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Stories by Chad Swiatecki

Tuesday, June 27, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Road map, conference point to Austin’s future as a smart city

With dozens of projects underway in departments throughout city government, Austin now has an initial road map for how to better use data and technology to become a so-called “smart city.” The Smart City Strategic Roadmap is the first draft…

Friday, June 23, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

New master plan to pave the way for MACC expansion

Few could have imagined when the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center was originally proposed in the late 1990s that the area around the center would look anything like it does in 2017. When the MACC was completed in…

Tuesday, June 20, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Red River proponents seek policy ‘champion’ following live music report

Streetscape improvements, greater attention to safety and partnerships with nearby community organizations are some of the steps needed to keep the Red River Cultural District a hub of live music, according to a recently completed study on the area. The…

Friday, June 16, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Controversy swirls over Montopolis historic school site eyed for development

The city’s Community Development Commission weighed in on the effort to stop a contentious development project proposed for a historic piece of property in East Austin. At Tuesday’s meeting the development commission voted 13-0 to ask the city to halt…

Thursday, June 15, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

CodeNEXT activists sign on with opposing petitions

Whoever “Austin Neighbor” is, they’re not happy about the city’s plans to increase housing density under CodeNEXT. In a quirk of 21st-century digital advocacy, the change.org online petition website features a pair of somewhat oppositional petitions related to efforts to…

Tuesday, June 13, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Task force dives into city manager search

The task force in charge of helping to write the job description for Austin’s next city manager hopes to stay involved in the process of picking the eventual hire, even though, as of now, the group is set to dissolve…

Monday, June 12, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Rundberg residents search for resources to continue restoration

Residents of Rundberg Lane in North Austin saw many benefits during the three years the area received a stepped up police presence thanks to a $1 million federal grant that concluded last year. Crime, especially in a handful of “hotspots,”…

Friday, June 9, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Hotels to join music venues, residents in revamping ‘agent of change’ proposal

Representatives from Austin’s music venues, neighborhood groups and hotel industry are expected to begin meeting next week to rework the city’s long-gestating “agent of change” policy intended to reduce friction between those three interest groups. That charge was the result…

Wednesday, June 7, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Council to weigh move to limit events in major urban parks

Special events in the city’s three core parks will eventually be scaled back in coming years if City Council approves Thursday the first slate of measures aimed at preserving local parkland. The ordinance up for consideration would alter current rules…

Monday, June 5, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Economic development sessions to target middle-class jobs, local business growth

A focus on middle-class job growth, workforce development and growing existing businesses are some of the priorities the city’s business boosters will emphasize this week during a series of community meetings intended to shape local economic development policies. The seven…

Friday, June 2, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

‘Middle skill’ workforce plan aims to stabilize area’s poor, vulnerable residents

Austin and Travis County leaders’ focus on growing the region’s middle-class economy was spotlighted Thursday with the announcement of a multiyear effort to train local workers for a growing demand for so-called “middle skill” jobs. The release of the Master…

Thursday, June 1, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Brownfield grants provide $300,000 to clean up East Austin

Potential brownfield properties in East Austin will be eligible for remediation efforts in the coming years thanks to two grants from the federal Environmental Protection Agency totaling $300,000. The grants, which were announced Wednesday, will be available for use beginning…

Wednesday, May 31, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Agent of change revamp to add hotels could delay vote on proposal

Austin’s much-debated policy proposal to address conflicts between music venues and nearby developments appears to be getting a makeover and a possible delay from a planned early June vote by City Council. That was the feeling of venue owners, city…

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Updated: City dives into corridor studies with southern region sessions

Austin’s Transportation Department is moving ahead with efforts to determine what should be done with the $482 million in corridor improvements voters approved last fall as part of the $720 million mobility bond. Thus far the department has completed six…

Tuesday, May 16, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Entertainment, arts returning to former ‘Chitlin’ Circuit’ hot spot in East Austin

An East Austin recreation center that was once a hot spot on the so-called “Chitlin’ Circuit” for African-American entertainers is expected to return to its roots as a hub of live entertainment and creative arts. Last month Austin’s Parks and Recreation…

Monday, May 15, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Ethics charges dismissed against official in trellis case

A member of the city’s Board of Adjustment will not face a final hearing on charges he involved himself inappropriately in an appeals process involving the neighborhood association of which he is also a founding member. At Wednesday’s meeting of…

Friday, May 12, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Allegations fly in music division ethics case

Wednesday’s ethics hearing for a former city employee charged with improperly obtaining city funds featured a series of allegations and testimony against the recently departed head of the city’s Music and Entertainment Division. The 11-member Ethics Review Commission was reduced…

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Music venue owners see holes in ‘imperfect’ proposals to protect them

Music venue operators from many parts of Austin have reservations about a pair of proposals created to address friction between increasing residential development and entertainment-oriented businesses. At a summit for local music venues on Monday, operators from venues in East…

Tuesday, May 9, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Parks officials eye hotel tax dollars for underfunded capital projects

With changes expected in how Austin allocates its fast-growing pool of tax money generated from local hotel and motel stays, the city’s Parks and Recreation Department has put forward the first version of its wish list for expensive infrastructure projects.…

Friday, May 5, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

Music venues may face new rules as city adjusts ‘agent of change’ proposal

Austin officials have made significant changes to a pair of proposed policies affecting the city’s live music economy, and will spend much of May presenting them to local boards and community groups ahead of an expected early June vote by City…

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