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TipSheet: City Council, 11.04.21

Thursday, November 4, 2021 by Elizabeth Pagano

This week, City Council will meet yet again. It’s getting to be a habit! We’re following suit, with a pre-cap of what promises to be interesting on today’s agenda. The intrepid can read the whole agenda for themselves

Aside from a couple of items, today’s Council meeting promises to be reasonable. However, the simmering conflict over the city’s agreement with Austin Pets Alive! is probably going to bubble over when Council takes up Item 38, which covers just that. And, while Council has already dedicated a fair amount of time to the joint powers agreement that will allow Project Connect to move forward, not taking a vote because a meeting runs too long is never a good sign. Today Council will take up the agreement again, both in the public meeting and in executive session, and message board posts hint that we might be in for another complicated discussion.

In addition, city staff will finally present their after-action report about the response to Winter Storm Uri. The Winter Storm Review Task Force issued its report in July, but we have yet to hear the story from the inside of City Hall. 

In a bit of housekeeping, Council will also circle back to approving its 2022 meeting calendar, which was postponed after Council expressed some reservations about the planned budget sessions and conflicts with holidays. (The new calendar has added a July budget hearing.) And Item 62 moves a code amendment forward that will allow the city’s boards and commissions to continue their hybrid in-person and online meetings.

Item 12 will add 5.4 acres of parkland, expanding the Williamson Creek Greenbelt

And Item 64 condemns “antisemitic, racist, and homophobic vandalism, violence and hateful speech” and asks city staff to look at and improve its response and education to such acts. Reading the resolution, there’s a clear focus on antisemitism, which has been on full display in Austin recently.

In zoning news, Council may take up a number of cases we’ve been following, including the Fair Market rezoning, which has been hung up on worries about height. Item 52 is the Luby’s site, which has sparked concerns about caves on the property. Council will also consider the affordable Fox Hollow project, which some argue is an unsuitable location. That’s Item 54. Also on the agenda is the 2700 S. Lamar project, which has thus far proved controversial. Item 58 is a development that the Planning Commission has deemed oversized

And Item 60 is a case that motivated tenants to organize for their rightsas we covered Wednesday. (If you missed this story when it ran, check it out today!)

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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 2015, 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 as of 2015, 10 members of the Council are elected based on geographic districts. The Mayor continues to be elected at-large.

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