Temporary Permits

New Temporary Events
& Outdoor Music Ordinance

Posted in City Council, Code Compliance, Outdoor Music Venue Permit, Sound Permit, Temporary Permits on February 8th, 2011 by Gary Etie – 1 Comment

(Updated 02|10|2011 8:45 am !) A REVISED Draft of the proposed ordinance has been posted on the morning of the Council meeting:

“The city council finds that the City’s existing noise regulations do not provide adequate flexibility to address the unique challenges posed by multi-day music events. Given the prevalence of such events during the upcoming spring festival season, the council finds that the need to improve the  City’s noise regulations constitutes an emergency. Accordingly, this ordinance takes effect immediately upon its passage for the preservation of public peace, health, and safety.”

Read the full Draft Ordinance here (now a broken link!)

Read the Revised Draft Ordinance here
(3 Excerpts are provided below)

Sign up for Thursday’s Council meeting
The Austin Music Community should to be heard.

Excerpt 1, the intro:

Temporary Events & Outdoor Music Ordinance
Page 1 of 18
COA Law Department
Responsible Att’y.: Brent Lloyd

ORDINANCE NO. ____________________

City Code Section 9-2-1 (Definitions) is amended to delete the definition of “Director,” to add the following new definitions, and to renumber the remaining definitions alphabetically:

(3) MUSIC OFFICE means the division or  working group of a city department designated by the city manager with advisory and administrative functions related to permitting of outdoor live music.

(5) RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY means the portion of a site or property that is zoned and used as residential.

(6) RESPONSIBLE PARTY means a sound engineer, audio professional, or other person authorized to make decisions regarding the use of sound  equipment permitted under this chapter.

(9) TEMPORARY EVENT IMPACT PLAN means a plan  required in connection with approval of a temporary event permit under Section 9-2-52 (Temporary Event Impact Plan).

(10) SPECIAL EVENTS OFFICE means the division or working group of a city department designated by the city manager with planning, coordinating, and overseeing special events requiring city approval.

(11) SPRING FESTIVAL SEASON means Wednesday through Sunday during the third week of March, unless the city manager designates an alternate five-day period for a particular year.

(12) TEMPORARY CHANGE  OF USE PERMIT means a permit issued by the building or fire code official to authorize a temporary increase  in occupancy levels allowed by applicable technical codes for a property or structure.

(13) TEMPORARY USE PERMIT means a  permit issued by the Planning and Development Review Department  under Chapter 25-2, Article 6 (Temporary Uses) to authorize a temporary activity not otherwise allowed as a principal or accessory use in a base zoning district.

Excerpt 2, new “Live Music Permits” category:


Excerpt 3, the closing:

“PART 11. The city council finds that the City’s existing noise regulations do not provide adequate flexibility to address the unique challenges posed by multi-day music events. Given the prevalence of such events during the upcoming spring festival season, the council finds that the need to improve the  City’s noise regulations constitutes an emergency. Accordingly, this ordinance takes effect immediately upon its passage for the preservation of public peace, health, and safety.”

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.

Barton Springs Road Vendors During ACL

Posted in Permit Projects, Safety, Temporary Permits, The Code on June 2nd, 2010 by Gary Etie – 5 Comments

I present two stories, with very different outcomes, from two consecutive days, regarding the vendors along Barton Springs Road, and the City of Austin’s Public Assembly Code Enforcement  team (P.A.C.E.), in the lead up to the 2009 Austin City Limits, music festival.

At approximately 12:30 PM, on Thursday, Oct 1st, the day before ACL 2009 began (and one day prior to the Oct 2nd KVUE news report, below) Austin City Permits received a call from the owner of 3 business locations hosting temporary vendors along Barton Springs Road during the Austin City Limits music festival. All of the vendors had been issued Warning Tickets that morning, and had been told to pack it up and clear out, or face fines of $1,500 at 5PM that afternoon, when the PACE Code Enforcement Team would return to issue official Citations.

I told my client that I would see what I could do, and by 4 PM that afternoon, all of my client’s locations had the required Temporary Use Permits in hand. The applications had been properly reviewed by the required City of Austin departments, processed, and paid for. The final solution came with the cooperation of the Austin Fire Department’s Inspection Services Division, so that everything was inspected for safe operation by Battalion Chief Don Smith … and Voila! All those vendors were able to keep their set ups in place, throughout the festival. Another satisfied client.

The following day, at least one business owner, up the street, had a completely different experience. That’s the story the reporter highlighted:

Just outside the gates of ACL, business owners and vendors were hit with expensive tickets. It’s new to ACL and came without any warning” – Noelle Newton / KVUE News

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 – 35 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.