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

Stories by Elizabeth Pagano

Defining Del Valle

When you look at a map, it’s pretty easy to distinguish man-made boundaries from the rivers and oceans that have been codified into borders. The edges of Austin have both kinds of boundary lines. Some lines on the map flow…

City postpones skate shop demolition

A groundswell of support for a beloved Austin skate shop did not fall upon unsympathetic ears at the Historic Landmark Commission. Austin Community College was seeking a permit to demolish No-Comply Skate Shop at 812 W. 12th St. to make…

West Campus sign variance remains on hold after illuminating discussion

Once again, an accidental ban on illuminated signs has forced developers to seek a variance from an unintentional city statute.  Current city code prohibits illuminated signs in the University Neighborhood Overlay (UNO). While the prohibition was made in error, it…

BoA postpones parking variance for want of a better hardship

Parking requirements could threaten the affordability of a North Central Austin apartment complex. But finding no hardship – aside from the Land Development Code itself – Board of Adjustment members have asked for more information to better consider a variance…

City mistakes and heritage tree pave the way for East Austin variance

Unaware that it was prohibited by city code, Daniel Salazar carefully nestled his new home against his back property line. The project was approved by the city and the mistake was not identified until after the structure was built.  As…

More height for Lamar Beach property means more access for all

With the help of a variance from the city’s Board of Adjustment, a new development on a puzzle of a downtown parcel will be moving forward, connecting a neighborhood to the lake in the process. Nikelle Meade, representing Pressler RRI,…

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City Council makes plans for City Hall return

In news that will be welcomed by those who have grown tired of staring at digital grids of local officials, City Council members have begun to make plans to hold in-person meetings again. Though there is no firm date, and…

Taking cues from audit, Austin continues to shore up its wildfire prevention strategy

Thanks to climate change, Austinites can expect to see more storms, floods and fires in their future. This week, City Council’s Audit and Finance Committee heard what steps the Fire Department has taken to address the threat of wildfires following…

Ethics commissioners dismiss complaint against Harper-Madison

An ethics complaint against Mayor Pro Tem Natasha Harper-Madison was automatically dismissed Wednesday, May 12, after the Ethics Review Commission failed to reach a majority six votes on a motion to postpone or a separate motion to dismiss.  The latter…

With state change, Board of Adjustment could consider new hardships

A move by the Texas Legislature could change the way the city grants variances to the Land Development Code. The bill, House Bill 1475, would add another type of hardship for the Board of Adjustment to consider – the financial…

Investigation finds theft and resale at Austin Energy

A city investigation has found that an employee stole and sold more than $130,000 worth of items from Austin Energy. A letter from Rodney Stockton’s attorney, Rick Cofer, clarified that Stockton does not admit responsibility for all of the missing items.…

Libraries set to begin reopening in May, despite City Council resolution

Amid concerns about vaccination rates, City Council has pushed back the day Austin Public Library employees will return to their physical workplaces. The change is not expected to impact a plan to begin reopening public libraries on May 10. “I…

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