Minutes for the June 2, 2022 Special HNA Meeting

Hancock Neighborhood Association
Minutes of Special Meeting
June 2, 2022

Coan Dillahunty presiding.

Special meeting called to vote on a second resolution concerning the proposed Cady Lofts building and its application for a change in zoning.

Atha Phillips, staff with City Council member Kathie Tovo’s office, was present for this meeting.

The building would be located on 3 tracts of land (1004-1008) on 39th St. It is permanent supportive housing (PSH), 100 units of 450 sq ft each, single resident occupancy (SRO). The developers have a partnership with Austin Affordable Housing Corp (AAHC).. The support services will be provided by New Hope Housing, an organization which has provided services for the homeless in Houston. People would be placed in this type of housing by ECHO (https://www.austinecho.org/), a non-profit that deals with people who do not have a home.

Developers and consultants (AAHC, SGI, Saigebrook, O-SDA, New Hope Housing) originally proposed a zoning change to MF-6-NP (Multi-family-highest density) zoning for their project. They are now proposing MF-4, which would lower the maximum height of the building from 90 ft. in MF-6 to 60 ft. with MF-4. It also lowers the maximum number of units per acre from “no limit” to 36 to 54 units per acre.

HNA passed a resolution on 4/28 that expressed support for PSH but had concerns about:

  • The MF-6 zoning being incompatible with the Neighborhood plan
  • The density of 100 units with single resident occupancy (no families)
  • Pedestrian and traffic safety

HNA asked for a 90 day postponement to review the proposal more thoroughly before the Planning Commission would vote on it.

The Planning Commission Meeting was scheduled for May 10. They allowed a 2 week delay. About 10 people from the neighborhood attended the May 24 meeting, speaking mainly against the proposed zoning change but there were also neighbors in support of the change. Other members of the community at large spoke in favor of the PSH. The Planning Commission passed the zoning change unanimously.

On June 2, several neighbors met with Kathie Tovo and her staff. She let them know that she was in favor of the zoning change and indicated that most of the City Council members are behind it. City Council will discuss this at their June 9 and 16, and July 28 meetings. The vote will be taken at the July 28 meeting.

Josh Ellinger mentioned that he would really like the city to purchase this land so that if the Cady Lofts project doesn’t move forward, developers can’t take advantage of the zoning changes. He also said he has researched New Hope enough to know that they have an excellent reputation. He also talked with Kate Moore from ECHO who made a compelling argument for SRO considering the population of people the city needs to serve.

Coan clarified that the building will be open to both men and women.

Coan displayed the new resolution on the screen and reviewed the important sections. Some of the main points are:

  • We no longer object to zoning change now that the Planning Commision has changed to MF-4.
  • We ask the city to review the pedestrian and safety plan for that area.
  • We ask for a conditional overlay on the property to reduce the maximum height to 50 ft.
  • We ask the Planning Commission to refine their notification system for zoning changes.
  • We ask the City Council to amend Affordability Unlocked to include the same notification system for zoning changes.
  • We ask the City to proactively work with neighborhoods to identify potential PSH properties.

Josh Ellinger motioned to bring the resolution to a vote. Bradley Price seconded, Coan said preliminary results looks like it has passed. Coan sent the resolution and count (passed 19 to 1) after the meeting.

Atha Philllips requested the resolution as soon as possible so that they could start working on the requests in the resolution.

Steven Eckoff asked when we would start having discussions about the sidewalks in this area. Atha Phillips mentioned that Cady Lofts will be required to build wide sidewalks in front of the building. In the case of existing sidewalks that need repair, she said the fastest way is to call 311. The more people that call, the better. Unfortunately, the City has a lot of catch up to do in this area.

Resolution is attached.

Recording: https://youtu.be/WshfBR1n8oU

recorded by Laura Tull

PDF of Minutes: https://www.hancockna.org/www/content/hnaminutes20220602.pdf
PDF of Resolution: https://www.hancockna.org/www/content/06-02-22-hna-cady-lofts-city-counc...