South Lamar Neighborhood Association

Meeting Notes

August 21, 2003


·        President Kevin Lewis called the meeting to order.


o       Nancy Worth, pastor at Unity, introduced herself and invited SLNA folks to attend their Friendship Sunday services on September 7th. Everyone is invited. Nancy said that the Unity Church is considering staying at the present location, as well as considering purchasing the current Lighthouse for the Blind building and its 2.5 acres. They expect to make a decision by the end of the year. She said the grounds are open and invites area residents to enjoy the picnic area. Nancy had to leave to attend another meeting.


o       Everyone introduced themselves. There were approximately 26 people in attendance.


o       Carol Gibbs discussed the newsletter. Give her any ideas and/or articles that you have to get into the newsletter. It is not necessary to wait until the last minute! Also Carol needs more people to take routes for delivery of the newsletter. The time commitment is small – about ½ to 1 hour every other month.


o       Kevin mentioned that we are no longer getting free copying of the newsletter, so if anyone has ideas for printing and help with the newsletter, let Kevin or Carol know.


·        Presentations. City View Storage

o       Kevin introduced Sarah Crocker and Joe Simmons

o       Joe is the owner and discussed his latest proposal. Sarah is his agent.

o       Joe gave the history of the different proposals and said that what he is now seeking is a compromise (Building #3) which requires a variance for parking. He distributed a handout with the three proposals:


Building                  56,232 sq. ft.

Storage/Office                    parking @ 1:1000        57 spaces required


20 spaces provided

at grade + 2 spaces

interior at entrance






Building                  56,232 sq. ft.

Storage/Office                    (47,736) parking @ 1:1000      48 spaces required

20 spaces provided

at grade + 28 interior







Building                  56,232 sq. ft.

Storage/Office                    (51,681) parking @ 1:1000      52 spaces required

20 spaces provided

at grade + 15 interior






o       So what he is now seeking is a parking variance of 18 spaces for Building #3.

o       This is a self-storage business which has low traffic. It is unobtrusive with respect to traffic and parking. He doesn’t need all of the parking that is required by the city. This is not a retail business.

o       The issues include the turning radius at the corner of Lamar. He “might be able to do something”. He is talking with the public works department and with Mr. Nassour (sp?) who owns the lot that the old Diamond Shamrock, now Down Under car sales, is on. He wants to cut off part of that corner which would allow for easier turning onto Kinney from northbound Lamar.

o       Joe said he is putting the air conditioning units on top of the building and in the center to reduce noise.

o       He will be doing landscaping with 4-6” trees that are 10-12’ high.

o       With regards to the fencing, Joe is “open to what you want to see”. Perhaps wrought iron with stone columns in front and along the side by Lynn Rudder’s house.

o       If Joe gets the parking variance he is asking for, that would be economically beneficial for him, and he would be willing to share the benefit with other plans for the site.

o       Sarah continued, and discussed the various concerns surrounding the site.

o       Noise is an issue and they are putting the a/c units on the roof, in the center to help with that.

o       The intersection at Lamar has a bad turning radius by the gas station/Mr. Nassour’s property. If they touch (i.e. change) the corner then Mr. Nassour loses the driveway. Would need our help in getting him a new curb cut, 30-40’ from Lamar. It would be a significant development to improve the intersection. It could be done but would be an on-going effort. He would be willing to give something in writing if we will work with him on getting the variance approved. There is a separate permit required for the street work, and a public works approval process. They are in the “design phase” for that.

o       Herman Thunn is the architect on the project. The heating and cooling are on the roof in the center, within a fence. Will reduce noise and be away from Rudder’s house.

o       He is planting 263 caliper inches of replacement trees. These are 14’ tall, 4-6” diameter live oak, cedar elm, and bur oak.

o       Compatibility requires solid fencing. He would work with Rudder on what to put on his side. Perhaps dense vegetation against wrought iron fence with rock columns.

o       There will be rock columns in front with wrought iron.

o       The big ticket is the intersection improvement. The fire line and hydrant and storm sewer all have to be moved/replaced. TxDOT has a say in it, but Public Works controls most of it. A little shave-off won’t work. It has to be cut back 30-40’.

o       He would be willing to put it in writing. He needs to know pretty quickly if they can go forward.

o       At this point Sarah concluded and asked for questions. There were a few:

o       Why do you want to put in a storage facility, is this really needed? Joe said his research shows there is a need for storage.

o       Who did the landscape plan? Tom Brown.

o       How much would the intersection improvement cost? They thought around $200K.

o       Sarah and Joe thanked everyone, and left the meeting.


·        Kevin reviewed the history of City View Storage and SLNA involvement

o       2 years ago Joe and his partners came forward with the first proposal. It was the first request for a variance. The BOA denied their request, saying they didn’t think it was warranted.

o       1 year later they came back asking for the same variance. It was again denied. They asked for a reconsideration, which is still pending.

o       The BOA may possibly go along with what SLNA recommends. The SLNA decision has been in favor of them building to code.

o       Bryan pointed out that “getting it in writing” doesn’t mean anything. This is an offsite facility for office paper storage. A 10x20 would be about $400/month, which is not in a range most SLNA residents could afford.

o       Steve L. said that what they would give us (e.g. landscaping) is not valuable.

o       Bryan made a motion that SLNA make them build to city code.

o       Daryl seconded the motion. A hand vote was unanimous (20-0).



·        Kevin briefly discussed Walgreens. The issue may possibly come back in a different form. We earned credibility with City Council.


·        Nathan Munk spoke about his Kinney Mues project

o       He is with Wellstone Partners

o       He has the building plans for 14/16 units

o       He would like a variance for set backs between 4 units. There are 2 large elms and 1 large oak tree that could be saved if he reduces the set back to 5 feet.

o       There is a vegetative buffer all around the property. The set back would not be an imposition to the surrounding neighbors.

o       Pat McNeil has done the landscape plan with native grass

o       There is an underground detention facility which would need to possibly be replaced in around 50 years. It works by way of micro-organisms that eat the oil. He has to file a maintenance agreement for the underground detention facility with the city.

o       He has sold 4 units to date.

o       He has applied for a variance, and there is a hearing Monday, 9/8 at Town Lake center. He discussed the contents of the application – that he is asking for setback variance of 5’ so as to save the trees on the property. Explained again no adverse impact to the neighborhood.

o       The demographics are: 2nd to 3rd time homeowner, 35-55 year old ‘empty-nester’, overeducated, underemployed.

o       There is a model at the design center at Penn Field.

o       Nathan is greatly interested in the fabric of the neighborhood, and fitting in with it.

o       At that Nathan left the meeting.


·        Kevin briefly read part of the application but we did not want to go through it at this time.

o       Carol Gibbs suggested giving the executive committee the vote to support the variance and made a motion as such.

o       Bryan King was concerned about giving the executive committee power to make the decision whether to support the variance or not, without having read the application.

o       Carol added further then that the vote would be subject to further review by the executive committee. She said she personally supports the variance.

o       Daryl Thompson said that if the paperwork is what Nathan said it was, then he supports it as well.

o       Don Ewalt then made a motion to support the request for the variance in concept, subject to executive committee review.

o       Bill Stoughton seconded the motion.

o       The motion passed unanimously, 10-0.


·        Jason Martin, EMS district commander, introduced himself

o       Jason works in special ops (e.g. rescues) for the city of Austin

o       Located on S. 1st St.

o       President of EMS employee association

o       They endorsed Will Wynn for mayor

o       Jason is happy to answer anyone’s questions

o       If anyone is interested in riding out on a unit, he is happy to accommodate them. Just get in touch with Jason.


·        Bryan King, neighborhood planning

o       Bryan is trying to get SLNA moved up in the queue for neighborhood planning

o       Our planning area also includes Galindo, ZIlker, Barton Hills, and Barton Oaks

o       Should happen around October, 2004 – planning encompasses land use, visioning, goals, safety, and amenities

o       We need neighborhood involvement in the process

o       Part 2 is land use for improperly zoned areas

o       We have to do a survey of residents

o       Takes 6-9 months


·        Carol Gibbs - Pocket Park

o       City parks department is not interested in the donation of the land at the corner of Del Curto and Cinnamon Path because of liability concerns.

o       They claim we already have park resources close by – S. Austin Rec Center, Gillis Pool, Zilker Park

o       Carol will wait until the end of September to find out where the parks department is, and will go from there.

o       If the area were to become a pocket park, SLNA would enter into a contract with the city where we would then be liable for maintenance of the park.

o       The property in question was auctioned off by the city for back-taxes (about ~$25K).


·        Russell’s bakery site

o       Dale and Melissa Fowler’s folks are coming from out of town to look at the Russell’s site for a possible children’s clothing store.


·        Bryan announced that the next ANC meeting is Wed 8/27. They will discuss the new development process. There will be 2 presenters.


·        Kevin thanked everyone and the meeting was ended.



For corrections to these minutes contact Hilary Dyer