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Fully-Local • Non-Partisan • Public-Service Journalism
 

Stories by Amy Smith

Austin Pets Alive! poised to stay at Town Lake site

City Council overwhelmingly approved a resolution Thursday that appears to give Austin Pets Alive! greater leverage in negotiating a new license agreement with the city to replace the existing deal that expires Nov. 23. The two sides had reached an…

Public Safety Commission frowns on marshal office proposal

While it took no action on a proposal to create a marshal office within the Austin Municipal Court, the Public Safety Commission largely gave the plan a thumbs-down on Monday. Last month, City Council heard concerns from residents about the…

Parks board unhappy with PARD’s handling of parkland fee dustup

In mid-September, the Parks and Recreation Board heard a briefing from staffers that included a video extolling the benefits of the city’s Parkland Dedication Ordinance, which requires developers to dedicate on-site parkland or pay a fee-in-lieu toward the acquisition and…

Council denounces 'false choice' of pitting parkland against affordability

More than two months after City Council passed a new budget that took effect Oct. 1, city management now wants to freeze one of the adopted fee schedules as it relates to the amount developers pay toward parkland acquisition and…

Chacon gives progress report on making Sixth Street safer

After decades of discussion about the culture and safety of the Sixth Street entertainment district, a team of city staffers from multiple departments is making headway toward carrying out City Council-directed measures to ensure the public’s safety. Council adopted a…

Legislation addresses fire safety at kennels

A Williamson County lawmaker has filed a bill that would require all Texas kennel operators to have a fire-safety system in place to prevent another tragedy like the one that occurred last month at a Georgetown pet boarding facility. Seventy-five…

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Statesman PUD proposal needs improvement, Environmental Commission says

The planned unit development proposed for the former Austin American-Statesman property is not an environmentally superior project in the eyes of the Watershed Protection Department, but it could achieve superiority if the developer agrees to more than a dozen conditions.…

Parks board says Statesman PUD’s parkland proposal needs more work

The Parks and Recreation Board has determined that the proposed planned unit development on the Austin American-Statesman property is not a superior project as it relates to parkland. With that determination, the board further encouraged parks staffers to continue working…

Parks board again rejects proposal to sell alcohol at Zilker Cafe

The issue of alcohol sales at Zilker Cafe made its third and final appearance before the Parks and Recreation Board on Tuesday, with board members delivering a decisive 8-1 vote against recommending the proposal, given the cafe’s proximity – about…

APD needs more oversight, Public Safety Committee is told

Police transparency and accountability are still sorely lacking in Austin, according to statistical information presented to the City Council Public Safety Committee on Monday. Farah Muscadin, director of the Office of Police Oversight, or OPO, provided several grim findings in…

Animal commission seeks to illuminate the city’s no-kill policy

The Animal Advisory Commission voted unanimously Monday to form a committee to monitor Austin’s no-kill policy, while maintaining the move was not a reflection on city leadership. But first, City Council’s Audit and Finance Committee will need to approve the…

Public Safety Commission questions police force's low vaccination rate

Only about half of Austin police officers have been vaccinated against the Covid-19 virus and mask-wearing is typically at the discretion of officers responding to calls, Public Safety Commission members learned Tuesday. The information did not sit well with commissioners,…

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