South Lamar Neighborhood Association

Meeting Minutes

June 19, 2003


·        Kevin called the meeting to order and asked everyone to introduce themselves. There were approximately 35 people in attendance.


·        Kevin made general announcements:

o       Austin Energy is raising rates due to fuel price increases. The Green Choice program has had no rate increases.

o       Deep Eddy pool has started their summer Saturday Splash Party movie nights.

o       There is a meeting to discuss the route of the Lance Armstrong bikeway on June 23, at 6PM at Metz elementary school.

o       The next ANC meeting is 6/25, 7PM at 721 Barton Springs Rd. (the Austin Energy building). The speaker will be Austin City Manager Toby Futrell.

o       The Unity Church is starting their Vacation Bible school signup. Contact Unity for more information.

o       APD district rep Kenny Nash was scheduled to speak, but did not show up.

o       The South River City Citizens (Travis Heights) will be having a July 4th parade and picnic starting at St. Edwards/East Side and continuing north to Stacy Park, site of the picnic.


·        Sarah Crocker spoke regarding the two zoning cases at the corner of Bluebonnet and S. Lamar. These sites are the current Trailer Park and the W.O. Harper property, former site of Anna’s Toy Depot. Sarah is representing the property owners and Walgreens in their quest to locate a store on these properties.

o       David Darr is the developer

o       Sarah also mentioned that she is representing Sayther Automotive in their rezoning case of the Duffy Oyster lot on Fortview. The lot will be used for car storage to get cars off of the street. A car storage lot requires CS zoning. Sayther is open to CS with CO to only allow car parking. The case will be heard by ZAP in mid-July.

o       The trailer park rezoning is for 1.301 acres of the total 5.01 acres.

o       They are requesting GR and have reduced the desired area down to 1.301 acres.

o       The Harper property is now CS on the front half, and there is a pending GR rezoning request on the back half. This is on the 7/17 city council agenda.

o       Harper will not sell and will offer Walgreens a ground lease to allow parking.

o       There will be a driveway out to Bluebonnet (BB). They will widen BB and put a sidewalk along it, as well as sewer/culvert for drainage.

o       Walgreens says they will schedule their delivery trucks only at certain times.

o       Walgreens will put a fieldstone façade on the building with a grey/blue metal roof, to fit more into the neighborhood.

o       Site lighting is an issue. They will have smaller and shorter light poles and hoods to be able to direct the light downward and not be as bright as, say, the HEB.

o       There is no water exemption – there will be 2 ponds, one for retention, and one for sedimentation and filtration.

o       This will not fix the current drainage issues off of (e.g. surrounding) the property but they possibly would do some offsite drainage improvements.


·        At the conclusion of Sarah’s presentation, Kevin opened the floor for questions:

o       Q. What would happen to the light and traffic at Bluebonnet?

o       A. There is an alignment issue with BB and Lamar. Sarah will meet with TxDot regarding the light timing. 18-wheelers have to have sufficient turning radius. They will work with a transportation consultant.

o       Q. What will be the flow of the trucks?

o       A. Sarah doesn’t know except that it won’t be east on BB.

o       Q. Who is the transportation consultant?

o       A. John Hickman – a private consultant. Also involved is Amy Link from the City of Austin who is the transportation reviewer.

o       Q. What is the projected traffic flow?

o       A. Measured in trip counts. The numbers are from Amy Link at the City. CO limited to 2000 trips/day. The assumption is 50%/50% flow off S. Lamar and BB.

o       Q. So the zoning is reduced to 1.301 acres -  I thought it was 2 acres?

o       A. The rest of the 2 acres comes from what is already zoned CS along a Lamar. The rest of the property not covered goes back to the owner with the current zoning.

o       Q. Will the sidewalk on BB go only to the end of the property (not further east)?

o       A. Yes, only to the end of the property. They are required to post 12% of the cost of the road improvements at the time of rezoning. The rest will be paid later.

o       Q. Are there 3 residential houses along BB? There are many, many more in the neighborhood using BB.

o       A. Yes 3 residences.

o       Q. Does a COA contractor do the road improvements to BB?

o       A. No, Walgreens is required to do this.

o       Q. Will the Harper building stay?

o       A. No

o       Q. Will Maria’s stay?

o       A. Yes

o       Sarah concluded by saying that the cases come before the City Council on July 17th. 2PM is the 3rd reading of the Harper case, and 4PM is the Walgreens case. The 2PM time is not an official time since this is the 3rd reading. But the 4PM time is a public hearing time.

o       Sarah said that Mr. Bowers from Walgreens (responsible for 65 stores) is worried about all of the questions he has been receiving, and has been too busy to respond. He suggests an email address be provided so the neighborhood can send questions via email and get responses in a more timely fashion. Sarah didn’t have the email address but will get it.

o       There was some discussion if the man she was referring to was a Mr. Ballert, but Sarah says the man she talked to was Mr. Bowers.

o       At this point the question/answer period ended and Sarah left the meeting.


·        Bryan King gave a presentation of the Trailer Park committee recommendations.

o       He projected a map of the area on which he clearly showed the boundaries of the affected properties.

o       It is recommended that the rear of the Harper property be zoned LO, the request is for GR.

o       The request for 4 acres of the trailer park is for GR. By reducing the size of the rezoned area to 1.301 acres, they are reducing the size of the valid petition (that area from which people can sign a petition against the rezoning). Thus by reducing the size they reduce the possibility of neighbor protest.

o       If you connect the dots of the boundaries of the adjacent commercial properties, you get a nice 2 acre tract fronting Lamar.

o       By chopping up the property as is proposed by Walgreens, the remaining land is very odd-shaped, which is not appealing.

o       There is a competing developer who has suggested building a Walgreens on the 1.58 acres across the street at the current Jim Ross lot.

o       Bryan showed many aspects of the properties and the possible alternate usages on the maps.


·        At this point, Bryan fielded questions and the neighbors engaged in discussion.

o       The owner is asking $20/sq ft. Local businesses could pay only about $10-15/sq ft.

o       The size of the proposed Walgreens store is 14,500 sq ft.

o       The Anna’s Toy Depot building has been there at least 30 years.

o       Zoning of GR allows 90% impervious cover, and structures up to 60’ in height. The Walgreens could be built on 67% impervious cover, and thus could be zoned LR.

o       There was discussion of the number of trips per day from the site. 1900 +/-

o       The committee recommends that the corner back property be zoned LO, not GR.

o       The city is proposing GR-CO for the Harper property.

o       LO is Local Office.

o       SLNA had an architect draw up a zoning site plan for the Harper property.

o       2970 sq ft requires 32 parking spaces. This would fit on the site.

o       One neighbor, Joshua?, indicated he would like to open a café in the Harper building. Zoning LO would work for him.

o       SLNA wants a LO-CO trip limit for the site.

o       Daryl suggested people look at the Internet for information about other neighborhood communities opposing Walgreens development.

o       Walgreens wants to build 3200 new stores in the next 7 years. Translating to 400-500/year.


·        Miss Wong asked to make a presentation to the group.

o       There are many old and beautiful trees on this property.

o       She graciously invited all neighbors to her home to enjoy the trees.

o       She questioned how long it would be that residents of the trailer park would be allowed to stay in their homes after the zoning was approved. She said Sarah Crocker said at the last ZAP meeting that it would be about 12 months, but later outside the building, said it would be 8 months.

o       There are already 25-30 Walgreens in Austin.

o       She quoted demographics suggesting Walgreens would be better suited in other parts of town with a higher number of senior citizens.

o       Miss Wong stated how beautiful the trees are and was fearful they would be taken out with a new Walgreens.

o       Again Miss Wong invited neighbors to her home.


·        More discussion ensued.

o       Daryl said that the city has said that a  LO or NO zoning would work for the Harper property. The applicant has not proven a need for otherwise. The front of the Harper property is still CS with rezoning.


·        Bryan King made a motion that SLNA propose to have the W.O. Harper property currently zoned  SF-3 to be changed to LO with a CO trip limit of 715/day. If any  portion of the building extends into the proposed LO-CO area, then the footprint portion of building  is zoned GR allowing reasonable use of the entire building.

o       Daryl seconded the motion.

o       Marci asked to postpone the vote momentarily – she asked the restaurateur if he could still open a café with LO-CO zoning.

o       He indicated that he could.

o       The neighbors erupted in cheers.

o       Bobby Hubertus suggested the neighbors all email the message to the city council as a united group.

o       It was suggested that an email template for this purpose be created and made available to neighbors.

o       It was stated that the comment cards available at the LCRA building are more effective and are read into the record. People are urged to fill out these cards prior to the July 17th meeting. The meeting is at the LCRA building.

o       Bryan stated his motion again. The motion was seconded, and by a 28-0 vote was approved by acclamation.


·        As the time approached 9PM, Bryan made a motion that the meeting time be extended beyond 9PM. It was approved.


·       Marci Roberts made a motion for the SLNA to oppose the requested GR zoning on the Village Trailer Park property (referenced by COA file # C14-03-0068), to oppose any other classification except that LR would be permissible for an area limited to a 180-foot depth from the S. Lamar property line, and that balance of the property should remain residential with no commercial-zoned access onto Bluebonnet Lane. The motion was seconded and by a 26-0 vote was approved by acclamation.


·        More discussion of a similar vane followed and the meeting adjourned shortly thereafter.





NOTES: COA = City of Austin,  BB = Bluebonnet Lane


For corrections to these minutes contact Hilary Dyer