Dear <<First Name>>,

I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving surrounded by loved ones and delicious food. I know I did, but now its time to get back to work because we only have 2 more council meetings left in 2017. You read that right.... just two more meetings before the new 10-1 council wraps up its 2nd year. Now, a recap of our busy November.

November In Review

Demolition Protection Resolution (Passed):
Many of us still remember the demolition of Jumpolin in 2015, but in case you don't recall the story, it was a piñata store in East Austin that was demolished while still containing the merchandise and property of the local business owners who were leasing the structure. The mix of a developer demolishing a neighborhood piñata store along with the subsequent request to hold an unofficial SXSW event on the site perfectly highlighted the rapid and sometimes callous gentrification of East Austin.
Currently, Austin's Development Services Department does not require a property owner of a leased commercial structure to give tenants notice that a demolition permit application has been submitted. With that in mind, I submitted a resolution initiating amendments to the City's Land Development Code to ensure landlords provide notice of a pending demolition to commercial tenants.

Local business owners make Austin great, so we must work to ensure that our business owners are treated with dignity and fairness. 

Cactus Rose Relocation Agreement (Reached):
After more than a year of negotiations, the resident of the Cactus Rose Mobile Home Park and Oden Hughes have reached a precedent-setting agreement.

Cactus Rose has changed our City: It has forced many to realize just how vulnerable mobile-home owners can be when redevelopment occurs. This is one of the reasons we passed the Tenant Relocation Ordinance – an ordinance that will help ensure that displaced residents don’t have to fight and negotiate for fair treatment, but are guaranteed it.

Agreement Details:
  • 270 days (9 months) notice-to-vacate. Residents may remain on-site, subject to remaining current on their rent, for up to 270 days from time of notice. However, residents can choose to relocate sooner with advanced written notice to the Landlord if they find a suitable property.
  • Financial relocation assistance towards new housing, whether that be the relocation of an existing tenant’s mobile home, the purchase of a new or used mobile home, or purchase or rental of another living option. Households currently living in a single-wide mobile home will receive financial assistance towards their relocation and housing of $10,000. Households currently living in a double-wide mobile home will receive financial assistance towards their relocation and housing of $20,000.
  • Financial relocation assistance of $2,000 per household for all recreational vehicles.
  • Financial relocation assistance of $2,000 per household for all renters of permanent structures (i.e. single-family or duplex).
  • Security deposits are to be returned without deductions or offset to all households, other than for current or past-due rent.
  • Bilingual relocation assistance will be provided by a licensed real estate professional.
I'd like to take a moment to thank the residents, their organizers, Oden Hughes, and my staff for working diligently towards this outcome. As a City, we are far away from granting renters and mobile home residents the rights they deserve, but we are moving in the right direction.
Cactus Rose Mobile Home Press Conference 11/10
East Austin Historic Survey (Completed):
The East Austin Historic Resources Survey has finally been completed and can be viewed online here.

At the beginning of this year, the City of Austin contracted with the consultant team of Hardy Heck Moore, Inc. to conduct a historic survey of the East Austin area. The survey involved meticulous researching, photographing, and documenting residential and commercial structures and other historic resources in the area to determine the potential for historic landmarks as well as potential boundaries for historic districts. Each identified resource was evaluated for eligibility for local landmark listing, historic district listing, and/or National Register listing. 

The consulting team looked at over 6,500 resources within the drawn boundary and under the city criteria identified 99 places that would be eligible for historic designation, 136 that would qualify for listing on the national register, and a total of 1,435 places that could potentially contribute to historic districts.

This in-depth survey of East Austin should help our Historic Preservation Committee with their behemoth task of preserving those places significant to our city's history.

If you'd like took take a deeper dive into the survey you can get the unabridged results here.

$720 Million Transportation Bond (Passed):
On November 8th, Proposition 1, the Smart Corridor Plan was approved by voters with 59.6 percent of the vote. In District 3, over 67 percent voted in support.

The stated goal of this plan is to significantly address traffic, improve safety, and provide more choices for Austinites.

The meat of this plan is in the $482 million that will be spent on the corridors to address congestion. That includes major roads like: Airport, MLK, Riverside, Slaughter, and William Cannon, and corridor studies for both South Congress and Pleasant Valley.

Other community benefits include:
  • Up to 50 miles of badly needed sidewalk, including safer routes for children to take to school.

  • Transit improvements for rapid bus on roads like Burnet, Airport, and Riverside.

  • Bus stops with benches and shelters so transit dependent individuals and families don’t have to wait in the rain or Texas sun. 

  • Urban Trail funding which could help us improve neighborhood trails like La Loma.

  • Safety improvements at some of the most dangerous intersections.

  • And in cases like Airport – basic drainage infrastructure that should’ve been in place decades ago, so people don’t have to walk in ditches.

As we continue to address our City's greatest affordability and mobility challenges, I would appreciate your continued input.

Other News

Trade Delegation to Mexico:
Today, I'm returning from a trade delegation trip to Mexico. The delegation, which includes Mayor Adler, Austin's Economic Development Department, and the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, met with some of Austin's best business partners, tech leaders, and government officials in Mexico. While divisive political rhetoric seems to be the only thing we hear, we must remember that Texas and Mexico’s economies are irreversibly intertwined.

If Texas were its own country, it would rank 2nd, only behind the U.S., in total trade with Mexico, 2nd as the biggest buyer of Mexican exports, and 2nd as the largest supplier of imports to Mexico. Last year’s trade between Texas and Mexico totaled over $170 billion. But Texas and Mexico are so much more than business partners. We have a shared history. And more importantly, we have a shared future. That is why we in Austin are more interested in building economic bridges, NOT expensive walls.

We have to continue to strengthen this relationship in order to ensure a better future for all, so I'm thankful to everyone who had a hand in putting together this informative and fruitful trip. 

To learn more about the delegation trip here is a story from the Austin Monitor.

Visiting with Austin based iTexico in Guadalajara.

As usual, please don't hesitate to call if you have any city issues or questions. (And dont forget to check out the left sidebar for direct links to some pretty important info.)

Happy Holidays,

Upcoming Events

December 8th:
Regular Council Meeting 

December 11th:
Trail of Lights (UT NIGHT)

December 12th:
Planning and Neighborhood Council Committee


December 15th:
Regular Meeting

December 15th:
Night Before Christmas Break

December 24th:
Christmas Eve

December 25th:
Christmas Day! (Merry Christmas Ya'll)

December 31st:

January 1st:
Happy New Year!

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Council Member Renteria, District 3. · 301 W. 2nd Street · Austin, Tx 78701 · USA

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