Please provide feedback on Goal #3 recommendations.

by rachel.crist, almost 2 years ago
CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

Goal #3:  Ensure adequate and appropriate notice is given to interested parties.

Staff recommendations include:

1.  Notify adjacent properties of demolition activity. Require posted notice via door hangers and yard sign five (5) days prior to commencement of demolition activity. Notifications shall be placed on properties abutting and across the street. Presence of the yard sign and contractor sign-off that door hangers were placed will be verified during the mandatory preconstruction meeting. Each notice shall contain the address of the site proposed for demolition, demolition permit number, approximate date demolition activity will commence, contact information for the applicant, contact information of the agencies that regulate safety (OSHA), asbestos and lead-based paint. 

2.  Provide notification tools. Enhance existing public access to geographic information system (GIS) data for demolition permits. Provide mechanism for the public to subscribe and get notifications when new demolition applications are submitted and permits are issued.

3.  Provide time for registration as an interested party. Provide time for an individual or neighborhood organization representative to register as an interested party on a demolition permit application.  The inclusion of multiple review disciplines will extend the review time and permit issuance to a minimum of five (5) business days.

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Relates to Relates to document: Proposed Recommendations

Consultation has concluded

  • AustinCitizen almost 2 years ago
    Goal#3 Point# 1: There should be a mailed notification to residents within a minimum 400’ radius (1) of the site to be sent out when the permit application is received and door hangers issued to same properties five days prior to “approximate(2)” date of demolition. This would bring the city in line with best practices and current science(3) that show how far lead fallout travels in SFH demos. This is especially important since DSD is not recommending any action on lead or asbestos handling and/or abatement and are instead forcing residents to protect themselves as best they can. DSD’s current proposal falls well short of this prescribed distance and goes instead by lots. This would afford different neighborhoods with different lot sizes varying levels of warning. In any case one adjacent lot is too little. There is no good reason to not follow the latest science on this matter.

    In the audit DSD said it was reviewing the possibility of sending notifications out to 200’ radius, but there is now no mention of mailings in DSD’s current proposal. U.S. Mail is still standard for official notifications and more universally accessible and understandable than web interfaces. It is important that everyone have equal access to this information.

    It is good that contact information for OSHA will be included on the hang tag, but I think it needs to be understood that by doing this (and little else) DSD is removing the burden from itself to actually verify that contractors are properly qualified to do the work and are complying with OSHA rules and is instead transferring this responsibility to ordinary citizens who do not have the specialized knowledge to spot and report problems and who most likely will not even be present when the work is performed.

    Additionally the required yard sign needs to have set visibility and content requirements that ensure easy legibility and that the sign be of a size and coloration that stands out from typical yard signs. There should be basic protective measures included on the door hangers and mailed notices as well. The city should consider creating a loanable sealed HEPA vacuum program for concerned residents near these sites, though this would do little to help with environmental and yard contamination... It would be far more effective to make sure these materials are handled properly at the job-site itself.

    (1)Ideally should be 500’ to bring range in line with City’s definition of “interested party”
    (2)DSD needs to define time range covered by term “approximate”
  • Broncomoto almost 2 years ago
    Goal#3, Bulletpoint #2: Allowing timely and equal access to demolition information will discourage city employees from “selling” this information to buyers interested in moving these houses to a new site outside of Austin and/or Travis County. I have purchased seven houses that were slated for demolition over the past three years and have moved them to my property in Bastrop County. Many of these homes had to be purchased from “brokers“ because somehow, these “brokers” were able to get the “inside line” on houses slated for demolition. If indeed something nefarious like this were to happen, it would inflate the cost and makes recycling these houses less attractive.
  • Marshall0709 almost 2 years ago
    Neighborhood Associations should also be notified. The City already has NA contact info where they send zoning changes, etc. Add Demolition Permits to that mailing list so ALL in the neighborhood can be informed, not just contiguous properties.
  • donlb55 almost 2 years ago
    Notification is paramount. Too many times I have witnessed demolition of houses in my neighborhood with asbestos siding (causing it to become friable and dispersed) while young children were playing in the yards of adjacent houses. This is unacceptable.
  • EMathews almost 2 years ago
    On Goal #3 item #1, clarify who the applicant is. For liability purposes, the City should include the contact information for both the property owner and their representative if the owner has a hired representative managing the permit application. In a demolition in our neighborhood, the owner acted unaware that the person he hired to do the demolition was not following the law including stealing utilities from the adjacent property without permission. Ultimately, the homeowner is liable for anything that occurs on their property as well as workers they hire.
    The signage and door hangers should notify the adjacent property owners of the time, date and place of the pre-demolition meeting.
    The City should also require a performance bond be posted with the application and that bond should also be included in the notice.
    The homeowners insurance carrier and policy number should be listed on the notification and all signs.
    Neighborhood plan contact teams should be notified when a demolition application is submitted.