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TipSheet: Austin City Council 2-10 & 2-12

Tuesday, February 10, 2015 by Michael Kanin

Council is back in voting action this week. The feeling at City Hall is that this meeting may include a return to what might resemble typical business.

As always, the Austin City Council meets in a work session Tuesday and for its regular meeting Thursday. Below is a list of items we’re watching for the upcoming week. 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.

6. Authorize negotiation and execution of a design and commission agreement with Rachel Feinstein, dba John Currin LLC, for a total contract amount not to exceed $1,000,000 for artwork for the Terminal/Apron Expansion and Improvement Project at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

7. Authorize negotiation and execution of a design and commission agreement with Janet Echelman, Inc. in an amount not to exceed $2,000,000 for artwork for the Airport Entrance Project at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

Monitor’s Take: These items are drawing concern from Council Member Don Zimmerman’s office. His team worries about a lack of local participation on the artist end.

17. Approve an ordinance amending the Fiscal Year 2014-2015 Council Operating Budget (Ordinance No. 20140908-001); and providing an administrative process for the reallocation of council salaries to other council office purposes.

86. Approve a resolution authorizing the City Manager to negotiate and execute an agreement with The Mayor’s Better Austin Foundation Inc. to accept donated staff for the public purpose of assisting the new council committees and providing other policy support.

Monitor’s Take: The former would be the very quick turnaround of new rules that allow Council members to reallocate office funds reserved for CM salaries to other uses. Our coverage of that is here. The latter is a closely associated effort by Mayor Adler to fund upper-level consultants working out of his office with (c)3 dollars. Liz Pagano has more on that in today’s Monitor.

20. Approve a resolution authorizing a loan in an amount not to exceed $2,160,000 subject to the award of Low Income Housing Tax Credits from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, to Foundation Communities, Inc., or an affiliate for a proposed rental development to be known as North End Apartments, located at 13201 and 13205 Burnet Road.

21.Approve a resolution authorizing a loan in an amount not to exceed $1,875,000 to Foundation Communities, Inc. or an affiliate, for a proposed rental development, to be known as Cardinal Point Apartments, located at 11011 1/2 Four Points Drive, with the loan being conditioned upon the award of tax credits to Foundation Communities, Inc. by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs for the proposed project.

22. Approve a resolution authorizing a loan in an amount not to exceed $1,650,000 to MGroup Holdings, Inc. or an affiliate for a proposed rental development, to be known as Monarch at Lakeline Station, located in the 9800 block of Lake Creek Parkway, with the loan being conditioned upon the award of tax credits to MGroup, Holdings, Inc. by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs for the proposed project.

23. Approve a resolution authorizing a loan in an amount not to exceed $1,260,000 subject to the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs award of tax credits to Wolfpack Group, LLC, or an affiliate for a proposed rental development to be known as LaMadrid Apartments, located at the southwest corner of Ravenscroft Drive and Manchaca Road.

24. Approve a resolution authorizing a loan in an amount not to exceed $1,650,000 subject to the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs award of tax credits, to DMA Development Company, LLC, or an affiliate for a proposed rental development to be known as Azul 620, located at 11411 North Ranch Road 620.

25. Approve a resolution authorizing a loan in an amount not to exceed $1,860,000 to DDC Investments, Ltd., or an affiliated entity, for a proposed rental development, to be known as Merritt Cornerstone Apartments, located at the southeast corner of West Howard Lane and McNeil-Merrilltown Road, with the loan being conditioned upon the award of tax credits to DDC Investments, Ltd. by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs for the proposed project and the full-purpose annexation of the property by the City.

26. Approve a resolution supporting an application to be submitted by Wolfpack Group, LLC, or an affiliated entity, for an award of low income housing tax credits from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs for a proposed multi-family housing development to be known as the LaMadrid Apartments, located at the southwest corner of Ravenscroft Lane and Manchaca Road.

27. Approve a resolution supporting an application to be submitted by Foundation Communities, Inc., or an affiliated entity, for an award of low income housing tax credits from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs for a proposed multi-family housing development to be known as the Cardinal Point Apartments, located at 11011 ½ Four Points Drive.

28. Approve a resolution supporting an application to be submitted by Foundation Communities, Inc., or an affiliated entity, for an award of low income housing tax credits from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs for a proposed multi-family housing development to be known as the North End Apartments, located at 13201 Burnet Road and 13205 Burnet Road.

29. Approve a resolution supporting an application to be submitted by MGroup Holdings, Inc., or an affiliated entity, for an award of low income housing tax credits from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs for a proposed multi-family housing development to be known as the Monarch at Lakeline Station Apartments, located at North Lake Creek Parkway and Lakeline Mall Drive.

30. Approve a resolution supporting an application to be submitted by DMA Development Company, LLC, or an affiliated entity, for an award of low income housing tax credits from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs for a proposed multi-family housing development to be known as Azul 620, located at 11411 North Ranch Road 620.

31. Approve a resolution supporting an application to be submitted by DDC Investments, Ltd., or an affiliated entity, for an award of low income housing tax credits from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs for a proposed multi-family housing development to be known as Merritt Cornerstone Apartments, located at the corner of West Howard Lane and McNeil-Merrilltown Road.

Monitor’s Take: Former Councils might consider this slate of items routine: Affordable housing projects in search of grant money from the federal government need local approval as part of a matrix scoring system that dictates such awards. Staff have gone to lengths, including the attachment of a fiscal note, to underscore the fact that the budget impact to the city here is minimal. In addition to the fact that not all of the projects will get funded (and thus not all will need the city’s fiscal support), the local funds that would be used to back the projects originate from voter-approved bonds, reserved for only affordable housing expenditures. Still, expect some level of challenge from CM Zim, who’s already signaled his intent (via the Council’s message board) to pull the items.

50. Approve a resolution directing the city manager to analyze the impact on homeowners and the City budget of implementing a 20% Homestead Tax Exemption over the terms of 1 year, 2 years, and 4 years and to present this information to the City Council no later than the March 24, 2015 work session, or as soon as possible.

Monitor’s Take: This would be the next move on the way to a citywide homestead tax exemption. As has been reported by the Monitor, a 20 percent exemption would cost the city’s budget roughly $36 million. And though most of the current dais promised to get the 20 percent exemption done as part of their respective campaign pitches, concern from some corners about city budget impact–and the fact that cuts seem destined to come from human services, parks, libraries, and the like–has remained. Council Member Delia Garza intends to pull this item for discussion at Tuesday’s work session. She may also offer some amendments.

68.C14-2014-0011A – Garza Ranch – (District 8) – Conduct a public hearing and approve an ordinance amending City Code Chapter 25-2 by rezoning property locally known as 3800 Ben Garza Lane (Williamson Creek Watershed-Barton Springs Zone) from community commercial-mixed use-conditional overlay-neighborhood plan (GR-MU-CO-NP) combining district zoning to community commercial-mixed use-conditional overlay-neighborhood plan (GR-MU-CO-NP) combining district zoning, to change a condition of zoning. Staff Recommendation: To grant community commercial-mixed use-conditional overlay-neighborhood plan (GR-MU-CO-NP) combining district zoning, to change a condition of zoning, with conditions. Planning Commission Recommendation: To forward to Council without a recommendation. Owner/Applicant: Rancho Garza, Ltd. (Ron White). Agent: Cunningham-Allen, Inc. (Jana Rice). City Staff: Wendy Rhoades, 512-974-7719.

69. C14-2014-0011B – Garza Ranch – (District 8) – Conduct a public hearing and approve an ordinance amending City Code Chapter 25-2 by rezoning property locally known as 3510 and 4003 Ben Garza Lane (Williamson Creek Watershed-Barton Springs Zone) from community commercial-mixed use-conditional overlay-neighborhood plan (GR-MU-CO-NP) combining district zoning to community commercial-mixed use-conditional overlay-neighborhood plan (GR-MU-CO-NP) combining district zoning, to change a condition of zoning. Staff Recommendation: To grant community commercial-mixed use-conditional overlay-neighborhood plan (GR-MU-CO-NP) combining district zoning, to change a condition of zoning, with conditions. Planning Commission Recommendation: To forward to Council without a recommendation. Owner/Applicant: Rancho Garza, Ltd. (Ron White). Agent: Cunningham-Allen, Inc. (Jana Rice). City Staff: Wendy Rhoades, 512-974-7719.

Monitor’s Take: The Garza Ranch returns after Council members declined to make a call on the long-running case in January. Our recent Explainer is here.

85. Conduct a public hearing and consider an ordinance amending City Code Title 25 relating to the regulation of residential uses in the Downtown Mixed Use and Central Business District zoning districts.

Monitor’s Take: This item would expand the types of residential uses currently permitted in the city’s Central Business District and Downtown Mixed Use regions. It would also exempt those regions from subchapter F of the code, commonly known as the McMansion ordinance. Both the Planning Commission and its Codes and Ordinances subcommittee have recommended this move.

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