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TipSheet: Austin City Council, 1.28.16

Thursday, January 28, 2016 by Elizabeth Pagano

Welcome back, and welcome to the first Austin City Council meeting of 2016, which will include discussions about … short-term rentals and transportation network companies, among other things. Below is a list of items we’re watching. In the interest of space, we’ve decided not to post the entire agenda. The Office of the City Clerk posts a copy on its website, here.

22. Approve negotiation and execution of a reimbursement agreement with Trammell Crow affiliate TC GREEN WATER MASTER DEVELOPER, LLC, for the Tree Relocation and Care Services for a 28” diameter heritage live oak tree located on Block 185 of the former Green Water Treatment Plant for a total contract amount not to exceed $125,500.

23. Approve an ordinance amending the Fiscal Year 2015-2016 Economic Development Capital Budget (Ordinance No. 20150908-002) to increase appropriations by $125,500 for tree relocation and care services for a 28″ diameter heritage live oak tree located on Block 185 of the former Green Water Treatment Plant.

43. Authorize negotiation and execution of a contract with ENVIRONMENTAL TREE AND DESIGN INC., or the other qualified offeror to Request for Proposal EAD0123REBID, for tree relocation and care services in an amount not to exceed $125,500. Related to Items #22 and #23.

Monitor’s take: Ah, how Austin loves its trees. For those interested in the background of this ongoing expense, here is the Austin Business Journal’s take, and here is the Austin Chronicle story from a couple of years ago.

33. Approve execution of an interlocal agreement with the City of San Antonio for 911 call continuity of operations during critical instances.

Monitor’s take: We reported on this story with KUT on Wednesday. Here’s what it’s all about.

50. Approve a list of proposed projects available to utilize the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority quarter-cent fund.

Monitor’s take: At Tuesday’s work session, it became clear that Council will be putting this item off for at least a week, to sort out a few remaining details. Although Mayor Steve Adler was successful in his push to have the overall spending come back to Council (instead of risking a Charter violation by having Council members direct staff on their own), he was unable to convince Council to abandon the idea of divvying up the $21.8 million by district.

61. Approve an ordinance amending the Fiscal Year 2015-16 Operating Budget of Austin Resource Recovery (Ordinance No. 20150908-001) to increase transfers out by $2,792,001 and amending the Fiscal Year 2015-2016 Austin Resource Recovery Capital Budget (Ordinance No. 20150908-002) to transfer in and appropriate $2,792,001 from the Austin Resource Recovery Operating Budget for facility development and construction. (Notes: Austin Resource Recovery – Item #2 on December 10, 2015.)

62. Approve an ordinance amending the Fiscal Year 2015-2016 Austin Resource Recovery Operating Budget (Ordinance No. 20150908-001) to increase revenue by $1,450,001; increase transfers out by $1,450,001; and amending the Fiscal Year 2015-2016 Austin Resource Recovery Capital Budget (Ordinance No. 20150908-002) to transfer in and appropriate $1,450,001 from the Austin Resource Recovery Operating Budget for facility development and construction. Related to Item #63.(Notes: Austin Resource Recovery)

63. Authorize negotiation and execution of all documents and instruments necessary or desirable to sell approximately 9.405 acres of land, located at Lot 1, Block “E”, Missouri-Pacific Industrial Park, Section One, a subdivision in Travis County, Texas, according to the map or plat thereof, recorded in Volume 52, Page 21 of the Plat Records of Travis County, Texas, and locally known as 4711 Winnebago Lane, to Jimmy Nassour in the amount of $1,450,001 for the land (District 2). Related to Item #62. (Notes: Office of Real Estate Service – Item #11 on December 10, 2015)

Monitor’s take: Yeah, the potential sale of this piece of city land to fund the [re]Manufacturing Hub is going to be a big fight. Look in today’s Whispers for the latest, and here’s some other background, for context.

67. Approve a resolution directing the City Manager to explore options and locations for the provision of safe, durable, 24-hour free public toilets.

Monitor’s take: We covered this proposal when it was at the Health and Human Services Committee.

68. Approve a resolution related to funding policy goals for social service contracts and the Health and Human Services Department.

Monitor’s take: On Tuesday, this proposal got some pushback from Council Member Delia Garza, who pointed out that it was no different than an already approved policy goal, and stressed the disparity in funding for the department. We have a rundown of the proposal that came out of committee last week, here.

69. Approve a resolution directing the City Manager to include consideration of whether to allow digital signage as part of the CodeNext process.

70. Approve a resolution initiating amendments to City Code Chapter 25-10 (Sign Regulations) relating to digital signage.

Monitor’s take: At the work session, it became clear that Council is going to put off conversation about this item. In the meantime, feel free to catch up here.

71. Approve an ordinance establishing classifications and positions in the classified service of the Emergency Medical Services Department, eliminating and creating certain positions, establishing pay rates and repealing Ordinance No. 20150908-006 relating to Emergency Medical Services Department classifications and positions.

Monitor’s take: Council is expected to return to this decision, which we wrote about when Council put it off in December.

80. Conduct a public hearing and consider an ordinance amending City Code Title 25 relating to approval requirements for Planned Unit Development zoning cases.

Monitor’s take: In short (very short), this change would require a supermajority vote of City Council in cases where previously PUD zoning is being sought for unzoned land but hasn’t been endorsed by one of the city’s land-use commissions. Even shorter: This is about the Grove at Shoal Creek. And much longer, here.

84. Conduct a public hearing and consider an ordinance amending City Code Title 25 relating to neighborhood plan contact team regulations.

Monitor’s take: Basically, Council is contemplating making the rules and procedures for contact teams a little more uniform. That is, of course, basic. And we do, of course, have a less basic recap here and here.

85. Conduct a public hearing and consider an ordinance amending City Code Title 25 to limit the redevelopment of existing small (substandard) lots that are developed as a single building site.

Monitor’s take: Here you go! It’s interesting.

86. Conduct a public hearing and consider on 2nd and 3rd readings an ordinance amending City Code Chapter 25-1 and Ordinance No. 20070621-027 relating to parkland dedication requirements and associated fees imposed as a condition to development approval.

Monitor’s take: Parkland dedication fees. They’re back! Since the most recent postponement in December, the fees paid a quick trip to the Open Space Committee. We wrote about that in today’s issue, as well as covering it the last time the fee changes were before Council.

91. Conduct a public hearing and consider an ordinance relating to short-term rental use.

Monitor’s take: Okay, to recap, the last action on short-term rentals took place at the Planning Commission. (Here is our article on their recommendations.) But, in “short,” City Council will today take a look at: occupancy limits (and assemblies), phase-out of Type 2 (or non-owner occupied) short-term rentals in residential areas, a three-year renewal inspection, a 1,000-foot buffer between Type 2 rentals, certification that STRs haven’t been red-tagged for other reasons, a “local contact” requirement, Certificate of Occupancy limits, an Austin Water utility septic review, a “bad actor clause” for repeat offenses, a 24-month review, license-renewal denials for suspended licenses, guest registries, sound requirements, advertising of short-term rentals, amending the zoning table, changes to the property maintenance code and a noncompliance fee. (This list has been reproduced in today’s Whispers, as it was a lot of work.)


56. Approve an ordinance relating to ground transportation passenger service providers.

77. Discuss legal issues related to a potential election in May 2016 concerning Transportation Network Companies and other potential ballot measures (Private consultation with legal counsel – Section 551.071 of the Government Code).

92. Approve an ordinance relating to a voluntary background check program for people using a variety of online services involving peer-to-peer transactions.

93. Approve an ordinance relating to ground transportation passenger services.

94. Approve an ordinance relating to ground transportation passenger services.

95. Approve an ordinance relating to a voluntary background check program for people using a variety of ground transportation passenger services.

96. Approve an ordinance amending Ordinance No. 20151217-075 to amend the effective date; and declaring an emergency.

Monitor’s take: And, here, we present the Transportation Network Ordinance Omnibus. Starting at the end, the last item would allow Council “to extend the effective date of Ordinance No. 20151217-075 to allow additional time for policy discussions and implementation constitutes an emergency.” In other words, its a way to get out of shoring up the TNC ordinance passed in December (Item 56.) Items 92-95 (sigh) is a new TNC Ordinance-adjacent program that would incentivize fingerprints on its own (we explained that all earlier this week.) And, of course, we won’t get to hear the really fun discussion on number 77, because Council will discuss in executive session the petition to change TNC regulations outside of all of this deliberation.

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Key Players & Topics In This Article

Austin City Council: The Austin City Council is the body with legislative purview over the City of Austin. It offers policy direction, while the office of the City Manager implements administrative actions based on those policies. Until 2012, the body contained seven members, including the city's Mayor, all elected at-large. In 2012, City of Austin residents voted to change that system and now 10 members of the Council are elected based on geographic districts. The Mayor continues to be elected at-large.

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