HNA Meeting Minutes for March 15, 2023

March 2023 HNA Meeting Minutes

city eTOD presentation

City of Austin staff/officials on the call:
Shanisha Johnson (senior planner on the ETOD at the Housing and Planning department)
Andrea Bates (Interim Director of the housing team)
Lucy Hall (senior planner on the ETOD team)
Zo Qadri (District 9 City Council)

Barbara Epstein: Shanisha Johnson will give an overview of Equitable Transit-Oriented
Development (ETOD) plan.

Shanisha Johnson: Slideshow presentation. Some points that were made:

  • The city has 9 existing TOD (plaza Saltillo, MLK, Crestview station are 3 examples). We
    have observed when these kinds of projects went up, a major demographic shift happens.
    There is a downturn in the BIPOC population replaced by wealthier population as property
    values increase. ETOD is meant to support equitable development
  • CapMetro has led the work on first two station area plans (North Lamar and South
    Congress Transit Center) which we are conducting community engagement for. They have
    online dashboard to review what has been found
  • Station areas in Hancock: Bennett, Hancock, St. David’s , Robert Dedman/UT East
  • We are trying to grow along dense corridors, rather than from the core - hope to reduce
    urban sprawl, live in areas with increased access to daily needs.

Zo Qadri: We would love to hear from more folks in the neighborhood. Contact info for office
district9@austintexas.gov - general emails
parisa.mahmud@austintexas.gov - scheduling
melissa.beeler@austintexas.gov - housing
caleb.pritchard@austintexas.gov - transit

Questions and comments on slideshow:

Ted Piper: I can see the connection of the eTOD program to the 2020 Project Connect bond,
however I am concerned about eTODs focus of "Turning down the voices of certain residents
while turning up the voices on others residents"…as the ballot language for Project Connect that
voters approved did not talk about prioritizing some constituents in Austin over others? Shouldn't
we be focused on listening equally to all constituents?

    Andrea Bates: I apologize for that language being included in the appendix. It is not
    accurate to what the emphasis of the engagement is on. We really want to include more
    voices that are not typically heard from in an engagement process - want to get a
    representative sample

    Shanisha: We think about inclusion when we think about equity. That terminology was a
    mistake. We will make a correction.

Ted: The eTOD seems focused on minimizing 'displacement' of under-represented communities
however we have heard one of the measures of success is "the number of multi-unit
developments built on lots that are currently zoned as single-family”. What is being done to
protect families in these single family homes that would be displaced?

    Lucy Hall: The quote comes from a tool called “Soft Density by Right” from the
    appendix of the policy plan, purpose of which is to make it easier to develop 4-plexes,
    triplexes. The appropriate metric there is the # of single family lots rezoned to
    multifamily. This does not indicate that this is a measure of a success system-wide.
    There is no prescribed redevelopment currently. It is the intention to prevent
    displacement, including using tax abatement, rental assistance, home repair programs.
    The intention is to protect anyone who is at risk of displacement.

Barbara: It is currently illegal to turn a detached garage into an ADU, to rent that out. Nobody is
talking about owner occupants being able to rent out ADUs.

    Shanisha: We plan to incentivize the development of ADUs within ETODs areas. This
    speaks to a property owner, not a developer using these incentives. There will be need to
    some code changes. We are working with our Development Services dept to explore
    those codes that make ADU development almost impossible.

Bart Whatley: Since eTOD area residents weren’t engaged on where stations will be placed (I
note no eTODs are planned in deep west Austin or even deeper east Austin) And eTOD area
residents weren’t engaged in the goals/metrics for success, will residents have a say in what the
regulatory changes will be in the station area? Will different areas be able to have different
solutions, or is it more one size fits all?

    Lucy: Some places have more advanced infrastructure for supporting ETOD and the
    planned Project Connect system. For example downtown is already well suited.
    Any changes made, systemwide or corridor specific, will go through the public hearing
    process, if you are within a half mile of a development of a station area plan. If
    something is happening you are invited to give feedback, take surveys.

    We are looking at station area plans or corridor plans, specific to the needs of the specific
    areas. There will be more system wide changes but they won’t be one size fits all.
    Nancy Lynch: I live on 38th and Peck in a single family home just inside the “circle”. Absolute
    worst case scenario, what do I have to worry about? I love that I’m close to hospitals, have
    transit. I bought this house 40 years ago to retire in. I worry that I will be forced to move
    somewhere that will isolate me.

    Shanisha: That is not being considered a primary transit corridor on 38th. We are
    actively seeking neighbors to weigh in on station area planning - this could have the
    biggest effect on a neighborhood. If you aren’t on a major arterial corridor, perhaps
    someone could add an ADU to the property next door. Large multifamily developments,

Nancy: Does this increase likelihood that 38th is widened? City has the right to go within
15 feet of my front door.

    Andrea: The time that it may take to see the transit system improvements, the necessary
    phasing of station area planning. My concern would be the time before you have the
    benefit of improved transit.

Barbara: When I read the city’s ordinances passed in December, it looked like the City could
target any street that had a bus line or proposed rail line for redevelopment. I’m confused as to
what impact this could have on our neighborhood.

    Andrea: This policy plan is focused on the station areas - a limited universe of change.
    The city could do code amendments outside of the ETOD.

Charles d’Harcourt: What do you think is the timeline of zoning or code rule changes relating
to ETOD in the Hancock/Bennett station areas?

    Lucy: Those were marked as medium priority meaning they aren’t receiving planning in
    the first year. We don’t yet have a timeline as to when those stations would receive
    corridor or station specific planning.

    Shanisha: Safe to say no less than one year. We have to perform the analysis to
    understand the impacts of our proposals. Probably closer to 18 months.

Charles: The zoning changes proposed by CodeNext were stopped by a lawsuit preventing
zoning changes to any property without a council supermajority. What will prevent ETOD
improvements from being stopped by similar lawsuits?

    Andrea: Any regulatory changes would comply with the lawsuit. The city has a
    interpretation of when specific property notification is required. As we see the results of
    the second lawsuit, the understanding of what legal notice and protest rights become
    more clear, that is what we will do.



HNA Meeting Minutes for February 15, 2023

Special Called HNA Meeting, February 15, 2023

Topic: Expansion of I-35

Barbara Epstein: Kitten Holloway will run the meeting. Objective is to go through the statement to TxDOT and City Council statement that was drafted by the transportation committee.

Robyn Ross: I will give background on what has happened over the past 3 years.

This project is called the Capital Express project, the 8 miles from 290 to SH 71/ Ben White. We will speak specifically to our section of those 8 miles.

When TxDOT first reached out in late 2020, a few things had been decided. Upper decks would be removed. TxDOT had decided to add two managed lanes in each direction. Managed lanes are prioritized to bus, etc. Another term we will be using: NCINC (North Central I-35 Neighborhood Coalition) is a group of 13 neighborhoods roughly from MLK Blvd to Airport Blvd.
The first public meeting in Nov/Dec 2020 was online. They presented 3 alternatives as well as the no build alternative. Alternative 1 lowered main lanes and managed lanes below grade, stacked on top of each other. Alternatives 2 and 3 put main and managed lanes side by side, lowered.

Public meeting 2 in March/April 2021 took feedback. TxDOT said it had more than 2300 comments from public. People wanted them to consider features like decks over the freeway, replacing 35 w/ a boulevard, diverting to SH 130. Meeting 3 online in Aug/Sept 2021 eliminated Alternative 1, because it was too expensive to tunnel so deep. Last month TXDOT presented their preferred alternative and released federally required Draft Environmental Impact Study (DEIS) which they must take feedback on.

The current option is Modified Alternative 3. It has decks over a section of Downtown and UT to later become a sidewalk or park. Funding for decks will not come from TxDOT and City of Austin must figure out how to pay for the top part. Modified Alternative 3 has a crossing at 41 and Wilshire that was not in the previous version. Cherrywood pushed for this.

Maps from DEIS were shared and referenced.

Questions and feedback:

  • Barbara: How far it will go into our side of the neighborhood?
    • Robyn: Yes. *pointed out existing right of way (ROW) and proposed ROW on map*. We are losing less than Cherrywood. We are slated to lose a house. Concordia area is protected, Chronicle building is slated to go.
  • Terri Myers: We need to emphasize availability of housing in our neighborhood as well as historical housing.
  • Barbara: What happens to the Cady lofts?
    • Robyn: That is farther in so it won’t be affected.
  • Mark S: Where will Airport Blvd be?
    • 35 will be under Airport in this scenario
  • Barbara: Has there been discussion with other neighborhoods about using this funding for public transit? In looking at DEIS, TxDOT concluded unrealistically that there will be little air pollution impact because they assumed everyone will be using electric vehicles.

Robyn: We are asking for a north central deck. Cherrywood came up with a rendering. It would be a way to get the same benefit as UT/Downtown from 32nd to 38th. It would reduce noise and pollution. It would make it easier to walk between Hancock and Cherrywood. Restrooms, park space can be put above the deck.

With the deck we may lose exit ramp from NB I-35 to 38 1/2. Cherrywood, Mueller decided they would be okay losing that exit ramp. Our statement currently doesn’t state that but that would be a trade-off to discuss.

The statement HNA decides on will be read to City Council. There is an effort to make a Council statement to TxDOT. Their resolution is in line with what we want: more east-west crossings, lower or cap the deck as much as possible, design it to allow for future caps, safety on frontage roads, minimize eminent domain, incentivize rerouting 18-wheeler traffic to SH 130.

This summer they will announce the selected alternative. They may still choose the no build option or announce another modification. Construction to begin in 2025.

Kitten: We will now read the proposed statement aloud and show it on the screen. Sections include our concerns as well as our asks.

Feedback/questions on section A:

Terri: I have worked with TxDOT, I have been their consultant on historic preservation. We must emphasize the neighborhood has many houses/buildings of “historic age” which means 50 years or older. They might not demolish a house but they could run the highway right up to them.

Mark: Will we use Houston as an example? May not be an apples to apples example because Houston has more alternative thoroughfares. We only have Red River/Lamar which are not great options. TXDOT may pick apart the comparison to Houston.

Robyn: Katy freeway is the specific one which went from 18 to 26 lanes in 3 years. This induced more traffic from suburban zones into town.

Hannes Mandel: This is induced demand. It’s people who didn’t drive who may start driving now. People may move to suburbs rather than living closer to town.

Feedback/questions on Section B:

Robyn: This is where we may add language about the tradeoff between deck and the exit ramp.

Barbara: On the frontage road issue, is that going to affect more traffic on red river? The vision zero map already shows Red River as a dangerous pedestrian street now.

Hannes: I agree, more traffic on highway probably means more traffic on nearby streets. UT’s rerouting of Red River will probably also increase traffic.

Barbara: Thank you transportation committee for your hard work!

Kitten: We would like to get approval from the group to vote on the final statement via email. Some revisions need to be made. The doc will be submitted to City Council and to TXDOT as HNA’s statement on this issue.

Barbara: I motion to approve the vote by email on the final statement on the HNA’s comments and feedback provided at the Feb 15 meeting on the I-35 Capital express central project.

Arvind Ravikumar: Seconded.

Voice vote. No nays. The motion passes.

Robyn: Feedback we will incorporate from today:

  • The “historic age” phrase which means 50 years or older
  • Preservation of affordable housing
  • Potential for traffic to spill onto roads like Red River
  • The unrealistic TXDOT assumption that everyone will be driving electric vehicles.

Terri: Motion to adjourn meeting.

Kitten: Seconded.




HNA Meeting Minutes for January 18, 2023

HNA Meeting Minutes

Jan. 18, 2023

Presiding: Coan Dillahunty

Coan asked for a motion to approve the November minutes. Linda Guerrero made the motion. Barbara Epstein seconded the motion. Minutes approved to go in the record.

Hancock Herald Editor - Robyn Ross stepping down as editor. Last newsletter will be the March issue unless we can find a new editor. Please contact Robyn if you are interested.

Compatibility in Corridors (pertains to zoning) was passed by the City Council in December. Not sure what this means for our neighborhood but we will keep an eye on this issue.

Treasurer’s report - Bruce was unavailable so Coan gave report. We have almost raised $600 in association dues from our neighborhood for 2023. Expenditures: Dues for our membership in the Austin Neighborhood Council. Coan encouraged anyone who has not done so to pay your dues.

Officer Elections

Coan had a request to do this process by secret ballot. He entered a link in the chat for members to use to access the ballot.


President: Barbara Epstein
Vice President: Bart Whatley
Treasurer: Bruce Fairfield
Secretary: Sowmya Srinivasan

Nominators said a few words in support of their candidates.


President: Barbara Epstein
Vice President: Bart Whatley
Treasurer: Bruce Fairfield
Secretary: Sowmya Srinivasan

Robyn Ross introduced Brendan Wittstruck, Chair of the North Central I-35 Neighborhood Coalition (NCINC - https://www.ncinc.org) who gave a presentation on the current status of the I-35 project.

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDot) released its draft environmental impact statement (EIS) and their preferred alternative for design. Capital Express I-35 Central Project, which runs from 290 East, in the north, to 290 West/I71 West, in the south, is just one of 3 projects. Entire project runs from 45 in the south to 45 in the north. The designs that are still on the table are Alternative 2, Modified alternative 3 and no build. The preferred design would require 42 more acres of land, most of which is in Cherrywood and Hancock, resulting in 107 displacements, a $4.5 billion dollar price tag and a 6 year construction timeline. Construction is estimated to start in 2025. TxDot is projecting 100,000 more vehicles per day by 2045 but we know from 20 years worth of data that it is at its functional capacity of about 200,000 vehicles per day.

Modified alternative 3 includes 2 non-tolled managed lanes on each side for high occupancy vehicles, EMS vehicles, etc. Displacements include 107 residences and businesses as well as 4 historic buildings. Interchange at Airport Blvd is being proposed as a Single Point Urban Interchange (SPUI), which will be unsuited for pedestrian movement. NCINC has not taken a position yet. They will be working with all of their member neighborhoods before commenting.

Public comments due by March 7. Please get involved in one way or another but comments are crucial. NCINC is trying to get the City Council to be more active in the conversation. NCINC is hopeful that this will change soon. The City Council is hosting a town hall on Feb. 2. TxDot has the funding for this project and they have never made it this far into the process so this is a critical moment for our neighborhoods’ future. Brendan opened the meeting up to questions.

Question: Has your group presented an alternative to TxDot?

Answer: No, NCINC has been more process oriented and goal oriented and have not supplied a specific physical vision. NCINC is in discussions now with TxDot to try to host a meeting with all of the schematics laid out where community members would be able to comment and draw on the schematics.

Question: Do you know about the articles that appeared in Bloomberg and the Guardian about the failure of lane expansion in Houston to accommodate their increased population and traffic.

Answer: Yes, I am afraid that the 6 to 8 years of construction may only benefit Austin for a short period of time.

Question: It is my understanding that TxDot can do their own internal evaluations. Should we read the EIS report with this in mind? Also, I have worked with TxDot previously on some projects and was told not to find anything historic out there.

Answer: Yes, TxDot has a memorandum of understanding with the Federal government that allows them to self-evaluate their EIS.

Question: I have read some of the EIS and there is a scenario that they propose if no reconstruction occurs that a commuter might spend 2.5 hours to drive 8 miles on the highway. Is their methodology questionable? Is there any hope of changing their mind about Modified Alternative 3 or are they just going through an exercise.

Answer: I am concerned about this. They are using the increasing population to justify the highway expansion but in reality if it took 3 hours to cross the city, I simply would not do it. I am going to find an alternative. The highway as it exists needs some kind of reconstruction but not necessarily with the lane expansion. NCINC has brought TxDot’s methodology to their attention repeatedly and they don’t seem to budge in that arena.

Question: Have you been able to get some help/analysis from the University of Texas?

Answer from Hannes Mandel: Report gets complicated quickly but even experts have questioned TxDot’s methodologies. Through Reconnect Austin, they were in touch with a traffic modeling expert from Massachusetts, who had worked on I-35 issues, said TxDot was using outdated methodologies. Every time TxDot predicted growth on I-35, they have been wrong. Currently, traffic modeling uses something called “dynamic traffic assignment.” TxDot still uses “static traffic assignment” from the 1970s. Journalists such as Nathan Bernier, KUT, and Megan Kimball, who is writing a book on this, are helping to keep the public informed. Hopefully, pressure will rise and the City Council will pick it up and make a difference. The Vice-President of the Cherrywood neighborhood association, Brandy, has had contact with the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI), which is a research institute.

Brendan: It isn’t just Austin that is dealing with these issues. Dallas, Houston and El Paso have TxDot projects they are involved with. The TTI at Texas A&M also works with TxDot. Brendan was recently put in touch with a UT professor that does modeling. She has some grad students that NCINC may be able to work with.

Question: Any lawsuits in the works?

Answer: Yes, 3 groups (TexPIRG, Environment Texas and Rethink35). The nature of the lawsuit is about TxDot’s division of this project in 3 segments (North, Central, South). This allows projects to be scored independently of each other. Also allows a less stringent environmental review of the north and south segments. It allows TxDot to tier the timing of each project. Draft EIS for central project notes that it will not contribute to sprawl because 95% of the area is already developed. However, if all segments were considered together, this would not be the cause. Lawsuit is currently pending.

Question: Do you know who the consultants were that did the cultural resource assessments?

Answer: No but they are listed in the EIS.

Coan mentioned that if we want to do a resolution we need to call a special meeting because our regularly held meeting in March is after public comments are due. Brendan will send Robyn what Hyde Park is putting together.

Robyn mentioned that Jim Walker, President of Cherrywood Neighborhood Association, always emphasizes that it is helpful for neighborhoods to speak with one voice. Robyn is on our Transportation Committee. Committee will be reviewing the EIS report with the aim of making comments and offering language to HNA members that they could also use to make comments.

Terry thanked Robyn for her work on the newsletter.

More info:



Recorded by Laura Tull

HNA Meeting Minutes for October 6, 2022

Hancock Neighborhood Association
October 6, 2022

Presiding: Coan Dillahunty

Announcement - Saturday, Nov. 5 - It’s my park day. Golf course will be closed to regular golfing all day. Parks Department orchestrating the event. Open house at the recreation center, a nature talk and more.

Treasurer’s report:
Checking account
$3863.93 - Beginning balance
174.67 - Receipts from dues
(757.00) - Disbursements for Newsletter ($750) and bank charges ($7)
3261.60 - Ending balance
Money Market account
$2905.83 - Ending balance

In November, the people involved with Cady Lofts building will present an update to the building.

Hugh Bender presented the by-laws revisions. Ad-hoc committee members are Justin Clemens, Robin Ross, Bart Whatley, Coan Dillahunty and Hugh Bender.

  • He emphasized that the committee wanted to keep in mind the idea that the Association should be more about community and fun, rather than procedure. The committee had their open public meeting a couple of weeks ago to dig into the details. The Association is governed by Robert’s Rules of Order but Hugh explained that the general rules for meeting communication in the by-laws are to provide a simple, relaxed and efficient way of communicating. We can always resort to Robert’s Rules when necessary.
  • Dues can be raised or lowered by the membership.
  • Standing committees section was cleaned up.
  • Notification for meetings is 2 days prior now. This became especially important for the Zoning committee that sometimes has tight deadlines.
  • The committee added a Membership and Talent Committee to identify new leadership so that there will always be a slate of candidates in January.

During the meeting other changes were made:

  • Discussion of the inactive Historic Preservation Committee. Decided to strike it from the by-laws because it hasn’t functioned for a while and could easily be resurrected as an Ad-hoc committee as needed.
  • Discussed allowing age 16 and up for membership and voting. Everyone agreed and the by-laws were adjusted.

Justin Clemmens moved to adopt the by-laws as revised. Robyn seconded.

The revised by-laws will be posted on our website: https://www.hancockna.org/www/documents




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...

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