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Stories by Jack Craver

Tuesday, September 4, 2018 by Jack Craver

City of Austin considers opioid strategies

The city of Austin is aiming to develop a coordinated effort with Travis County, law enforcement and health agencies to fight opioid addiction.An Aug. 30 memo to City Council from Stephanie Hayden, director of the Austin Department of Health and…

Friday, August 31, 2018 by Jack Craver

Council reluctantly approves Fred McGhee to commission

City Council on Thursday voted to approve the appointment of local activist Fred McGhee to the Community Development Commission but also condemned McGhee for sexually charged comments he made to a city staffer as a member of the commission last…

Wednesday, August 29, 2018 by Jack Craver

Council considers which strings to attach to corporate incentives

After postponing action earlier this month, on Thursday City Council will again consider establishing new rules regarding economic incentives for businesses. Council members plan on considering a number of amendments to the proposal aimed at ensuring that public dollars are…

Tuesday, August 28, 2018 by Jack Craver

Council to consider changes to Community Development Commission

The city of Austin may be dealing with yet another headache over who gets to sit on a city commission and who should or can be removed.The Community Development Commission is responsible for overseeing the implementation of projects funded by…

Monday, August 27, 2018 by Jack Craver

Shoal Creek plan includes wins, losses for density advocates

On Thursday, City Council unanimously approved the North Shoal Creek Neighborhood Plan, a document that outlines how the neighborhood, which is bound by MoPac Expressway, U.S. Highway 183, Burnet Road and Anderson Lane, will accommodate future population growth.The plan does…

Friday, August 24, 2018 by Jack Craver

Affordable housing crisis: To conserve or to create?

As Austin struggles with an ongoing shortage of affordable housing, some housing activists and elected officials believe the city’s top priority should be creating new housing, both by allowing the market to build new units that target various income levels…

Thursday, August 23, 2018 by Jack Craver

How can Austin incentivize affordable housing?

Members of City Council believe it’s time for a change to the city’s density bonus programs.Currently, Austin has 13 “development incentive programs” that offer developers additional building entitlements if they provide a certain amount of housing that is affordable to…

Wednesday, August 22, 2018 by Jack Craver

North Shoal Creek plan prompts debate over density

City Council may have given up on CodeNEXT, the proposed comprehensive rewrite of the city’s Land Development Code, but the debate over growth and development is certainly not going away.On Thursday, Council will take up the North Shoal Creek Neighborhood…

Tuesday, August 21, 2018 by Jack Craver

Despite progress, builders complain of long waits for permits

Among the many factors blamed for Austin’s affordability crisis are the city’s notoriously complicated development regulations.The development review process is so cumbersome, critics say, that builders have to hire agents to get their permits approved, creating a cost that is…

Monday, August 20, 2018 by Jack Craver

Do ‘flag lots’ threaten neighborhood character?

No neighbors voiced opposition to the plans, but two members of the Planning Commission last Tuesday voiced concern about a developer’s attempt to subdivide three large lots in East Austin to create “flag lots” that would each include two homes.The…

Friday, August 17, 2018 by Jack Craver

City budget boosts spending for homelessness services

The new city manager and City Council agree: The city needs more money to address the homelessness situation.The proposed Fiscal Year 2018-19 budget submitted by City Manager Spencer Cronk includes $3.1 million in new spending on homelessness-related services. That’s on…

Thursday, August 16, 2018 by Jack Craver

Planning Commission wonders what to do after CodeNEXT

CodeNEXT might be dead, but most members of the Planning Commission seem to agree that they can’t give up on making big changes to the Land Development Code.For over a year, discussion of CodeNEXT has been a standing item on…

Monday, August 13, 2018 by Jack Craver

Council faces legal action over wording of two ballot initiatives

Supporters of two ballot initiatives are threatening legal action against the city of Austin over ballot language that they claim City Council crafted to mislead voters.Just after midnight on Friday, Council approved language for 11 separate propositions that voters will…

Friday, August 10, 2018 by Jack Craver

Council boots big booting fees

City Council approved a measure Thursday to reduce the amount that drivers can be charged to have boots removed from their illegally parked cars.Council voted in favor of an ordinance that will bar booting companies from charging more than $50…

Thursday, August 9, 2018 by Jack Craver

Council seeks to steer incentives from big business to local business

In Austin, the city’s practice of providing financial incentives for companies to relocate or move operations here has garnered plenty of criticism, ranging from outright opposition to the practice to concerns about whether the incentives are leading to jobs for…

Tuesday, August 7, 2018 by Jack Craver

For game-changing public transit, Austin needs the feds to chip in

Austin and the surrounding metro area needs a transportation game-changer, and it’s not going to come from more roads. And to build it, we’ll need some help from Washington, D.C.That was the message that officials from Capital Metro delivered to…

Tuesday, July 31, 2018 by Jack Craver

Battle over housing policy defines District 3 race

Growth, gentrification and CodeNEXT are at the center of the race for City Council District 3.Most of the district is made up of neighborhoods on both sides of the Colorado River that are east of Interstate 35. However, the district…

Friday, July 27, 2018 by Jack Craver

Planning Commission hears about 30-mile loop of urban trails

City transportation officials have a grand vision to dramatically expand the Shoal Creek Trail and eventually connect it to a 30-mile loop of trails around the northern half of the city.But it’s anybody’s guess when that vision will be realized,…

Wednesday, July 25, 2018 by Jack Craver

Spirit of East Austin lives on

After a lengthy public engagement process, the city of Austin has released a report detailing key steps the city can take to improve services and quality of life for those living in Austin’s “eastern crescent.”During the spring of 2017, city…

Friday, July 20, 2018 by Jack Craver

Zoning commission flirts with stalling Champion project

Opponents of the Champion tract development had yet another opportunity to air their grievances against the proposed multifamily development Tuesday night.Their efforts to stall the project were nearly successful due to low attendance at the Zoning and Platting Commission meeting…

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