AUSTIN (KXAN) — Here’s a quick rundown of city council items topping this week’s agenda:
Park use, enforcement, parking and vendor penalties – APPROVED
The proposed ordinance implements recommendations from the Parkland Events Task Force Report, which was presented to council members back in December. During the year-long study, city staff says a majority of the themes centered on event impacts and mitigating illegal parking and illegal vending. Both have an effect on pedestrian flow and mobility. Not to mention, they impact city resources. The task force recommended fines for illegal parking and illegal vending be increased during special events.
Extending metered parking hours on Wednesday’s – APPROVED
The city conducted parking space utilization studies in the core downtown district back in 2015 and 2016. They showed on Wednesday nights, public spaces were occupied more than 85 percent of the time. That matters because parking management best practices say parking should be at or below that percentage. More recently, in April of this year, studies revealed that number has grown to more than 90 percent. City staff say revenue collected from Wednesday nights “will be used to manage congestion, enhance pedestrian activity, and support the
overall transportation safety programs.”
ESD 4 and AFD agreement for services – APPROVED with amendments
Austin Fire is poised to take over firefighting services at both of ESD 4 fire stations if Austin City Council approves the item Thursday.
ESD 4 commissioners approached the city about the possible changes after they determined that geography and annexation changes have resulted in their inability to provide fire services to a majority of their territory. For the past year, the various agencies involved determined if this proposal were to move forward, AFD would have to add 30 firefighters to staff the two ESD 4 stations. The ESD 4 stations would also remain ESD 4 property but the city would own the actual equipment.
Recommendations on non-criminal responses to violations of the Juvenile Curfew Ordinance
Right now, young people in Austin who violate the Juvenile Curfew Ordinance are charged with a class C misdemeanor, meaning they face fines of up to $500 plus court costs and have a criminal record if convicted. This resolution states that “research has shown that criminal charges threaten a student’s ability to succeed in school and compromise higher education, housing, and employment prospects” and the fines and fees can present challenges to families. This resolution directs the city manager to bring stakeholders together to make recommendation on ways to respond to violations of the Juvenile Curfew Ordinance in a non-criminal way.
Children’s neighborhood beverage stands
The city launched “Lemonade Day” in 2009 as a free program to educate children and arm children with entrepreneurial skills. Ting is, under the current city ordinance, young people can’t even legally operate a lemonade stand without going through a time consuming and expensive permitting process. Simply put? This resolution would let kids set up shop with lemonade stands year-round.