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TipSheet: Austin City Council, 10.1.15

Thursday, October 1, 2015 by Elizabeth Pagano

The Austin City Council will hold its regular meeting Thursday. 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.

4. Authorize execution of a 15-year power purchase agreement with East Pecos Solar, LLC, for approximately 118 megawatts of utility-scale, solar-generated electricity, in an estimated amount of $13 million per year; and power purchase agreements with other qualified offerors for approximately 182 megawatts of utility-scale, solar-generated electricity, for terms of up to 25 years in an estimated amount of $20 million per year; for an estimated combined total of $695 million. Related to Item #5.

5. Adopt a plan of achieving 600 megawatts of utility-scale, solar generation capacity by 2017 in addition to solar capacity currently existing or under contract; authorize negotiation and execution of power purchase agreements with qualified offerors for up to 350 megawatts of utility-scale, solar-generated electricity (for a total acquisition of approximately 600 megawatts of new solar capacity, if available and affordable) for terms of up to 25 years, for a combined estimated annual amount of $44,000,000 and combined total of $1,100,000,000; and waive the procedural requirements of Council Resolution No. 20110310-003 regarding power purchases of more than 10 megawatts. Related to Item #4.

Monitor’s take: We’ve covered this item plenty in the past before, most recently here. On Thursday, Mayor Steve Adler said that his recommendation would be to support Item 4, hold off on a vote on Item 5 and ask city staff to continue negotiations, returning with a recommendation on Oct. 8. When Council Member Delia Garza worried this could circumvent public input, Adler said the discussion at last Thursday’s Austin Energy Oversight Committee addressed both items, in his opinion.

11. Approve acceptance of $2,411,249.01 in fee revenue from WHITE LODGING SERVICES CORP. (Related to the White Lodging v. City of Austin lawsuit.)

Monitor’s take: As reported in The Austin Chronicle Tuesday, White Lodging will be repaying the city about $2.4 in previously waived fees for construction of the downtown JW Marriott. The payment marks the end of a dispute that began in 2013, when the Workers Defense Project notified the city that the hotel construction had not honored a portion of its incentive deal that required White Lodging to pay workers a prevailing wage.

39. Approve a resolution initiating an amendment to City Code Chapter 25-2 relating to approval requirements for Planned Unit Development zoning cases.

Monitor’s take: As we reported on Wednesday, this resolution would change the requirements for PUDs being built on unzoned land – by making the requirements for City Council approval the same as those for PUDs built on previously zoned land. Sponsor Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo’s office expanded on the rationale behind her resolution here.

42. Approve the City Auditor Fiscal Year 2016 Audit Plan.

Monitor’s take: If approved, this item is a sneak peek into the next year of city audits. Looking through the backup, there’s a lot to look forward to! The schedule proposes 2016 audits of: the Austin Police Department’s handling of citizen complaints; whether companies are complying with the city’s economic development agreements; the city’s historic designation process; the city’s flood buyout program; “investigations of allegations of fraud, waste, and abuse by city employees or contractors”; affordable housing prioritization; traffic safety; and whether city departments have done what they said they would do following previous audits (among other things). We can’t wait!

45. Approve a resolution initiating amendments to Title 25 of the City Code relating to neighborhood plan contact teams.

Monitor’s take: The most controversial aspect of this resolution – changing the contact team boundaries – was removed in committee. What remains is an attempt to standardize the rules and give more oversight authority to the city. Though this is just a resolution, with the ordinance process to follow, there were a lot of strong opinions about this one when it was at committee last week, and it could spark some interesting discussion again today.

48. NPA-2015-0017.01 – Korean United Presbyterian Church – District 7 – Conduct a public hearing and approve an ordinance amending the Crestview/Wooten Combined Neighborhood Plan, an element of the Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan, to change the land use designation on the future land use map (FLUM) on property locally known as 2000 Justin Lane (portion of) (Shoal Creek Watershed) from Civic to Multifamily land use. Staff Recommendation: To grant Multifamily land use. Planning Commission Recommendation: To grant Multifamily land use. Owner/Applicant: Korean United Presbyterian Church (Roy M. Kim). Agent: Thrower Design (A. Ron Thrower). City Staff: Maureen Meredith, 512-974-2695.

49. C14-2015-0025 – Korean United Presbyterian Church – District 7 – Conduct a public hearing and approve an ordinance amending City Code Chapter 25-2 by rezoning property locally known as 2000 Justin Lane (Shoal Creek Watershed) from family residence-neighborhood plan (SF-3-NP) combining district zoning to multi-family residence-medium density-neighborhood plan (MF-3-NP) combining district zoning. Staff Recommendation: To grant multi-family residence-medium density-neighborhood plan (MF-3-NP) combining district zoning. Planning Commission Recommendation: To grant multi-family residence-medium density-conditional overlay-neighborhood plan (MF-3-CO-NP) combining district zoning. Owner/Applicant: Korean United Presbyterian Church (Roy M. Kim). Agent: Thrower Design (Ron Thrower). City Staff: Tori Haase, 512-974-7691. A valid petition has been filed in opposition to this rezoning request.

Monitor’s take: Oh boy, this case. With a valid petition in play, Council will have to approve the zoning change with a minimum of nine votes. Expect lots of discussion before that vote takes place, however. This is the second attempt at rezoning of this property from developer David Kahn, who has faced steadfast opposition from neighbors both times. This time, he is coming to Council with a reduced request that incorporates some of the neighborhood’s demands from the last round, but it remains a fight. For those wanting to catch up, the Monitor wrote about this case when it was at the Planning Commission most recently.

55. Conduct a public hearing and consider an ordinance amending City Code Title 25 to add notification and meeting requirements to the East Riverside Corridor Regulating Plan amendment process.

56. 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: Both of these items will likely be postponed.

58. Conduct a public hearing and consider an ordinance amending the Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan.

Monitor’s take: This looks to be a fairly standard item. It will incorporate the newly adopted South Austin Combined Neighborhood Plan amendments and Vision Zero – and fix a few typos.

59. Conduct a public hearing and consider the full purpose annexation of the ARR Johnny Morris Road annexation area (approximately 145 acres in eastern Travis County approximately three tenths of a mile south of the intersection of Johnny Morris Road and Daffan Lane; contiguous to District 1).

60. Conduct a public hearing and consider the full purpose annexation of the Bellingham Meadows annexation area (approximately 190 acres in eastern Travis County west of Parmer Lane at the intersection of Parmer Lane and Bellingham Drive; contiguous to District 1).

61. Conduct a public hearing and consider the full purpose annexation of the Blue Goose Road annexation area (approximately 28 acres in eastern Travis County east of Blue Goose Road approximately 975 feet northwest of the intersection of US Highway 290 East and Blue Goose Road; contiguous to District 1).

62. Conduct a public hearing and consider the full purpose annexation of the Cantarra/Howard Subdivision annexation area (approximately 263 acres in northeastern Travis County north of Howard Lane approximately 700 feet east of the intersection of Howard Lane and Cantarra Drive and also north and south of Howard Lane immediately west of the intersection of Howard Lane and Cantarra Drive; contiguous to District 1).

63. Conduct a public hearing and consider the full purpose annexation of the Heritage Oaks at Pearson Ranch annexation area (approximately 135 acres in southern Williamson County south of Avery Ranch Boulevard at the intersection of Avery Ranch Boulevard and Pearson Ranch Road; contiguous to District 6).

64. Conduct a public hearing and consider the full purpose annexation of the Lost Creek Connector Piece annexation area (approximately 165 acres in Travis County north of Lost Creek Boulevard approximately 380 feet west of the intersection of Lost Creek Boulevard and Bend of the River Drive, adjacent to the Lost Creek Municipal Utility District; contiguous to District 8).

65. Conduct a public hearing and consider the full purpose annexation of the Old Lampasas Trail annexation area (approximately 83 acres in northern Travis County south of Old Lampasas Trail south of the intersection of Old Lampasas Trail and Talleyran Drive; contiguous to Districts 6 and 10).

66. Conduct a public hearing and consider the full purpose annexation of the TxDOT/US 183 A Tollway annexation area (approximately 87 acres in southern Williamson County north of Avery Ranch Boulevard at the intersection of US 183 A Tollway and Avery Ranch Boulevard; contiguous to District 6).

67. Conduct a public hearing and consider the full purpose annexation of the Vaught Ranch annexation area (approximately 9 acres in Travis County south of FM 2222 at the southwest corner of the intersection of FM 2222 and Vaught Ranch Road; contiguous to District 10).

68. Conduct a public hearing and consider the full purpose annexation of the Walnut Creek Place annexation area (approximately 138 acres in eastern Travis County west of Sprinkle Cutoff Road approximately 477 feet north of the intersection of Sprinkle Cutoff Road and Samsung Boulevard; contiguous to District 1).

Monitor’s take: There’s a whole lot of annexation (potentially) going on. This is the first of the public hearings on annexations that could add 2 square miles to the city. Those interested in more details might want to reread Tyler Whitson’s look at the plan, which is online here.

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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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