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Mike Kanin is the Publisher of the Austin Monitor. As such, he doesn't report on much--aside from the workings of the Monitor--any more. In his previous life as a freelance journalist, Kanin has written for the Washington City Paper, the Washington Post's Express, the Boston Herald, Boston's Weekly Dig, the Austin Chronicle, and the Texas Observer.
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TipSheet: ATX Council meetings, 8.26 & 8.28
The Austin City Council meets in a work session Tuesday and for its regular meeting Thursday.
In the interest of space, we’ve decided not to post the entire agenda here. The City Clerk’s office hosts a copy at its web site, here.
We’ve posted these in chronological order. Where applicable, however, we’ve paired items that appear similar in nature.
Items of interest for both the Tuesday and Thursday work sessions include:
2. Approve an ordinance amending City Code Chapter 15-6 (Solid Waste Services) relating to requirements for the private solid waste collection program.
3. Approve amendments to administrative rules associated with City Code Chapter 15-6 (Solid Waste Services) relating to requirements for the private solid waste collection program.
Monitor notes: According to item backup, number two “clarifies the definition of a ‘private solid waste collection service’ and clarifies that (1) City employees, (2) City’s agents, and (3) individuals who remove or transport solid waste generated from his or her residence in vehicles with one ton or less carrying capacity are not subject to the private solid waste collection program.
Number three, according to backup, sets “draft rules address documentation requirements, vehicles and equipment, display of business information, reporting requirements, notification of change of address or ownership, licensing, temporary decals, fees, appeal, and citations without prior warning.”
We hear that there is some concern about the language in the two ordinances affected by these items, but that the concern is actually not about the operative portions of what’s on Council’s plate for Tuesday and Thursday. Still, they may get pulled for discussion.
32) Approve a request for S.M.A.R.T. Housing™ certification for Songhai Development, LLC, for a proposed multi-family development located at 8700 West Gate Boulevard.
Monitor notes: Though we have not yet heard that this item will be anything controversial, the basic tenants of the city’s SMART housing program have drawn Council’s attention in the recent past. Here was our report.
82) Approve a resolution regarding development of a comprehensive urban forest management plan.
Monitor notes: Things didn’t go so well for the Urban Forest Management Plan when it was before the Planning Commission. Read about what happened here.
83) Approve a resolution directing the City Manager to make recommendations and get the input of the Parks Board regarding changes to the code to allow swimming in the Barton Springs Spillway.
Monitor notes: This became an issue a few weeks back. We didn’t get into it so much, but our pals at the Statesman sure did.
84) Approve a resolution directing the City Manager to develop and implement policies, procedures, timelines and targets utilizing the recommendations of the 2014 Generation Resource Planning Task Force and Electric Utility Commission that are necessary to make Austin the leading city in the nation in the effort to reduce and reverse the negative impacts of global warming and reduce harmful emissions, simultaneously while abiding by affordability metrics, and to report to the City Council annually upon the implementation and progress of these efforts.
97) Approve a resolution directing the City Manager to oversee a planning process to establish energy efficiency programs, demand reduction goals, and funding levels for equitable, effective program offerings for Austin Energy’s underserved customer population, and creating a consumer committee to develop recommendations regarding the development, design, and implementation of energy efficiency and renewable energy programs to meet the underserved customer program demand reduction goal to be considered during the 2016 fiscal year budget.
Monitor notes: These two are sort of related. The first, from Council Member Chris Riley, addresses the findings of a recent task force helmed by former AE honcho Michael Osbourne. The second, from Council Member Kathie Tovo, looks for a way to bring energy efficiency into a larger pool of consumers, with a focus on lower-income residents. As always, worth pointing out that Riley and Tovo are opponents in the November District 9 race.
85) Approve a resolution directing the City Manager to conduct a study of income disparities within civic institutions and provide a report to Council on how the City of Austin compares.
104) Approve a resolution directing the City Manager to report to Council on the outcome of the study currently underway concerning the ratios of management to employees in city government.
Monitor notes: We hear that the first item is an attempt to look at city management structures here and elsewhere with an eye toward whether Austin’s management structure is funneling upward. The second appears to speak for itself.
The Monitor has covered the issue.
89) Approve a resolution directing the City Manager to research improvements that would decrease the amount of time it takes to review and complete service extension requests and report back to the City Council with findings and recommendations.
Monitor notes: According to a resolution drafted by Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole, the backlog on these is up near 80 days. Put another way, again according to the resolution: ” the number of SERs have increased by more than 90% over the last four years and is projected to be at least 30% higher this year than last year resulting in significantly longer processing times.” This would be the start of an attempt to correct the issue.
96) Approve a resolution declaring the desire of the City Council to maintain the Kinser Butler Pitch and Putt as a family-friendly golf amenity.
Monitor notes: This issue came up as part of last week’s budget discussion. Read more about it here.
106) Approve a resolution adopting a policy to promote energy conservation by adopting a standard for all City administrative office buildings to set thermostats for cooling during summer months at 75 degrees Fahrenheit during occupied hours and at 85 degrees Fahrenheit during unoccupied hours.
A personal note here: It is pretty darn cold in Council chambers.
127) Brown-Valdez – Approve second/third readings of an ordinance amending City Code Chapter 25-2 by rezoning property locally known as 2309 Montopolis Drive and 6500 Carson Ridge (Country Club East Watershed; Carson Creek Watershed) from family residence-neighborhood plan (SF-3-NP) combining district zoning to urban family residence-conditional overlay-neighborhood plan (SF-5-CO-NP) combining district zoning. First reading approved on August 7, 2014. Vote: 7-0. Owner/Applicant: Simon Brown-Valdez and Ronaldo Brown-Valdez. City Staff: Lee Heckman, 512-974-7604.
Monitor notes: The Planning Commission approved this one despite some local opposition. Read about all that here.
132) C14-2013-0158 – 7th and Congress Hotel – Conduct a public hearing and approve an ordinance amending City Code Chapter 25-2 by rezoning property locally known as 619 and 621 Congress Avenue (Lady Bird Lake Watershed) from central business district (CBD) to central business district-central urban redevelopment district (CBD-CURE) combining district zoning. Staff Recommendation: To grant central business district-central urban redevelopment district (CBD-CURE) combining district zoning, with conditions. Planning Commission Recommendation: To grant central business district-central urban redevelopment district (CBD-CURE) combining district zoning, with conditions. Owner: Finley Company (Tim Finley, VP). Applicant: Matt Frankiewicz. Agent: Armbrust & Brown, PLLC (Lynn Ann Carley). City Staff: Lee Heckman, 512-974-7604.
Monitor notes: This would be another downtown hotel. The Planning Commission approved it in July.
134) C14-2014-0047 – Overlook at Spicewood Springs – Conduct a public hearing and approve an ordinance amending City Code Chapter 25-2 by rezoning property locally known as 4920 Spicewood Springs Road (Bull Creek Watershed) from single family residence-standard lot (SF-2) district zoning to general office (GO) district zoning. Staff Recommendation: To grant general office-conditional overlay (GO-CO) combining district zoning, with conditions. Zoning and Platting Commission Recommendation: To grant general office-conditional overlay (GO-CO) combining district zoning, with conditions. Owner/Applicant: Joseph Benford and Richard A. Haberman Trust (Danny Haberman). Agent: CIVILE, LLC (Lawrence M. Hanrahan). City Staff: Sherri Sirwaitis, 512-974-3057. A valid petition has been filed in opposition to this rezoning request.
Monitor notes: Zoning and Platting approved this back in June. Our coverage is here.
136) C14-2014-0066 – Blue Owl Tap Room – Conduct a public hearing and approve an ordinance amending City Code Chapter 25-2 by rezoning property locally known as 2400 East Cesar Chavez Street (Lady Bird Lake Watershed) from general commercial services-conditional overlay-mixed use-neighborhood plan (CS-CO-MU-NP) combining district zoning to commercial-liquor sales-conditional overlay-neighborhood plan (CS-1-CO-NP) combining district zoning. Staff Recommendation: To grant commercial-liquor sales-conditional overlay-neighborhood plan (CS-1-CO-NP) combining district zoning, with conditions. Planning Commission Recommendation: To grant indefinite postponement. Owner: 3423 Holdings, LLC. Applicant: Moya Khabele. City Staff: Heather Chaffin, 512-974-2122.
Monitor notes: Planning Commission nixed this sucker just recently. Read about what happened here.
141) NP-2013-0030 – South Austin Combined Neighborhood Plan – Conduct a public hearing and consider an ordinance amending the Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan by adopting the South Austin Combined Neighborhood Plan. The boundaries for the South Austin Combined Neighborhood Planning Area are Ben White Blvd. on the north, South 1st St. on the east, William Cannon Drive on the south, and the Sunset Valley City Limits on the west.
Monitor notes: The Planning Commission didn’t like this one. Read about that here.
148) Conduct a public hearing to receive public comment on the City of Austin Fiscal Year 2014-2015 Proposed Budget.
Monitor notes: This would be your chance to weigh in on the City’s FY2015 budget. Our coverage of that issue can be found via this search.
153) Conduct a public hearing and approve a resolution authorizing execution of a Strategic Partnership Agreement (“SPA”) between the City of Austin and the Cascades Municipal Utility District No. 1 (“MUD”) which includes immediate limited purpose annexation and possible future full purpose annexation of the MUD.
Monitor notes: This’ll be the finalization of the Cascades MUD. We’ve covered that development extensively. Search is here.
155) Conduct a public hearing and consider an ordinance adopting the Urban Trails Master Plan.
Monitor notes: This one also had a tough time at the Planning Commission.
161) Conduct a public hearing and consider approving the Master Plan for Holly Shores/Edward Rendon Sr. Park at Festival Beach, Fiesta Gardens which covers approximately 99 acres generally located along the north shore of Lady Bird Lake from I-35 east to Pleasant Valley Road and south of Canterbury Street.
Monitor notes: Looks like Council will try to set a 7pm time certain for this discussion. Unless they set an absolute around that, it may be heard well after 7pm. This one has also been long in coming. (See our coverage from the December hearing.)
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