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Stories by Jack Craver

Thursday, July 19, 2018 by Jack Craver

So, what happens to CodeNEXT now?

Last month, a majority of City Council members, including Mayor Steve Adler, said they did not believe that a ballot initiative proposed by anti-CodeNEXT activists could be put before voters this November.While the initiative had received more than enough signatures…

Wednesday, July 18, 2018 by Jack Craver

Do historic districts help or hurt affordability?

There is a wide range of views about how historic preservation rules relate to Austin’s housing affordability problems.Some argue that actions taken to prevent the demolition of old homes advance affordability because, in general, older homes are cheaper than new…

Monday, July 16, 2018 by Jack Craver

What do Austinites want the city budget to prioritize?

In the process of crafting its annual budget to present to City Council, city of Austin staff held 11 events throughout the city in an effort to hear what Austinites think about how their tax dollars should be spent.In a…

Friday, July 13, 2018 by Jack Craver

North Austin apartment complex could include 125 affordable units

In many ways, the zoning case before the Planning Commission this Tuesday involving a proposed 258-unit apartment building was pretty typical. A developer wanted to build more units, and nearby neighbors were unhappy about it.What was unusual about the proposed…

Thursday, July 12, 2018 by Jack Craver

Campaign for city audit says it has enough signatures for referendum

Organizers of a petition to require an audit of city government announced Wednesday that they had gathered enough signatures to put the question before voters this November.A statement released by Citizens for an Accountable Austin, the group that has led…

Wednesday, July 11, 2018 by Jack Craver

Some areas of the city care a lot more about CodeNEXT

What do Austinites think about CodeNEXT? It’s hard to say.A poll conducted by the Austin Chamber of Commerce, which supports CodeNEXT, found 45 percent in favor, 36 percent opposed and 19 percent unsure.When City Council recently held two public hearings…

Thursday, July 5, 2018 by Jack Craver

Council votes to ‘test’ CodeNEXT

City Council has asked the city manager to convene a group of development and design experts who will “test” the new regulations proposed in CodeNEXT.The idea is to have a group of building professionals – architects, engineers, urban planners –…

Tuesday, July 3, 2018 by Jack Craver

CodeNEXT targets major obstacle to density: Compatibility standards

One of the major divisions over CodeNEXT was brought into sharp relief during a Wednesday City Council special called meeting. The issue: compatibility standards and transition zones.Currently, what one can build on a property is based not just on how…

Monday, July 2, 2018 by Jack Craver

Council moves forward one of the largest bonds in Austin history

City Council took a crucial first step late Thursday toward presenting voters with one of the largest bond package in the city’s history.Just before 11 p.m., Council endorsed a $925 million general obligation bond that will include major pots of…

Monday, July 2, 2018 by Jack Craver

Council waives bidding rules for Austin Rowing Club

The Austin Rowing Club is going to get another chance.After hearing dozens of people testify in support of the club, City Council voted unanimously Thursday to give the nonprofit the go-ahead to negotiate a new contract to manage and operate…

Thursday, June 28, 2018 by Jack Craver

Council gears up for bond debate

On Thursday, City Council members will try to put together a bond package that a majority on the dais agree to and that they believe a majority of Austin voters will support at the polls in November.Whatever package Council approves…

Wednesday, June 27, 2018 by Jack Craver

City wants to keep taxi franchise system

The city of Austin doesn’t want to give up on traditional taxicabs, but it acknowledges that they need to adapt to survive in the face of competition from cheaper ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Lyft.On Thursday, City Council will…

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…

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