Outdoor Music Venue Permit

New Multi-day Sound Permit In the Works

Posted in Outdoor Music Venue Permit, Sound Permit, The Code on December 31st, 2010 by Gary Etie – Comments Off

A new or amended Noise and Sound Ordinance was rumored to be coming up for a hearing on the City Council’s Agenda for Jan 13.  So far, it has not made its way into the Draft Agenda, on the City’s website.

Let’s all hope it shows up soon, or, for one thing, a lot of local, national, and international companies, looking to spend their budgets on multi-day outdoor music events, are going to be up a creek. How can you plan for something if the passage of critical ordinaces affecting your plans are held up, until the last minute, from year to year.

Last year, on Feb 11, 2010, the Austin City Council declared an emergency, and passed, by a unanimous 7-0 vote, a new and much needed 96-Hour Sound Permit. This added a third “Music Permit” option to the existing 1-day Sound Permit, and 1-year Outdoor Music Venue Permit (OMVP), for businesses who wanted to do a multi-day, outdoor music event, but did not need or want to apply for a 1-year Permit. That Ordinance, and with it, the 96-hour Sound Permit, expired 4-1/2 months later, on June 30, 2010.

In August of 2009, I had requested a meeting of the applicable City of Austin department managers, warning that the new Outdoor Music Venue Permit requirements, put in place the previous March, had created a situation, where, if additional action weren’t taken, to create a new,  Multi-day Sound Permit, many business owners, local, national and international, would find themselves unable to spend their budget dollars, producing their planned multi-day events, during the days of the next SxSW Festival.

At that meeting, it was agreed that the existing options in the Code did not provide a legal remedy for an existing, growing business and regulatory need. As a result, the Live Music Task Force, the Music Commission, myself, and others, worked to craft and recommend the draft of a new, 96-Hour Sound Permit Ordinance. The City of Austin took action, approved the ordinance, and remedied that need.

In that 4-1/2 months, between the Feb 11th passage, and the June 30 expiration, the following businesses received a 1-Day, 96-Hour, or 1-year Permit, and made a substantial contribution to the Austin economy.

The following list says more than any “picture worth a thousand words”, or I, myself, could hope to say, about the vitality of the music and creative businesses, in our town. Love you, Austin:

  1. Austin New Church
  2. Club de Ville
  3. Creekside Lounge
  4. Red 7
  5. The Wave
  6. Club Primo’s
  7. Uchi Sushi
  8. Centro De Alabanza El Camino Cristiano
  9. Red Shed Tavern
  10. Ethan Lee Smith
  11. El Tejano
  12. Cheer Up Charlie’s
  13. YMCA of Austin
  14. Austin Motel
  15. Snack Bar
  16. Custom Tattoo’s from the Soul
  17. Austin Speed Shop
  18. Juan in a Million
  19. El Tejano
  20. Weirdo’s
  21. Mother Egans Irish Pub
  22. Hyde Park Bar & Grill
  23. Texas Music Museum
  24. Home Away
  25. Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network
  26. School of Rock
  27. Irie Bean Coffee Bar
  28. Messiah Lutheran Church
  29. Ranch 616
  30. Shear Madness
  31. 94 Rainey St
  32. Freddie’s Place
  33. Guero’s Taco Bar *
  34. Speakeasy
  35. Austin Peace Pipez
  36. Tiniest Bar in Texas
  37. Austin Pets Alive
  38. Cedar Door
  39. Clive Bar
  40. The Liberty
  41. Galaxy Room
  42. Dog & Duck Pub
  43. Taco Deli *
  44. Music Gym *
  45. Waterloo Records
  46. Club 1808
  47. Trophy’s
  48. Mugshots
  49. Shangri-La
  50. Lustre Pearl
  51. Headhunters Club
  52. Dorham’s Backyard
  53. Aussie’s Bar & Grill
  54. Encore
  55. Emo’s Annex
  56. Localiter
  57. Lovey’s Loot Boutique
  58. The Rooftop
  59. Cream Vintage
  60. MWTX – Transmission Entertainment *
  61. Do512 *
  62. Rare Mag – Official Guiness St Patrick’s Day Party *
  63. Urban Outfitters *
  64. High Beams Events
  65. Hoeks Pizza
  66. Boite Enterprises
  67. Union Park
  68. El Rival Club
  69. Joe’s Bar & Grill
  70. Lightning Mfg
  71. Hill’s Cafe
  72. Wide Angle Group
  73. Congress Avenue Baptist Church
  74. The Boiling Point (sic) Pot?
  75. Austin Gay and Lesbian Pride Foundation
  76. Lanai Rooftop Lounge
  77. ProArts Collective
  78. Empire Room
  79. White Mountain Foods
  80. Ski Shores Cafe
  81. East First Concert Hall *
  82. Sustainable Waves *
  83. Doc’s Motorworks
  84. Chupacabra
  85. Lovely Austin Boutique
  86. Falling Whistles; Lupe Arts
  87. Austin Wine & Music Festival
  88. DW Studio Productions
  89. ATX Sports Bar *
  90. Pluckers
  91. Cedar Street Courtyard
  92. Rainforest Partnership
  93. Shuck Shack
  94. Billboard.com
  95. Habana Calle 6 Patio *
  96. Freebirds
  97. Gypsy Sun Vintage/Big Rig
  98. “Khabele School”
  99. West’s Wine Art and Music
  100. Light Bar Terrace
  101. Ladies are Funny Festival
  102. Nine Mile Records
  103. Iron Gate Lounge
  104. Empire Room
  105. Alice in Wonderland
  106. La Condesa/Malverde
  107. Texanza
  108. Balcones Recycling *
  109. Whip In *
  110. Jaime’s Spanish Village
  111. Juicy Tart
  112. Perla’s Seafood & Oyster Bar
  113. Villa’s Taco Shack
  114. Partnership for Children

* Past or present Austin City Permits Client
Source: City of Austin Interactive Development Review Permitting and Inspection

Or Maybe Not …
Guero’s Receives More Citations

Posted in Buildings, Code Compliance, Outdoor Music Venue Permit, Temporary Permits on June 16th, 2010 by Gary Etie – Be the first to comment

Full Disclosure: I am the Permit Specialist that pulled the Temporary Use Permit that they are referring to, in this KVUE News coverage.

Earlier coverage here, and here.

“We will continue to work through this”

Posted in Clients, Code Compliance, Outdoor Music Venue Permit on June 11th, 2010 by Gary Etie – 1 Comment

Austin City Council Meeting | March 12, 2009
Meeting Video | March 12, 2009
Closed Caption Log | 3/12/2009

From the pledges that were made (see the transcript of the March 12, 2009 Council meeting, linked or, in part, below) Mayor Pro Tem Martinez’s office possibly has, in fact, been working with Guero’s Engineer Sergio Lazano, who, last Wednesday, received approval on the Site Plan Correction required prior to submitting an application for the Building Permit in question.

Brent Lloyd, of the City’s legal department also pledged to put the staff of the both the legal department and the City Manager’s office behind the effort to address Guero’s difficulties, creating, possibly, new Use Categories, (an original suggestion that I made to City Staff, and initiated work on, with the Planning Commission’s Dave Sullivan, in the Codes & Ordinances subcomitte) to accommodate the Use “Outdoor Music” (currently not in the Code), or, possibly, ways to separate the Restaurant Use from the Outdoor Music Use in a way that does not require the very difficult steps involved in getting a Certificate of Occupancy for Cocktail Lounge Use.

If either these possibilities are true, then why wasn’t Code Enforcement, APD, and the other agencies that make up the P.A.C.E team, informed of the fact that Mr. Lippincott, through his Engineer and Code Compliance “team”, assemble to address the issues at hand, had, in fact received Approval of the Site Plan Correction required, prior to applying for the Building Permit at issue, 2 days prior to the Friday night shut-down and Citation, for “No Building Permit”?

Guero’s was complying with all requirements of a remediation project, and was simply in the middle of the “wait time” normally required for that stage of the Permit process to be completed, prior to proceeding to the next stage.

After the Site Plan Correction was approved, on Wednesday, April 6, the original mylar plans must be pulled from the Archives storage facility, the City schedules an appointment for the  Engineer to go in and make the Corrections to the mylars, and finally, after certifying that all is correct, as reviewed and approved, the Site Plan Correction is finally entered into the AMANDA database,

The Site Plan Correction was issued on Wednesday, and the Code Compliance Citation and shut-down occurred, after hours, on Friday. No one on the PACE team was aware of the approve Site Plan Correction, and when Mr. Lippincoot went to his office, to fetch the documentation that the PACE team deemed necessary, to show proof of progress, and returned, document in hand, the PACE team had disappeared.

Stay tuned, or speak up (Register, Log In, and Reply) if you can fill us in on anything that we are not aware of.

Austin City Council Meeting | March 12, 2009
Meeting Video | March 12, 2009
Closed Caption Log | 3/12/2009

From the meeting log (frequent misspellings and grammatical errors common):
“Those are — those are issues that we’re trying to address and continue to address the movement forward, there’s many discussions and many meetings, over a long period of time and I feel like we have — we have not only the music venue owners and — and places that have live music but we have substantial agreement, unanimous agreement at least, consensus with the neighborhood groups as well. I think it’s an important first step to keep moving forward. Then try to address this lipencott is facing.

I should just go on and do it illegally? [Laughter]

Mayor Wynn: Can we turn the cameras off for a couple of minutes. [Laughter]

if you want to that that lipencott, the fact of the matter is that you have been took it illegally, you don’t have an outdoor music permit right now. (Gary’s note: Now Mayor Pro Tem, then Council Member Martinez was incorrect here. Guero’s has, in hand, the Outdoor Music Venue Permit, allowing a sound level of 85 dB, that was valid at the time of this statement.)

Your office, the police offices and city clerk’s –

I’m not asking you a question, mr. lipencott.

I’m telling you. I have been told –

you [multiple voices]

Mayor Wynn: Let’s let the councilmember finish his comments. I hope — I know that you are frustrated. But I hope that the dialogue that you have seen, the comments specifically by councilmember martinez and i and a couple of others will send a signal, I think sending a signal to staff, i think staff is empathetic and wants to figure out how to enable this and appropriate easiest legitimate way. I assure you that I will continue to work to see that that happens. Councilmember martinez?

Martinez: I don’t know how I can offer any more assurances that I want to help mr. lipencott. Not just him but all of the other venues in our community to continue to operate, continue to have live music. You know — I don’t understand — I understand your frustration, but i don’t understand why you don’t seem like you want to help us get to that point. Your comments don’t speak to that. But I’m glad to work with you. My office has been more than open to working with anybody that’s come forward. I don’t know if upper part of the link music task force meetings that took place and brought these concerns forward to dib rate them, but — deliberate them, but again we will continue to work forward and work with you and bring these issues up and try to address all of the concerns laid out.

Mayor Wynn: I will do my best to finish the meeting early tonight, we will all run down to south congress and enjoy some good music we hope at guerrero’s, thank you, we will continue to work through this.”

Need: An Outdoor Music Alliance

Posted in Music, Outdoor Music Venue Permit on April 26th, 2010 by Gary Etie – Be the first to comment

Austin Music needs  a coalition of Austin businesses and citizens who support Outdoor Music. An Outdoor Music Alliance.

Send suggestions (logo?), offers of organizational help, etc. to garyetie@gmail.com

First Signers:

APD, P.A.C.E & Guero’s Music Garden

Posted in Buildings & People, City Council, City Manager, City of Austin, Clients, Code Compliance, Code Enforcement, Fire Inspections, Food and Drink, Life - Safety, Live Music, Music, Outdoor Music, Outdoor Music Venue Permit, Permit Projects, Public Assembly, Safety, Sound Permit, Temporary Permits, The Code on April 10th, 2010 by Gary Etie – 36 Comments

Update: Michael Corcoran posted the following on the Statesman’s Austin Music Source blog about 3 hours later.
“Police shut down Guero’s outdoor stage”

By Michael Corcoran | Saturday, April 10, 2010, 12:32 PM

“Rob Lipincott of Guero’s Taco Bar said he’s not being defiant, but “trying to keep my empoyees in jobs” by hosting live music today after being shut down last night for not having a building permit for his outdoor stage. Lippincott said the city approved his site plan correction Wednesday, but that data is not yet in the computer. The amendment allows the stage, but Lippincott probably won’t receive his building permit until next week.

The shutdown was enforced by the P.A.C.E. team”

Last night, Friday, April 9th, the Austin PACE team decided to shut down the Outdoor Music Venue area of Guero’s, at the beginning of the biggest event weekend of the year for the South Congress Ave area.

This has occurred in spite of the fact that Friday was exactly one day after Guero’s Engineer, Sergio Lazano, gained approval on the Site Plan Correction, a major step in process required to obtain a Building Permit of SOME type (see “promises”, below), in order to operate the existing outdoor music venue within an 85 dB sound level limit.

The immediate need, and big question is, can Guero’s continue to have music today, as planned?

PACE (Public Assembly Code Enforcement) declared that they were going to “shut down the whole operation” meaning, including the Restaurant, if the music was not turned off immediately. They issued a citation for no Building Permit for the stage.

I am sitting here, reviewing the video of the City Council meeting of March 12, 2009, where the Mayor Will Wynn, City Council members, and attorney Brent Lloyd expressed the various ways (none of which have come to pass) that they would work with Mr. Lippincott, and Guero’s, possibly crafting new Use categories, or figuring out ways of separating Restaurant and Live Music functions into separate Use areas, in search of a solution to the problem that the authors of the proposed ordinance introduced when they DIRECTED the 70 dB limit to be referenced, from the Zoning section of the Code, in the passage of the rushed ordinance.

Guero’s has been applying itself to a solution. Mr. Lippincoot’s engineer, Mr. Lazano, had family emergencies to attend to in Mexico, (Mr. Lazano’s brother was kidnapped, which, understandably, set the project back a number of months!) which understandably interrupted the work that he and his firm were doing on the important first step, the Site Plan Correction.

Now, the day after a Site Plan Approval, a MAJOR step in the process, someone on the PACE team, or at Code Enforcement directing the PACE team, has decided to challenge the agreement that has been in place, at the discretion of the Building Officials involved, while we are all in the midst of trying to figure out a solution to our city’s outdoor music regulatory needs.

The fact is that, the City has not come through on any of the commitments and promises made at that March 12th meeting, yet Guero’s is being expected to navigate a minefield of regulatory difficulty, if it wishes to both comply with the Code, and have live music under the big oaks.

No new Use categories have been created, to address the need for an “Outdoor Music Venue” Use, distinct from Restaurant Use, or Cocktail Lounge Use. No solution has been put in place that does not require a Change of Use to Cocktail Lounge, which Greg Gurnsey points out as not-so-easy, in this same video.