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TipSheet: City Council, 1.27.21

Wednesday, January 27, 2021 by Elizabeth Pagano

City Council will convene virtually for its regular meeting tomorrow, on a very irregular Wednesday meeting day. (Council will resume its regular Thursday meeting time next week.) As has been the practice throughout the pandemic, Council will take public comment on the main agenda at the beginning of the meeting, followed by zoning speakers around 2 p.m. This week, more than 100 speakers have signed up for the meeting, so it’s likely to run quite late. We’ve highlighted the items on the agenda we found interesting, and the entire agenda can be found online. As a bonus, updates and amendments will be posted to the City Council Message Board, so head over there if you’re looking to stay on top of things in real time.

Item 12: Approve an ordinance vacating two tracts of right-of-way locally known as part of Samsung Boulevard totaling approximately 11.06 acres, the first tract being approximately 4.645 acres and the second tract being approximately 6.415 acres, both tracts being located south of Parmer Lane, north of the platted but unconstructed East Braker Lane, east of the property locally known as 12100 Samsung Boulevard, and west of Yager Lane, to Samsung Austin Semiconductor, LLC.

Monitor’s Take: As was astutely noted yesterday by the Austin American-Statesman, this ordinance might herald the arrival of yet more tech to Austin. This time, it might take the form of a new chip manufacturing facility.

Item 13: Authorize negotiation and execution of an exclusive negotiation agreement with Aspen Heights Partners, for terms governing a master developer contract for the redevelopment of 1215 Red River and 606 East 12th, the former HealthSouth tract. MBE/WBE: This solicitation was reviewed for subcontracting opportunities in accordance with City Code Chapter 2-9B Minority Owned and Women Owned Business Enterprise Procurement Program. For the services required for this solicitation, there were no subcontracting opportunities; therefore, no subcontracting goals were established in this solicitation phase, but will be negotiated in the contracting phase.

Monitor’s Take: As we reported today, Council Member Kathie Tovo has proposed a rather extensive plan for the HealthSouth tract. If you recall, the development was halted last year after Council realized the project could be redefined in order to encompass more affordable housing.

Item 24: Authorize negotiation and execution of an interlocal agreement with Austin Achieve Public Schools for participation in the Library Cards for All Students Program, which will allow the Austin Public Library to offer a full-purpose Student Library Card to all students enrolled in Austin Achieve Public Schools.

Monitor’s Take: This item represents another step in APL’s mission to give student library cards to all Austin-area students, who might otherwise be unable to access library resources. The student cards offer full library privileges, regardless of residency.

Item 10: Authorize additional funding in an amount of $187,962 to the job order assignment for ProLodge 5 Phase 3 Renovations with Hensel Phelps Services, LLC, for a total assignment amount not to exceed $650,000.

Item 27: Authorize the ratification of the Emergency Temporary Occupancy Agreement with Apple Pie Hotels LLC to allow the City the ongoing option to occupy the real property located at 10811 Pecan Park Blvd., Building 2, Austin, Texas, 78750 for emergency housing, isolation, and support services related to COVID-19 for a 30-day term, with an option to extend for three additional 30-day terms, for an amount not to exceed $699,200.

Item 28: Ratify Amendment No. 3 to the agreement with DBG Austin Hotel LLC, for the City to occupy the real property located at 3105 North Interstate Highway 35, Austin, Texas, 78753 for emergency housing, isolation, and support services related to COVID-19 to extend the option period by three additional one-month terms, for an additional amount not to exceed $340,200 and for a total contract amount not to exceed $1,288,980.

Item 29: Ratify Amendment No. 3 to the agreement with DBG Austin South LLC, for the City to occupy the real property located at 4200 South Interstate Highway 35, Austin, Texas, 78745 for emergency housing, isolation, and support services related to COVID-19 to extend the option period by three additional one-month terms, for an additional amount not to exceed $696,600 and for a total contract amount not to exceed $2,964,420.

Item 30: Ratify Amendment No. 3 to the agreement with Pleiades Hospitality, LLC, for the City to occupy the real property located at 8010 North Interstate Highway 35 Frontage Road, Austin, Texas, 78753 for emergency housing, isolation, and support services related to COVID-19 to extend the option period by three additional one-month terms, for an additional amount not to exceed $330,000.30 and for a total contract amount not to exceed $1,303,918.30.

Item 31: Authorize the negotiation and execution of all documents and instruments necessary or desirable to purchase in fee simple approximately 2 acres of land and a building containing approximately 47,355 square feet out of Lot 1-A, Block B, including a non-exclusive joint use access easement over and across 0.081 of an acre of land, more or less, being a portion of Lot 10-A, Block B, both of the Amended Plat of Lot 1 and a Portion of Lot 2, Resubdivision of Lots 7, 8 &9, Block B, Pecan Park, according to the map or plat thereof, recorded in Cabinet Y, Slides 205-207, Plat Records, Williamson County, Texas; known locally as 10811 Pecan Park Blvd, Bldg #2, Austin, TX 78750 from Apple Pie Hotels, LLC., A Texas Corporation for a total amount not to exceed $9,500,000, including closing costs.

Monitor’s Take: Here are all the city-buying-hotels items on this week’s agenda. Of particular interest is the purchase of two hotels for use as permanent supportive housing for those experiencing homelessness. With word out that operation costs will be covered by the reallocation of public safety funds, these items will have the most speakers, and we’re expecting them to take up the bulk of the meeting.

Item 56: Approve a resolution directing the City Manager to develop recommendations to reduce flood risks; to address strategies related to safety, equity, and resiliency in order to increase flood protection and flood resiliency; to develop a summary of the City’s flood management approach; and to report on the Resilient Austin plan.

Monitor’s Take: This resolution comes from Council Member Vanessa Fuentes (at her first regular Council meeting!). Essentially, it does what it says on the item: asks staff to come up with strategies to increase safety and resiliency in Austin’s flood-prone areas (some of the worst of which are in District 2).

Item 57: Approve a resolution directing the City Manager to improve city-serviced trash collection at multifamily residences.

Monitor’s Take: While it’s unlikely to garner much opposition, we are interested in this resolution, which comes from Council Member Greg Casar. It attempts to remedy disparate levels of garbage collection at multifamily units to deal with things like blocked sidewalks, illegal dumping and unsanitary conditions.

Item 61: Election of the Mayor Pro Tem.

Monitor’s Take: In years past, you may not have taken much note of the mayor pro tem election. That’s logical, as the position is largely ceremonial, with its most notable (only?) attributes being a fancier title that kind of sounds like “mayor,” and the power to run meetings when the actual mayor is absent. However, this year has spiraled slightly out of control, with Council members Casar, Alison Alter and Natasha Harper-Madison all vying for the title at one point or another. So we’ll watch.

Item 71: C14-2020-0063 – Pier Property Rezoning – Conduct a public hearing and approve third reading of an ordinance amending City Code Title 25 by rezoning property locally known as 1703 River Hills Road (Lake Austin Watershed). Applicant’s Request: To rezone from commercial-liquor sales (CS-1) district zoning to commercial recreation (CR) district zoning.

Monitor’s Take: This case, which concerns repairs at the former Lake Austin Pier restaurant is kind of complicated. To get up to speed, check out our previous coverage.

Item 78: C14-2020-0116 – 10304 Old San Antonio Road – Conduct a public hearing and approve an ordinance amending City Code Title 25 by zoning property locally known as 10304 Old San Antonio Road (Slaughter Creek Watershed). Applicant’s Request: To zone from interim-rural residence (I-RR) district zoning to multifamily residence-medium density (MF-3) district zoning.

Monitor’s Take: When this case was at the Zoning and Platting Commission, there were questions about flooding and safety. Those questions prompted an initial Council postponement at the behest of Council Member Ann Kitchen, but now it’s back.

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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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