The Austin Neighborhoods Council meeting took place on March 27, 2013.
Austin Resource Recovery Department Programs
Formerly known as Solid Waste Services, Austin Resource Recovery Dept. picks up our trash and recycling each week. The department is increasing its focus on resource recovery with a goal of sending 90% less material to landfill by 2040. It plans to do this influencing businesses to recycle through policy and planning, since 75% of the city’s waste is from businesses. The department helped support “Bring it Austin”, the bag ordinance, and the “Universal Recycling Ordinance” that requires businesses to provide recycling to its employees and residents. The ordinance has two phases and is currently in phase one; phase one affects large businesses, and phase 2 will affect smaller businesses. The department also provides incentives for special event recycling, and construction and demolition recycling.
Project Duration Ordinance
ANC was against repealing the ordinance, and attended City Council meetings in opposition. Unfortunately the City Council, on a 5-2 vote (CM Morrison and Tovo opposed), proceeded to repeal the Project Duration ordinance on Thursday March 28th.
Project Duration info from ANC
Land Development Code Rewrite Process
The contract for the land development code rewrite was given to Opticos Design. Opticos Design is hiring several subcontractors that have experience with other Austin planning initiatives.
Jeff Jack and Dave Sullivan, LDC Rewrite Advisory Group and ANC members, plan to meet with environmental groups and reach out to the community to receive their input in the process. Their goal is to keep the process fair and impartial with a focus on compatibility of uses. They envision a code that is clear, predictable and respects neighborhood plans. The code may be a combination of form-based code and existing neighborhood plans based on zoning, although they were not positive that form-based code would be used. The LDC Advisory Group will conduct “Listening and Education Sessions” in the summer in order to raise awareness of the rewrite and get ideas from the community and stake-holders. Voice your opinions now to Jeff Jack at [email protected]
10-1 Political Landscape
David Butts, a political consultant, encouraged ANC members to start organizing with their neighborhoods and nearby neighborhoods to get a campaign model under way. There is the possibility that big money interests will dominate in this new political environment if people are not organized.
10-1 Districts will need people who are willing to get smarter about political campaigns, and we can’t wait until the districts are drawn to get started. Neighborhoods need to get volunteers, organize a political action committee, build a campaign structure, and raise money. City Council elections will take place in November along with federal elections and this is expected to raise voter turnout. Each district has the potential to generate 25,000 – 35,000 votes, compared to 49,000 votes in the last mayoral election. It will be up to the districts to educate these voters on who has been supportive of the neighborhoods.
Steve Aleman, former ANC president, gave an update to the 10-1 Redistricting Commission process. The members will be selected and the new districts will begin to be drawn by the end of the summer. He is willing to attend neighborhood meetings to talk about where the drawing lines will most likely occur. This will help neighborhoods to start connecting with each other, and find common issues that a candidate should represent while running for City Council.
AISD Bond Election
AISD has four bond propositions on the May 11 ballot. Early voting starts April 29. If all four bonds are approved, a homeowner with a $200,000 home value will see a tax increase of $70.00 per year, or $5.85 per month. Follow the hyperlink to learn more about each proposition.
ANC 40TH ANNIVERSARY PARTY will take place at 5:00PM on May 9th, on the mezzanine at City Hall. Everyone is encouraged to attend.
-Domenic and Melinda Schiera