Government Relations News
Draft Final Zucker Report Online; Stakeholder meetings planned in April
The Draft Final Report by Zucker Systems on the Workflow Organizational Assessment of the Planning and Development Review Department is available for viewing on the PDRD website. Two public meetings for stakeholders will be held on Wednesday, April 8, 2015, from 3:00 – 5:00 PM and from 7:00 – 9:00 PM at the Palmer Events Center. The HBA will be putting together a presentation for the meetings. Findings and recommendations will be presented, and comments and feedback will be solicited. The deadline for receiving comments is Monday, April 13, 2015. After the close of the comment period, Zucker Systems will finalize the report.
New COA Residential Permit Applications
A new set of permit applications have been created and are now available to replace the current “one-size-fits-all” application. The City anticipates that these new “project-specific” forms will do a better job of asking for the information needed specific to each project type (i.e. pool, fence, etc.) There are no dramatic changes in the meat of the applications compared to the current version, but some are stripped down to eliminate questions that were almost never applicable to a certain project type. The biggest change is in the “volume builder” application which is now stripped down and condensed to two pages rather than the original four. Forms were presented to the HBA in December 2014 and the comment period closed without additional comments or changes. For more information email Daniel Word or call him at (512) 974-3341.
COA Inspectors will no longer use pagers
From José G. Roig, Building Inspections Division Manager & Deputy Building Official Planning and Development Review Dept. City of Austin, TX
"Building Inspectors will begin using City issued cell phones on March 30th, 2015. Building Inspections will discontinue the use of pagers and will no longer have designated office phones. This is part of our ongoing effort to operate more efficiently and improve customer service to our stakeholders."
Please see attached memo and Phone listing.
New Fire Sprinkler bill filed in last moments
Bill would repeal ban on city mandates
From the Texas Association of Builders:
Last Friday, March 13th, was the deadline for legislators to file bills (without getting permission from full House or Senate). This means, for the most part, no more bad ideas will be dropped in the hopper as original bills for the 84th Legislative Session. While we are still digesting the almost 3000 bills that were filed in the past 2 weeks since our last TAB/GRC meetings, there is one bill of particular importance that was filed at the last moment on Friday.
Representative Allen Fletcher (R-Tomball) filed at the last hours on Friday HB 4051 that would repeal the legislation from 2009 prohibiting a city from mandating fire sprinklers in one and two family homes. You may read the bill here.
Obviously this bill moves to the very top of the list of bills TAB must oppose this session. We have already been by to visit with Rep. Fletcher's staff and will be meeting with the Representative on Monday. We will be launching a grass-roots initiative for all our TAB members opposing this bill as necessary after that meeting on Monday.
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