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Stories by Jack Craver

Tuesday, June 26, 2018 by Jack Craver

Citizen petition demands city audit

This article has been updated. A spokesperson for Council Member Ellen Troxclair said that the proposed audit ordinance is not on the agenda for the next City Council meeting because one of the initial co-sponsors of the proposal withdrew support.A…

Monday, June 25, 2018 by Jack Craver

East side subdivision evokes legacy of racist deed restrictions

There wasn’t much the Planning Commission could do about the subdivision sought by the the owner of an acre of land at 4520 Rimrock Trail, near the Morris Williams Golf Course. The commission was legally required to approve the owner’s…

Wednesday, June 20, 2018 by Jack Craver

Four Council members urge for new direction on CodeNEXT

Four City Council members signaled their discontent with the current direction of CodeNEXT process and announced an effort to develop a new code that is “equitable, sustainable, accessible, vibrant and community-driven.”Surrounded by supporters at a City Hall press conference Tuesday…

Monday, June 18, 2018 by Jack Craver

Council approves changes to anti-lobbying ordinance

Early Friday morning, City Council approved what supporters described as a temporary solution to an ongoing battle between Texas Disposal Systems and other waste contractors over city lobbying rules.The measure approved by Council makes a few small changes to the…

Friday, June 15, 2018 by Jack Craver

Five Council members signal support for major housing bond

Mayor Steve Adler and four other members of City Council announced their support Thursday for putting a major housing bond on the ballot in November.Standing in front of scores of activists on the front steps of City Hall Thursday morning,…

Thursday, June 14, 2018 by Jack Craver

CodeNEXT: Council debates supply and demand

Underpinning much of the debate over development and affordability in Austin is a simple question: Does increasing the number of homes make housing more affordable?At a Wednesday City Council meeting over CodeNEXT, Council members Alison Alter and Leslie Pool suggested…

Wednesday, June 13, 2018 by Jack Craver

Council confronts thorny issue: How much more housing does Austin need?

City Council members engaged in yet another rambling, inconclusive debate over CodeNEXT Tuesday morning, this time over the amount of new housing that the new code should allow to be built.Currently, Council members are not in the process of actually…

Friday, June 8, 2018 by Jack Craver

Report shows good, bad and ugly of Travis County economy

People in Travis County are enjoying the fruits of a strong national and regional economy. A new analysis shows that rates of poverty, crime and educational outcomes are moving in the right direction.Between 2012 and 2016, crime dropped by 27…

Thursday, June 7, 2018 by Jack Craver

Business leaders raise concerns about homelessness

It’s not just advocates for the homeless who have serious concerns about homelessness downtown. Businesses say that the mass of misery on the streets is a threat to downtown commerce and the city’s ability to attract visitors.The effects of the…

Thursday, June 7, 2018 by Jack Craver

CodeNEXT: Council agrees on big things but disagrees on key details

During their first day of deliberations on CodeNEXT, City Council members signaled agreement on a number of high-level statements about encouraging the construction of more housing along transportation corridors and not adding significant density to the interior of neighborhoods.And yet,…

Tuesday, June 5, 2018 by Jack Craver

The debate over decriminalizing homelessness

A campaign to decriminalize behaviors associated with homelessness got a boost Monday from the Public Safety Commission, which voted to approve a resolution that instructs the city manager to review ordinances that may “create barriers for people who are trying…

Friday, June 1, 2018 by Jack Craver

City wants to put the word out about affordable housing

What is an “affordable unit”? Who qualifies for one? And above all else, where are these units, and how do you get one?A resolution approved unanimously on Thursday by the City Council Housing and Planning Committee asks city staff to…

Thursday, May 31, 2018 by Jack Craver

Planning commissioners feeling (relatively) good about CodeNEXT

Despite their own differences in opinion on development and the fever-pitch rhetoric surrounding CodeNEXT at City Hall, members of the Planning Commission generally have a positive outlook on the controversial overhaul of the Land Development Code.“I’m not going to say…

Friday, May 25, 2018 by Jack Craver

Council approves $110M for Waller Creek chain of parks

City Council voted Thursday to pump another $110 million into the Waller Creek chain of parks.The money committed by the city is part of a long-term $375 million project to turn 35 acres of land along the creek into a…

Thursday, May 24, 2018 by Jack Craver

Audit says city needs better data on homeless population

What does it mean to be homeless? It depends who you ask.The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development applies the term to a variety of living situations, including people living in places “not meant for human habitation,” those in…

Wednesday, May 23, 2018 by Jack Craver

Adler tries to find consensus on CodeNEXT

As City Council prepares to begin deliberations on CodeNEXT next month, Mayor Steve Adler acknowledged Tuesday that no other issue that he has confronted during his three and a half years in office has divided the community as much as…

Monday, May 21, 2018 by Jack Craver

CodeNEXT: What’s the plan, here?

After seeing the city spend five years and $8.5 million on CodeNEXT, some members of the Planning Commission are worried that the final product will be little more than a “plan to plan.”Currently, the commission is in the process of…

Wednesday, May 16, 2018 by Jack Craver

Planning commissioners spar over reduced lot sizes in CodeNEXT

The 13 volunteer citizens appointed to the city Planning Commission spent eight grueling hours Monday night proposing and debating changes to CodeNEXT.It was a stark contrast to the the treatment the proposed code overhaul received from the city’s other land…

Tuesday, May 15, 2018 by Jack Craver

Planning commissioners propose ‘anti-McMansion ordinance’ for CodeNEXT

Three members of the Planning Commission have proposed a series of “anti-displacement” measures in CodeNEXT that they say will discourage demolitions of existing low-cost housing and incentivize the construction of smaller units that middle-income people can afford.Speaking to reporters at…

Monday, May 14, 2018 by Jack Craver

Zoning and Platting Commission recommends scrapping CodeNEXT entirely

One of the city’s two citizen land use commissions has decided that CodeNEXT, the overhaul of the city’s Land Development Code that has been in the works for five years and has cost the city $8.5 million, is a lost…

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