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Stories by Amy Smith

Council hears proposed changes to city charter for November ballot

City Council on Tuesday officially received the Charter Review Commission’s proposed revisions to the city charter, along with some additional staff-proposed changes. Council members limited their questions to the administrative items brought by staff because the commission’s nine recommendations will…

Updated: Council and Planning Commission hear from public on proposed land use changes

With City Council all but certain to approve extensive revisions to Austin’s land use code next month, Thursday’s public hearing on the proposed changes lacked the fire-in-the-belly resistance demonstrated at last October’s hearing. Back then, the joint Council hearing with…

HOME returns to Council and Planning Commission for public hearing

The second phase of the HOME initiative reemerges in the public spotlight this week, accompanied by a series of other proposed revisions to the Land Development Code. On Thursday, City Council and the Planning Commission will hold a joint hearing…

Council approves renaming bathhouse in honor of Joan Means Khabele

City Council on Thursday approved the renaming of the bathhouse at Barton Springs Pool in honor of the woman who, as a teenager, led the first “swim-in” at the segregated pool in an act of civil disobedience. With the unanimous…

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AFD narrows its wildfire preparedness focus on Eastern Crescent

Ahead of national Wildfire Community Preparedness Day on May 4, the Public Safety Commission this week heard an update on how Austin is faring with its own community readiness efforts. The good news is that Austin leads the state in…

Charter Review Commission sends its recommendations to Council

The Charter Review Commission has wrapped up its evaluation of possible charter revisions relating to petition requirements, among other items, and has submitted its final report to City Council with nine recommendations. Council will ultimately decide which items will be…

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Environmental commissioners air concerns about waterfront district plan

A proposed framework for how the south shores of Lady Bird Lake will build out in future years received a lukewarm response from the Environmental Commission on Thursday. While only the Planning Commission and City Council are scheduled to vote…

Planning Commission gets its first look at Equity-Based Preservation Plan

With the draft Equity-Based Preservation Plan now available for public review, city boards and commissions are getting briefed on the document that includes over 100 recommendations for preserving the highs and lows of Austin’s history. The Planning Commission, which will…

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Council approves changes to environmental protections to upgrade Butler Trail

With little discussion, City Council last week approved amendments to environmental protections to clear the way for capital improvements on the popular hike-and-bike trail at Lady Bird Lake. The code changes allow for exemptions from critical water quality zone rules…

Council gets briefed on improved path to affordable housing

Now that the state Legislature has added more guardrails to a financing mechanism for affordable housing developments, Austin officials are exploring how to proceed with plans to put more housing on the ground under the welcomed reforms. At its work…

Council passes a resolution calling for greener procurement practices

After its recent approval of a measure to create an investment strategy for financing the city’s climate plans, City Council on Thursday passed a complementary item to establish more sustainable procurement practices. Like the previous resolution, this one, too, was…

Council set to revisit zoning ordinance after court ruling

In the wake of last year’s court ruling invalidating the city’s Vertical Mixed Use 2 ordinance, a proposed remedy is now primed for a public hearing and consideration at Thursday’s City Council meeting. Council heard a preview of the revised…

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