Renaming streets with Confederate ties, CodeNext on Council agenda

Austin
jeff davis sign vandalized_536229

Dockless bike-share/scooter services license 

Council authorized the development of a dockless bike-share program, but dockless scooters are already here. This amendment authorized “shared mobility services” to occupy the public right-of-way, but through a permitting process.

The ordinance states, “The rapid changes in the dockless mobility marketplace necessitates this action be brought to Council now. This action will assist the City in welcoming new mobility options while maintaining safety and order of the pedestrian realm.”

MORE: Why you shouldn’t expect those scooters to go away anytime soon

“Families Not Flippers”

If you live in Austin, you’ve likely heard stories of investors coming in and giving low offers on homes with the desire to flip them. This item seeks to increase education and outreach efforts to communities experiencing this firsthand to arm them with information to protect their investments. This information would empower homeowners to advocate for themselves. The resolution describes homeowners under constant pressure to sell or take second mortgages on their homes, with some families receiving multiple offers a week.

The item states, “…some investors prey on homeowners, especially the elderly and low income families, with artificially low offers on homes with promises of quick turn arounds for the transaction and the ability to avoid additional fees through a complicated process when selling.”

Red River decibel limits and outdoor music hours

The extended hours described in this proposed ordinance, extending the current outdoor music hours by one hour on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, would bring the Red River Cultural District’s hours into closer alignment with the Sixth Street and Warehouse Districts’ rules. Those areas currently operate sound equipment until 2 a.m. every day. This comes after a pilot program that tested these extended music hours.

MORE: Red River extended outdoor music hours: Revenue up, complaints down

Planning Commission members

The city law department is providing Council with two resolutions Thursday, in response to discussions surrounding the city’s charter. KXAN reported on the concerns last month when it comes to members who are “directly or indirectly connected with real estate and land development.” There’s a lot that rides on the timing of this. After years of complaints, this is coming to a head as council members are poised to vote on CodeNEXT. But before they do,  the Planning Commission has to land on a recommendation on CodeNEXT, the new land development code that will impact just about everyone in Austin.

MORE: Planning Commission complaint threatens to halt CodeNEXT progress 

There are 13 voting members on the Planning Commission, including four architects, two engineers who work in land development and a non-profit real estate developer, all reflected in applications the members submitted to the city for the commission. That’s seven people with apparent connections to real estate and land development. However, the city charter, which voters approved, says there should only be four members with those ties.

A memo to the mayor and council members explained the resolutions council members will have an opportunity to choose between:

  • “Option A narrowly defines what constitutes a connection to “real estate and land development,” to include only more intensive development of real property. It would not count fee-for-service design professionals against the two-thirds limitation unless they finance development projects or real estate transactions.”
  • “Option B broadly defines what constitutes a connection to “real estate and land development,” to capture a wider range of activity than Option A. This option would count design professionals, as well as real estate agents and attorneys, against the two-thirds limitation if they profit from development projects or real estate transactions.”

Speaking of CodeNEXT, there are two other items on Thursday’s agenda related to the land development code.

CodeNEXT public hearings  

This resolution will set the parameters for public hearings on May 29 and June 2, when City Council will hear feedback and comments on the proposed new land development code and zoning map.

CodeNEXT petition

This item calls on council to adopt a citizen-initiated ordinance, supported by a petition that was certified sufficient on April 23. The ordinance would amend city code to require a waiting period and voter referendum for CodeNEXT.

Municipal Courthouse building

Three items on Thursday’s agenda are related to the city’s need for a new municipal courthouse building, all surrounding authorizing the negotiation of a lease or acquisition for an improved municipal courthouse. Council wants staff to return with answers no later than May 10.

MORE: Municipal Court on brink of ‘disaster,’ according to city documents

Renaming streets

There will be public hearings held to consider ordinances renaming ‘Jeff Davis Avenue’ to ‘Will Holland Avenue’ and ‘Robert E. Lee Road’ to ‘Azie Taylor Morton Road’. Both have had their street signs vandalized with red paint in the past.

Have a comment? Leave it in the post below:

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Austin-Travis County

More Austin-Travis County News

Trending Stories

Don't Miss