Minutes, November 21, 2017

Minutes from Clarksville CDC Monthly Meeting, November 21, 2017

Board members in attendance: Aubrey Carter, BJ Friedman, Kim O’Brien, Mary Reed, Teri Taylor, Chris Thomas

Others present: Emily Price (lives on 13th street; wants to get involved with CCDC); Kendall Collier

1.    On a motion by BJ, seconded by Aubrey, the minutes from the October 17, 2017 monthly board meeting were approved with corrections to Items 2, 3, 4, and 6. These changes have been made to the official copy of the minutes (which has been posted on the website.)

2.    Teri reported that our balance sheet shows a negative this month. Expenses were high in the past month due to unit make-readys (1007B Charlotte and 1708B W. 10th.) The good news is that we have now completed the last of the big projects (e.g., bathrooms) in our units and future make-readys will be far less expensive. Despite the negative balance, our situation is far from dire. Our savings balance is healthy, and anticipated future receipts will replenish the checking balance.

Rose mentioned in the November 20, 2017 Finance Committee meeting that one reason that led to us showing a deficit is our Depreciation line item. We are required to “budget” for this figure, but it is she was going to ask our accountant about our depreciation. This is something that we are required to include in our monthly expenditures, but it does not represent money that we actually expend. Teri reported that she and Rose will talk to our accountant to see if there is a recommendation for how we handled our depreciation requirements without it affecting our monthly Profit and Loss statements.

Teri reported that she will be looking into the best way to handle the additional $50,000 loan money that we’ve received from HomeBase. We cannot expend this money at this time, so we need to decide if we want to return it to them until we can use it, or do we want to research methods by which we can earn interest on the balance.

Teri also reported that she is setting up either a Google Doc (or Dropbox) for the Board in order to share all of our important documents, including property list, current rents, rent determination formula, financial statements, bylaws, etc.

Additionally, the Finance Committee discussed end of year gifts for our tenants. It was decided to patronize local businesses and purchase gift cards from Zocolo/Galaxy.

3.    This month’s property report: All units are currently leased. There were 3 move-ins this month, 3 new families in CCDC housing.

4.    Mary reported that at the Community Conversation #2, featured John Henneberger proposed that neighborhoods should create their own plans to address affordable housing and other issues that affect them. A follow-up meeting was held to include those who expressed an interest at that meeting to be involved in this process. In that and subsequent meetings, John Henneberger proposed that a neighborhood planner be hired to do a granular assessment of housing that currently exists in Old West Austin—what type of housing exists, owner occupied/rental, etc., and to hire a community organizer who would go door to door to collect information on people who live in the housing now and what their needs might be. John feels that grant money could be obtained to cover these costs, possibly from the Austin Community Foundation or the Dell Foundation. Mary and John O’Brien will work with John Henneberger to better define the project and seek required funds. BJ offered to help with the grant writing. At this time, the funding needs are estimated to be approximately $100K, and could be accomplished in 9 months. John Henneberger will stay involved for the duration of the project.

This is a way through which to be proactive in asserting control for what happens to our neighborhood. Mary will meet with OWANA representatives to let them know what we are doing, and to gain their support.

5.    The Board discussed the next steps for the Local Historic District planning. They include:

·      The next Community Conversation (#3) to discuss Local Historic Districts as Neighborhood Preservation Tools. Speakers will be Alyson McGee and Cara Burtron (city deputy historic preservation officer.)

·      Next, a LHD workshop for area/block captains. There will be handouts --  an LHD brochure from the COA, articles that counter some of the common fallacies about LHDs -- that they drive up property taxes, for example. 

·      Block captains will hold small group events to share information, and will follow up with people after their block parties to find out if they have any questions or concerns. Need to keep the lines of communication open at all times. Alyson and Cara will be available to help with answers as needed.

·      The CCDC will send a letter to absentee property owners about the LHD, the design standards, etc.

·      A general neighborhood meeting about the LHD and the design standards will take place.

·      When it comes time to vote on the design standards, the COA will mail information and ballots to every property owner along with a letter from the CCDC. Block captains will also hand out ballots door-to-door

·      Information on the proposed LHD will be included on the CCDC website.

A question was raised as to how CodeNext handles LHDs. This is unknown at this time. Originally, it looked like LHDs would override, but target seems to be shifting.

6.    The Haunted House at the Haskell House was cancelled due to inclement weather. In order to find a use for all the mini-pumpkins that didn’t get decorated on Halloween, we hosted a potluck at the Haskell House a week later. It was a nice event, even though it sprinkled on us and we had to move inside the Haskell House. The food was delicious, and the kids (and some adults) in attendance enjoyed the Thanksgiving-themed pumpkin decorating crafts.

7.    The Clarksville Caroling Party, jointly sponsored by the CCDC and OWANA will be held on December 23, time to be decided. Santa will be there, and Frances Barton will be leading the caroling. Mary will contact Zocolo about food. Paula will talk to Nightcap, along with supplying the wine.

8.    Other Business

Kendall Collier, 1701 W. 11th, presented details of her home renovation project. She intends to retain the home’s architectural details, The front, which faces the sidewalk connecting the two portions of Charlotte, will stay the same, an addition will be added in the back. She’s working with  Richard Hughes. Siding will be replaced, but will match what’s there now. The additions will be board & batten. She is not asking for any variances.

Kendall’s plan call for a one car garage, which led Mary to point out that neighborhood designs guidelines do onot include garages. Kendall wants the garage for security and storage; Aubrey suggested changing windows on the garage door so that they more mimic the windows in the house—Kendall is amendable to this. Permitting process to begin soon, which will lead for the project to come before the Historic Landmark Commission. She would like a letter of support for the project for when she goes before the HLC. Mary wants to see a revised plan first. Kendall will talk to Richard re. garage door options and we will take this up again as the changes are made and when it is set for HLC hearing.

Malcolm paid for RuthAnn Brown’s obituary. The CCDC agreed to reimburse him.

9.     The Board met in Executive Session