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TipSheet: City Council, 9.20.18

Thursday, September 20, 2018 by Elizabeth Pagano

Welcome to this week’s TipSheet. In the interest of space, we’ve decided not to post the entire City Council 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 28: Approve a resolution that adopts a newly updated list of projects approved for Quarter Cent funding.

Monitor’s Take: Quarter-cent funding is the nittiest, grittiest of topics, so you know we are here for it. This has been lingering on the agenda for a while, and it’s unclear whether the matter will be dealt with today, but if it is, we look forward to it as an opportunity Council members have to go to bat for the small projects in their districts that are covered by the funds. Yay ward politics (about sidewalks).

Item 55: Approve a resolution relating to the reduction or waiver of fees for full-time active duty military personnel whose residences are unoccupied for extended periods of time during their deployment.

Monitor’s Take: Here’s a new idea. This resolution would fix the problem of bills from Austin Resource Recovery that pile up while service members are deployed on active duty, and could give those service members an exemption from being charged for services that they aren’t using, while they aren’t using them.

Item 56: Approve a resolution identifying one or more council committees responsible for nominating public and private sector members to the Community Development Commission.

Monitor’s Take: Oh, more about the Community Development Commission? Curious.

Item 64: Discussion regarding legal representation for the Board of Adjustment during consideration of interpretation appeals.

Monitor’s Take: Some members of the Board of Adjustment think they should have outside legal counsel, citing a conflict of interest in interpretation cases, where city attorneys that are available are, well, city attorneys and perceived as representing city interests.

Item 93: Conduct a public hearing and consider an appeal by David Knapp, represented by Nikelle Meade, of the Zoning and Platting Commission’s denial of a preliminary plan and associated environmental variance for Live Oak Springs preliminary plan, located at 9406 Morninghill Drive.

Monitor’s Take: Want the history on this appeal? We’ve got you covered.

Item 96: Approve a resolution initiating zoning, rezoning, and where appropriate, Future Land Use Map (FLUM) amendments for properties located at 7901 East Ben White Boulevard; 810 Bastrop Highway Southbound; 4811 South Congress Avenue; 711 West Powell Lane; 101 Hergotz Lane; 1709 East State Highway 71 Westbound; 401 Chaparral Road; 4511 Lucksinger Lane; 11606 North Lamar Boulevard; 6111 South Congress Avenue; 3201 Burleson Road; 7501 Bluff Springs Road; 1301 West Oltorf Street; 2807 Cameron Loop; 1308 Thornberry Road; 7100 East US Highway 290; 8001 Lee Hill Drive; 423 Thompson Lane; 2815 East State Highway 71 Westbound Service Road; and 6402 McNeil Drive to the appropriate mobile home residence (MH) district; and initiating City Code Title 25 amendments, as necessary, to implement the zoning changes.

Monitor’s Take: This is a novel, technical technique designed to preserve affordable housing – in this case, mobile homes. Basically, this would rezone mobile home parks around town as mobile home parks. In order to change that use (which would be necessary to build, say, condos), owners or developers would have to come back to the city, giving a heads-up to Council (and residents) that redevelopment was coming. It would also give the city a way to prevent that change in use.

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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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