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TipSheet: City Council, 12.5.19

Thursday, December 5, 2019 by Elizabeth Pagano

This week, Council convenes again for its regular Thursday meeting. Though the city is conserving most of its energy for upcoming hearings on the Land Development Code rewrite, which will take place Dec. 7 and 9, there are some items up for discussion at today’s meeting that we will be keeping our eye on. Those items are noted below, and the entire agenda is available for your reading pleasure here.

Item 21: Approve negotiation and execution of an automatic aid agreement with Travis County Emergency Service Districts (ESDs), Williamson County ESDs, and the cities of Leander, Cedar Park, Round Rock, and Georgetown to provide services that are mutually beneficial to the fire service agencies and residents in their respective jurisdictions, for an initial term of one year with up to nine additional one-year terms.

Monitor’s Take: As we reported Wednesday, the labor union is still concerned about this proposed auto aid agreement, and discussions continue around this item, which has been lingering on the agenda for a while now. Basically, this agreement governs how emergency service districts interact in cases where there is more than one jurisdiction on the scene. For a closer look at what the disagreement is about at the moment, here’s our coverage.

Item 27: Approve the renaming of Dove Springs Recreation Center, located at 5801 Ainez Dr., to the George Morales Dove Springs Recreation Center.

Monitor’s Take: Though initially approved by the parks board at a previous meeting in October, it was reheard this Tuesday and drew quite a crowd. This item is scheduled to be set for a time certain of 6 p.m., so it won’t come up until after the dinner break. It’s unclear whether the division seen at the parks board meeting will carry over to the meeting today.

Item 62: Approve a resolution relating to existing City Code requirements that limit public consumption of alcohol in certain areas.

Monitor’s Take: Here’s an interesting resolution. Public consumption of alcohol is currently allowed in some parts of the city, but not in others. And those distinctions are partially determined by systemic racism, which this resolution seeks to explore and eliminate.

Item 66: Approve a resolution directing the City Manager to hire an independent investigator; undertake a comprehensive investigation and evaluation of the Austin Police Department for racism and other discriminatory attitudes, training, protocols, or procedures; and delay the start of new cadet classes.

Monitor’s Take: As we reported Tuesday, this resolution calls for an outside investigation into allegations of racism and other discrimination at Austin Police Department. The resolution sparked a heated discussion at the Public Safety Commission, and we are expecting more of the same today. At the work session, Council Member Natasha Harper-Madison clarified that this resolution would only impact the June cadet class at APD, not others.

Item 87: NPA-2019-0027.02- 2410 Winsted Lane – Conduct a public hearing and approve an ordinance amending Ordinance No. 20100923-102, the Central West Austin 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 2401 Winsted Lane (Johnson Creek Watershed) from Single Family to Neighborhood Mixed land use.

Item 88: C14-2019-0049 – 2401 Winsted – Approve second and third readings of an ordinance amending City Code Title 25 by rezoning property locally known as 2401 Winsted Lane (Johnson Creek Watershed). Applicant Request: To rezone from multifamily residence-low density-neighborhood plan (MF-2-NP) combining district zoning to neighborhood commercial-mixed use-conditional overlay-neighborhood plan (LR-MU-CO-NP) combining district zoning.

Monitor’s Take: A food truck in Tarrytown? Some say it’s a much-needed walkable destination for families. Others say it’s a disaster waiting to happen. Tune in to see which side prevails.

Item 109: C14-2019-0131 – Covert Ford – Conduct a public hearing and approve an ordinance amending City Code Title 25 by rezoning property locally known as 11514 Research Boulevard South Bound Service Road (Bull Creek Watershed). Applicant Request: To rezone from limited office (LO) district zoning to community commercial-conditional overlay (GR-CO) combining district zoning.

Monitor’s Take: Though staffers oppose this zoning change, under the belief that the property should retain office zoning, they “aren’t opposed” to the Planning Commission compromise of adding a conditional overlay (though they remain opposed on principle). If approved, Covert will build a new parking garage and service area for the existing automotive dealership.

Item 111: NPA-2019-0020.04 – 600 Industrial – Approve second and third readings of an ordinance amending Ordinance No. 20050818-Z001, the South Congress 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 600 Industrial Boulevard, (Blunn Creek Watershed) from Industry to Mixed Use land use.

Item 112: C14-2019-0082 – 600 Industrial Boulevard Mixed Use – 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 600 Industrial Boulevard (Blunn Creek Watershed). Applicant’s Request: To rezone from limited industrial services-conditional overlay-neighborhood plan (LI-CO-NP) combining district zoning to limited industrial services-planned development area-neighborhood plan (LI-PDA-NP) combining district zoning, with conditions.

Monitor’s Take: This “game-changer” of a zoning case could lead the way to transforming Austin’s near-in industrial south into mixed-use development. More on that discussion here, from Council’s first reading of the case.

Item 116: Authorize negotiation and execution of a contract with Barbara Poppe and Associates, to conduct a review of grants, contracts, policies, and interagency coordination addressing homelessness, in an amount not to exceed $200,000. (Notes: This procurement was reviewed for subcontracting opportunities in accordance with City Code Chapter 2-9C Minority Owned and Women Owned Business Enterprise Procurement Program. For the services required for this procurement, there were no subcontracting opportunities; therefore, no subcontracting goals were established).

Monitor’s Take: Basically, this is a contract with an outside firm that will review the plethora of grants, contracts, policies and whatnots that the city has passed and blessed in an effort to help those experiencing homelessness. The aim here is to inform the 2021 City Council budget process. Though this item in particular isn’t interesting, the results should be.

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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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