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TipSheet: Austin City Council, 5.5.16

Thursday, May 5, 2016 by Elizabeth Pagano

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.

3. Approve an ordinance amending City Code Chapter 6-4 relating to water use management, and adding offenses.

4. Approve a resolution adopting a revised 2016 Drought Contingency Plan for retail and wholesale public water suppliers.

Monitor’s take: As we reported Wednesday, the water utility is proposing reducing water restrictions permanently in the city, making one-day-per-week-watering the new normal. As a concession, Austinites will, however, be allowed to wash their cars at home. Though at least Council members Don Zimmerman and Ellen Troxclair aren’t very fond of the plan, it appears that the majority of Council is behind this one.

27. Approve a resolution directing the City Manager to evaluate potential changes to Austin Police Department policies and training to improve how transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals are identified by the Austin Police Department.

Monitor’s take: As we reported on Tuesday, this resolution would direct the city manager “to develop a policy on how the Austin Police Department refers to transgender and gender nonconforming individuals in ‘internal and external communication.’ In addition, it directs the city manager to begin a community stakeholder process in order to educate police officers on how to identify transgender and gender nonconforming people.” The resolution was spurred by the murder of Monica Loera, a transgender woman, who was identified as a male and by her birth name by APD.

28. Approve the waiver or reimbursement of certain costs under City Code Chapter 14-8 for the 9th Annual Texas Marijuana March to the Texas State Capitol building sponsored by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) which is to be held from noon to 1:15pm on Saturday, May 14, 2016 from City Hall along Congress Avenue.

Monitor’s take: It’s not necessarily news, but it’s fun that this fee waiver, for a pro-marijuana march, has such a wide range of sponsors. The main sponsor is Council Member Don Zimmerman, but it’s also co-sponsored by Council members Pio Renteria, Ora Houston and Greg Casar and Mayor Steve Adler. (It’s probably worth noting that NORML is a nonprofit, but it’s also a bit of a buzzkill.)

39. Approve a resolution recommending that the City Manager prioritize Austin Resource Recovery in the performance and budget review by the Office of Performance Management.

Monitor’s take: Though this item made it through the committee, it did so without the recommendation of the Audit and Finance Committee, who thought it might be a better fit for the new Office of Performance Management that will, eventually, address such things. It remains to be seen which plan the full City Council will support, however, as members have not yet had a chance to weigh in on the request, which originated in the Zero Waste Advisory Committee.

42. C814-2012-0163 – Sun Chase Planned Unit Development – District 2 – Approve second reading of an ordinance amending City Code Chapter 25-2 by zoning property locally known as 15201, 15810, and 16070 Pearce Lane, and 7910 Wolf Lane (Dry Creek East Watershed) from interim-single family residence-standard lot (I-SF-2) district zoning and interim-single family residence-small lot (I-SF-4A) district zoning to planned unit development (PUD) district zoning. First Reading approved on February 11, 2016.

Monitor’s take: We covered this case when it was at the Planning Commission in January. Although there were some questions about how affordable housing for the development would work, the commission voted unanimously to recommend it. Since then, City Council has approved it on first reading.

51. Conduct a public hearing and consider an ordinance amending City Code Title 25 relating to the neighborhood plan design tool known as garage placement standards.

Monitor’s take: This garage placement issue is much like the small-lot amnesty issue from earlier this year — basically, developers are using it in a way that neighborhoods didn’t anticipate when they opted in to the standard. For a refresher, here is our previous coverage on the topic.

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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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