TNCs and … a Buncha Other Stuff

City Council prepares for another marathon

After the holiday layoff, Council meets again Thursday with hefty agenda – TNCs, STRs, PUDs, parkland fees, and more – although the TNC debate may suck all the air out of the room … or the fingerprints out of the app …

Council Traffic Jam (Photo by John Anderson)

The Council dais will look a little different on Thursday – Council members drew numbers to rearrange the chairs once again, after six months of “get-acquainted-with-your-neighbor” time, they’re juggling themselves again to change the immediate scenery. (We’ll abstain from gratuitous musical chairs jokes …) [MK Update: although they've changed chair assignments, the new seats won't take effect until February.]

They’ve got a heavy load, at 96 items, although Tuesday morning they cleared some of the underbrush. The first casualty was their own reorganization – other than the Redistribution of Chairs, they’re going to kick the can on planned committee and procedural reorganization, because there is so much other business and some want further discussion, probably next week. Similarly, they semi-postponed the Quarter-Cent transportation projects scheduled for approval, because at least some Council members are waiting on either their own final list or Transportation Department feedback. But there was pressure from some CM’s to get those projects moving (a Thursday pre-meeting presser is scheduled on the subject), so they may approve some, postpone others.

What else? The work session set a (very) tentative schedule:

Transportation Network Companies: No public hearing (done in December), so a (tentative) 2 p.m. dais discussion will take up the fingerprint “incentives” in versions proposed by Mayor Steve Adler and District 5 Council Member Ann Kitchen, and likely delay Feb. 1 effective date of full ordinance, with overall discussion also next month.

Short-term Rental Regs: Remember those? They come back around again for a public hearing, nominally set for a “time-certain” of 7 p.m. (or sometime thereafter). At any rate, in the evening, since much depends on how well the morning goes, where there are plenty of contracts ripe for nit-picking.

PUD supermajority: Although nominally about any previously unzoned (e.g., state) land, this controversy is generated by and primarily aimed at the proposed Grove planned unit development at 45th and Bull Creek — neighbors want a supermajority to approve any PUD previously rejected by Planning Commission (the standard for currently zoned land). Expect prolonged discussion, late.

Parkland dedication fees: Issue is whether developers should pay more in such fees, to bear more of the cost of such city amenities – debate is between value of additional housing vs. value of additional parkland, and how to balance.

Neighborhood Plan Contact Team regs: Didn’t hear a mention of this one Tuesday morning, but subject has been fiercely controversial in some neighborhoods (notably District 3 – CM Sabino Renteria was at the doc’s this morning). Any hearing likely to be contentious, potentially lengthy.

Those are just the biggest headline items, and there is plenty more among the more than 80 potential donnybrooks: health care contracts; health and human services funding; library resources; possible free public toilets Downtown … any or all of these could trigger lengthy arguments.

For more, follow the Daily News and Thursday’s print edition.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More City Council 2016
Council: Robert Rules, OK?
Council Wrap Feb. 16
Plaza Saltillo inches forward, Capitol views move East, and tears flow

Michael King, Feb. 20, 2017

Council: Tuesday Work Session … & Then Some
Council Preview
Grove public hearing and briefings extend the working agenda

Michael King, Dec. 6, 2016

More by Michael King
Dana DeBeauvoir Fought for Election Access in a Year of Barriers
Dana DeBeauvoir Fought for Election Access in a Year of Barriers

Nov. 27, 2020

Texas Book Festival 2020: Isabel Wilkerson on <i>Caste</i>
Texas Book Festival 2020: Isabel Wilkerson on Caste
Festival talk highlights structural foundations of U.S. divisions

Nov. 17, 2020


City Council 2016

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle