BG Note | News - What We're Reading (February 13, 2018)


[Austin Metro]

CodeNext’s third draft returns status quo to neighborhoods (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY

Neighborhood advocates can breathe a sigh of relief.

The latest draft of CodeNext, released Monday, does not contain the kind of broad upzoning of neighborhoods that the previous draft of the new land development code had contained.

What those neighborhoods now show in the third draft is largely a one-to-one translation of what the current code allows. Many of the opportunities to add density in the city’s core neighborhoods have been eradicated...

Council Member Jimmy Flannigan proposes alternative paid sick leave policy (Community Impact) LINK TO STORY

District 6 Council Member Jimmy Flannigan proposed an alternative paid sick leave ordinance early Monday, three days before Austin City Council is scheduled to vote on one sponsored by District 4 Council Member Greg Casar.
“While our typical process is to submit amendments to a provided ordinance, in this case, due to the complexity, I felt it more prudent to offer an alternative in total,” Flannigan wrote in a post to the council’s public message board.
Unlike Casar’s draft ordinance, which was developed after a months-long public input process, Flannigan’s version exempts certain “micro-businesses”— those with five employees or fewer—from providing paid sick leave. Per Flannigan’s ordinance, micro-business owners would be allowed to provide unpaid sick leave to their employees and still be in compliance... 

City looks to retain arts and culture amid growth (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

A pair of reports from the Cultural Arts Division of the Economic Development Department give city leaders perhaps the clearest road map yet for how to preserve and create artistic and cultural clusters that many worry are threatened by rapid growth.
The documents – the Cultural Asset Mapping Project Report and Thriving in Place: Supporting Austin’s Cultural Vitality Through Place-Based Economic Development – are the products of years of study and public input on what cultural places and organizations are located throughout the Austin area, and what steps can be taken to help new assets emerge as the local population continues to climb past 2 million people...


Houston-area officials approved a plan for handling a natural disaster — then ignored it (Texas Tribune) LINK TO STORY

The 17-page document, entitled the “Mass Shelter Plan,” was unanimously approved by the county’s governing body on Jan. 31, 2017. ProPublica obtained the plan, which until now has not been public, as part of a public records request.
The Mass Shelter Plan described the Red Cross as the county’s “lead partner” but was unequivocal in assigning responsibility should a calamity occur: “In the event of an emergency that requires evacuation of all or any part of the Harris County population, Harris County is ultimately responsible for the coordination of the evacuation, shelter and mass care of displaced local residents.”...


White House releases 55-page, $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan (The Hill) LINK TO STORY

The White House on Monday officially released a 55-page proposal for President Trump's long-awaited infrastructure overhaul. The plan puts forth a framework for lawmakers to craft legislation for a $1.5 trillion infrastructure package that would focus on public-private partnerships and funding from state and local governments.

The plan is structured around four main goals: generating $1.5 trillion for an infrastructure proposal, streamlining the permitting process down to two years, investing in rural infrastructure projects and advancing workforce training...

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