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TipSheet: City Council, 10.3.19

Thursday, October 3, 2019 by Elizabeth Pagano

Though it seems like Council is saving its strength for Friday’s release of the newest Land Development Code revision draft, there are a few items on the agenda to note, so we’ve done so below. Council Member Natasha Harper-Madison will be absent for the meeting. As always, the entire agenda can be found at the Office of the City Clerk’s website, here.

Item 13: Authorize negotiation and execution of an agreement with Family Eldercare, Inc. for provision of temporary employment opportunities for individuals experiencing homelessness in an amount not to exceed $720,000 for a twelve-month period beginning October 1, 2019.

Monitor’s Take: Just another prong in Council’s multi-pronged approach to ending homelessness in Austin. This contract follows up on an effort started in 2017 that provides temporary, living-wage work to individuals experiencing homelessness. This year, money comes from the Austin Resource Recovery Clean Community Fee: $300,000; Austin Public Health General Fund: $245,000; Parks and Recreation General Fund: $105,000; and the Watershed Protection Drainage Utility Charge: $70,000.

Item 66: Conduct a public hearing and consider an appeal by Stuart Hersh of the Building and Fire Code Board of Appeals’ decision to take no action on the suspension of the Certificate of Occupancy for Casa De Luz, 1701 Toomey Road, which left the suspension in force and effect.

Item 67: Conduct a public hearing and consider an appeal by the appellant Stuart Hersh of the Building and Fire Code Board of Appeals’ decision to deny an appeal that would overturn the requirement of a Fire Watch for the dining facility located at 1701 Toomey Road.

Monitor’s Take: Fire sprinklers have been an ongoing issue at Casa de Luz, and as we reported Wednesday, they still are. Now, Council is asked to judge an appeal on the long-standing trouble and a recent ruling that the dining facility requires a Fire Watch. Historically, cases involving the restaurant have drawn a supportive, emotional crowd, and we expect no less in this latest round.

Item 68: Conduct a public hearing and consider an ordinance concerning full purpose annexation of approximately 22 acres located in Travis County, located at 2021 and 2101 Crystal Bend Drive, and authorize execution of a written agreement with the owner of the land (Pflugerville Independent School District) for the provision of services. The property is currently in the 2-mile extraterritorial jurisdiction and is adjacent to Austin Council District #1.

Monitor’s Take: At the work session, Council Member Jimmy Flannigan was frustrated by the lack of information about the cost of the annexation in the agenda backup. We’re expecting those questions to be resolved today.

Item 12: Approve second and third readings of an ordinance for the full purpose annexation of approximately 42.064 acres in Travis County, located approximately four-tenths of a mile east of the intersection of River Place Boulevard and Milky Way Drive. Related to Item #76.

Item 76: C14-2018-0124- River Place – Conduct a public hearing and approve second and third readings of an ordinance amending City Code Title 25 by rezoning property locally known as Milky Way Drive (West Bull Creek Watershed). Applicant Request: To rezone from development reserve (DR) district zoning to townhouse and condominium residence-conditional overlay (SF-6-CO) combining district zoning.

Monitor’s Take: Council is set to take up this ongoing case today, after a long spell of postponements and a reframing of the case. Here’s our coverage of the debate that took place over the new case at the city’s Zoning and Platting Commission.

Item 77: NPA-2018-0021.01 – 5101 East Oltorf – Conduct a public hearing and approve an ordinance amending Ordinance No. 20061116-055, the East Riverside/Oltorf Combined Neighborhood Plan, an element of the Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan, to change the land use designation on the future land use map (FLUM) on property locally known as 5101 East Oltorf Street (Country Club Creek Watershed) from Commercial to Mixed Use land use.

Item 78: C14-2018-0080 – 5101 East Oltorf – Conduct a public hearing and approve an ordinance amending City Code Title 25 by rezoning property locally known as 5101 East Oltorf Street (Country Club West Watershed). Applicant’s Request: To rezone from community commercial-conditional overlay-neighborhood plan (GR-CO-NP) combining district zoning to general commercial services-mixed use-conditional overlay-neighborhood plan (CS-MU-CO-NP) combining district zoning.

Monitor’s Take: The major sticking point in this case is whether mixed-use zoning is appropriate so close to industrial uses. The Planning Commission and staff say no, but neighborhood reps seem okay with it. Now it’s Council’s turn to weigh in.

Item 80: C14-2019-0087 – 1900 W. William Cannon Rezoning – Conduct a public hearing and approve second and third readings of an ordinance amending City Code Title 25 by rezoning property known as 1900 West William Cannon Drive (Williamson Creek Watershed). Applicant request: To rezone from Limited Office – Neighborhood Plan (LO-NP) combining district zoning and Family Residence – Neighborhood Plan (SF-3-NP) combining district zoning to Community Commercial – Conditional Overlay – Neighborhood Plan (GR-CO-NP) combining district zoning.

Monitor’s Take: This case is an odd one, and if you are interested, check out this recap of the previous Council hearing by Jo Clifton. Find out what made Council Member Jimmy Flannigan consider a conditional overlay!

Item 97: Authorize award and execution of a construction contract with Piatra, Inc. (WBE), for the Kramer Building E Relay Renovations Rebid project, in the amount of $512,985.00 plus a $51,298.50 contingency, for a total contract amount not to exceed $564,283.50.

Monitor’s Take: Despite previous complaints about Piatra’s substandard work, Council is poised to approve another contract with this company. Jo Clifton, who has been following the issue, summed things up in this week’s Whisper, found here.

Item 99: Discuss legal issues related to the Permian Highway Pipeline (Private consultation with legal counsel – Section 551.071 of the Government Code).

Monitor’s Take: This August memo details potential impacts that the planned Permian Highway Pipeline could have in Austin. Today Council will discuss in executive session the last four items on the memo – potential legal action that the city could take concerning the pipeline.

Item 100: Conduct a public hearing and consider an ordinance amending various sections of City Code Title 25 (Land Development Code) relating to allowable uses, building heights, parking requirements, and sign regulations in the University Neighborhood Overlay (UNO) district.

Monitor’s Take: And finally, Council will look to amend the University Neighborhood Overlay, or UNO. Planning commissioners endorsed staff’s changes and then some – adding an expansion of the most dense part of the overlay and pushing for reduced parking requirements.

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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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