Austin City Council tackles lengthy, controversial agenda

Austin City Council members considered some controversial proposals Thursday.

Everything from what to do about electric scooters to lemonade stand regulations was on the table. 

Council members approved an ordinance to permanently extend the hours certain venues in the Red River district can play amplified music. 

They include the Mohawk, the Sidewinder, Cheer Up Charlie’s, Empire Control Room and Garage and Stubbs BBQ. 

The venues involved will be able to play music until midnight on Thursday and 1 am on weekends. That’s an hour later than previously allowed. 

The decision follows a year long pilot program that the Economic Development Department said increased revenue for music venues, increased pay for musicians and did not have an impact on noise complaints from those staying in the area. 

Council members also approved a proposal to waive the requirement for children to obtain a permit to operate a lemonade stand. 

Technically city code required kids to pay $35 for a permit and have their lemonade stand inspected. 

Council passed an ordinance to exempt children’s lemonade stands during the last fiscal year. 

Their decision Thursday permanently exempts kids’ lemonade stands from permits and inspections required by city code. 

Council members also plan to discuss changes to city laws to require scooters and bikes to not block the public right of way. 

The proposed changes would allow the city to impound vehicles in violation of that requirement.

It is a direct response by the city to the unexpected introduction of dockless electric rental scooters by companies Bird Rides and Lime Bike.