accountability.
  • A builder spoke – stated that there was no way that a single family home lot in his neighborhood (Rosedale) could be converted to a multiplex & make a profit.  The lots just  will not accommodate such.
  • He stated that the zoning does not take into consideration the differences in Austin neighborhoods & that one plan will NOT accommodate all of Austin!
  • The city planning representative stated that they were following the mandate given by the council.  That was the default response to a lot of questions.
  • Heritage trees will continued to be preserved – but we all know how builders get around that.
  • Affordable housing -They admitted that have no way of tracking if builders actually offer the number of affordable units promised & no enforcement. They are working on that.
  • People stated that Single Family homes and multi-unit dwellings do not need to mix.  Build areas with SF homes and areas with multi-unit homes, just not in the same place.
  • Several people pointed out there there were empty business/abandoned dwellings in a transition area, that were not considered.  Why not?
  • District 6 has NO upzoning!
  • I asked if this has been done in other city/what was the outcome.  It has been done in Denver and Minneapolis is considering.  Did not address outcome. (webmaster note: during the Oct. 10 meeting for neighborhoods, former Austin Planning Department head and planning expert Jim Duncan noted that Minneapolis has a much lower percentage of single family zoning than does Austin; it doesn’t make sense to compare the two cities.)
  • Apparently there is a map available on Pool’s website where you can comment on and offer suggestions.  Must be submitted by Nov 6
  • Someone asked if it was worth our time to attend Saturday’s Planning Commission meeting.  The planner on Leslie Pool’s team stated “most definitely – they need to hear your voice”.
  • Several handout were given – One on Watershed Protection.  The author – Caroline Reynolds, an Allandale resident – stated that Matt Hollon, the acting head of City of Austin’s Watershed Protection Dept, made it clear that he does not understand the causes & mitigation of flood. It is 2 page document.
  • Constant changes to the code are being made.
  • A 4 page report card on the code will be posted on Leslie Pool’s website, shortly.
  • Probably missed a lot.  More people need to get involved and understand what will happen to their property without their consent!
  • A gentleman from Northwood spoke about  flooding.  While he was speaking cell phones went off with flood warnings!  It seem to amuse the acting Head of City of Austin’s Watershed Protection Dept.

Call/email the Mayor and City Council:
https://www.austintexas.gov/email/all-council-members

www.austintexas.gov/contact-us has phone numbers, individual email addresses and the mailing address (consider sending postcards)

additional information

Map of proposed changes https://communitynotcommodity.com/do-you-live-in-a-transition-zone/

Original information

District 7 is hosting a town hall meeting on the new Land Development Code. City Planning staff will present the draft code text and maps and answer audience questions. Council Member Leslie Pool and her staff will be on hand to assist constituents.

City Planning staff will be available to meet with one on one during the meeting. For information about this town hall email kayla.simon@austintexas.gov or call Council Member Pool’s office at 512.978.2107.

When: Thursday Oct. 24 from 6-8 PM
Where: Lamar Middle School, 6201 Wynona Avenue (map)

Can’t attend the October 24 meeting? There will be two other open houses.

Saturday, October 19, 2019
10AM to 2PM
Conley-Guerrero Senior Activity Center
808 Nile Street, Austin, TX  78702

Wednesday, October 23, 2019
6PM to 9PM
Austin Central Library
710 West Cesar Chavez Street, Austin, TX  78701

For additional information about the Oct. 4 version of the LDC, including a recording of a meeting for neighborhoods around Parmer/MoPac and the slides with details on the residential zoning categories, parking and more, see the post Oct 10 meeting for Parmer/MoPac neighborhoods

 

 

 

Vote for holiday yard of the month through 12/26

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 26.

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

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!

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 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

Northwood/NW corner July 4 parade

Join the Northwood / NW corner July 4 parade – all neighbors who live on this corner of Parmer/MoPac are invited to join the parade. We meet at 10 AM at the corner of Oak Creek Drive and Oak Creek Cove (west of Timberside). Bring flags, decorated bikes and marching music!

Parade route: from Oak Creek Cove, march down Oak Creek Drive to Manhaesset. Turn onto Manhasset, left onto Tamarack and right onto Poquoson. We’ll end the parade part way down on Poquoson in the front yard of some neighbors, where refreshments have been set up.

If you want to contribute to the refreshments, email northwoodna@gmail.com (purchases will be reimbursed).

CodeNEXT comments needed!

A number of Northwood neighbors and others from District 7 attended the May 9
CodeNEXT meeting with Council Member Pool and her staff to learn about the changes and ask questions. The speakers stressed that they want feedback now; changes have been made based on feedback.
To review the code and made comments go to codenext.civicomment.org/. The main CodeNEXT page is www.austintexas.gov/department/codenext. And side by side maps of current and proposed zoning are available at codenext.engagingplans.org/codenext-comparison-map?mc_cid=34c2a62560&mc_eid=e9880136d2

Please review the maps and look for any corrections. it was noted at the meeting that a section of Walnut Creek had been rezoned, when it should have remained open space. Please make comments on any topics on the website and provide any feedback.

A big concern

Code Next proposes a reduction in the required notification for public hearings for zonings and other development applications. Currently, notice is required to be mailed a minimum of 15 days prior to the public hearing. The code revisions reduce that period to 7 days. 7 days doesn’t provide enough time for an organized neighborhood response. As we all know, our response to the apartments took much longer to gather the petitions and other information. The best way to indicate your concerns about this is adding comments at  codenext.civicomment.org/

Additional observations

 The map is divided in to “transect zones” and “non-transect zones”, with most of the inner core located in the “transect zone”, which allows for higher density development. Our area is in the “non-transect zone”, which allows less dense projects than areas in the transect zone.

The changes for our area are minimal, and the apartments will not change. The one big change is setbacks for commercial properties, which shouldn’t impact us too much, but may impact development of two properties on the north side of Northwood, the KAHL property and the Fricke property if they were to go commercial. The compatibility standards are proposed to be reduced as well, which would allow for higher density development closer to the residential property lines.

The parking requirements for residential and commercial properties are being reduced, which could create parking problems for future developments.

The Robinson Ranch PUD is not impacted by Code Next, but the code does strengthen the connectivity requirements, pretty much guaranteeing that the two street stubs on Council Bluff will be connected to any new development to the north at some future date. If the Robinson Ranch property owners requested changes to the PUD, they would be through the new zoning code.

There are concerns about developing in floodplains in the Parmer/MoPac area and how that will affect nearby and downstream residential and commercial sites.

The Watershed Department added some code language regarding on site water detention for future projects, which should help mitigate any potential for increased flooding as property develops upstream. They also added some environmental controls that would require water quality ponds to treat the runoff for particulates and other debris, adding some protection for downstream properties. 

Please add comments; they are being reviewed and the maps are being updated.

Other information

CodeNEXT attempts to address affordability issues. austintexas.gov/codenext/housing?mc_cid=34c2a62560&mc_eid=e9880136d2

CodeNEXT (new zoning guide/maps) meeting with Council Member Pool’s office May 9

CodeNEXT, the new City guide for future zoning and development in Austin, has been recently unveiled. District 7 Council Member Pool’s staff are holding a meeting on May 9 at the Milwood Library starting at 6:30 PM for the northern part of District 7 to discuss CodeNEXT and answer questions.

Link to Council Member Pool’s email about CodeNext (it contains the same links that are listed below and more).

Please review the information in the links below to learn about CodeNEXT and how it affects this part of Austin, and attend the May 9 meeting to ask questions and provide feedback.

  • Compare the current and proposed zoning changes  https://codenext.engagingplans.org/codenext-comparison-map
  • Review the text of the Land Development Code https://codenext.civicomment.org/.Per this page,”CodeNEXT is the new City of Austin initiative to revise the Land Development Code, which determines how land can be used throughout the city – including what, where, and how much can be built.
    The draft Land Development Code will be edited based on the comments you provide on this site, in our public meetings, and through other feedback mechanisms. For more information and for other ways to get involved, please visit our website: austintexas.gov/codenext.”
  • Home page of CodeNEXT www.austintexas.gov/CodeNEXT