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TipSheet: City Council, 6.9.16

Thursday, June 9, 2016 by Elizabeth Pagano

Welcome back! It’s been awhile! City Council will hold its regular meeting Thursday. 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. We note that Mayor Steve Adler and Council members Delia Garza and Ann Kitchen will not be present at today’s meeting, which will likely mean some of the more controversial (read: interesting) items will be put off to another meeting.

5. Authorize negotiation and execution of a professional services agreement with KIMLEY-HORN AND ASSOCIATES, INC. (staff recommendation), or one of the other qualified responders for Request for Qualifications Solicitation No. CLMP195 to provide engineering services for the City Street Impact Fee project for a contract amount not to exceed $1,175,000.

Monitor’s take: We have it on good authority that this item will be pulled for further scrutiny today and have high hopes that discussion will illuminate how, exactly, this contract is connected to CodeNEXT and what, exactly, is going on.

37. Authorize negotiation and execution of a 60-month contract with TASER INTERNATIONAL, or one of the other qualified offerors to Request For Proposals EAD0124, to provide body worn cameras in an amount not to exceed $9,428,236, with two 12-month extension options in an amount not to exceed $1,225,179 for the first extension option, and $1,547,811 for the second extension option, for a total contract amount not to exceed $12,201,226. Related to Item #38.

53. Approve a resolution directing the City Manager to convene stakeholder meetings regarding the Austin Police Department’s policies concerning public release of body worn camera video.

Monitor’s take: Just looking at these related items side-by-side, it’s clear that the contract for TASER cameras will probably not be moving forward right this moment. As we reported last month, the Public Safety Committee would like a little more information first.

40. Approve on second reading an ordinance to grant a taxicab franchise to ATX Coop Taxi.

Monitor’s take: As ride-hailing startups continue to pop up, like, everywhere in Austin, the possibility of a taxicab co-op continues to motor along at City Council. For more details, we recommend taking a look at our issue today for KUT reporter Audrey McGlinchy’s story on the proposal.

43. Approve a resolution providing additional direction to the City Manager with respect to the management of the Housing Trust Fund.

Monitor’s take: The city’s Housing Trust Fund is getting a lot of attention these days. This proposal, spearheaded by Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo, would “apply 100% of the tax revenue derived from all properties not on the tax roll as of January 1, 2015 to the Housing Trust Fund effective the beginning of tax year 2017.” According to a fiscal note in the backup, the city has no idea what the impact of this change would be yet, but staff notes, “The impact would be significant, as the universe of properties eligible to be subject to the transfer would increase dramatically due to the many public and non-profit entities owning now-exempt property within the Desired Development Zone. Moreover, while obtaining parcel-level data will enable staff to determine the fiscal year 2016-17 cost of changing the transfer calculation, accurately forecasting the cost in subsequent out-years will still be extremely challenging. More specifically, it will be difficult if not impossible to project the level of development that will occur on any sold parcel or to predict in advance how many or which currently publicly owned parcels will be sold in future years.” So, there you go!

46. Approve a resolution directing the City Manager to draft an ordinance for Council consideration amending City Code Chapter 4-9 to add waiting periods for re-filing alcoholic beverage waiver requests.

Monitor’s take: Well, given the fact that the sponsors of this change all spoke out strongly against the temporary withdrawal of the South Congress Torchy’s alcohol permit, it’s hard to read this change to alcohol waiver procedures as anything but a reaction to that situation. From the wording of the resolution: “Council directs the City Manager to draft for Council consideration a code amendment imposing waiting periods for alcoholic beverage distance waivers where: 1) the applicant withdraws the request; 2) the request is indefinitely postponed; or
3) Council denies the request.”

47. Approve a resolution extending the date set in Resolution No. 20160225-048, regarding the direction Council gave the City Manager to work with certain entities regarding the historical significance of preserving Rosewood Courts.

Monitor’s take: Just a friendly reminder that this is still going on.

49. Approve a resolution initiating a code amendment to remove Section 25-2-1052 (A)(2) from the City Code to require properties within a historic landmark (H) or historic area (HD) combining district to comply with compatibility standards.

Monitor’s take: Again, it seems like the origins of this code change are clear. Board of Adjustment members were pretty straightforward about this issue during the Steck House case, which hinged on the project not complying with compatibility standards.

54. Approve a resolution directing the City Manager to work with Travis County Emergency Service District # 4 and related parties (such as the Austin Firefighters’ Association and Austin African American Firefighters’ Association) on a Contract For Services that includes but is not limited to financial impact, impact to service delivery, asset transfer, automatic aid, and impact on workforce diversity; and to report back to the Public Safety Committee by July 22, 2016.

Monitor’s take: If you need to study up on this issue (which we promise is interesting!), you’ll probably want to check out our recent coverage from the Public Safety Committee.

66. Conduct a public hearing and consider an ordinance amending City Code Chapter 25-2 relating to site development regulations for the Festival Beach Subdistrict of the Waterfront Overlay.

Monitor’s take: This ordinance, which was unanimously recommended by the Planning Commission, “would change site-specific development standards for a portion of the Festival Beach Subdistrict of the Waterfront Overlay, allowing for an increase in impervious cover, as long as certain criteria related to land use, affordable housing, and environmental controls are met” (according to the staff report).

70. Conduct a public hearing and consider an ordinance granting a site-specific amendment to City Code Section 25-8-514 and granting variances to City Code Sections 25-8-281 and 25-8-341 to allow the Eliza Spring Outlet Daylighting Project. This action requires a site-specific amendment to the Save Our Springs Initiative and concerns property in the Barton Springs Zone (District 8).

Monitor’s take: Kind of a complicated situation. Check out our coverage here.

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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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