Stories by Jack Craver

Monday, February 11, 2019 by Jack Craver

Council weighs mixed messages from staff on car dealership

City Council approved a request Thursday to provide water and wastewater service to a car dealership in northwest Travis County over the objections of the city’s Watershed Protection Department.The car lot, 620 Volvo Dealership, is going to be built whether…

Friday, February 8, 2019 by Jack Craver

City Council approves settlement with Austin Country Club

City Council endorsed a settlement Thursday aimed at ending litigation between the city and the Austin Country Club.At issue is whether the club – which is expanding its clubhouse and adding a new dining facility, and likely plans to develop…

Wednesday, February 6, 2019 by Jack Craver

Casar seeks to reduce parking, compatibility requirements for subsidized housing

City Council Member Greg Casar is proposing a measure aimed at maximizing the impact of low-income housing developments in Austin.The measure, which was unveiled Tuesday and will be on Council’s agenda Feb. 21, directs city staff to craft an ordinance…

Tuesday, February 5, 2019 by Jack Craver

City to boost lighting for West Campus

In response to concerns about student safety, the city plans to increase spending to repair and upgrade street lights in the West Campus neighborhood.In a memo released last week, City Manager Spencer Cronk outlined short-term, mid-term and long-term plans to…

Friday, February 1, 2019 by Jack Craver

Council kicks off new year with measures aimed at affordability

In its first official meeting since the election, City Council unanimously approved several measures aimed at Austin’s growing affordability crisis.In an attempt to increase funding for affordable housing in a rapidly gentrifying part of East Austin, Council approved a change…

Wednesday, January 30, 2019 by Jack Craver

City proposes ditching Recycled Reads

Some City Council members are alarmed at a proposal from city staff to phase out Recycled Reads, a service operated by the library system that repurposes, recycles or sells books that are discarded by the library or donated by residents.Staffers…

Tuesday, January 29, 2019 by Jack Craver

Commission divided on whether home of architecture icon should be a landmark

The Planning Commission declined to recommend historic zoning for a 70-year-old home in Old West Austin due to recent changes the property owner made to the house. The case demonstrated the tenuous standards that shape the city’s efforts to preserve…

Monday, January 28, 2019 by Jack Craver

Austin Energy considers scams, rising home values in changes to assistance programs

The city-owned electric utility Austin Energy has been a national leader over the past 30 years in helping customers lower their electric bills through energy efficiency programs.In addition to helping customers of all income levels cut costs by reducing their…

Thursday, January 24, 2019 by Jack Craver

Planning Commission OKs change to 30-year-old development agreement

Homes produce a lot less sewage now than they did 30 years ago. That’s partly why the Planning Commission decided Tuesday to allow the construction of an office building in western Travis County over the objections of city staff.The story…

Wednesday, January 23, 2019 by Jack Craver

A new vision for Brush Square Park

City officials believe that Brush Square Park, home of the O. Henry Museum, the Susanna Dickinson Museum and Austin Fire Station 1, has the potential to be a downtown gem. As it stands, however, it is an inefficiently used piece…

Friday, January 18, 2019 by Jack Craver

City hopes 10-foot fence will deter crime on Red River

The city of Austin is inching toward a “short-term” solution to a downtown alleyway that police and business owners say has become a magnet for criminal activity.Drug dealing, prostitution and human waste are frequent issues in the alley between Beerland…

Friday, January 18, 2019 by Jack Craver

Austin Energy tries to encourage Austinites to buy electric cars

Last week, the city of Austin was awarded a coveted $2.5 million grant from a foundation funded by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to pursue a number of environmental initiatives focused on energy efficiency and green transportation.While the Transportation…

Thursday, January 17, 2019 by Jack Craver

IndyAustin PAC will not be involved in stadium battle

Linda Curtis, the Bastrop-based activist best known for gathering signatures for various citizen initiatives in Austin, has disbanded a political action committee linked to her advocacy group, IndyAustin.The group will continue to engage in advocacy, Curtis said in an interview…

Tuesday, January 15, 2019 by Jack Craver

Legal questions swirl around soccer stadium petition

The organizers of an initiative aimed at stopping the construction of a Major League Soccer stadium in North Central Austin say that the city must hold an election on the matter in May, despite contrary claims from city attorneys.Last week,…

Friday, January 11, 2019 by Jack Craver

City proposes new demolition rules

In response to an audit last year that identified a number of problems in the city’s demolition permitting process, the Development Services Department has recommended a number of changes aimed at streamlining the process and ensuring safety.The recommendations were included…

Thursday, January 10, 2019 by Jack Craver

City employee forced out for using city computer for food trucks

A city employee has been fired after city auditors accused him of using his city computer to manage two food trucks that he owns. For his part, the employee claims that he is being treated unfairly and that his mistakes…

Tuesday, January 8, 2019 by Jack Craver

Adler calls on Council to do ‘big things,’ Garza elected mayor pro tem

Mayor Steve Adler began his new four-year term on an optimistic note, saying that the city is “poised to get some really big things done” when it comes to addressing Austin’s major challenges, notably housing and transportation.Adler, along with two…

Tuesday, January 8, 2019 by Jack Craver

North Austin neighborhood group doesn’t want more renters

A family seeking to sell roughly 30 acres of undeveloped property in North Austin won approval last month from the Zoning and Platting Commission for a zoning change that will allow the land to be developed into over 130 homes,…

Monday, January 7, 2019 by Jack Craver

Traffic concerns for proposed Braker Lane development give Zoning Commission pause

At the corner of Braker Lane and Dessau Road sits an oddly shaped 0.9-acre parcel of land that has been the subject of at least two heated zoning disputes.In mid-2016, the owner of 1308 E. Braker Lane, Sinh Tron Le,…

Friday, January 4, 2019 by Jack Craver

Arbitrator rules against city contractor in home repair case

An independent arbitrator has ruled in favor of a homeowner who accused a contractor hired by the city of not doing the necessary work to repair her home and ultimately leaving her house in worse shape than it was originally.Suzanne…

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