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TipSheet: City Council, 12.1.16

Thursday, December 1, 2016 by Elizabeth Pagano

City Council will hold its regular meeting Thursday. Though it’s one of the last meetings of the year, the absence of Mayor Steve Adler means that most of the drama will likely be pushed off to the Dec. 15 meeting. But, 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.

Rev. Dr. Mark Nuckols, St. Paul Lutheran Church.

Monitor’s take: Though the promise of an invocation from the Satanic Temple seemed like it might cause a bit of a fuss, mundane scheduling conflicts prevented that invocation from happening this meeting. Instead, the exact opposite of a fuss will occur, and the meeting will be opened by a Lutheran.

10. Authorize additional funding for the New Central Library Project Construction Manager at Risk Contract with HENSEL PHELPS CONSTRUCTION COMPANY in the amount of $5,550,000, for a revised contractual Construction Cost Limitation not to exceed amount of $126,605,934, for the construction of the New Central Library and Related Improvements including 2nd Street Bridge, Utilities, Roadway Improvements, Shoal Creek Greenbelt Improvements, and the Seaholm Substation Art Wall. (District 9)

Monitor’s take: On Wednesday, we covered the reasons behind this $5.5 million increase in the budget for the new Central Library. Nonetheless, we are still expecting an interesting conversation to come out of this item, and we’ll be listening for any new details that might come up about increased costs and delays (though, to be totally honest, we are also looking forward to hanging out on the balcony of the library when it opens).

18. Approve a resolution amending the City’s Personnel Policies to revise definitions regarding discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, retaliation, and employee conduct.

Monitor’s take: This resolution has been a long time coming. Maybe you recall the infamous “women training” session that made national news? Or the Austin Monitor forum that made a more localized splash? Anyway, when this resolution was contemplated over the summer, city management had some strong reservations, and it went back to the drafting board. Now, as Jo Clifton reported today, the city employees union AFSCME has some objections. We’re safely betting the scuffle will continue.

34. Approve an ordinance amending City Code Section 12-4-64 (D) to modify existing speed limits on Lamar Boulevard between Parmer Lane and Morrow Street.

35. Approve an ordinance amending City Code Section 12-4-64 (D) to modify existing speed limits on Parmer Lane between Lamar Boulevard and east of Dessau Road.

Monitor’s take: This was basically the only thing addressed at Tuesday’s work session, and if you are at all interested in speed limits on Lamar, check out the story we ran today on why that was the case.

36. Authorize negotiation and execution of an interlocal agreement with the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority for the establishment of a public plaza and a permanent downtown rail station on 4th Street, between Red River Street and Trinity Street, and to conduct the necessary process to establish two-way traffic on 5th Street between IH 35 and Brazos Street.

Monitor’s take: The glamorous new MetroRail station is on the way, as is a switch to two-way traffic on Fifth Street. We wrote about that plan when it was proposed in October, and how it might solve some downtown congestion problems (the street change, not the rail).

42. NPA-2016-0013.01 – Bouldin Courts – District 9 – Conduct a public hearing and approve an ordinance amending Ordinance No. 020523-32, the Bouldin Creek 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 908, 1000, & 1002 South 2nd Street (East Bouldin Watershed) from Single Family to Higher Density Single Family land use.

43. C14-2016-0077 – Bouldin Courts – District 9 – Conduct a public hearing and approve an ordinance amending City Code Title 25 by rezoning property locally known as 900, 904, 908, 1000 & 1002 South 2nd Street and 705 Christopher Street (East Bouldin Creek Watershed) community commercial-mixed use-conditional overlay-neighborhood plan (GR-MU-CO-NP) combining district zoning and family residence-neighborhood plan (SF-3-NP) combining district zoning to townhouse and condominium residence-neighborhood plan (SF-6-NP) combining district zoning.

Monitor’s take: Weirdly, we haven’t written about this zoning case – which would allow the construction of 30 residential units in the Bouldin Creek Neighborhood. That’s probably because it was approved unanimously, on consent, at the Planning Commission. Basically, this is just to document that sometimes that happens.

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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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