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Transportation Commission wants to close special event ordinance loopholes

Friday, September 11, 2009 by Austin Monitor

The Urban Transportation Commission wants to close what it says are loopholes in an ordinance covering special events and street closures. The City Council passed the ordinance over the summer updating the rules and it’s the commission’s job to implement them.

At Tuesday’s commission meeting, some commissioners expressed concern about the definition—or lack thereof—of a neighborhood association that could challenge the approval of an event. The way the new ordinance is written, any set of residents could establish themselves as a neighborhood association. “You could have the fourth floor of a building calling itself the ‘Fourth Floor Neighborhood Association,'” said Chairman Rich MacKinnon.

Commissioner Dustin Lanier said this loophole “potentially gives one person veto authority” over an event. He added that the city should be able to give event promoters a reasonable assurance that one or two people at the last minute would not be able to sabotage a long-planned event.

The commission will hold a work session on the issue on September 29, which is open to the public. It will also address other details of the new ordinance, including a timeline for event promoters and residents, and review copies of proposed notification letters.

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