FAN Jan 2016 Resolutions
public referendum created by FAN Operations
This vote is for the FAN at-large membership to weigh in a few resolutions that have been discussed on the FAN forum at http://forum.atxfriends.org/t/fan-vote-6-proposed-resolutions/331. We will be voting on: (1) City of Austin Bicycle Master Plan (2) Home Sharing/Short Term Rentals (3) Ride Sharing (4) Allowing Metered Parking To Be Counted Toward Minimum Off-Street Parking (5) Better Builder Program & FAN Partnership. The vote will close on 1/20 at 1pm.
voters & ballots
This election is complete.
FAN supports an All Ages and Abilities Bicycle Network as defined within the City of Austin 2014 Bicycle Master Plan. The public ROW should be used to provide transportation services that increase the safety and mobility of residents. As roads are redesigned and restriped, Austin's Active Transportation Department should be supported in designing infrastructure that maximizes the contribution of bicycling to Austin's quality of life.
Friends of Austin Neighborhoods (FAN) supports sensible regulations on short-term rentals and opposes restrictions that would impair progress towards a more affordable Austin. Allowing responsible owners to rent their homes for short durations benefits our neighbors and our city by providing: (1) A convenient and affordable place for Austinites to stay in their own neighborhoods during remodels and between houses and leases. (2) Temporary housing for visiting family members, for newcomers relocating to Austin, and for flood and fire victims. (3) A way for local businesses to house traveling employees working in or near our neighborhoods. (4) Income to owners whose homes or accessory dwellings might otherwise sit idle for portions of the year. We are most concerned that limiting owners’ ability to use their homes as short-term rentals will ultimately slow the growth of our overall housing supply. When homeowners know they cannot, if they wish, rent their homes for short durations, some of them will feel less comfortable building or purchasing new homes, reducing the incentive to add homes to Austin’s housing stock. Moreover, for some homeowners, the additional income and flexibility STRs provide may be the only affordable option that enables them to continue to live in Austin. To maximize compliance, STR regulations should be easy to follow, and it should be straightforward to acquire and maintain a license. Please oppose: (1) Outright bans on, or phasing out of, short-term rentals of any type. (2) Distance requirements that prohibit short-term rentals of homes in close proximity to other short term rentals. (3) Intrusive inspections of people's homes without cause. (4) Reduced occupancy limits based on property or site instead of being based on dwelling or license. (5) Allowing evidence not verifiable by a City of Austin employee to be used when evaluating potential violations of short-term rental regulations. (6) Requiring conditional use permits, board of adjustments approval, or neighborhood association approval to acquire or keep a license. (7) Excessive license fees that render it cost prohibitive to get and maintain a license. (8) Requiring a guest registry that violates the privacy of guests and owners. (9) Any other requirements that unduly hinder responsible owners’ ability receive and maintain STR licenses.
Ride sharing companies, or transportation network companies (TNCs), provide an important mobility option for residents of our neighborhoods by connecting drivers and passengers with a seamless user experience. Friends of Austin Neighborhoods (FAN) supports the original TNC regulations the Austin City Council passed in 2014, and we oppose onerous rules that would jeopardize the many positive experiences neighbors have enjoyed so far. Ride sharing empowers ordinary neighborhood residents to earn income while enabling families to access employment, goods, and services without the expense and burden of owning multiple cars. It provides “last mile” connectivity to destinations beyond the reach of public transportation, thereby making public transportation a more viable option. FAN supports residents making their own choices about whether the ride sharing experience works for them. Since the City Council approved the original TNC regulations in 2014, drunk driving incidents have declined. Additional regulations that unduly burden TNC drivers, such as requiring fingerprinting, place obstacles on Austinites seeking to earn income by driving for a TNC, would ultimately lead to less access to ride sharing, and could cause an increase in drunk driving incidents. We urge you to reconsider the recent imposition of additional regulations and to focus on how they may negatively affect the experiences of ordinary Austin residents.
Friends of Austin Neighborhoods supports allowing metered parking spaces to be counted toward the minimum off-street parking required for non-residential uses. Allowing available metered parking to be used for business parking would encourage and support walkable neighborhood amenities, encourage more neighborhood public transportation options, and reduces the amount of impervious cover in our neighborhoods in order to promote green space and help prevent flooding.
The Leadership and members of Friends of Austin Neighborhoods would like to insist that the developers responsible for the Plaza Saltillo Project be required to participate in the Worker’s Defense Project’s Better Builder Program. Investing financial resources into independent, on-site monitoring is required to ensure that the BBP standards are upheld throughout the contracting chain. Though this does add cost to the project, finding and solving wage and safety issues through independent on-site monitoring can help reduce project delays, liens, and legal costs associated with poor working conditions, which would benefit the developer and the citizens of Austin in the long run. The bottom line cannot be more important than the safety and welfare of those workers who bring these projects to life. We as a city will benefit from the fruits of their labor, enjoying a new and exciting mixed-use development at Plaza Saltillo, and we want to stand with them to ensure that they are adequately treated. Citizens of Austin want the Plaza Saltillo Project to be something we can be proud of—an example of the great work that can happen when public and private entities partner. All stakeholders should be treated fairly, including construction workers, and the way to ensure that their voices are heard is through the Better Builder Program. Please require the Plaza Saltillo project to be a Better Builder Program Project.