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TipSheet: This week’s Council Committees

Monday, August 3, 2015 by Elizabeth Pagano

City Council’s July break is officially over. And, as part of our ongoing attempt to keep readers up to date with all that is going on at City Hall, we will now return to our tip sheets for City Council committees. As usual, we will be offering highlights of meetings, with links to entire agendas.

Health and Human Services Committee

Monday, August 3. Agenda here.

3. Staff Presentation and possible action on health disparities and accessibility to affordable quality fresh food in the Austin/Travis County area and City Council Resolution No. 20150507-027 that directed an assessment regarding health equity.

Monitor’s take: In May, City Council passed a resolution asking for more information about the availability of fresh food, and how it is distributed, in Austin. This item is the result of that resolution, and should provide more information about economic disparities within the city.

4. Discussion and possible action on the initiation of a code amendment to mitigate the effects of smoke emissions from restaurants and mobile food vendors near residentially zoned areas.

Monitor’s take: Despite recent conservative national outcry over Austin’s push to “ban barbecue” in the city, this item is much more mundane. As all of our readers know, Austin is not trying to ban barbecue, but the HHS committee has been trying to balance the rights of neighbors and business owners. We last reported on the situation here.

Public Safety Committee

Wednesday, August 5. Agenda here.

Monitor’s take: Wednesday’s Public Safety Committee will be an executive session dedicated to “personnel matters related to the appointment of the Municipal Court Clerk.”

Mobility Committee

Wednesday, August 5. Agenda here.

3. Discussion and possible action on a recommendation relating to a proposed ordinance to prohibit the use of an engine brake or retarder in the city’s extraterritorial and limited-purpose jurisdiction (Council Member Zimmerman).

Monitor’s take: Council Member Don Zimmerman has proposed this ordinance (currently in draft form) that would prohibit engine braking in the ETJ.

4. Staff briefing and discussion on Access Austin’s proposed citywide sidewalk initiative.

Monitor’s take: It’s no secret that Austin’s sidewalk network is lacking. In this initiative, Access Austin is targeting sidewalk connectivity specifically around schools.

5. Briefing on the impact of a development project on transportation and infrastructure, including rough proportionality concept and potential transportation impact fee program.

6. City and Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority monthly briefing on the Loop 1 South MoPac Express Lane Project alternatives evaluation study.

7. Staff briefing on ground transportation providers, including transportation network companies and charter services.

Monitor’s take: From a look at things, this week’s Mobility Committee meeting is going to spend a lot of time on staff briefings. Committee members will hear about the ever-controversial South MoPac express lane project, ground transportation providers (including transportation network companies like Lyft and Uber), and what looks to be a proposal for a “transportation impact fee” for development.

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Key Players & Topics In This Article

Austin City Council Health and Human Services Committee: An Austin City Council committee charged with looking at such issues as income disparity, the regional SNAP program, and healthcare.

Austin City Council Mobility Committee: A City Council committee that reviews matters related to all modes of transportation.

Austin City Council Public Safety Committee: A City Council committee that reviews safety issues, including code enforcement, disaster preparedness and criminal justice.

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