South Lamar Neighborhood Association

Meeting Minutes

April 17, 2003


·        Kevin called the meeting to order and asked everyone to introduce themselves. There were approximately 30 people in attendance.

·        Kevin made general announcements

o       SACC luncheon and candidate forum coming up on Tuesday 4/22.

o       Voting update – early voting is ongoing for the May 3rd city council, mayoral, ACC tax/bond elections.

o       City of Austin, UTC bike and pedestrian improvements along South Lamar are being discussed. The goal is for there to be no gaps in the sidewalks from Town Lake to Ben White. There is also discussion of a bike lane.

o       ANC N.I.C.E. (Neighborhoods in Community Empowerment) meeting next Monday 6:30PM at 721 Barton Springs Rd., Town Lake Center.

o       Carol Gibbs reported on Earth Day and the “It’s My Park” program.

o       SLNA has a new nursery nearby – Floribunda – on east side of South Lamar just north of Oltorf. John Hudson, proprietor.

o       Crime statistics – assaults, burglary of residences, and burglary of vehicles are top incidences reported.

o       311 is the proper phone number to call to report parking disputes.

o       Marci reported that the Office Depot is cutting back and no longer printing our newsletter for free. We need a new printer and more advertisers. The executive committee will work on a solution.

·        Kevin made some development announcements

o       Lamar storage continues to try to get approval to have only 20 parking spaces on a lot that requires 57. The BOA has denied this for the 2nd time, but Lamar Storage threatens to appeal. This could come up again around May 12th.

o       Kinney Mues – no new information and not much work appears to be happening currently. They have said, however, that they will be pushing the sidewalks back away from the street in response to neighbor’s concerns. Thank you Camille for bringing this up!

o       Construction has begun on the auto body shop at Morgan and Bannister. They are using a construction entrance off of Morgan which has raised some concerns with neighbors.

·        John Hernandez, Trustee with ACC spoke on the upcoming election

o       $0.05 tax increase, $99M bond package in part to build a South Austin campus. Ciele Spelce in the ACC communication office can answer any questions anyone has on these matters.

·        Wizzie Brown with the Travis County Agriculture Extension office spoke about fire ants

o       Polygyne colonies can have >200 mounds and 40M ants per acre

o       Monogyne colonies have 40-150 mounds and <7M ants/acre

o       Older neighborhoods tend to have other ant species which compete with fire ants, and hold the population down. It is important to conserve the native ant species.

o       Ants can be controlled/reduced by using baits. One technique is to use a tuna can and hot dogs to create a bait station. Once ants are drawn to the bait they can be removed.

o       Boiling water can be used to reduce ants by 60%. Use 3 gal/mound, best after a rain when ants are closer to the surface.

o       Ants can be removed by shoveling them out. Use talcum powder on tools to prevent ants from climbing up and attacking.

o       Home remedies such as grits and sugar do not work.

o       Citrus peels ARE effective in making ants move.

o       Research is underway on using predator phorid flies to reduce fire ants.

o       Organic bait treatments such as spinosed and rosemary oil are effective.

o       Community-wide management can reduce fire ants by 90% in a neighborhood and lower everyone’s costs.

o       For fire ant mounds near concrete slabs use bait.

o       For fire ants in gardens use diatomaceous earth and pyrethroids AROUND but NOT IN the garden.

o       Baits tend to have a small amount of an active ingredient such as spinosid. Spinosid is organic, but most are not.

o       Ants tend to get into electrical equipment

o       See info on the web:, http://www.tcebookstore.org

o       Call Wizzie at 854-9600 at the extension office anytime. You can send her insect samples in something like film canisters for her identification and advice.

·        Sarah Crocker, representing Walgreen’s, spoke about the trailer park property near Bluebonnet/Lamar

o       She did not have a site plan

o       Walgreen’s is moving out of the strip mall down the street

o       They have several nearly identical projects already built – S. 1st St at Stassney for example

o       Walgreen’s approached Sarah

o       They propose leaving Maria’s Taco Xpress as is

o       Nations Bank is the trustee of WOHarper. They do not want to sell their property that Russell’s Bakery is looking at

o       The property has joint access easement with the trailer park entrance

o       The property is 4 acres which is all of the trailer park

o       There will be onsite water quality and detention facilities

o       The store front will be set back but face Lamar

o       There will be no access to Bluebonnet however they do want access from Bluebonnet for their delivery trucks (18-wheelers)

o       They would have to upgrade Bluebonnet, i.e. widen it, for this purpose

o       They would also have to put in sidewalks along Bluebonnet

o       The store will be 14000 sq ft, with 2 drive-through pharmacy windows

o       The current store is 7500 sq ft

o       They will provide a delivery schedule to SLNA

o       The rezoning issue will come before ZAP in May sometime. They will ask for GR.

o       Walgreen’s will work with us

o       Parking will be at a rate of 1/200 sq ft

o       This site is Walgreen’s first choice

·        Meeting attendees brought up issues and discussed with Sarah

o       Why does Walgreen’s want to carve up the property – why not buy the whole thing. The property is 7 acres total, and they want 4.

o       18-wheelers in the neighborhood is not acceptable

o       What affect would this have on Maria’s? Would there be parking available?

o       What green space would be left on the property?

o       This cookie-cutter Walgreen’s would be an unattractive box building and not fit the neighborhood

o       Currently the property is zoned SF-3, rezoning to GR with the MF-2 right behind it could lead to a big box (30,000-40,000 sq ft) development

o       The contract is signed conditional to the rezoning

o       What would be the hours of operation?

o       Access to Bluebonnet is a negative impact to the neighborhood

o       Widening Bluebonnet is not necessarily an improvement

o       What would happen to the landscaping and trees?

o       Sarah proposed a meeting next week to bring our concerns

o       The zoning case will be heard in the next 3 weeks or so

·        Sarah Crocker left and the discussion continued

o       Who will be on a committee to formalize our concerns?

o       Daryl made a motion that we reject any proposal that does not keep the property as a whole. This was not seconded, as Bill S. pointed out that this should be merely a part of our consideration.

o       Marcy took on action items – meet with Sarah and Walgreens, and start a dialog with the current property owner (who has inherited the property, and wants to sell it).

o       A motion was made to set up this committee, it was seconded, and passed by vote.

o       Carol G. will help coordinate but will not chair.

o       Marci said she would co-chair

o       Bryan K also offered to help

o       A GR zoning means they can have 90% cover and structures can be up to 60’ high.

o       The Zilker NA Executive Committee has some comments with respect to the Urban Planning Commission and the Urban Transportation Commision. We need to work with Zilker.

o       A note was made to tabled the issue: forming a committee to draft a long-range plan for the neighborhood, and the corridor plan for Lamar

o       A motion was made to take long-term planning applied to South Lamar corridor as an interface to our neighborhood plan which is still years away. The motion was passed.


·        For corrections to these minutes contact Hilary Dyer