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TipSheet: Austin City Council 3.3 & 3.5

Monday, March 2, 2015 by Michael Kanin

A light agenda for a week when some of the fireworks may be reserved for the March 2 first meeting of the Council’s Audit and Finance Committee–which is set to tackle the latest Council staffing proposal from Mayor Steve Adler.

As always, the Austin City Council meets in an agenda 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.

2. Authorize negotiation and execution of an agreement with Hops and Grain, LLC to provide a performance-based incentive for the generation of solar energy at its facility located at 507 Calles St. for an estimated $9,208 per year, for a total amount not to exceed $92,080 over a 10-year period.

3. Authorize negotiation and execution of an agreement with The Settlement Home for Children to provide performance-based incentives for the generation of solar energy at its facility located at 1600 Payton Gin Rd., for an estimated $11,038 per year, for a total amount not to exceed $110,380 over a 10-year period.

4. Approve issuance of a rebate to Austin Community College for energy efficiency improvements at its newly constructed Highland Campus located at 6101 Airport Blvd., in an amount not to exceed $86,926.65.

5. Approve issuance of a rebate to Freescale Semiconductor Inc. for energy efficiency improvements at its Oak Hill Campus located at 6501 William Cannon Drive West, in an amount not to exceed $58,286.39.

6. Approve issuance of a rebate to Barrington Austin Apartments LLC for energy efficiency improvements at the Barrington at Park Place Apartments Phase II located at 3220 Duval Rd., in an amount not to exceed $212,399.

7. Approve issuance of a rebate to F&F Copper Creek Associates LP for energy efficiency improvements at The Hendrix Apartment Homes located at 9811 Copper Creek Dr., in an amount not to exceed $265,149.

8. Approve issuance of a rebate to Mesa Verde Apartments LLC for energy efficiency improvements at The Mesa Verde Apartments located at 3201 Duval Rd., in an amount not to exceed $143,200.

Monitor’s take: These, as with so much else, would have most likely been routine items on the agenda of a past Council. But given this Council’s tendency to scrutinize, we’ll bet something in the above catches someone’s attention. Though we’ll admit we have not yet heard that this will be the case.

12. Authorize negotiation and execution of an interlocal agreement with the Austin Independent School District for administration of the proposed Austin Promise Zone, intended to revitalize high poverty communities in the Rundberg, St. John’s, Colony Park, East Central, and Dove Springs areas, pending designation by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Monitor’s Take: A Promise Zone, is a Federal program administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. According to agenda back-up, is something “intended to revitalize high-poverty communities across the country by attracting private investment, improving affordable housing, improving educational opportunities, reducing violent crime, and assisting local leaders in navigating federal programs.” There does not appear to be a direct CoA budget impact. Program awardees are set to be announced in Spring 2015.

14. Authorize negotiation and execution of all documents and instruments necessary or desirable to purchase in fee simple 240 properties at high risk of flooding in the 100-year floodplain of the lower Onion Creek area, in an amount not to exceed $60,000,000.

Monitor’s Take: With dollars already allocated for these buyouts, this item simply is the go-ahead to spend.

17. Approve an ordinance on first reading only adopting an amendment to the Agreement Concerning Creation and Operation of Winfield Municipal Utility Districts Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4 (“Winfield” now renamed as “Sunfield”) concerning the requirements and restrictions of the water district which includes approximately 575 acres and is located east of IH 35 along the Travis and Hays County line south of Turnersville Road in Austin’s limited purpose jurisdiction. Related to Item #18

18. Approve an ordinance on first reading only adopting an amendment to the Strategic Partnership Agreement between the City and the Sunfield Municipal Utility District No. 2 (previously named “Winfield Municipal Utility District No. 2”) concerning the requirements and restrictions of the water district which includes approximately 575 acres and is located east of IH 35 along the Travis and Hays County line south of Turnersville Road in Austin’s limited purpose jurisdiction. Related to Item #17.

Monitor’s Take: Previous Councils were not so fond of MUDs. This one, however, has a former MUD official in the person of CM Don Zimmerman, sitting on the dais. He may not be able to sway his colleagues, but he certainly could make the discussion interesting.

25. Approve a resolution creating the Parkland Events Task Force to develop recommendations for policies regarding special events on parkland.

Monitor’s Take: This would, according to the resolution create a task force charged with developing a set of recommendations intended to “ensure that all City parks, but most particularly Auditorium Shores, Zilker Park, and Festival Beach, remain first and foremost assets for the citizens of Austin to enjoy and that the parks are preserved and enhanced for future generations of Austinites and visitors to experience and enjoy.” This, according to the document, includes wide purview that would be established in the wake of the recent cyclocross event.

26. Approve a resolution directing the City Manager to implement an appropriate traffic control device to eliminate unauthorized cut-through automotive traffic in a new roadway extension of Aldwyche Drive.

Monitor’s Take: This resolution would direct City Manager Marc Ott to implement “an appropriate traffic control device on the new roadway extension of Aldwyche Drive” that would, according to the resolution, “eliminate unauthorized cut-through passage while allowing for emergency and service vehicle passage, along with pedestrian and bicycle passage.” Aldwyche Drive is in Barton Oaks.

27. Approve an ordinance waiving certain building permit fees for the People’s Community Clinic’s new facility located at 1101 Camino La Costa.

Monitor’s Take: This item would waive $33,803.12 in construction fees for the facility. Council Member Greg Casar took to the Council’s message board Saturday to offer a bit of background on his resolution. “Providing this waiver for People’s Community Clinic will mean that they will be able to provide up to 170 new encounters with healthcare professionals for patients who otherwise might not receive services,” he wrote. “For additional perspective, $33,000 could translate into almost 200 vaccines to protect seniors against painful outbreaks of shingles or 240 well-child visits to monitor children’s growth and wellness at critical periods of their development.”

Casar continued: “As a Council, I believe we should be judicious when granting any fee waivers. We should certainly prioritize supporting requests that are of great benefit to the community,” he wrote. “I was glad to support our most recent waiver request for the Zilker Kite Festival on the February 12th agenda, where the Council waived over $23,000 in fees on consent. I believe that in the case of People’s Community Clinic, there are very clear community benefits that will both provide high quality services to those in need and also promote the fiscal & physical health of our whole community. I’ve provided a link to the proposed ordinance below, and I welcome any additional questions you may have.”

28. Authorize negotiation and execution of a 50-year license agreement with DECKER LAKE GOLF, LLC to provide funding, design, development, management, and maintenance services for a golf course at Walter E. Long Metropolitan Park. (THE PUBLIC COMMENT FOR THIS ITEM WAS HELD AND CLOSED ON NOVEMBER 20, 2014).

Monitor’s Take: This, of course, is the return of the Decker Lake Golf facility. Most recently, the project got a split vote at the city’s Parks Board. This is after project developers pitched the idea of using brackish water to support flora at the site.

C14-2014-0011A – Garza Ranch – (District 8) – Approve second and third readings of an ordinance amending City Code Chapter 25-2 by zoning 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. First Reading approved on February 26, 2015. Vote: 9-2, Mayor Pro Tem Tovo and Council Member Casar voted nay. Owner/Applicant: Rancho Garza, Ltd. (Ron White). Agent: Cunningham-Allen, Inc. (Jana Rice). City Staff: Wendy Rhoades, 512-974-7719.

31. C14-2014-0011B – Garza Ranch – (District 8) – Approve second and third readings of an ordinance amending City Code Chapter 25-2 by zoning 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. First Reading approved on February 26, 2015. Vote: 9-2, Mayor Pro Tem Tovo and Council Member Casar voted nay. Owner/Applicant: Rancho Garza, Ltd. (Ron White). Owner/Applicant: Rancho Garza, Ltd. (Ron White). Agent: Cunningham-Allen, Inc. (Jana Rice). City Staff: Wendy Rhoades, 512-974-7719.

Monitor’s Take: Garza Ranch returns for another reading after a bit of on-the-dais haggling last week landed Council members on a 13,000 trip limit.

34. 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: Small lot amnesty looks set for another postponement pending review by the City’s Planning Commission. It could be back on April 23.

Conduct a public hearing and consider an ordinance amending City Code Title 25 changing regulations for secondary dwellings.

Monitor’s Take: ADU’s are also headed for a postponement. Also to April 23, and also pending Planning Commission review.

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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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