City Recycling Standards for Your Business

Since 2012 the City of Austin has imposed or facilitated mandatory recycling programs. This is part of an effort to comply with Austin’s Zero Waste goal to reduce the amount of trash sent to landfills by 90% by 2040.
The Universal Recycling Ordinance (URO) supports Austin’s Zero Waste goal by requiring affected property owners to ensure that tenants and employees have access to convenient recycling. The ordinance is intended to increase the life of local landfills, reduce harmful environmental impacts, and encourage economic development. Since last October, all commercial properties are subject to this policy. Read more in this quick and easy chart.
The Universal Recycling Ordinance (URO)’s Organics Diversion standards also support Austin’s Zero Waste goal by requiring food permitted businesses to reduce or divert organic material (e.g. wasted food, yard trimmings) from the landfill. The URO intends to increase the life of local landfills, reduce harmful environmental impacts and encourage economic development. While this was instituted in October 2016, all businesses must comply by October 1, 2018. Read more in this quick and easy chart.
If you have any questions about wither of these policies, please contact the Business Outreach Team at 512-974-9727 or CommercialRecycling@austintexas.gov.

Commercial Parking Changes in CodeNEXT

It’s complicated. Like everything in CodeNEXT. But there may be some good news for local businesses depending on where you are located and how your property is zoned. It will take a bit of research on your part to find what your new parking rules will be but here are some links and information to help you.
CodeNEXT’s changes to parking can be summarized as requiring less parking yet prescriptive in the location of parking spaces.  Some of the specifics, however, are not as straightforward as in today’s code.
Number of Parking Spaces
• Parking requirements are determined by zoning category (check your zoning), size of the retail space, as well as by use.  In contrast, today’s parking is determined by use only.
• Main Street (MS), for example:  Restaurants, retail, offices and bars require no parking if a business (not structure) is smaller than 2,500 sq. ft.  Zilker Neighborhood Association has compiled a helpful chart for all zones.
• If a property lies within a Regional Center zone, it will require no parking.  Regional Centers are indicated on the Imagine Austin map and include downtown.
• In addition, there are maximum parking restrictions for some zones, including developments over 10,000 sf in Main Street (MS).
• Commercial uses are eligible for additional cumulative reductions of up to 40% for reasons such as location in the “urban core,” providing a shower at work or providing additional bicycle parking.
Parking Placement
Placement of parking spaces is very prescriptive.
• Creates requirements for setbacks
• If parking does not meet these requirements then parking is possibly nonconforming although this is not clear like with structures and uses
• Below is an example from the requirements for MS2C.
ADA Parking
If no parking is required, such as for businesses less than 2,500 sf, then ADA parking is not required.  This fact was affirmed by the city’s Legal Department.
This is the third article in a series to help you better understand CodeNEXT.
Advocacy

Advocacy

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What Alberto Can Teach You From Movies

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Go Global with Your Products

You may remember last spring the City of Austin partnered with e-commerce giant Alibaba to help Austin companies get in front of Alibaba TaoBao store owners to see if there was interest in their products. The experience was a positive one by all eleven companies who participated! We are ready to do this high energy livestream event again during SXSW 2018 with more Austin area companies.
If you are a product based company or know one, please share and APPLY NOWApplications close January 12th. It is a quick application. Couple important things to note: product type & process…
Products of Interest: Beauty, health & fitness, milk, baby & maternity, spirits/liquors, apparel (sneakers are of particular interest), electronics, and natural based products
Process: City of Austin & Alibaba teams will be entering into close support with you to get your product ready for export as soon as we make final selections in mid-January. We will be setting you up with an Alibaba SP (service provider) who will handle all your exporting and importing into China for Alibaba platforms; they will essentially act as your distributor. This work will be provided at no additional cost to you, but will require your time and participation. This work will be completed before the actual pitch night so you can accept orders right away after the pitch. More info on this can be found on our website.