The Daily Hustle: 8/20/10
No FLUM map for Brack tract
By Wells Dunbar,
10:45AM, Fri. Aug. 20, 2010
Lots transpired at yesterday's City Council meeting, keeping the gang on the dais past midnight. Tee off with the Hustle below the fold for a breakdown.
We already talked about the resolution renaming the Mexican American Cultural Center in Emma Barrientos' honor, which took up most of the morning. But several well-attended zoning and public hearings kept council glued to their seats.
Earlier in the day, Chris Riley had requested the item awarding an arts contract to build a wall around the Austin Energy substation be held until later in the day. When it did arise, Riley moved that the contract not be awarded to artist Jim Isermann – whose metallic designs Riley had previously expressed concern about due in part to their proximity to greenspace – and moved to award the contract to second-ranked artist Nader Tehrani, who had scored higher in regards to incorporating his proposal into the surrounding environment. However, narrow posting language prevented him from making the motion, so he moved to delay the item one week. Despite the objections of Laura Morrison, who made an alternate motion to approve Isermann, Riley's resolution carried; Lee Leffingwell said his vote didn't mean a rejection of Isermann, but was cast only to give Council “another week to look at this.”
Historic zoning caps went (for once) as the Hustle predicted, with no major changes to the three-per-month limit proposed by staff. Ironically, three individual historic zoning requests came before council that meeting also; Randi Shade was visibly bristling at some of the reasons historic officer Steve Sadowsky offered for including some of the properties, like one home's “excellent” Queen Anne-style features (not a terribly uncommon style in Austin).
While the three properties passed (Shade voting no on two), Riley made the point that those and other recent recipients shouldn't be surprised when a change occurs. “Those who are now obtaining landmark status are on notice that there may be changes to the tax benefits associated with that designation sometime soon.”
Also intriguing was adoption of the Central West Austin Combined Neighborhood Plan, along with Windsor Road and West Austin Neighborhood Group rezonings. Notedly, the neighborhood planning group's hope for Future Land Use Map adoption for the Brackenridge tract – explicitly calling for development there – wasn't adopted, with council siding with staff recommendations to continue talks with stakeholders like the University of Texas.