Resolution to immediately implement 5 Zucker recommendations

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Don Zimmerman
Posts: 168
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2015 11:05 am

Resolution to immediately implement 5 Zucker recommendations

Post by Don Zimmerman » Wed Apr 08, 2015 6:51 pm

PROPOSED RESOLUTION:

RESOLUTION NO._________________ (DRAFT)

WHEREAS, in 2014, the Austin City Council commissioned an audit of the City’s Planning and Development Review Department (PDRD), and the City’s Land Development Code, relative to the various processes used by that Department from site review to zoning changes to building permits and inspections; and

WHEREAS, the $250,000 review by California-based Zucker Systems resulted in a nearly 700-page draft report (commonly referred to as the “Zucker Report”) listing more than 460 specific recommendations for improving the 324-person Department; and

WHEREAS, the final draft Zucker report states “Austin must decide if it really is serious this time. If so, some dramatic actions as outlined in this report will be necessary.”; and

WHEREAS, the final draft Zucker report states “We note that the negative responses we received in this survey are the worst we have seen in our national studies including many Texas communities.”; and

WHEREAS, the final draft Zucker report makes many common sense recommendations that can be implemented immediately; and

WHEREAS, there have been and continue to be many complaints from constituents and stakeholders regarding the Planning and Development Review Department (PDRD) as well as the permitting process; and

WHEREAS, this new 10-1 City Council was elected to improve the PDRD and the overall permitting process; and

WHEREAS, this new 10-1 City Council wants to immediately start implementing the common sense recommendation; and

WHEREAS, on March 30, 2015, the Council asked City Staff “How many of the 461 recommendations from the Final Draft of the Zucker Report have been implemented by PDRD?” and the response was “The assessment provided by Mr. Zucker is not yet finalized. Department employees, partner departments, the public and stakeholders will be providing feedback and comments on the latest draft to the consultant, which are due back to Mr. Zucker by April 13th. Additionally, there are three scheduled meetings, one for employees and two public stakeholder sessions scheduled on April 8th at the Palmer Event Center to provide employees and stakeholders the opportunity to voice concerns, ask questions or make comments directly to the consultant. The department intends to provide a response to the assessment after it is finalized, including a listing of recommendations that have been implemented.”; and

WHEREAS, on the April 8, 2015 Zucker Report Stakeholder Meeting, Acting Director over the new Development Review Department Rodney Gonzales stated that the next step was action and lots of action soon; NOW, THEREFORE,

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF AUSTIN:

The City Manager is directed to implement at least the following final draft Zucker report recommendations by April 30, 2015:

Item# Recommendation
7 Return all phone calls and emails same day received
85 Notify customers if next day inspection cannot be met
111 Enter all required information into AMANDA before saying permit is ready
187 Communicate process and interpretation changes to employees
437 Improve noticing for Board of Adjustment hearings.
Don Zimmerman
Council Member District 6 (northwest Austin)

Christopher Hutchins
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2015 12:58 pm

Re: Resolution to immediately implement 5 Zucker recommendat

Post by Christopher Hutchins » Thu Apr 09, 2015 7:03 pm

Coucil Member Houston would like to offer these changes to the draft resolution that has posted



RESOLUTION NO._________________ (DRAFT)

WHEREAS, in 2014, the Austin City Council commissioned an audit of the City’s Planning and Development Review Department (PDRD), and the City’s Land Development Code, relative to the various processes used by that Department from site review to zoning changes to building permits and inspections; and

WHEREAS, the final draft known as the “Zucker Report” makes many recommendations that can be easily implemented; and

WHEREAS, there have been and continue to be many contacts from constituents and stakeholders regarding the Planning and Development Review Department (PDRD) as well as the permitting process; and

WHEREAS, the City Council's role is to address from a policy perspective pressing issues which might be found within elements of our City Government; and

WHEREAS, the City Council wants to craft sound policies to allow the City Manager and Staff to implement recommendations found in the “Zucker Report” with clarity and expediency; NOW, THEREFORE,

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF AUSTIN:

The City Manager is directed to focus on the following recommendations and implement the recommendations by July 30, 2015

Recommendation No.
7. Return all phone calls and emails same day received
85. Notify customers if next day inspection cannot be met
111. Enter all required information into AMANDA before saying permit is ready
187. Communicate process and interpretation changes to employees
437. Improve noticing for Board of Adjustment hearings.


As well, Council Member Houston suggested that there may be other recommendations that board membes may want to explore or may feel are of equal importance like:
55. Strengthen relations to neighborhoods
81. City owned cell phones for inspectors
121. Review how quick-turnaround projects are determined
214. Add transportation engineer to Transportation Section.
279. Reception Desk to be permanent highly qualified position.
350. Initiate partner process with other departments.
Policy Aide
Office of Ora Houston, District 1

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