This Week in Council

Hot items on today's agenda include, in no particular order:

Hearing the appeal, by neighbors just east of Hyde Park, of the conditional-use permit granted by the Planning Commission to Sammy's House, a day-care center serving children with special needs (see "Sammy's House Looks for a Home," April 5).

Approving the Bouldin Creek Neighborhood Plan (from the lake south to Oltorf, from Congress west to the railroad tracks near Lamar) and its attendant rezonings. The plan calls for rezoning 102 tracts within the plan area; as of last week no valid petitions had been filed in opposition.

Approving the purchase, for $3.8 million, of the Texas School for the Deaf's East Campus, off U.S. 183 just north of the Montopolis Bridge. It would become the new headquarters of the city-county Health and Human Services Dept. (The school's operations are being consolidated on the main TSD campus on South Congress.) Renovations will bring the project cost to $5.4 million.

Approving $90,000 -- 0.5% of the project cost -- for an Art in Public Places commission for the new combined emergency center to be built at the old airport, which for security reasons will not, exactly, be a public place. The work, by Wimberley sculptor Roger Colombik, includes a fountain and "porch swing" located in the building's break area.

Formally allotting $15 million in bond funds toward the city's portion of the costs for SH 130. (The county did the same thing on Tuesday.)

Discussing where to get the money to fund the Austin Fair Elections Act public-financing plan -- Prop. 1 -- should it pass on May 4, and discussing a new campaign finance ordinance should both Prop. 1 fail and Prop. 2 -- which repeals the current $100 limit -- pass. Both items are courtesy of Will Wynn; Prop. 1 backer Fred Lewis of Campaigns for People told the Austin American-Statesman that Wynn's concern about funding the Fair Elections Act "immediately" is a scare tactic designed to turn off voters.

Approve a resolution "directing the city manager to implement the construction of pedestrian and bicycle facilities as integral components of transportation corridors" during future street projects. This is a little stronger than what currently exists in the city's adopted Bicycle Plan, under which the city has committed to provide facilities "wherever possible."

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