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TipSheet: City Council, 8.30.18

Thursday, August 30, 2018 by Elizabeth Pagano

Welcome to this week’s TipSheet. In the interest of space, we’ve decided not to post the entire agenda, but here are the items we have our eye on today. The Office of the City Clerk posts a copy on its website, here.

Item 20: Approve an amendment to an interlocal agreement with the Austin Independent School District to authorize the City to provide parking meter infrastructure and parking enforcement on Stephen F. Austin Drive.

Item 21: Approve the Colorado River Area application to create a parking and transportation management district (PTMD) and an ordinance establishing a Colorado River Area PTMD.

Monitor’s Take: It’s doubtful that either of these items will attract much attention at today’s meeting. We note them, nonetheless, because everyone always wonders where new parking meters come from all of a sudden. Here. They come from here.

Item 24: Approve a resolution encouraging retailers to continue to honor the City’s 2013 Single-Use Bag Ordinance.

Monitor’s Take: Now that the city’s bag ordinance has been nullified, we have this. (At least until a state statute comes along and makes “encouragement” illegal or whatever.)

Item 25: Approve a resolution directing the City Manager to explore and develop recommendations to ensure that the City of Austin does not provide financial support to organizations whose activities result in the separation of children from their parent/parents and/or siblings or that result in the mass incarceration of immigrant children.

Monitor’s Take: This is the second move by City Council that strikes out at federal policies from a financial angle. The first barred dealings with those that would help build a border wall. This one aims at the separation of immigrant families, and puts organizations like Southwest Key in the crosshairs.

Item 43: C14H-2018-0013 – Smoot/Terrace Park Historic District – District 9 – Conduct a public hearing and approve second and third readings of an ordinance amending City Code Title 25 by rezoning property within the proposed boundaries of the Smoot/Terrace Park Historic District, roughly bounded by Pressler Street on the east, including the parcels on both sides of the street; W. 9th Street on the north, including the parcels on both sides of the street; W. 6th Street on the south, including only the parcels on the north side of the street; and Highland Avenue on the west, including the parcels on both sides of the street by adding historic area (HD) combining district overlay to all existing base zoning, but making no other zoning changes.

Monitor’s Take: As usual, we expect this proposed local historic district to take up a bit of time. This time, it has new boundaries, and that most likely means that everyone will get a chance to speak. Again.

Item 46: C14H-2018-0084 – Bryson-Krueger-Critz House – Council District 9 – Conduct a public hearing and approve an ordinance amending City Code Title 25 by rezoning property locally known as 1602 West Lynn Street from family residence (SF-3) district zoning to family residence – historic landmark (SF-3-H) combining district zoning. Staff Recommendation: To grant family residence – historic landmark (SF-3-H) combining district zoning. Historic Landmark Commission Recommendation: To grant family residence – historic landmark (SF-3-H) combining district zoning.

Monitor’s Take: Though the home’s owners and neighbors (!) are against historic zoning for this Old West Austin house, staff and the Historic Landmark Commission are pushing for the change. A valid petition means that City Council will have to approve this with a supermajority – or nine votes – in order to make this a landmark.

Item 50: Conduct a public hearing to receive public comment on the City of Austin Fiscal Year 2018-2019 Proposed Budget.

Monitor’s Take: The budget is a big deal (obviously!) and while it won’t be settled today, there are a lot of speakers signed up (likely to advocate for their cause), so this will likely take up a lot of time.

Item 56: Approve a resolution repealing resolutions related to economic development programs and adopting economic development Guiding Principles and a Chapter 380 Policy.

Item 57: Approve an ordinance establishing a Business Expansion Program pursuant to Texas Local Government Code Chapter 380.

Item 58: Approve an ordinance repealing Part 2 of Ordinance No. 20090312-005 to the extent necessary to authorize the City Manager to develop the Locational Enhancement Program for Economic Development under Chapter 380 of the Texas Local Government Code and to return to council with this program for Council review and possible approval.

Monitor’s Take: This, too, is likely to take up a chunk of time. It makes sense – this is the final piece of an overhaul of the city’s economic development incentives. It re-aims the incentives from a model designed to attract bigger, national companies to one that focuses on smaller, local businesses. There are a lot of details to work out.

Item 63: Approve a resolution that adopts a newly updated list of projects approved for Quarter Cent funding. Related to item #64.

Monitor’s Take: Each year, Council approves a list of district projects that might get lost in the mix were it not for the attention of individual Council members. Not the most dramatic stuff, but we hear there are a few projects that have localized attention, and that might get interesting.

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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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