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Advocacy Updates 2021

RECA regularly communicates with our members via Advocacy Updates and the Hot Sheet with advocacy and policy information about which they should be informed. These are collected below for ease of accessibility.

RECA Hot Sheet Advocacy Updates 6/9/2021

Downtown Density Bonus Program

Austin City Council recently voted to implement temporary new density bonus fees that are a steep increase over the former fees. Council also directed City staff to perform a recalibration of the fees in the Downtown Density Bonus Program and bring the newly-calibrated fees back for an August vote to make them permanent. RECA spoke strongly against both of these items and joined a with the Downtown Austin Alliance, Austin Board of Realtors, and Austin Apartment Association. Unfortunately, the vast majority of Council voted in favor of the changes with no public input from stakeholders.

 

RECA is closely following the implementation of the temporary density bonus fees as well as the process to recalibrate the Downtown Density Bonus Program. This process will be happening throughout the summer, and RECA will continue to stay involved. RECA will be hosting a technical meeting with members of the RECA Density Bonus Task Force in June to review past calibrations and current projects. We encourage those who are interested in and most affected by these changes to participate in our June meeting. To do so, please reach out directly to

Legislative Session Adjourns

On May 31, the 87th Legislative Session adjourned. Out of nearly 7,000 bills that were filed this 87th Legislative session, as of today only 1,073 bills passed, including our two RECA priority bills:

Thanks to the work of our lobbyist Lara Keel and the RECA team, both bills were signed by the Governor on June 8. They will both go into effect September 1, 2021.

Advocacy at Council

RECA weighed in on two issues at the June 3 Austin City Council meeting.

was a mid-year budget amendment from the Development Services Department (DSD) requesting 41 additional staff positions. The majority of the requested positions are tied to commercial development, including additional commercial site plan and expedited permitting reviewers. The addition of staff is being done without a DSD fee increase. RECA sent on this item, and the positions were approved unanimously.

 

were related to the adoption of the Uniform Plumbing and Mechanical Codes. These codes are part of a family of technical codes that inform the requirements for construction. As RECA has done in previous years, we advocated for the City to switch to the International Codes for Plumbing and Mechanical, since it utilizes the International Codes for all other technical codes. Austin is the largest city in Texas that uses Uniform Codes. RECA led a coalition of other industry organizations in advocating for a switch to the international code. We sent a and . Unfortunately, Council approved the Uniform Code adoptions instead, and they will go into effect on September 1, 2021.

 

RECA Advocacy Update 5/11/2021

There are several opportunities for you to provide feedback about the future planning and development in our region. Please take advantage of these chances to share your voice. If you have any questions about submitting comments, please email or .ss. For questions about the Texas Legislature, please email

Williamson County Subdivision Regulation Changes

Williamson County hosted a virtual public meeting related to subdivision regulations and possible updates.

 

You can view this presentation and the proposed regulation changes and provide feedback and the public comment period will be open through May 19.

 

Project Connect Light Rail Stations

Capital Metro has recorded a virtual presentation focused on the layout and location of stations.

 

You can view this presentation and the proposed regulation changes and provide feedback and the public comment period will be open through May 21.

 

I-35 Capital Express South

The Texas Department of Transportation has posted a virtual public hearing and information about the I-35 Capital Express South.

 

The I-35 Capital Express South project spans eight miles of I-35 from SH 71/Ben White Boulevard to SH 45 Southeast. The project proposes to add two high-occupancy vehicle managed lanes in each direction. The project will also reconstruct bridges, add pedestrian and bicycle paths, and make additional safety and mobility improvements within the project limits.

 

You can view this presentation and the proposed regulation changes and provide feedback and the public comment period will be open through May 26.

 

Texas Legislature

RECA has created a page with information about the bills we are following. The details on each bill update automatically as they move through the process. For questions about the Texas Legislature, please email


RECA Hot Sheet Advocacy Updates 4/19/2021

The RECA Advancing Democracy Political Action Committee (RADPAC)

 

The RECA Advancing Democracy Political Action Committee (RADPAC) is engaging in political activities for the May 2021 election that include targeting voter outreach and participation FOR Proposition B (reinstatement of the camping ban) and AGAINST Proposition F (changing the city government to a strong mayor system).

To support the RADPAC, or mail a check made out to:


RECA Advancing Democracy PAC

98 San Jacinto Blvd. Suite 510

Austin, TX 78701

 

There are no contribution limits to RADPAC or restrictions on corporate contributions under local, state, and federal law