The Austin Chronicle

Public Notice: Decision Day?

Best of luck to all of us this coming Tuesday

By Nick Barbaro, November 2, 2018, News

Steve Adler has been a great mayor in most all respects; the singular failure in his first term was the land development code rewrite formerly known as CodeNEXT. Unfortunately, that was the single biggest task this Council had on its plate. And due to that process' collapse, it remains the biggest task facing the next Council, which will have to start largely from scratch, but with four years of pent-up frustrations adding to the existing policy divide between "preservationists" and "urbanists." In the first go-round, Adler failed to heed alarm bells about the structure and scope of work, took full control of the process' pacing though he was aware that the repeated short deadlines weren't producing the needed results, stolidly refused to lead a process toward bridging that aforementioned policy divide, and generally mucked about for three years, before abruptly pulling the plug so as to put a pin in the conversation just long enough to get through the election cycle. What course of action will we get from an Adler Council after the election? No one really knows.

His main challenger, Laura Morrison, on the other hand, represents a standard-bearer for the preservationists. (Whether she would be or not is not entirely clear, but that's clearly the perception.) As such, it's not really clear what her ascension would mean, either. Surely not inaction – no one's happy with the status quo of rising costs, few gentrification protections, and a confusing, contentious set of rules for adjudicating zoning cases. But it's not at all clear that a Morrison Council would have the resources or buy-in to turn their goals into actual policy.

Best-case scenario? Whoever wins, they both come out of it being willing to talk to each other.

However you feel on that, there are plenty of other reasons to head to the polls if you haven't already; see all of our voting coverage. And let's hope we all win on Tuesday.

Scooters are the "Best Local Controversy" of the year in our "Best of Austin" poll, and judging from the wealth of comments they elicited, the following seems appropriate: The public comment period for the Austin Transportation Director Rules for Deployment and Operation of Shared Small Vehicle Mobility Systems (ATDRDOSSVMS) closes this Friday, Nov. 2; to comment on these rules regarding companies that deploy dockless scooters, bikes, etc., see

Artists in need of space: You can now participate in PARD's new Artist Access Program, providing free or low-cost rentals inside the four city-owned cultural centers for rehearsals, performances, workshops, or small exhibits – your hotel taxes at work, per a Council directive earlier this year. Rehearsal time is free; performance space costs $1 per ticket sold. For more info and to apply, visit

Austin Central Library won "Project of the Year" at the 2018 Austin Green Awards, announced last week, recognizing "outstanding accomplishments in the broad arena of sustainable design and innovation." The library, submitted by Lake|Flato Architects, was lauded as "A fascinating, compelling architectural expression of Austin's culture that provides a truly welcoming community center for all of Austin," and "Austin's iconic hub, and so much more!" Seven other projects were also recognized:

• Blue Hole Regional Park, submitted by Design Workshop; Owner: City of Wimberley.

• Lost Pines Art Center, submitted by Barley|Pfeiffer Architecture; Owner: Lost Pines Art League.

• Oracle Waterfront Campus, submitted by STG Design, Inc.; Owner: Oracle.

• B-Austin Community Project, submitted by Clark|Richardson Architects.; Owner: SAMdorosa Communities, LLC.

•Net Zero Retreat, submitted by Barley|Pfeiffer Architecture; a private home owned by Louisa and Joel Thollander.

• Sustainable Food Center, submitted by Dick Clark + Associates; Owner: Sustainable Food Center.

• Alligator Creek Prairie Preserve, submitted by Forsite Studio; Owner: Nancy Webber.

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