About the Author
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: Austin City Council 10/21 & 10/23
Monday, October 20, 2014 by Michael Kanin
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 website, here.
We’ve posted these in chronological order. Where applicable, however, we’ve paired items that appear similar in nature.
Note: This week’s Council voting session must conclude by 5:30 p.m. Thursday
Items of interest for both the Tuesday and Thursday work sessions include:
6. Approve an ordinance amending City Code Section 2-5-13 relating to the number of votes necessary to pass an ordinance on more than one reading.
7. Approve an ordinance amending City Code Section 2-5-71 relating to the beginning date for the regular term of a Council member.
Monitor‘s take: More clean up in advance of the new 10-1 Council. Item six changes the number of votes for passage of an item on more than one reading in one sitting from five to seven. Number seven resets the date that newly-elected Council members take office from December 15 to January 6.
8. Approve an ordinance amending City Code Title 2 (Administration) to create an administrative hearing process for certain City Code violations.
Monitor‘s take: This item sets up a hearings process to “enforce certain” sections of the city code. According to backup, these include:
“(1) for the preservation of public safety, relating to the materials or methods used to construct a building or improvement, including the foundation, structural elements, electrical wiring or apparatus,plumbing and fixtures, entrances, or exits;
(2) relating to the fire safety of a building or improvement, including provisions relating to materials,types of construction or design, warning devices, sprinklers or other fire suppression devices,availability of water supply for extinguishing fires, or location, design, or width of entrances or exits;
(3) relating to dangerously damaged or deteriorated buildings or improvements;
(4) relating to conditions caused by accumulations of refuse, vegetation, or other matter that creates breeding and living places for insects and rodents; or
(5) relating to a building code or to the condition, use, or appearance of property in a municipality.”
18. Approve an ordinance amending City Code Chapter 9-2 relating to permitting requirements for nonpeak hour concrete installation within portions of the Central Business District (CBD), Downtown Mixed Use (DMU), and Public (P) zoning districts.
Monitor‘s take: This is a return trip for an item that would allow concrete pouring after-hours for projects in some portions of the city. Our coverage of the proposal is here.
19. Authorize negotiation and execution of an interlocal agreement for booking and related services between the City and Travis County in the amount of $6,579,495 for Fiscal Year 2014-2015.
Monitor‘s take: Though this is not yet the approval of a plan to move city booking to a different, city-run facility, this item would renew the contract that the City of Austin holds with Travis County for prisoner processing at the Sheriff’s Criminal Justice Center. The matter has been routine in the past. It maybe less so now.
23. Authorize negotiation and execution of a 50-year operations and management license agreement with four ten-year extension options with DECKER LAKE GOLF, LLC to provide funding, design, development, management and maintenance services for a golf course at Walter E. Long Metropolitan Park.
Monitor‘s take: This would kick off the latest attempt at a major golf facility at the park. The plan met with some skepticism last week. Our coverage of that is here.
44. Conduct a public hearing and consider approval of an ordinance amending City Code Title 25 related to safe, mixed income, accessible, and reasonably priced transit-oriented housing.
Monitor‘s take: This item would solidify changes to the ‘T’ portion of the city’s SMART housing policy — transportation — after a public hearing. Our coverage of the issue is here, here, and here.
47. Conduct a public hearing regarding the full purpose annexation of the City of Austin FM 812 Landfill annexation area (approximately 422 acres in southeastern Travis County at the southwest corner of the intersection of Burleson Road and FM 973).
Monitor‘s take: This would allow the city to absorb a former landfill after a public hearing.
52. Conduct a public hearing and consider action on the CodeNEXT Code Approach Alternatives and Annotated Outline.
Monitor‘s take: Council members are facing a decision about whether to proceed with the rewrite of the city’s land development code in one of three general directions: A brisk sweep, a deep clean, and a complete reset. The Planning Commission has endorsed the middle-road approach (the deep clean). Our coverage of that is here.
Conduct a public hearing and consider an ordinance amending City Code Chapter 25-6 to allow metered parking spaces to be counted toward the minimum off-street parking required for nonresidential uses.
Monitor‘s take: This would allow businesses to count metered street parking as part of the required amount of space for autos that comes with their respective projects. Our coverage is 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 2015, 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 as of 2015, 10 members of the Council are elected based on geographic districts. The Mayor continues to be elected at-large.