Council asks residents to resolve issue

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 19, 2000

In a much disputed case about an overly large garage, the Austin City Council advocated a little neighborhood mediation at its Monday night meeting.

Tuesday, September 19, 2000

In a much disputed case about an overly large garage, the Austin City Council advocated a little neighborhood mediation at its Monday night meeting.

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Steven Carroll, 2406 12th Ave. SW, is asking the city for a 620-square-foot variance from City Code limiting accessory structures to no more than 1,000 square feet in a residential district so he can build a garage big enough to house his collection of cars, a boat and a motorcycle. Several neighbors object to the size of the proposed building, which would measure 30 by 54 feet. Others have signed a petition to allow him to build.

Carroll brought with him to the meeting plans for landscaping around the building and photographs of other large accessory structures that have been permitted by the city on lots smaller than his nearly half-acre lot.

"I’m trying to abide by as many rules as I can, but you can’t please everyone," Carroll said.

Although Second Ward council member Roger Boughton said he initially moved to deny the permit because of the large number of calls he received from neighbors, he later suggested the motion be tabled so Carroll and his neighbors could try to reach a compromise on the building.

Fellow Second Ward council member Jeanne Poppe encouraged Carroll and his neighbors to use city staff in their negotiations.

"I think you do have common ground, but I know neighborhood disputes can be very tense," she said. "If you need help, I would hope Mr. (Craig) Houim (planning and zoning) could assist you in coming up with a plan that is satisfactory to your neighbors and yourself."

Carroll’s hearing was continued until the council’s Oct. 2 meeting.

Also on Tuesday, the council passed the following:

n A resolution authorizing the mayor and city recorder to accept the long-awaited Federal Aviation Administration grant. City staff are not done with the grant application yet, City Engineer Jon Erichson explained, because more funds are available than the $2.05 million originally promised. Grant funds are to be used by the city for land acquisition for the airport expansion project, with the FAA paying 90 percent of those costs.

"Now we’re trying to figure out which parcels to include in the grant application," Erichson said. "At some point before Sept. 29, we need to accept the grant."

The authorization was voted on Tuesday because the grant is due before the next council meeting.

n A resolution approving the primary election results and calling the general election for Nov. 7. Contests for mayor and City Council at-large, First, Second and Third Ward members will be voted on in the general election, as well as four seats on the Austin Utilities Board.

n A resolution that should have been passed seven years ago approving revolving loan fund guidelines for the state. Revolving loans involve money from the state Department of Trade and Economic Development for business loans, but two-thirds of the money gets paid back to the city while one-third goes back to the state. In 1993, the city used a $60,000 revolving loan to help McFarland Trucking, but failed to actually pass the guidelines. This time the city wants to use a $150,000 revolving loan to help Cooperative Response Center, but the state wouldn’t release any funds until the guidelines were officially approved.

n Variances also were granted by the council to the following property owners: Rochelle Bastian, 908 Second Ave. SW for a 5-foot variance to build an addition to her home; Robert Stivers, 411 First St. SE, for a 10-foot variance for a deck already constructed; Kelly Jean Brooks, 1108 16th Ave. NE, for a 7-foot, 6-inch variance for a deck to go on the side of the house.