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TipSheet: Austin City Council, 12.9.15

Thursday, December 10, 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.

2. 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. Related to Item #11.

11. 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 #2.

Monitor’s take: First of all, if you missed it, here is our recap of the situation from the last time it was brought up. Since that mess was revealed, however, it appears that a compromise has emerged. During Tuesday’s work session, reps from Austin Resource Recovery and the Parks and Recreation Department explained that they would be using some of the proceeds from the ARR sale to acquire land in the area for the park.

5. Approve a resolution amending Resolution No. 20121213-095 to authorize the Circuit Events Local Organizing Committee to act on behalf of the City for the Texas Major Events Reimbursement Program, or, in the alternative, the Texas Events Trust Fund, for the purpose of conducting economic studies, submitting applications, and submitting any required funding to the Texas Office of the Governor for future Moto GP events to be held at the Circuit of the Americas facility.

6. Approve a resolution amending Resolution No. 20150402-004 to authorize the Circuit Events Local Organizing Committee to act on behalf of the City for the Texas Major Events Reimbursement Program, or, in the alternative, the Texas Events Trust Fund, for the purpose of conducting economic studies, submitting applications, and submitting any required funding to the Texas Office of the Governor for the 2016 and 2017 Austin X Games events to be held at the Circuit of the Americas facility

Monitor’s take: When the Circuit of the Americas opened, a deal was struck that allowed the city to act as an endorsing entity so that it could benefit from the state’s Major Events Trust Fund without actually ponying up any cash. This is pretty much a reiteration of that deal, and it faces the same criticism – though the arrangement may not cost the city money, support for COTA just seems to rub people the wrong way in this town.

14. Authorize execution of a 12-month extension of the contract with REPUBLIC SERVICES INC. for the management and disposal of industrial Class 2 non-hazardous waste in an amount not to exceed $264,820, for a total contract amount not to exceed $794,460.

Monitor’s take: Jo Clifton recapped this situation yesterday. We expect spirited public testimony and have no idea how Council will handle the contract renewal.

30. Approve a resolution related to CodeNEXT, affordable housing options, and fair housing choice.

Monitor’s take: Reading through the committee recommendation and draft resolution, it looks like this resolution, if approved, would reaffirm the city’s desire for more affordable housing in high-opportunity (read: more expensive) neighborhoods, and ask that the CodeNEXT process be used to help accomplish that. All well and good, but it’s far from clear what concrete actions this item might spur.

31. Approve an ordinance authorizing the expansion of the existing Parking Benefit District in the University Neighborhood Overlay District.

Monitor’s take: More parking meters are coming to the UT campus area.

32. Approve a resolution directing the City Manager to clarify the physical boundaries of the Town Lake Community Event Center Venue project.

Monitor’s take: This could be interesting. According to the committee report, “Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo shared that Council has had questions over the years about how the
Town Lake Community Event Center venue is defined. The proposed resolution presented by
MPT Tovo directs the City Manager to clarify boundaries based on the thought that it would be
in the public interest just to have that clarification provided. It has implications for what
amenities can be funded and through what funding mechanisms; therefore, having the
appropriate boundaries clarified will be a benefit especially as new phases of Town Lake Park
are being developed.” The park in question is in the Auditorium Shores area, and in 1998, voters authorized the creation of a venue there, but the public has been kind of in the dark since then.

44. C14-2014-0186 – Hopper-Finley Tract – District 7 – Approve second and third readings of an ordinance amending City Code Chapter 25-2 by rezoning property locally known as 2500 South Heatherwilde Boulevard (Harris Branch Watershed) from development reserve (DR) district zoning to single family residence-small lot-conditional overlay (SF-4A-CO) combining district zoning for Tract 1, multifamily residence-moderate-high density (MF-4) district zoning for Tract 2 and community commercial (GR) district zoning for Tract 3. First Reading approved on November 12, 2015. Vote: 10-0, Council Member Houston was off the dais. Owner/Applicant: Finley Company (Tim Finley). Agent: Graves Dougherty Hearon & Moody (Michael J. Whellan). City Staff: Sherri Sirwaitis, 512-974-3057.

45. C14-2014-0193 – MMK Ventures, LLC – District 7 – Approve third reading of an ordinance amending City Code Chapter 25-2 by rezoning property locally known as 1601 Cedar Bend Drive (Walnut Creek Watershed) from rural residence (RR) district zoning to single-family residence-small lot-conditional overlay (SF-4A-CO) combining district zoning. First reading approved on October 15, 2015. Vote: 10-0. Second reading approved on November 12, 2015. Vote: 9-3, Council Members Renteria, Troxclair and Houston voted nay. Owner/Applicant: MMK Ventures, LLC (Saeed Minhas). Agent: Cuatro Consultants, Ltd. (Hugo Elizondo, Jr., P.E.). City Staff: Sherri Sirwaitis, 512-974-3057.

Monitor’s take: Both of these cases hinge on connectivity. The neighborhood doesn’t want it, but city staff does. Given Council Member Leslie Pool’s post on the City Council Message Board, the neighborhood will have some support, but we expect that the concept of connectivity might have some as well.

81. Conduct a public hearing and consider an ordinance amending City Code Title 25 related to short-term rental use.

Monitor’s take: At this late hour, it remains unclear whether or not City Council will take up a portion of proposed changes to the city’s Short Term Rental Ordinance. Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo has made it clear that she would like to see some of the amendments – like the “test the waters” provision that allows unlicensed STRs to advertise – approved today. However, the mayor has requested that the recommendations be approved in one sitting, and he has also asked that the topic be postponed until he returns to town. The Planning Commission made its STR recommendations on Tuesday.

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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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