Monday, March 16, 2015 by Kara Nuzback

Planning Commission wants AISD representative

The Planning Commission is looking into adding a new member to the dais to advise its members about how zoning changes might affect Austin schools.

At a meeting Tuesday, Commissioner James Nortey said Austin Independent School District President Gina Hinojosa can serve as an ex officio member of the commission. He said the commission had requested Hinojosa’s attendance at meetings, but she declined because of her busy schedule.

Nortey asked Assistant City Attorney Brent Lloyd if Hinojosa could send a representative to sit in her place. Lloyd said it is unlikely Hinojosa could delegate her position to someone else, but the commission could recognize a new ex officio member to speak on items related to the school district.

Nortey made a motion to discuss the issue in more detail at the commission’s March 24 meeting. The motion passed 7-0, with Chair Danette Chimenti absent.

The City Charter allows four people to sit as ex officio members of the Planning Commission: the president of AISD, the city manager, the director of the city’s Public Works Department and the chair of the Board of Adjustment. Ex officio members are not authorized to vote on agenda items, but they sit on the dais and contribute during discussions.

The Planning Commission currently has two ex officio members: Jeff Jack and Howard Lazarus. Jack was the first person to take advantage of his ex officio status, in 2011, as chair of the Board of Adjustment. Lazarus is the city’s director of Public Works.

 

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Key Players & Topics In This Article

AISD: Austin's largest school district, AISD is the Austin Independent School District.

City of Austin Planning Commission: This commission addresses issues of land use as assigned to it by Austin's City Code. These include the abilities "[t]o make and amend a master plan, recommend approval or disapproval of proposed zoning changes and control land subdivision within neighborhood planning areas and submit, annually, a list of recommended capital improvements." It has sovereign authority, or the right to make final decisions on certain cases.

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