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Stories by Jack Craver

Friday, May 11, 2018 by Jack Craver

Council rejects attempt to remove Planning commissioners

Following an occasionally heated debate, City Council voted down a proposal Thursday that would have declared the current membership of the Planning Commission to be in violation of the city charter.At issue is a provision of the charter, approved by…

Thursday, May 10, 2018 by Jack Craver

Who has a ‘direct or indirect interest’ in real estate? It depends who you ask

City Council appears divided over what do about a provision of the city charter that requires two-thirds of the members of the Planning Commission to be “lay members” who are not “directly or indirectly connected with real estate or land…

Wednesday, May 9, 2018 by Jack Craver

Council members: APD should not be allowed to sell guns

In 2016, City Council approved a contract that allowed the Austin Police Department to trade more than 1,700 handguns to an arms dealer as part of a deal to acquire new weapons for police officers.Council Member Alison Alter doesn’t think…

Monday, May 7, 2018 by Jack Craver

Garbage companies fight over landfill standards

Over the past two years, City Council has faced challenges in deciding who to pay to haul and dispose of the large amount of trash generated by city facilities.One of the big local trash players, Texas Disposal Systems, has claimed…

Thursday, May 3, 2018 by Jack Craver

Divisions over city’s future on display at CodeNEXT forum

After a similarly lengthy forum on Saturday, members of the city’s two land use commissions – the Planning Commission and the Zoning and Platting Commission – endured four hours of public testimony Tuesday night over CodeNEXT, the proposed overhaul of…

Tuesday, May 1, 2018 by Jack Craver

Council wants to help homeowners resist ‘predatory home flipping’

City Council Member Delia Garza has no interest in selling her home in Southeast Austin, but she was intrigued by a letter she received in the mail recently from somebody interested in buying it.An ominous all-caps headline on the yellow…

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 by Jack Craver

Despite hurt feelings, Council members embrace electric scooters

Rushing to respond to electric scooters that have taken over downtown, City Council will consider an ordinance on Thursday to establish rules regarding the increasingly popular devices.The proposed ordinance, drafted by city transportation staff, will allow the Transportation Department to…

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 by Jack Craver

Planning Commissioners zero in on CodeNEXT mapping

CodeNEXT, the seemingly interminable process of rewriting the city’s land use regulations, has been guided by two distinct goals. The first is to provide a simpler code that is easier for the layperson to understand, including by introducing new language…

Thursday, April 19, 2018 by Jack Craver

Planning Commission skeptical of apartment complex in Southeast Austin

Things aren’t looking good for a landowner in Southeast Austin hoping to turn a 10-acre tract into a 125-unit apartment community.At its latest meeting, few members of the Planning Commission voiced support for the request by the property owners, Angelos…

Tuesday, April 17, 2018 by Jack Craver

Affordability trumps traffic concerns for Govalle apartment complex

The Planning Commission recommended that City Council approve a zoning change that will allow a 290-unit apartment complex to be built at 1125 Shady Lane, near the intersection of Bolm Road and Airport Boulevard.The commission voted 7-4 to change the…

Friday, April 13, 2018 by Jack Craver

Grove PUD remains in limbo

The drama over the Grove at Shoal Creek may be far from over. The project has been tangled in city bureaucracy ever since City Council greenlighted the controversial planned unit development at the corner of 45th Street and Bull Creek…

Wednesday, April 11, 2018 by Jack Craver

How can city government help Austin parents with child care?

The high cost of day care, which can easily run $1,000 per month, is one of a number of expenses that are making the city increasingly inhospitable to working- and middle-class families. City Council is exploring ways to make child care…

Tuesday, April 10, 2018 by Jack Craver

Housing bond forces tough decisions for Council members

While three City Council members say they want to present an affordable housing bond to voters worth between $250 million and $300 million, it is unclear how many others on the dais are in favor of such a large figure.First,…

Tuesday, April 10, 2018 by Jack Craver

City proposes ways to reduce permitting costs for homeowners

In November of last year, City Council approved a resolution aimed at making it easier and cheaper for homeowners to repair or renovate their houses.The resolution asked the Development Services Department to consider setting up a separate, simpler permitting process…

Friday, April 6, 2018 by Jack Craver

Public Safety Commission: Who polices the police?

Last month, members of the Public Safety Commission voiced concerns about the lack of consistent rules or guidelines on investigating senior members of the police, fire and emergency medical services departments for harassment or discrimination.On Monday, a representative of the…

Thursday, April 5, 2018 by Jack Craver

Council braces for another tight budget cycle amid threats from Legislature

City Council will have to raise property taxes by 5 percent in the Fiscal Year 2018-19 budget just to continue funding existing programs, according to a financial forecast prepared by the city budget office.In a presentation to Council members on…

Wednesday, April 4, 2018 by Jack Craver

Garza, Renteria, Casar unveil Housing Justice Agenda

Three City Council members say they are united to push for a series of aggressive affordable housing measures, including a major increase in housing subsidies and reforms of the land development code.At a panel at the Austin Convention Center Tuesday…

Tuesday, April 3, 2018 by Jack Craver

Will Manley be made police chief? City manager remains mum

In spite of the praise he has received from city leaders for his response to the Austin bombings, Interim Police Chief Brian Manley is not necessarily a shoo-in to be the next permanent police chief.City Manager Spencer Cronk is still…

Thursday, March 29, 2018 by Jack Craver

Council members push for $300M affordable housing bond

If Austin is going to do something about its affordability crisis, many on City Council believe that it will take a massive infusion of public funds to build housing that is affordable to low-income and working-class residents.To that end, at…

Wednesday, March 28, 2018 by Jack Craver

Adler to developers: CodeNEXT must provide more housing

Mayor Steve Adler told members of Austin’s real estate industry Tuesday that the city is making it easier to build and that he hopes the potential overhaul of the city’s Land Development Code will allow for much greater density on…

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