Stories by Elizabeth Pagano

Monday, November 30, 2020 by Elizabeth Pagano

Landmark commission OKs historic zoning for Baker School and its parking lots

The Historic Landmark Commission voted to zone the entirety of the Baker School property historic at its recent meeting, despite a staff-supported alternative that would omit the surrounding parking lots. AISD sold the school, which was built in 1911, to…

Friday, November 20, 2020 by Elizabeth Pagano

Landmark commission moves to block demolition of Delta Kappa Gamma building downtown

The Historic Landmark Commission has voted unanimously to initiate historic zoning for the Delta Kappa Gamma International Headquarters Building, against the owner’s wishes. Currently, 416 W. 12th St. continues to serve as the office building for Delta Kappa Gamma, which…

Wednesday, November 18, 2020 by Elizabeth Pagano

A ‘modest’ proposal: Lake Austin lot seeks variance

Citing excessive constraints on their land, one Lake Austin property owner went to the Board of Adjustment Nov. 9 seeking a break that would allow them to move forward with building a home. Eric Gomez, representing owner Malia Muir, said…

Friday, November 13, 2020 by Elizabeth Pagano

Landmark commission stalls stone cottage demolition

The fate of a stone cottage on Elizabeth Street hangs in the balance after a postponement at the Historic Landmark Commission last month. Historic Preservation Officer Steve Sadowsky said while the house at 910 W. Elizabeth St. appears to be…

Thursday, November 12, 2020 by Elizabeth Pagano

Shocking none, BoA OKs illuminated sign on the Drag

The Board of Adjustment unanimously approved a variance that will allow a new lighted sign on Guadalupe Street. Most of the questions at the meeting Monday were directed at the city code itself, which apparently prohibits illuminated signs despite their…

Tuesday, November 10, 2020 by Elizabeth Pagano

Board of Adjustment raises renovation cap in Rosedale

Generally speaking, Austin’s Board of Adjustment isn’t wild about granting variances from the Land Development Code to those who have bought their way into a preexisting situation. Luckily for one family in the Rosedale neighborhood, that’s not always the case;…

Wednesday, November 4, 2020 by Elizabeth Pagano

Flannigan and Kelly to face off in December

District 6 is primed for a runoff between incumbent Jimmy Flannigan, who won just over 40 percent of the vote, and challenger Mackenzie Kelly, who earned just over 33 percent. Unlike other City Council districts, a significant portion of the…

Wednesday, November 4, 2020 by Elizabeth Pagano

Alter, Virden will compete in runoff for District 10

As predicted, there will be a runoff in District 10, but in a somewhat surprising turn, the runoff will take place between incumbent Alison Alter and challenger Jennifer Virden. In order to avoid a runoff, candidates must win a simple…

Tuesday, November 3, 2020 by Elizabeth Pagano

City tracks $450M cost of Covid

About eight months in, the Covid-19 pandemic has cost the city $449.9 million. The total, according to an Oct. 30 memo from Deputy Chief Financial Officer Ed Van Eenoo, represents the initial $271.6 spending framework approved by City Council in May…

Tuesday, November 3, 2020 by Elizabeth Pagano

Plan for new Domain substation leaves Council, moves forward

City Council has approved a plan to construct a much-needed Austin Energy substation, hoping it will speed through the city’s zoning process with public input as quickly as possible. Mayor Steve Adler opened the discussion by stressing the urgency of…

Monday, November 2, 2020 by Elizabeth Pagano

City ethics commission wrestles with access during pandemic

In its previous, pre-pandemic incarnation, the city’s Ethics Review Commission met in a back room of City Hall that was often jammed full of commissioners, accusers, defenders, and occasionally, reporters. But the meetings were open to the public, and once…

Monday, November 2, 2020 by Elizabeth Pagano

BoA consciously postpones Galindo variances

A request for two variances in the Galindo neighborhood forced Board of Adjustment members to think realistically about their future actions last month, and determine whether a postponement was really fair to the applicant. Lauren Jones, speaking on behalf of…

Wednesday, October 28, 2020 by Elizabeth Pagano

BoA holds off on approval for ‘flipped’ ADU plan

While a request to build an accessory dwelling unit larger than the existing home was not a sticking point, the lack of a preservation plan for a variance that hinged on preservation did present a problem for the Board of…

Thursday, October 22, 2020 by Elizabeth Pagano

Environmental benefits fail to win Board of Adjustment dock variance

The Board of Adjustment has made it clear that “the greater good” isn’t enough when it comes to getting an exception from the city to build a boat dock. The requested variance would allow the owner of 3002 Scenic Drive…

Thursday, October 15, 2020 by Elizabeth Pagano

Reworked Kemp Street rezoning continues to draw fire

Today, Austin City Council will take up a contentious Montopolis zoning case that opponents say will speed gentrification and wreak havoc on a nearby preserve. But supporters of the reworked plan for 508 Kemp St. tout the creation of affordable…

Monday, October 12, 2020 by Elizabeth Pagano

Memo reveals details of Grove traffic plan

The development is here, years have passed since its final contentious City Council hearing, and now a watered-down traffic program for the 75-acre Grove planned unit development is underway. The original $1.3 million transportation plan created jointly by the Bull…

Thursday, October 8, 2020 by Elizabeth Pagano

Abbott allows Texas bars to open again

Texas bars will soon be allowed to open at 50 percent capacity indoors at the discretion of the presiding county judge, according to a new order from Gov. Greg Abbott. Abbott’s newest executive order applies to areas with “low Covid-19…

Wednesday, October 7, 2020 by Elizabeth Pagano

Money flows into quiet races for Council

All Austin City Council candidates are required to file a campaign finance report 30 days before the election. Most of the candidates for the Nov. 3 election filed their reports Monday or a few days before. Despite the pandemic, there…

Thursday, July 16, 2020 by Elizabeth Pagano

City Council candidates file campaign finance reports

Though the results of Tuesday’s election are still being tallied, Wednesday marked the day that campaign finance reports for City Council elections were due. In addition to casting their votes for president of the United States this year, Austin residents…

Tuesday, June 23, 2020 by Elizabeth Pagano

Montopolis rezonings draw community ire

The Planning Commission is scheduled to hear a cluster of five development cases in Montopolis today, and it hasn’t escaped the notice of community leaders. Eight separate addresses covering more than 10 acres of the Southeast Austin neighborhood are seeking…

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