ENDORSEMENT POLICY FOR THE EAST CESAR CHAVEZ NEIGHBORHOOD PLANNING TEAM

An official City of Austin land use ordinance adopted by City Council in December 13, 1999
(revised 8-12-06)

Purpose: The purpose of the endorsement policy is to ensure that the ECC Leadership Team uses a fair and open public process to decide whether to support or reject items of interest to residents, businesses, and civic groups that live or operate within the ECC boundaries. This process is used only when a request for an endorsement is not recognized as an official action step in the adopted Neighborhood Plan, is a request to amend the Neighborhood Plan, or requires variances or waivers to our adopted land use plan or compati-bility standards. The ECC Leadership Team does not make endorsements for individual candidates’ or par-tisan political campaigns. The ECC Leadership Team (L.T.) will consider endorsing political campaigns for bond elections, referendums, public policy issues, and constitutional-type amendments when the issue will directly affect our neighborhood planning process.

Process: Any individual, group, or organization can request an endorsement by the ECC Leadership Team if the following process is used. The process can take at least 60 days to complete. The ECC Leadership Team will not conduct special called meetings for emergency consideration of an Endorsement. At the L.T. Chairperson’s discretion and with a vote of ¾ of the Leadership Team members present and voting at a regular meeting, the ECC L.T. can suspend the following endorsement process. The L.T. Chairperson can also sunset a request for endorsement at any point in the process. Any endorse-ment can be recommended by a committee for sunsetting if conditions of the recommendation are not met in a timely manner or if the committee or L.T. reaches an impasse in its deliberations about the item. The L.T. can also rescind a prior endorsement. (see “Rescinding a Prior Endorsement” in the process listed be-low.)

Affordable Housing Requirements for Mixed-Use or Multi-Family Projects The ECC Team will only endorse new, existing and redeveloped multi-family duplexes, apartment and/or condo projects, and mixed-use buildings if the proposed project includes these affordable housing criteria: 20% of the units are designated for individuals and/or families that earn 60% or less of the Median Family Income (MFI) as established by the City of Austin’s SMART Housing income guidelines.

Parking Requirements for Mixed-Use or Commercial Projects The ECC Team will only endorse projects that meet 4 of 5 of these parking criteria for commercial or mixed use buildings; it does not apply to single family homes or duplexes:

  • Project is located in a desired pedestrian corridor
  • Project is likely to add to or benefit from neighborhood foot traffic
  • Project follows neighborhood design guidelines (these are voluntary and not enforceable)
  • Project is not likely to produce parking overflow on residential streets
  • Project is within walking distance of a rail stop

 

15 days Step 1. The individual or entity requesting an endorsement must submit in writing 13 copies of the item to the chairperson for distribution to members of the Leadership Team at the next regular L.T. meet-ing. Suggested format:
  • Cover letter describing how the item affects the neighborhood‟s planning effort
15 days Step 2. The ECC Chairperson will post a discussion item on the agenda and distribute copies of the requested item at the first regular meeting after the information packets were received. The chairperson will recommend whether the Land Use and Design Committee, another standing committee of the L.T. or a spe-cial committee should be formed to review the item and the members of the L.T. will discuss and then vote on the chairperson’s recommendation. If a special committee is to be formed, the L.T. Chairperson desig-nates a chairperson for that committee and sets a time/place/date for the 1st meeting of the committee. All meetings of the committee must be held in a public place and be open to all members of the L.T. and the public. The committee will report back to the L.T. at the next regular meeting with a timeframe for present-ing a recommendation to the L.T. If the special committee has failed to meet or reach a decision on a time-frame, the ECC Chairperson can declare the item sunsetted or can appoint another special committee chair-person which will have until the next regular meeting of the L.T. to propose a timeframe.The committee Chair’s name and contact information and a summary description of the item being consid-ered for official endorsement shall be printed in the next edition of the Grapevine Newsletter.
15 days Step 3. If the project does not meet one or more objectives or action steps in the Plan, the item must be posted in the Grapevine Newsletter prior to action by the L.T. The chairperson of the standing or special committee will notify the ECC L.T. Chairperson to post an action item on the agenda to accept the commit-tee’s recommendation to support, reject, or ‘sunset’ the item on the next regular meeting of the ECC Leader-ship Team. The committee will provide 13 copies of the committee’s recommendation to the chairperson for distribution to ECC L.T. Members prior to the vote to support, reject, or sunset.
15 days Step 4. The ECC L.T. Chairperson will take a roll call vote of all L.T. members present and voting. At least 2/3 of the L.T. Members present and voting must agree to support, reject, or sunset the item. No proxy voting is allowed. The Chairperson shall designate a spokesperson for the prevailing side and for the losing side. These designated spokespersons will be authorized to present the ECC L.T.’s position in all ven-ues. All ECC L.T. Members can exercise their right to express their individual views in any venue, however, individual members not designated as spokespersons, must agree to speak as an individual member of the L.T. and disclaim that they are not speaking on behalf of the L.T.’s position.

Rescinding a Prior Endorsement Process: Any member of the ECC L.T. who voted on the prevailing side of an endorsement item may request the chairperson to post an action item to rescind the ECC L.T.’s support, rejection, or sunsetting of the item pre-viously passed. The member requesting reconsideration of an item must provide the chairperson 13 copies of stated reasons why the ECC L.T. should reconsider its position. The chairperson can choose to assign the item to a standing committee, create a special committee and designate its chairperson, or sunset the item. If the chairperson decides to send the request to rescind to a committee, the same steps stated above shall be used.

Call 974-3524 for a copy of the ECC Neighborhood Plan or download it online at: http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/zoning/ecc.htm