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TipSheet: City Council, 5.11.17

Thursday, May 11, 2017 by Elizabeth Pagano

City Council will hold its regular meeting again today in what promises to be a very short meeting. (Note the 2 p.m. start time!) 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.

2. Approve an ordinance authorizing execution of the first amendment to a settlement agreement relating to the development of property located at 5330 Bluffstone Lane.

Monitor’s Take: This case is kind of complicated but, basically, there is an existing agreement on this property from 2003 that allows it to be developed differently than would normally be allowed under code, using the city’s 1988 Comprehensive Watershed Ordinance. Now the Junior League of Austin is planning to develop an office and club facility on the property, and those plans have been complicated by a flood plain change, so they are willing to trade a few of the original allowances of the 2003 settlement in order to develop the land. It’s a plan that staff supports as in the spirit of the original agreement.

3. Approve an ordinance amending the Fiscal Year 2016-2017 Budget Stabilization Reserve Fund Operating Budget (Ordinance No. 20160914-001) to transfer out $3,500,000 to the General Fund; and amending the General Fund Operating Budget (Ordinance No. 20160914-001) to increase the transfer in by $3,500,000 from the Budget Stabilization Reserve Fund; and appropriating $3,500,000 to increase expenditures in the Austin Fire Department Operating Budget (Ordinance No. 20160914-001) to provide additional overtime funds that are needed due to the high number of sworn fire vacancies and the requirement to maintain four-person staffing requirements.

Monitor’s Take: For a quick primer on what this is all about, you can’t do much better than Jo Clifton’s recap from Tuesday’s work session, which can be found here.

7. Approve a resolution directing the City Manager to draft code amendments to add electronic smoking devices to City Code Chapter 10-6 (Smoking in Public Places) and to clarify related definitions.

Monitor’s Take: Hey-o, looks like vaping may continue its destiny of mimicking smoking with this proposed ordinance that would ban it in all the places smoking is currently not allowed in Austin. Though this is only the resolution, and its approval will not mean a change in any law, it could eventually mean that those wanting to be enveloped in a vaguely-cinnamon-smelling, moist cloud will have to take it to the patio.

8. Approve a resolution directing the City Manager to explore and report on options related to the drainage charge to individually bill customers in certain multifamily properties and on the feasibility of implementing a discount or billing cap for certain elderly and fixed-income customers.

Monitor’s Take: Council Member Jimmy Flannigan has said he intends to ask for a postponement on this today. Those who can’t wait to know what this is all about are advised to head over to today’s story (done in partnership with KUT) on what this proposal is.

9. Approve a resolution directing the City Manager to create a Student Commission, which will make recommendations to Council on topics that affect or have particular relevance to the higher-education student population.

Monitor’s Take: Another commission! Made of students! This might be fun to cover.

22. C14-2016-0071 – 1301 West Koenig Rezoning – District 7 – Approve second and third readings of an ordinance amending City Code Title 25 by rezoning property locally known as 1301 West Koenig Lane (Shoal Creek Watershed) from general commercial services-mixed use-conditional overlay-neighborhood plan (CS-MU-CO-NP) combining district zoning to multifamily residence-highest density-conditional overlay-neighborhood plan (MF-6-CO-NP) combining district zoning for Tract 1 and general commercial services-mixed use-conditional overlay-neighborhood plan (CS-MU-CO-NP) combining district zoning for Tract 2, to change a condition of zoning, with conditions.

Monitor’s Take: This tract – the old Honda Dealership on Koenig – has certainly spent some time in City Hall. Council will now take it up on second and third readings and, with a tentative agreement on the table between the developer and the Brentwood Neighborhood Association, who knows? This might actually get developed in the near future.

25. Conduct a public hearing and consider an appeal of the decision of the Historic Landmark Commission to grant a demolition permit for property located at 1207 W. 22½ Street and 1209 W. 22½ Street. (HDP-2016-0468 and HDP-2016-0469) (District 9)

Monitor’s Take: In February, the Planning Commission voted against this appeal, which has halted the demolition of these homes for about a year. The appeal against the demolition was made by a neighbor, who argues the homes are historic.

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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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