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TipSheet: City Council, 10.4.18

Thursday, October 4, 2018 by Elizabeth Pagano

Welcome to this week’s TipSheet. In the interest of space, we’ve decided not to post the entire City Council agenda, but here are the items we have our eye on today. The Office of the City Clerk posts a copy on its website, here.

Item 5: Approve an ordinance amending the Fiscal Year 2018-2019 Operating Budget Special Revenue Fund (Ordinance No. 20180911-001) to decrease the ending balance of the reserve set aside for use by the Arts Commission and increase the Program Requirement expenses by $695,143 for the Cultural Arts Fund.

Item 60: Approve a resolution authorizing the City Manager to award, negotiate and execute cultural arts services contracts for Fiscal Year 2018-2019 in an amount not to exceed $8,742,114, authorizing payment in the amount of $60,000 for Zachary Scott Theatre maintenance required under a separate operations agreement, and authorizing payment of $25,000 to Austin Fine Arts Alliance for marketing the Art City Austin Festival through the Austin Convention Center Department’s operating budget.

Monitor’s Take: As we reported earlier, this year’s cultural arts contracts are a bit of a mess. And, after a postponement, it’s time to hash the whole thing out at City Council. Godspeed.

Item 14: Approve an ordinance authorizing the negotiation and execution of an interlocal agreement regarding the release of approximately 33 acres of extraterritorial jurisdiction (‘ETJ’) to the City of Dripping Springs. This action concerns land located within the Barton Springs Zone.

Monitor’s Take: While we are interested in this “reverse annexation,” we will have to wait until next month to hear all about it. Today it’s getting postponed.

Item 33: Approve a resolution related to the allocation of the Historic Preservation Fund for Fiscal Year 2018-2019.

Monitor’s Take: This resolution does … a lot. Notably, it proposes allocating 70 percent for city of Austin facilities and sites, 15 percent reserved for potential future historic acquisitions or major preservation projects and 15 percent of the Fiscal Year 2018-19 Historic Preservation Fund to the Heritage Grant Program. The resolution also launches a stakeholder process about future distribution – definitely expect a discussion on this one.

Item 35: Approve a resolution supporting the repeal of insurance coverage bans on abortion care.

Monitor’s Take: Just like it says on the tin, today City Council will consider a resolution that calls for a repeal of a ban on insurance coverage for abortions. Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo, Council Member Leslie Pool and reproductive rights advocates will speak at a press conference prior to the Council meeting about the import of such an action.

Item 36: Approve a resolution directing the City Manager to evaluate fee and zoning regulations relating to child care centers.

Monitor’s Take: With this resolution, City Council aims to reduce child care costs from a different angle by looking at the permitting process and other zoning impediments that could be preventing more child care facilities in the city.

Item 42: Approve a resolution directing the City Manager to solicit plans for the development of 1215 Red River and 606 E. 12th Street.

Monitor’s Take: As we reported on Wednesday, this could be a first step toward transforming the old HealthSouth building into affordable housing downtown. It could also be something else – some Council members have argued that a smarter move would be selling the plum piece of real estate on Red River and using that money to build affordable housing elsewhere. Stay tuned!

Item 45: Approve the Office of the City Auditor’s proposed Audit Plan for Fiscal Year 2019.

Monitor’s Take: It’s unclear whether anyone aside from us looks forward to this annual agenda item, but we do, so here we are. According to the backup for Item 45, next year promises audits about lobbyist compliance, wildfire preparedness and sidewalks, among other things. Party!

Item 48: C14-2018-0072 – 1700 West Avenue – District 9 – Conduct a public hearing and approve an ordinance amending City Code Title 25 by rezoning property locally known as 1700 West Avenue (Shoal Creek Watershed). Applicant Request: To rezone from family residence (SF-3) district zoning to limited office – mixed use – conditional overlay (LO-MU-CO) combining district zoning.

Monitor’s Take: Though we haven’t covered this one yet, it is likely to spark a bit of discussion at today’s meeting. In keeping with one of the day’s motifs, the biggest questions about this rezoning are around how uses on the site are limited – especially child care.

Item 55: NPA-2017-0016.02 – Flats on Shady – District 3 – Conduct a public hearing and approve second and third readings of an ordinance amending Ordinance No. 030327-12, the Govalle/Johnston Terrace 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 1125 Shady Lane (Boggy Creek Watershed) from Single Family to Multifamily land use.

Item 56: C14-2017-0094 – Flats on Shady – District 3 – Conduct a public hearing and approve second and third readings of an ordinance amending City Code Title 25 by rezoning property locally known as 1125 Shady Lane (Boggy Creek Watershed). Applicant Request: To rezone from family residence-neighborhood plan (SF-3-NP) combining district zoning to multifamily residence-moderate-high density-neighborhood plan (MF-4-NP) combining district zoning. First reading approved multifamily residence moderate-high density-neighborhood plan (MF-4-NP) combining district zoning on Aug. 23, 2018.

Monitor’s Take: This case has been waiting in the wings for a while now, and today may be its turn for a public fight over transportation burdens and whatnot.

Item 57: C14H-2018-0084 – Bryson-Krueger-Critz House – District 9 – Conduct a public hearing and approve second and third readings of an ordinance amending City Code Title 25 by rezoning property locally known as 1602 West Lynn Street from family residence (SF-3) district zoning to family residence – historic landmark (SF-3-H) combining district zoning.

Monitor’s Take: Despite the owners’ – and neighbors’ – wishes, this historic zoning case is moving along, meaning it will take a supermajority of nine votes to designate this home a historic landmark. For background, here’s our story from earlier in the process.

Item 58: Conduct a public hearing and approve an ordinance renaming ‘Manchaca Road’ to ‘Menchaca Road’.

Monitor’s Take: While neither spelling represents the pronunciation of the road at all, judging from work session, Council members seem ready to bicker about this change. In one corner: those who think the name should be changed to honor to honor José Antonio Menchaca, who was a captain in the army that fought in the Texas Revolution at the battle of San Jacinto. On the other side, there are those who aren’t sure about the historic connection and worry that local merchants haven’t had a chance to weigh in.

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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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