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Stories by Jack Craver

Friday, February 22, 2019 by Jack Craver

Council passes resolution to ease regulations on affordable housing projects

City Council unanimously approved a resolution Thursday aimed at producing more affordable housing units in the city by easing regulations on subsidized developments.The resolution, authored by Council Member Greg Casar, instructs city staff to draft an ordinance that will exempt…

Thursday, February 21, 2019 by Jack Craver

Legal fight over Planning Commission likely to continue

The city of Austin does not appear any closer to resolving a legal challenge from Attorney General Ken Paxton over the composition of its Planning Commission. So far, nobody on City Council has proposed removing any members in response to…

Wednesday, February 20, 2019 by Jack Craver

Casar makes small changes to affordable housing resolution

City Council appears poised to approve a resolution aimed at easing regulations on affordable housing developers.At a Tuesday work session, Council members offered suggestions, but not significant criticism, of the measure drafted by Council Member Greg Casar. The proposal, which…

Tuesday, February 19, 2019 by Jack Craver

Council members agree: Cars are not the solution

If the Thursday meeting was any indication, every member of City Council believes that the key to fixing Austin’s transportation problems is reducing the population’s reliance on automobiles.Council members peppered city transportation staff with questions and critiques in response to…

Wednesday, February 13, 2019 by Jack Craver

City has tough decisions on affordable housing bond

The city’s affordable housing challenges were thrown into sharp relief during a presentation Tuesday morning by the Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Department to members of City Council.The presentation was before Council’s Housing and Planning Committee, but the chair, Council…

Monday, February 11, 2019 by Jack Craver

Council weighs mixed messages from staff on car dealership

City Council approved a request Thursday to provide water and wastewater service to a car dealership in northwest Travis County over the objections of the city’s Watershed Protection Department.The car lot, 620 Volvo Dealership, is going to be built whether…

Friday, February 8, 2019 by Jack Craver

City Council approves settlement with Austin Country Club

City Council endorsed a settlement Thursday aimed at ending litigation between the city and the Austin Country Club.At issue is whether the club – which is expanding its clubhouse and adding a new dining facility, and likely plans to develop…

Wednesday, February 6, 2019 by Jack Craver

Casar seeks to reduce parking, compatibility requirements for subsidized housing

City Council Member Greg Casar is proposing a measure aimed at maximizing the impact of low-income housing developments in Austin.The measure, which was unveiled Tuesday and will be on Council’s agenda Feb. 21, directs city staff to craft an ordinance…

Tuesday, February 5, 2019 by Jack Craver

City to boost lighting for West Campus

In response to concerns about student safety, the city plans to increase spending to repair and upgrade street lights in the West Campus neighborhood.In a memo released last week, City Manager Spencer Cronk outlined short-term, mid-term and long-term plans to…

Friday, February 1, 2019 by Jack Craver

Council kicks off new year with measures aimed at affordability

In its first official meeting since the election, City Council unanimously approved several measures aimed at Austin’s growing affordability crisis.In an attempt to increase funding for affordable housing in a rapidly gentrifying part of East Austin, Council approved a change…

Wednesday, January 30, 2019 by Jack Craver

City proposes ditching Recycled Reads

Some City Council members are alarmed at a proposal from city staff to phase out Recycled Reads, a service operated by the library system that repurposes, recycles or sells books that are discarded by the library or donated by residents.Staffers…

Tuesday, January 29, 2019 by Jack Craver

Commission divided on whether home of architecture icon should be a landmark

The Planning Commission declined to recommend historic zoning for a 70-year-old home in Old West Austin due to recent changes the property owner made to the house. The case demonstrated the tenuous standards that shape the city’s efforts to preserve…

Monday, January 28, 2019 by Jack Craver

Austin Energy considers scams, rising home values in changes to assistance programs

The city-owned electric utility Austin Energy has been a national leader over the past 30 years in helping customers lower their electric bills through energy efficiency programs.In addition to helping customers of all income levels cut costs by reducing their…

Thursday, January 24, 2019 by Jack Craver

Planning Commission OKs change to 30-year-old development agreement

Homes produce a lot less sewage now than they did 30 years ago. That’s partly why the Planning Commission decided Tuesday to allow the construction of an office building in western Travis County over the objections of city staff.The story…

Wednesday, January 23, 2019 by Jack Craver

A new vision for Brush Square Park

City officials believe that Brush Square Park, home of the O. Henry Museum, the Susanna Dickinson Museum and Austin Fire Station 1, has the potential to be a downtown gem. As it stands, however, it is an inefficiently used piece…

Friday, January 18, 2019 by Jack Craver

City hopes 10-foot fence will deter crime on Red River

The city of Austin is inching toward a “short-term” solution to a downtown alleyway that police and business owners say has become a magnet for criminal activity.Drug dealing, prostitution and human waste are frequent issues in the alley between Beerland…

Friday, January 18, 2019 by Jack Craver

Austin Energy tries to encourage Austinites to buy electric cars

Last week, the city of Austin was awarded a coveted $2.5 million grant from a foundation funded by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to pursue a number of environmental initiatives focused on energy efficiency and green transportation.While the Transportation…

Thursday, January 17, 2019 by Jack Craver

IndyAustin PAC will not be involved in stadium battle

Linda Curtis, the Bastrop-based activist best known for gathering signatures for various citizen initiatives in Austin, has disbanded a political action committee linked to her advocacy group, IndyAustin.The group will continue to engage in advocacy, Curtis said in an interview…

Tuesday, January 15, 2019 by Jack Craver

Legal questions swirl around soccer stadium petition

The organizers of an initiative aimed at stopping the construction of a Major League Soccer stadium in North Central Austin say that the city must hold an election on the matter in May, despite contrary claims from city attorneys.Last week,…

Friday, January 11, 2019 by Jack Craver

City proposes new demolition rules

In response to an audit last year that identified a number of problems in the city’s demolition permitting process, the Development Services Department has recommended a number of changes aimed at streamlining the process and ensuring safety.The recommendations were included…

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