Lamar Neighborhood Association
June 21, 2001 Meeting Notes
Bryan King, President, called the meeting to order. Since there were so many new neighbors attending, we began by introducing ourselves and telling where we lived. Following introductions the meeting began with Officer Dustin Lee of APD.
1. District Representative for APD Southwest area – Officer Dustin Lee
Officer Lee informed us that the District Representative model was started 2 years ago to respond to non-emergency issues in the neighborhood. Recently property crimes skyrocketed and a Property Crimes Task Force was formed to provided an intensive response these crimes. Officers on this task force work 8 p.m.-6 a.m. Tues.-Fri. During the time they were working they made over 200 stops and arrested 23 people in the act of or about to burglarize property. One of the arrests also resulted in finding 62 balloons of heroin, 15 crack cocaine rocks and a small amount of marijuana in the area of Barton Skyway and Mopac. Now that this initiative has wrapped up, the District Representatives are back at work on addressing community concerns.
Officer Lee shared a bulletin from APD highlighting risks for having your car or property stolen. He told us that a new non-emergency call system will soon be in effect. Currently using the Teleserve system non-emergency calls go to 974-5750, but soon callers will dial 311. He reminded us that if you need an officer to respond, you still should call 911. He encouraged us to report any property crimes or attempted property crimes, even if nothing was ultimately stolen. Reporting these attempts will help in providing information so that adequate coverage of police in high crime areas is set up and patterns of burglaries are noted.
Officer Lee may be reached at 707-8403 and his secretary is at 707-6804. He will return calls, but it may not be immediately. You may also email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can get information about crime statistics by going to www.ci.austin.tx.us/police.
Bryan mentioned that he and several other SLNA members attended the Police Commander’s Forum. He said they had also stated at that meeting that reporting problems even those not resulting in actual loss, helped insure adequate resources to our neighborhood.
Officer Lee reminded us that the most effective prevention technique was to stay alert and pay attention to what is going on around you. He also reminded us to participate in National Night Out which takes place on August 7, 2001. Bryan is working to get our SLNA registered for NNO; the deadline to have officers visit events is 7/6/01.
Officer Lee also reminded us that police will be patrolling on 4th of July and will show no mercy in ticketing people shooting fireworks in the city limits. This prompted a question about how to report gun shots being fired periodically along Thornton and other areas of SLNA. Officer Lee advised that we call 911 and provide as much information as possible about what we hear or where we think the shots are coming from if possible. Although you do not have to visit with an officer investigating your call in if you prefer not to, they can do more if they can talk to you about the problem. If you choose not to have the officer stop by your home to get information, you can tell them you do not want him to stop by, but please report these problems.
2. South Austin Culture Club
This group of South Austin NA meets periodically to raise political awareness about issues effecting South Austin. Several SLNA members attended the most recent event (see messages regarding this event on the email list). It was held at Green Pastures and everyone seemed to enjoy the experience. This group sponsored the Million Bubba Walk last year and is headed up by Jack Spear.
3. MAD6 (South Lamar expansion) Vote
This proposal is part of the CAMPO plan to be implemented by 2025 and proposes to make South Lamar and other south Austin streets into a 6-lane highway from Ben White to the River. There it will bottleneck because there is no expansion planned through town and in North Austin. The Council voted to support the plan currently for political reasons, but there is still time to speak out against these plans. PLEASE write to the CAMPO group to voice your concern. Bryan will post information on who and where to write on the website and email list.
4. The Vintage project
This is a project planned for South Riverside just east of IH-35. It would have built a high rise property at MF6 that would rise 80 feet. The Council held it to MF4 as a result of the NA’s efforts allowing only 60 foot structure. There is another vote on the issues in about 2 weeks. Check the email list and local papers to stay informed on this project.
5. 4th of July Party
It was decided that we would have a potluck on the grounds of Unity Church beginning about 5:30 or 6 p.m. Bryan will bring a grill to allow people to cook hotdogs, burgers, tofu and the like if they choose. It was suggested that he contact Capital Metro about a shuttle to carry neighbors from Unity to the fireworks at Zilker later that evening. If you are interested in helping with this event in anyway, please contact Bryan or any of the other SLNA officers. Everyone is encouraged to stop by for a while even if they don’t want to go to the fireworks display later.
6. Signs and flyers
Obviously the new signs worked to let folks know about the meetings. Most of the people in attendance came as a result of having seen the signs. Bryan will try to purchase a couple of more signs and add them to other locations such as the split of Bluebonnet off Lamar and the Ft. View area. Also Hilary Dyer agreed to be Chairperson for getting signs and flyers out for the meetings. She is recruiting individuals who would be willing to be block captains and help with this effort. You can contact her or any of the SLNA officers if you would be interested in helping. THANKS HILARY!
7. Park Update
Bryan is continuing to work with Beverly Griffith and Sara Campbell towards getting a park for SLNA. The primary focus at this time is the 5 acres that are on Thornton. The property is very expensive currently, but the City is being approached about possible funding. This generated a question about the site for the new library. It seems that a site has probably been chosen, but we have not heard where just yet. Unity Church property is currently not an option.
8. Dues and membership
Bryan made a motion as a result of feedback he has heard from SLNA members that a new fee structure should be set up for membership. You can join at $10 as a member for a year or if you are open to paying $20 you will be considered a Big Bubba or have your fees go for a two-year period. Anyone wishing to pay more can. Patricia seconded this motion and it carried unanimously. We now have a bank account at Austin Telco Credit Union and membership fees have been deposited.
9. Development Update
Noah’s Ark Storage (Kinney and Lamar) – This is the same storage project just with a new name. The original partners have joined with Noah’s Ark, a group from San Antonio. Nothing new is happening on this front.
Del Curto Place – As a result of Byran’s efforts with the City and Fire Department, Mr. Howell was denied his request for 26 feet roadway. He must build a 30 foot road through the new project. This will reduce (somewhat) the number of units he can get on the property. He has also decided to tear down the remaining house on that land.
Mary Lee Foundation Lot – Neighbors along Ravey had heard that the developer was going to the City with a proposal in November. They also had heard that he had found a backer in one of the neighbors. Bryan reported that he had approached the developer at one time, but did not decide to pursue it ultimately. Marcie had also been involved at one point in the project, but is no longer involved in it. Bryan will investigate and try to let folks know if something is moving forward with this project.
Ogden’s Junkyard – Bryan has pursued trying to get this cleaned up and had someone come out to check on it. At this time, however, there are a number of lawsuits related to this property which sort of stops us from being able to do anything about it. We can call 911 to have officers ticket him for blocking traffic or parking illegally in that area.
Taco Express and Trailer Park – This property is currently under contract to Trammel Crow, Inc. They are proposing to build a mixed-use property including first level store fronts and multifamily housing above similar to the property on South Congress. Bryan is continuing to work with the realtors to have neighborhood input to plans.
10. Membership drive
In an effort to get more members, a prize will be offered to the person who brings in the most new memberships by the next SLNA meeting date. The winner will receive an all-expense-paid dinner for two at Maria’s Taco Express. Bryan will spring for the drinks.
11. Questions and comments
Patricia reminded folks about the weekly Happy Hour at Taco Express at 6 p.m. on Friday.
Bryan reminded folks about resurfacing of Del Curto, Lightsey and Dolphin Cove on Sunday.
Paisley encouraged everyone to get involved and stay involved in the SLNA. BE VIGILANT!!!!
Camille told folks to report planes flying too low to the ABIA Tower.
Kay Dorsey accepted the role of Chairperson for National Night Out since she has hosted several before in her neighborhood. She shared information about her plans for National Night Out and encouraged us to get involved. We will have a big gathering at Unity, if we can utilize their space, early in the evening. People are encouraged to follow-up later in the evening with block parties in their immediate area. People interested in helping Kay pull this together should contact her or Bryan. Ideas and muscle are welcomed. THANKS KAY!
Concern was expressed over the number of cars and their proximity to the corner (obscuring a clear view of traffic). Bryan has already contacted Jesse Washington about the problem and he will be checking up on the result. Look for further postings.
A suggestion was made that perhaps we could organize a S. Lamar Bizarre to include artist, S. Lamar businesses, and generally S. Lamar culture.
The next SLNA meeting is set for the third Thursday in August (August 16th).
Corrections to meeting notes should be submitted to Kate Moss email@example.com or Bryan King firstname.lastname@example.org prior to the next meeting. You may also contact Bryan with items for the agenda.