Stories by Jack Craver

Tuesday, March 28, 2017 by Jack Craver

City utilities devise plan to help with unpaid bills

Austin’s two city-owned utilities are teaming up to help some of the city’s most indebted customers catch up on unpaid bills. Beginning this summer, the joint effort between Austin Energy and Austin Water will target 543 customers who participate in…

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Monday, March 20, 2017 by Jack Craver

City moves forward on major park in Onion Creek area

The city is trying to make the best out of a bad situation by turning flood-ravaged land near Onion Creek into one of Austin’s premier open spaces. Earlier this month, City Council approved a resolution to begin the process of…

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Thursday, March 16, 2017 by Jack Craver

What really happened with the new ethics ordinance?

An ordinance approved by City Council last month aims to strengthen the Ethics Review Commission, the citizen panel tasked with investigating and judging ethics complaints made against city officials. The ordinance, which had been in the works for about a…

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017 by Jack Craver

Report inspires city leaders to look at gentrification in CodeNEXT

Two weeks ago, a draft report authored by a city task force accused CodeNEXT, the proposed overhaul of the city’s land use rules, of being a “tool of institutionalized racism.” The report, which was leaked to media outlets and reported…

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Friday, March 10, 2017 by Jack Craver

Ethics Review Commission weighs campaign finance proposal

Members of the city’s Ethics Review Commission are considering a number of potential changes to Austin’s campaign finance rules in the wake of a federal court ruling that blocked enforcement of certain restrictions on candidate fundraising. In a ruling last…

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Thursday, February 23, 2017 by Jack Craver

Council still puzzled about CodeNEXT

Most City Council members still don’t know what to make of the first draft of CodeNEXT, the long-anticipated overhaul of the city’s zoning code that was first unveiled late last month. On Wednesday, the consultants hired to craft the draft…

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017 by Jack Craver

Council denies controversial waste disposal contract

City Council voted unanimously last week to kill a garbage collection contract after outcries from both environmentalists and waste hauling companies that claimed they would be hurt by the proposed deal between the city and Republic Services, a Phoenix-based waste…

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Tuesday, February 21, 2017 by Jack Craver

Confusion and frustration continue over Council committees

City Council appears united in the belief that its committee system must change, but debate on Thursday about who will serve on what committee shows that Council members have still not reached a consensus on what exactly the new system…

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Friday, February 17, 2017 by Jack Craver

Council approves resolution aimed at creating more Capitol View Corridors

City Council approved a resolution Thursday aimed at preserving “visual corridors” of the state Capitol in East Austin. Brought forward by Council Member Ora Houston – who in a prepared statement described the view of the Capitol that she grew…

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Monday, February 13, 2017 by Jack Craver

Tax credits could provide big increase in affordable housing units on Goodrich Ave.

With the assistance of the state and federal government, Pathways at Goodrich Place, a public housing complex at 2126 Goodrich Ave., may soon have more than three times as many apartment units serving residents who otherwise couldn’t afford to live…

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Friday, February 10, 2017 by Jack Craver

Council selects search firm to find new city manager

City Council settled on a firm to conduct the search for a new city manager Thursday following a convoluted and unusual process in which each Council member ranked the three firms competing for the contract. Council ultimately voted 7-4 to…

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Wednesday, February 8, 2017 by Jack Craver

What will Trump mean for Austin?

In addition to bracing for a flurry of laws proposed at the state legislature aimed at constraining the power of local governments, City Council is looking ahead at the first year in a decade in which its majority is at…

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Friday, February 3, 2017 by Jack Craver

Council approves solar-ready resolution

In spite of objections from the Home Builders Association of Greater Austin, City Council approved a resolution Thursday aimed at making all future buildings in the city “solar-ready.” The resolution, which passed 10-1, with only Council Member Ellen Troxclair in…

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Wednesday, February 1, 2017 by Jack Craver

Council gets its first look at CodeNEXT

It’s finally here. At least the first draft. For the first time, City Council members got a presentation on CodeNEXT, the long-awaited rewrite of the city’s Land Development Code. The report detailed ways in which city staff, in collaboration with…

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Tuesday, January 31, 2017 by Jack Craver

Austin Energy makes good on energy efficiency goals

Austin Energy officials say the city-owned utility is making good on a lot of the ambitious energy efficiency goals set out for it in the Resource, Generation and Climate Protection Plan approved by City Council in December 2014. Thirty-one percent…

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Friday, January 27, 2017 by Jack Craver

Council approves extended hours for five Red River music venues

Over the objections of a number of neighbors and nearby hotels, City Council approved a six-month pilot program Thursday that will allow a handful of bars on Red River Street to play outdoor live music one hour later into the…

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Wednesday, January 25, 2017 by Jack Craver

How do demolitions affect Austin’s affordable housing stock?

As Austin grapples with its affordability crisis, much of the focus has been on how city leaders can incentivize developers to build new housing that includes units reserved for residents at certain income levels. Some city leaders, however, suggest that…

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Wednesday, January 25, 2017 by Jack Craver

What will the Lege do to Austin this year?

The debate over local control that will likely play out in the coming months at the Texas Capitol was on display at a panel Tuesday morning hosted by Leadership Austin. In a discussion that often veered into debate, three experts…

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Monday, January 23, 2017 by Jack Craver

Arguments continue over neighborhood plan contact teams

What’s the difference between a neighborhood association and a neighborhood plan contact team? According to the city of Austin, there’s a big difference. Neighborhood associations, which can be started by anyone, have no formal relationship with city government, whereas neighborhood…

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Friday, January 20, 2017 by Jack Craver

Junior League contends with concerns over heritage trees

After a great deal of hand-wringing over the future of three heritage trees, the city’s Environmental Commission recommended that the Junior League of Austin be granted the several variances it needs to build a new facility in Northwest Austin at…

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