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TipSheet: Austin City Council, 11.19.15

Thursday, November 19, 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.

18. Approve third reading of an ordinance adopting and authorizing execution of an Impervious Cover Transfer Agreement associated with a 5.92 acre property located at 6308 Spicewood Springs Road known as Ace Salvage Yard and Ace Discount Glass (District 10).

Monitor’s take: Today marks the possible conclusion of the ongoing struggle over Ace Salvage Yard. A complicated deal was worked out spanning this Council and the last, and if it is approved on third reading today, the property will be allowed to redevelop in a more environmentally friendly way, and the owner will be allowed both his dog kennel and storage business. It will also allow him to transfer some of his unused impervious cover to another property that isn’t in such an environmentally sensitive area.

19. Approve an ordinance setting the assessment rate and approving a proposed 2016 assessment roll for the Austin Downtown Public Improvement District.

20. Approve a resolution adopting the Austin Downtown Public Improvement District service plan and budget for 2016-2017.

69. Set a public hearing to consider the Austin Downtown Public Improvement District 2016 assessments. (Suggested date and time: December 10, 2015, 4:00 p.m., at Austin City Hall, 301 W. Second Street, Austin, TX).

Monitor’s take: In 1993, downtown property owners created a Public Improvement District (PID) to service the area and finance the Downtown Austin Alliance’s work. As per a 2012 City Council approval that renewed the PID for another decade, the downtown Public Improvement District has a set an assessment rate of 10 cents for every $100 of (qualified) property value in 2016. That money goes to the Downtown Austin Alliance, which has set a budget for just over $5.1 million for Fiscal Year 2016. The assessment and the PID service plan must be approved by Council, which is scheduled to hold a public meeting on the topic in December. In years past, it’s been a fairly routine process, but with recent criticism of the DAA’s participation in the Rail Bond election, who knows?

21. Authorize negotiation and execution of a Family Business Loan Program Section 108 to Bouldin Creek Café LLC for the acquisition and expansion of current property located at 1900 South 1st Street in Austin Texas in an amount not to exceed $220,050.00

Monitor’s take: From the backup, it looks as though Bouldin Creek is planning a $2.5 million expansion. This is the city’s portion of a loan to finance that expansion, which veggie chorizo breakfast taco fans at the Austin Monitor support fully.

33. Approve an ordinance amending the Fiscal Year 2015-2016 Fee Schedule (Ordinance No. 20150908-003) to establish a new registration fee for central preparation facilities serving mobile food establishments.

Monitor’s take: As Tyler Whitson reported in our whispers, Council discussed the proposed $50 registration fee for central food preparation facilities for mobile vendors during its Tuesday work session. The new fee is expected to bring in about $15,000 in revenue. Council Member Don Zimmerman categorized it as just another fee for small business owners in the city (and was, therefore, against it). But the Health and Human Services Committee recommended the fee unanimously.

36. Approve an ordinance vacating an approximately 3,620 square foot portion of the Brushy Street right-of-way, between East 4th Street and East 5th Street, to the CAPITAL METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY (District 3).

Monitor’s take: As part of the Plaza Saltillo redevelopment, Cap Metro is asking to vacate about one-third of the block of Brushy Street located between Fourth and Fifth Streets. For this, Cap Metro will pay the city just over $260,000. Jimmy Nassour, who is the principal of an ownership group that has a nearby property objects. In his letter objecting to the vacation, he notes, “A vacation of this right-of-way will, in my opinion, set a precedent for future vacations along the existing Brushy St. Accordingly, if it (is) not the intent of the City of Austin to vacate the entirety of Brushy Street from E. Cesar Chavez St. to E. 7th St. then we strongly object to this requested vacation.”

39. Approve a resolution renaming an overlook located at Shoal Beach at Town Lake Metro Park, 707 W Cesar Chavez St. to the “Roberta Reed Crenshaw Overlook at Shoal Beach at Town Lake Metro Park.”

Monitor’s take: During the 90-day nomination period for names of this overlook, only Roberta Reed Crenshaw’s name was submitted, making the somewhat-fraught process of naming parks a little easier this time. According to the backup, “Roberta was a pioneer of the greenbelt and campaigned to preserve the parkland along Town Lake and helped to galvanize support for the hike and bike trail. Her vision and tireless personal commitment helped shape the Austin parks system into the nationally recognized source of pride and inspiration that it is today.”

42. Approve a resolution regarding the renaming of the Austin Tennis Center, located at 7800 Johnny Morris Road.

Monitor’s take: This is more like it. With two names on the table (Carol J. Welder and Sarah Pernell), the Parks and Recreation Board has advised the city to hold off on renaming the tennis center until the naming protocol has been established.

61. Approve a resolution authorizing the negotiation and execution of an advance funding agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation in an amount not to exceed $9,200,000 for intersection improvements to the I-35 Southbound Frontage Road at 51st Street Intersection and Ramp Reconfiguration Project.

Monitor’s take: The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization approved funding for this project on Monday, but if the insane intersection at I-35 and 51st streets is going to be fixed, the city is going to have to pony up $9.2 million, and that requires Council approval.

64. Approve a resolution directing the City Manager to provide funding for public safety needs downtown and throughout the City during the 10 days in March defined in City Code Section 9-2-1(14) as the “Spring Festival Season,” which includes the South by Southwest music festival, conferences, and related events.

Monitor’s take: Ah, spring festival season. There seems to be a bit of a shift in how this Council views the festivals that have long defined the city. It will be interesting to see whether this item, which puts a price tag on SXSW, will provoke any pushback.

65. Approve a resolution congratulating the City of Adelaide on its 175th Anniversary and extending an invitation to the Adelaide City Council to visit Austin for an exchange of Sister City gifts.

Monitor’s take: Hooray! It’s the conclusion of the saga of the bad luck opal. During Tuesday’s work session, Council passed around the opal, which (we assume) will soon be headed back to Australia. (And, it appears, may be a reason for the two sister cities to become closer?)

67. Approve an ordinance extending the expiration date of Ordinance No. 20141211-200 related to interim drainage regulations in the South Lamar Neighborhood Area; and waiving City Code Section 25-1-502 related to Planning Commission review.

Monitor’s take: The South Lamar area has long complained about drainage issues, prompting a study of the South Lamar Corridor and improvement program. Council Member Ann Kitchen has sponsored an item to extend this ordinance, which was otherwise due to expire next month.

78. Approve an ordinance amending the Fiscal Year 2015-2016 Fee Schedule (Ordinance No. 20150908-003) to allow all City residents 80 years or older to use City swimming pools for free.

Monitor’s take: Plans to let residents 80 years or older swim free could be approved.

83. C814-2012-0152 – Pilot Knob Planned Unit Development – District 2 – Approve second reading of an ordinance amending City Code Chapter 25-2 by zoning property locally known as east and southeast of the intersection of East William Cannon Drive and McKinney Falls Parkway, and west of South U.S. Highway 183 and FM 1625 (Cottonmouth Creek Watershed; North Fork Creek Watershed; South Fork Creek Watershed) from interim-rural residence (I-RR) district zoning and interim-single family residence-standard lot (SF-4A) district zoning to planned unit development (PUD) district zoning

Monitor’s take: We covered this case last week. The public hearing is now closed.

92. Conduct a public hearing and consider an ordinance amending City Code Title 25 related to planned unit development density bonuses.

Monitor’s take: If approved, this ordinance would change the city’s Planned Unit Development Ordinance to include an affordability requirement for all development types (not just residential) and require on-site affordable housing for PUDs that have a residential use, unless a developer can prove that is not feasible. It wil also extend affordability terms for ownership to 99 years.

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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.

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