Monday, August 3, 2015
BBQ regulation in Austin is officially DEAD!!!
"And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart."
Austin City Hall -- Earlier tonight the Austin City Council committee on Health and Human Services voted 4 - 0 AGAINST recommending the full council pursue citywide BBQ regulation. This follows similar action from the Economic Development committee in May. Tonight's action kills the measure.
The committee was visibly sick of this issue, with only Kathie Tovo (D - Central Austin) showing interest. Tovo belittled the notion that residents in certain "bad neighbor" situations can have their concerns addressed via 311 or the existing Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). Tovo was corrected by the city staff.
A representative from the city Health department informed the committee that only three complaints against BBQ restaurants have been filed with TCEQ in the past year. TCEQ found "no nuisance" in every case. If a complainant disagrees, TCEQ has an appeals process.
The real hero of this process has been Councilmember Ellen Troxclair (R - Southwest Austin), who moved the final question:
Bottom Line: The real story from today's vote is what it reveals about the new council compared to the old. A year ago, under the old council, this would have sailed through. Today, under 10-1, the council backed down.