May Meeting Minutes

The amended and approved – RRNA May Meeting Minutes

River Road Neighborhood Association Minutes

5/17/07

(As approved 6/21/07)

 

Board Present:          Sally Boothe-Meredith, Nate Campbell, Larry Clark, Larry DeMartino, Louisa Dulaney, Nell Grover, Anne Larme, Kyle Martin, Mimi Quintanilla, Roy Schweers

Not present:               Augie Cortez

Neighbors/guests:     (See sign-in sheet)

Time/Location:         7:15-9:35 PM/Lion’s Field

Submitted by:            A. Larme

 The meeting was called to order at 7:15 PM by Chair Roy Schweers.

 Guest Speaker: Steven Gonzales (Floodplain Manager, San Antonio River Authority)

SARA, the City of San Antonio, Bexar County and suburban cities have recently pooled resources, along with funds from FEMA, to update the 100 year floodplain maps.  These were last done in the 1970s.  Mr. Gonzales came to show us the proposed new map of our neighborhood, to explain how the maps were created, to describe the steps and timeline for the approval process, and to address the questions and concerns of neighbors:

  • The maps are based on aerial surveys, with 2 ft contours vs.10 ft, as in the old maps.  They take into account the flow rate and geometry of the San Antonio River, and features such as dams that would affect the flow.  Calculations are based on complete impervious buildout in the catch basin.  Sections through the river were taken every 1000 ft.
  • The estimated timeline for the approval process is: Deliver maps to FEMA by June 30, 2007.  Public Works and FEMA will sponsor a series of public meetings through September 2007 to obtain feedback.  After everyone agrees and a legal notice is posted in the Express-News, there will be a 90 day appeal process.  (Appeals must be scientifically-based vs. based on personal experience.)  Appeals will be resolved by February 2008, and maps finalized by August 2008.
  • Residents were encouraged to buy or increase the value of their flood insurance NOW, if located within the new floodplain.  Insurance rates will be based on the old maps, and these rates will be grandfathered in when the new maps come into effect.  (L. Clark pointed out that grandfathered flood insurance rates go with the property, and thus enhance the resale value of a property.)
  • For details and to see the maps, go to: www.bexarfloodfacts.com

Concerns brought up by neighbors included: the problem of water from Alamo Heights draining down Broadway; monitoring the amount of water released from Olmos Dam during a flooding event so as to protect our neighborhood; and what to do if one’s property, but not house, is in the flood plain.  L. Clark questioned whether it would be possible for someone to create more accurate maps by cutting more frequent cross-sections in the data.  (Gonzales’ answer: All data are accessible to the public and this is theoretically possible, but it must be done scientifically.)  R. Schweers noted that the City will regulate us based on the maps, and therefore they need to be as accurate as possible.  L. DeMartino, who has lived in River Road since 1962, observed that threats of flooding are occurring more frequently now, and with less rain than previously caused flooding.  Will the new housing going up near the Quarry Market take precedence over River Road in the case of a flood event?  B. Witte-Howell stated that we need to be more vigilant than ever now, to make sure the river tunnel grates are clear, etc.

SAFFE Officer Report

Officer Olivares continues to monitor the homeless hanging out in our area, observe the right turn on red problem on the 281access road/St. Mary’s intersection, and has given paint to Mimi Quintanilla to cover graffiti.  He stressed that if we call and leave a message, he will act on it, but may not have time to call back.

Brackenridge Park Parking Garage

L. DeMartino announced that there will be a public hearing about the Brackenridge Park Parking Garage on Monday, May 21, at 5:30 PM at the SAWS Customer Service Center.  The city manager has requested public input prior to the City Council voting on the Witte Museum lease extension.

M. Quintanilla described the plan, which was designed by Lake-Flato, and offered to show it to anyone interested.  She also stated that the Mahncke Park Neighborhood Association has not taken a position on the parking facility.

 Flood Plain Variance Granted to 157 Magnolia Dr.

L. DeMartino announced that a flood plain variance was recently granted to157 Magnolia Drive by the Planning Commission.  This is a final decision, and it means that the owners will not be restricted in the cost or size of house that they construct on the lot.

 Amy Hartman, a neighbor and member of the Planning Commission, answered questions about the process, and why they were approved for a variance.

Concerns voiced about the variance and the new house that will be built on the property included: 1) that this decision may ultimately jeopardize our floodplain eligibility with FEMA; 2) that if not designed properly, a new house may increase flooding problems in adjacent properties; and 3) that if it’s easy to get a variance, people will build or remodel houses in a way that is out of character with the neighborhood. 

The consensus was that we can’t do anything about this particular variance, or design of this particular house.  However, River Road does need to get Neighborhood Conservation District status as soon as possible.  This will protect us in the future from houses that do not fit the neighborhood.

Minutes (A. Larme)

The April Board minutes were read and approved.  (Moved: L. DeMartino; Seconded: R. Schweers)

Treasurer’s Report (L. Dulaney)

The current balance is $2,228.00, which includes the annual membership dues collected in March.

Website

K. Martin requested money from the treasury to pay for our domain name.  He also submitted written details about the domain for safekeeping in the looseleaf binder with the minutes (Exhibit A).

The meeting was adjourned at 9:35 PM.  (Moved: R. Schweers; Seconded: M. Quintanilla)

Anne C. Larme, Board Secretary

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