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TipSheet: Austin City Council, Zoning 8.19.15

Thursday, August 20, 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 a resolution initiating code amendments related to short-term rentals. Related to Item #52.

52. Approve a recommendation regarding short-term rentals. Related to Item #2.

Monitor’s take:After taking on short-term rentals until nearly 3 a.m. in the Planning and Neighborhoods Committee on Monday, and a bit of discussion with the whole City Council during the work session on Tuesday, Council will now take on short-term rental code amendments during its regular meeting. Though they limited public testimony to the committee meeting (to the best of our knowledge), this promises to be a long, thorny discussion.

44. Authorize execution of a contract with ZUCKER SYSTEMS to provide consulting services in an amount not to exceed $100,000.

Monitor’s take: With the report on the city’s planning departments done and out, the city will now pay Zucker Systems to help implement the recommendations found in that report.

51. Approve a recommendation by the Health and Human Services Council Committee to identify funding for public health programs aimed at decreasing health inequities.

Monitor’s take: Just prior to the release of the report, the City Council Health and Human Services Committee voted to address its findings through a funding increase of just over $1 million, with only Council Member Ellen Troxclair voting in opposition. Should be an interesting conversation when viewed in the larger context of promised budget cuts.

57. Discuss legal issues related to Donald Zimmerman v. City of Austin, Cause No. 1:15-cv-00628, in the United States District Court for the Western Division of Texas (Private consultation with legal counsel – Section 551.071 of the Government Code).

Monitor’s take: This would be a good time to talk to Council Member Zimmerman, if you have reason to. While he would usually be present during City Council executive session, exceptions have been made for instances when Council members are suing the city.

58. 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: Staff has requested that this item be postponed until October.

67. Conduct a public hearing and consider an appeal by Michele Rogerson Lynch, representing the owners of Springdale Farms, regarding the Planning Commission’s denial of a conditional use permit to grant outdoor entertainment as an additional use to the existing urban farm use (District 3).

Monitor’s take: At the work session on Tuesday, Mayor Steve Adler announced his intention to limit public testimony on this Springdale Farm case, which – if history is any indicator – will be contentious. The farm is attempting to overturn a Planning Commission denial of a permit that would allow it to hold more outdoor events than would otherwise be allowed (22 events with 51 to 150 people in attendance and five events with attendance greater than that).

59. Conduct a public hearing to receive public comment on growth-related projects within the Drinking Water Protection Zone to be included in the FY 2015-2016 Capital Budget.

63. Conduct a public hearing to receive public comment on the proposed rate and fee changes for Austin Water as part of the Fiscal Year 2015-2016 Proposed Budget.

64. Conduct a public hearing to receive public comment on the City of Austin Fiscal Year 2015-2016 Proposed Budget.

65. Conduct a public hearing to receive public comment on Austin Resource Recovery’s proposed rate and fee changes for the Fiscal Year 2015-16 Proposed Budget.

66. Conduct a public hearing to receive public comment on the proposed rate and fee changes for Austin Energy as part of the Fiscal Year 2015-2016 Proposed Budget.

69. Conduct a public hearing to receive public comment regarding the proposed change to the drainage charge as part of the Fiscal Year 2015-2016 proposed budget

Monitor’s take: Looking for a way to kill Thursday evening? At some point after 4 p.m., City Council will begin holding its public hearings on the city budget.

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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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