Minutes from the April 16, 2019 Clarksville CDC Annual Meeting
Board Members present: Aly Byatt, BJ Friedman, Malcolm Greenstein, Paula Hern, Kim O’Brien, Mary Reed, Chris Thomas
Others present: Rose Gabriel, Mollie Smith, Michael Smith
1. Mary Reed, CCDC President, presented the “State of the CCDC” Annual Report. It appears at the end of these minutes.
2. BJ Friedman, CCDC Treasurer, presented a report on the CCDC’s Finances. It appears at the end of these minutes.
3. Rose Gabriel, CCDC Property Manager, presented a report on the CCDC’s housing program. It appears at the end of these minutes.
4. Kim O’Brien, acting as the Election Administrator, announced the results of the Board of Directors election. With 19 members voting—14 absentee, 5 in person, 17% membership turnout—Aly Byatt, Aubrey Carter, BJ Friedman, and Gregory Tran were elected to serve 2-year terms.
State of the CCDC, Mary Reed:
When I think about how to characterize the months since out last annual meeting, what comes to mind is that they were filled with some big highs and lows. I’ll start with the lows and actually I am only going to talk about two, the two that were the most significant in my opinion. One of them is – you guessed it -- the Clarksville Buaas-Martin LHD.
Our efforts to create an LHD began on a hopeful note, but things quickly became difficult, despite all of our time, energy and money. As a recap, we spent months providing property owners in the proposed LHD with the education and information that the City, the HLC and the Council expect us to provide. We had a web site designed; planned and hosted a very successful walking tour of the Buaas-Martin area; helped organize an initial City-sponsored LHD information event at St. Luke Church; participated in a LHD board training; finalized the required draft LHD documents, including the design standards; drafted and redrafted numerous informational materials that were handed out door-to-door and mailed to property owners who don’t reside in the LHD area; and we hosted 7 not-always-easy house parties. What happens next is up in the air. The issue is on today’s regular meeting agenda.
Our efforts to save 1002 Charlotte represent the other big low. As a reminder, 1002 Charlotte Street was a sweet, historically-contributing Clarksville home that needed work, but was not in terrible shape. However, the new owners -- a group of investors -- were determined to replace it with a Gothic-style house, which was completely out-of- character for Clarksville and for all of Old West Austin for that matter.
Dealing with Priscilla Glover, who was the front person for the investors, was difficult and frustrating. She refused to even consider alternatives to a demolition; ignored the drawings Aubrey created illustrating ideas for how the house could be enlarged; refused to give the CCDC sufficient time to move the house; mostly ignored my emails; caused those of us who were trying to save the house to sit at HLC meetings until late in the evening not knowing that she hadn’t bothered to show up; and then later when she finally did attend a HLC meeting, she shocked us by referring to 1002 Charlotte as a “shack.”
Adding insult to injury, Glover also ignored all of my requests that she agree in writing to follow the EPA-recommended guidelines for demolishing an old house with lead paint and then she ignored my requests for a heads-up regarding the date of the demolition so that I could let the parents of young children in the area know because many of them wanted to help protect their kids from the toxic lead dust by taking them out of the neighborhood when it happened. In the end, the demolition took place at the worst possible time – when school was getting out.
The Charlotte Street saga illustrated the importance of a LHD by highlighting just how little power the HLC and a neighborhood have when the owner of a historically contributing house is determined to tear it down and does not care if what they plan to build in its place is in any way compatible with the historic character of that neighborhood.
On the high side, our events were terrific. For example, our FF was a big success and was much less labor-intensive than in years past because we opted for a food truck rather than selling and serving our own food and because we eliminated the big kids bounce house. We saw lots of new faces at our summer ice cream social and ate some yummy ice cream, and we injected new energy into the Christmas party we hosted with OWANA by combining old activities like visits with Santa and caroling, with new ones that appealed to young families, like fake snow and a crafts table. As a result, we had a much larger crowd that we have had in recent years. We also substituted tamales and queso for churros, which turned out to be a very popular decision because we ran out of food within the event’s first hour.
And last October, the CCDC celebrated its 40th anniversary with a super fun party at the Haskell House. The Salt Lick did a great job catering the event; we could not have asked for better music than what Leanne Atherton and her talented band members provided; and there was plenty of cake. It was definitely a feel-good party.
The fact that we finally got the go-ahead from the City to build a new affordable single family home on the vacant lot on West 10th was definitely a positive too. However, it “only” took 5 years for that to happen. So much for the City’s commitment to increasing the amount of affordable housing in Austin’s neighborhoods. But kudos to Councilmember Tovo’s staff for helping us keep the pressure on staff.
And finally, our finances remain solid as does our affordable housing program. You’ll hear more about both when BJ and Rose speak.
Treasurer’s Report, BJ Friedman
Fiscal year is Oct-Sept
We own 9 properties, housing 16 tenant units and manage the Haskell House and Pauline Brown Community Center
We didn’t project our annual budget too well - $12,524 over budget.
Lower rental income – renting to tenants with greater needs
Overestimated Fun Fest income
Insurance costs are higher than expected (new unit)
Almost $23,000 over for repairs to properties
Almost $3000 over for taxes (accounting issue)
Almost $4500 over for utilities (new unit)
Tree and landscape maintenance
Balanced out somewhat with lower costs in other areas
No haunted house event
Lower FF expense
Lower maintenance/supplies for HH
Less for pest control
Less for printing
Compared to previous 4 years – pretty typical except 2017-18 was an anomaly
Income is down slightly – more tenant turnover than seen in the past
Utilities and maintenance are higher
Also our biennial audit is occurring currently, so some of these numbers may change – depreciation and payroll tax expense that should have been in 2017-18
Housing Report, Rose Gabriel
· Building Improvements
1807 West 11th
Did wood repair and painted exterior
1821 A Waterston
1011 A Charlotte
New interior paint and bathroom repairs
New interior paint
1708 B West 10th
New interior paint, steps painted and skid tape
· Had four new families move during fiscal year resulting in higher than budgeted repair, supplies and utility expenses for make ready
Net loss for the year was $-12,523