Council, Design Standards, and Transit

I really appreciate everyone's excitement and interest, and I am floored by the calls and emails from new folks inquiring about joining the committee.  Yes, we absolutely do want you involved!  In addition to some specific events, there seem to be a few themes that you want explored in 2011

We will discuss important advocacy issues with City Council.  We will have a public event called the "CANDIDATE FORUM" in April where we ask current and prospective council members about design and construction issues important to you.  We are also exploring the scheduling opportunities for a lunch with some of the council aides.  Bart Whatley is heading up our Candidate Forum subcommitee. 

As a longer term goal, we want to provide recommendations regarding the SUBCHAPTER E DESIGN STANDARDS.  Paul Detke has offered to lead a subcommittee, rumored to involve happy hours, to solicit input regarding what is working, not working, and what could be improved.   

We have some really cool transit questions brewing, especially in regard to the role of Beauty and Public Art along transit corridors.  Gonzalo Comacho has offered to lead our TRANSIT subcommitee.  He is talking to business and nonprofit leaders and researching two exciting grant opportunities.  We are particularly excited about the possibility of an art-within-transit design competition.  The winning project could be either funded by grant money or we could lobby to get in included in the next round of transit bonds. 

We periodically have questions regarding the role of COMPATIBILITY in the code.  What happens, for example, at the edge of a residential zoning district as it hits a commercial arterial?  Girard Kinney is working with CNU on this issue, and I will circulate an invite regarding how to learn more about compatibility. (5:30 PM, Speakeasy, Feb 1st) 

 I am thrilled to have such a great team this year and let me know how I can help you raise the profile of architects through "participating in design, planning and public policy initiatives in the Central Texas Region."