Stories by Jack Craver

Friday, October 9, 2015 by Jack Craver

Council urges restraint in reporting immigrants to ICE

City Council is putting pressure on the Travis County Sheriff’s Office to stop reporting undocumented immigrants who are processed at the county jail to immigration authorities.While the body voted Thursday to approve a one-year, $6.58 million interlocal agreement with the…

Friday, October 9, 2015 by Jack Craver

Connectivity concerns complicate Cooper Lane rezoning

A zoning change requested for 30 new condominium units on Cooper Lane prompted some hard questions for city staff at a Tuesday meeting of the Zoning and Platting Commission.The panel voted overwhelmingly to change the zoning for the parcels at…

Friday, October 2, 2015 by Jack Craver

Former Planning commissioners give newbies a piece of their mind

It’s not easy serving on a city land-use commission. If sitting through meetings that often stretch into the early morning hours isn’t bad enough, those who submit to the task are mere volunteers and thus forced to study up on…

Wednesday, September 30, 2015 by Jack Craver

Building professionals distraught over proposed city lobbying changes

Area engineers and others in the building industry showed up to a Monday meeting of the Ethics Review Commission to voice concerns over a proposal that would likely require many of them to register as lobbyists because of their regular…

Tuesday, September 29, 2015 by Jack Craver

Zimmerman will face ethics charges

Members of the Ethics Review Commission didn’t seem to know what to make of the four complaints lodged against Austin City Council Member Don Zimmerman. The charges, leveled by Mark Walters, a law clerk, forced the panel to explore the…

Friday, September 25, 2015 by Jack Craver

LCRA’s transmission business prospers in wake of deregulation

Typically it’s not public entities that benefit from deregulation, but a 1999 law deregulating Texas’ electricity-generation market has been a boon for the Lower Colorado River Authority’s transmission business.“It’s a future of continued growth,” said Ross Phillips, LCRA executive vice…

Wednesday, September 23, 2015 by Jack Craver

Council pursues unusual process for STRs

The debate over short-term rentals isn’t over in Austin. Not even close. After approving a series of recommendations for future restrictions Tuesday, City Council delayed further action on its ongoing resolution until Oct. 8.While the goal of the resolution was…

Tuesday, September 22, 2015 by Jack Craver

HEB asks commission to help neighbors

One after another, the neighbors emphasized that they were not anti-HEB. But in the midst of a pronounced spike in traffic fatalities throughout the city, Park Ridge neighborhood residents came to voice their concerns at a Tuesday meeting of the…

Thursday, September 17, 2015 by Jack Craver

Zoning Commission delays Austin Oaks PUD indefinitely

The Austin Oaks Planned Unit Development (PUD) drama will live to see many more days. But some members of the Zoning and Platting Commission are not happy about it.“When we heard this case before, on July 7th, we were promised…

Wednesday, September 16, 2015 by Jack Craver

Committee moves short-term rental discussion on to Council

Proposed regulations for short-term rentals will be on City Council’s agenda Thursday after a Council committee hearing displayed consensus from members and staff that the city needs to more strictly regulate the short-term rental market.The committee did not vote to…

Wednesday, September 9, 2015 by Jack Craver

When is it OK to postpone a project?

When should a project be postponed?While some commissioners believe projects that are in line with code should be approved quickly, others believe that no project should be OK’d without first hearing from those opposed to it.A debate over a proposed…

Friday, September 4, 2015 by Jack Craver

Confusion reigns over Zoning and Platting Commission’s duties

The Zoning and Platting Commission’s attempts to work more closely with the Planning Commission continue to encounter confusion and pushback from commissioners, city staff and City Council.For starters, Chair Gabriel Rojas is still smarting over Council’s decision last month to…

Thursday, September 3, 2015 by Jack Craver

Commission opts to proceed with complaint against Historic Landmark commissioner

Few members of the Ethics Review Commission indicated at a Monday hearing whether they believed that ArijArif Panju, a member of the Historic Landmark Commission, violated city conflict-of-interest rules over votes he took on a policy affecting his neighborhood. The…

Wednesday, September 2, 2015 by Jack Craver

Ethics Commission begins to examine proposed lobbying changes

The Ethics Review Commission is under pressure to deal quickly with proposed changes to city lobbying rules.On Monday, City Council Member Leslie Pool, the chief backer of a resolution directing the city manager to draft a substantial revision to the…

Friday, August 28, 2015 by Jack Craver

Committee is unanimous: Caswell Center tennis players need parking spots

A vacant court isn’t all it takes to play tennis in Austin. It also takes a vacant parking spot.To that end, City Council’s Open Space, Environment and Sustainability Committee voted unanimously Wednesday to recommend that 28 parking spaces be transferred…

Friday, August 21, 2015 by Jack Craver

Planning Commission delays action on new Crestview church redevelopment proposal

It’s Round 2 in the fight between Crestview neighborhood activists and developer David Kahn.The neighborhood won the first round in May, when City Council declined to endorse Kahn’s request for a zoning change to build a 70,000-square-foot office complex and…

Monday, August 17, 2015 by Jack Craver

Council denies landmark designation for Lightsey-Russell House

The yellow-clad neighbors who came out to urge preservation of the Lightsey-Russell House struck a chord with City Council, but not one strong enough to save the 83-year-old home at 1805 Lightsey Road from demolition.With a seemingly heavy heart, Mayor…

Friday, August 14, 2015 by Jack Craver

Planning Commission to take a closer look at neighborhood infill tools

Most members of the Planning Commission appear to believe that something should change about city infill tools attached to neighborhood plans, but none appear certain about what specifically should change.After a half-hour discussion with city staff about how neighborhoods dealing…

Tuesday, August 11, 2015 by Jack Craver

ZAP delays decision on North Austin subdivision amid neighbor complaints

The Zoning and Platting Commission delayed action on a proposed multiuse development in North Austin after residents from the area showed up to register their disapproval of the anticipated increase in traffic.The commission, which was missing three of its 11…

Thursday, August 6, 2015 by Jack Craver

Planning Commission OKs landmark status for former home of legendary businesswoman

Celebrating female entrepreneurship, racial harmony and, of course, beautiful architecture, the Planning Commission voted to recommend historic zoning for an 85-year-old house at 113 West 33rd St. last week.After hearing Steve Sadowsky, the Historic Preservation Officer for the city, argue…

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