Stories by Chad Swiatecki

Thursday, September 19, 2019 by Chad Swiatecki

Arts Commission eyes MACC-Palm School link in supporting city’s push for preservation

The Austin Arts Commission has signed on in support of the city’s goal of preserving the Palm School property as a historic cultural facility, in a nod to the ongoing negotiations with Travis County for ownership of the downtown site.The…

Tuesday, September 17, 2019 by Chad Swiatecki

Ethics commission may seek ‘more teeth’ in code to curb violations

The city’s Ethics Review Commission may ask City Council to increase the penalties it can levy for violations of city code and to add more teeth to the city’s laws concerning campaign finance.The commission voted 8-0 at last week’s meeting,…

Monday, September 16, 2019 by Chad Swiatecki

Eyeing hotel tax dollars, Music Commission signs on to support convention center

With City Council set to consider two items on Thursday related to the proposed expansion of the Austin Convention Center, the Austin Music Commission voted last week to support the plan, which is projected to cost more than $1 billion…

Friday, September 13, 2019 by Chad Swiatecki

RECA members talk transit, land use and homelessness with other city leaders

Members of the city’s real estate community got a look Thursday at what is and isn’t working in similar cities across the country on three of the biggest issues facing Austin: land use, transportation and homelessness.The panel, titled “What Can…

Wednesday, September 11, 2019 by Chad Swiatecki

On second try, parks board OKs land use for Dove Springs health center

A public health center requested by residents of the Dove Springs area for nearly a decade was given an OK by the city’s Parks and Recreation Board on Tuesday, setting up the use of 2.6 acres of parkland to hold…

Tuesday, September 10, 2019 by Chad Swiatecki

Salvation Army seeks funding on top of city dollars to open shelter for families

The Downtown Austin Alliance Foundation has pledged $100,000 to help open a new shelter for homeless families in East Austin, months after the city agreed to a one-time contribution of $1 million.The funding will help cover some of the $4.9…

Monday, September 9, 2019 by Chad Swiatecki

Parks board to reconsider request to OK parkland for Dove Springs health center

The city’s Parks and Recreation Board will hold a special meeting Tuesday to reconsider a request to use city parkland in Southeast Austin for the site of a new community health center.The special session is a follow-up to last month’s meeting…

Thursday, September 5, 2019 by Chad Swiatecki

Parks department’s 10-year plan lays out need for more spaces, programming

Parks and Recreation staff are nearing the end of the public input process on the next 10-year plan for the city’s expansive system of parks facilities and programming needs.In recent weeks PARD’s acting assistant director, Kim McKnight, has taken the…

Tuesday, September 3, 2019 by Chad Swiatecki

Parks board vote could delay ‘fast-tracked’ health center for Dove Springs

A community health center proposed for the Dove Springs area in Southeast Austin could be delayed by several months after the city’s Parks and Recreation Board voted last week to delay approving the use of parkland to build the long-needed…

Thursday, August 29, 2019 by Chad Swiatecki

Another alley fence delay adds to frustration for clubs in Red River district

The city may need until late November to install a gate to an alley on Red River Street between Seventh and Eighth streets. That opens up the chance of going past a promised Nov. 1 deadline to close off an…

Thursday, August 29, 2019 by Chad Swiatecki

Human Rights Commission calls for $1.75M for more mental health emergency responders

The Human Rights Commission has joined the city’s Public Safety Commission in recommending that City Council commit funds in the next budget to add staff for first responders dealing with individuals experiencing a mental health crisis.The rights commission unanimously approved…

Wednesday, August 28, 2019 by Chad Swiatecki

$2.8M earmarked for land use rewrite

The rewrite of the city’s Land Development Code is expected to account for approximately $2.8 million in the next budget, all of it coming from funds put on hold when City Council canceled the process known as CodeNEXT last year.Consultants…

Friday, August 23, 2019 by Chad Swiatecki

State court calls city’s convention center ballot language ‘misleading’

The 3rd Court of Appeals has ruled that the city must make two changes to recently approved ballot language related to an attempt to limit city spending on the Austin Convention Center. In a ruling issued Thursday, the court of…

Thursday, August 22, 2019 by Chad Swiatecki

Waller Creek parks system now called Waterloo Greenway

The $250 million system of parks planned for areas surrounding Waller Creek in downtown Austin will be known as the Waterloo Greenway going forward, following a naming ceremony held Wednesday at the headquarters of the conservancy in charge of developing…

Monday, August 19, 2019 by Chad Swiatecki

Audit update shows progress on city HR complaints, with more work needed

The city’s Human Resources Department has made some progress on achieving the recommendations outlined in a 2017 report that found the city was taking too long to investigate complaints brought by city employees. The report, from Matrix Consulting Group, also…

Friday, August 16, 2019 by Chad Swiatecki

Audit finds ongoing delays, data problems for Development Services Department

The Office of the City Auditor has found that the city’s Development Services Department is still failing to meet on-time and customer satisfaction goals in its permitting process, even after making changes suggested in a 2015 report that found profound…

Thursday, August 15, 2019 by Chad Swiatecki

Convention center opponents challenge city’s language on ballot measure

The president of the Austin NAACP has petitioned the Texas Supreme Court over the ballot language approved by City Council last week related to a challenge to a planned expansion of the Austin Convention Center.The Tuesday filing by Nelson Linder…

Wednesday, August 14, 2019 by Chad Swiatecki

Tourism Commission wants agreement between city, short-term rental companies

The Tourism Commission has asked City Council to change its long-held stance toward short-term rental platforms like Airbnb in favor of an agreement that would earn the city millions of dollars in new Hotel Occupancy Tax revenue each year.At Monday’s…

Tuesday, August 13, 2019 by Chad Swiatecki

Debates continue over impacts, enforcement of new homelessness ordinances

Recent changes to ordinances covering camping and soliciting by homeless people continue to be a hot topic of debate at city meetings, with residents and special interest groups pushing for a reversal to the June vote, or significant changes in…

Monday, August 12, 2019 by Chad Swiatecki

Music Commission pushes to make park sites viable for music, arts events

Members of the Music Commission are pushing for an up-close look at city parks facilities that could be used to host music performances and other arts and cultural events in coming years. The effort is partly tied to the $12…

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