Stories by Jessi Devenyns

Wednesday, January 22, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Commission calls city’s approach to South Austin planning “piecemeal”

Cases that come before the Zoning and Platting Commission are reviewed individually. But when a zoning request change at 12001 S. Interstate 35 came up at the Jan. 7 meeting, it caused the commission to lament the overall process for…

Tuesday, January 21, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Planning Commission supports request for 400-foot buildings in East Austin

There are not many places in the city where buildings tower 400 feet into the sky. However, there is a chance that the areas of Austin where these skyscrapers are permitted are about to expand.In a 9-0-1 vote, the Planning…

Friday, January 17, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

BOA denies a new build designed for a new decade

When the first Lake Austin Watershed Ordinance went into effect in 1980, some properties had development rights curtailed overnight. The property at 2803 Edgewater Drive is one of those cases where the ordinance limited the buildable area on the property’s…

Thursday, January 16, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Planning Commission recommends Rendon house for historic zoning over owner’s wishes

The Planning Commission took another step Jan. 14 to pave the way for historic zoning for the home of the late Edward Rendon Sr. despite continued opposition from one of Rendon’s 16 heirs.With a vote in favor of historic zoning,…

Thursday, January 16, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

BoA discusses how many postponements are too many

Postponement requests are available to applicants, neighbors and city staff who require extra time to organize their cases for the Board of Adjustment. However, there are certain cases that come before the board where a postponement request is a red…

Tuesday, January 14, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Campground case returns 18 months after initial rezoning denial

A rezoning case to transform a 12-acre plot next to the Colorado River into a community-centric campground returned to the Zoning and Platting Commission on Jan. 7.The case failed to receive Council’s approval in 2018. Following the 18-month waiting period required…

Tuesday, January 14, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Despite public opposition, plan for directing school traffic gains ZAP approval

Many factors go into the planning of schools, and chief among them is safety. Concern over whether a children’s educational facility belonged in an industrial park spurred a discussion about the appropriate zoning choice for the site at the Jan.…

Friday, January 10, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

APD survey shows police officers are proud but frustrated

As the Public Safety Commission came back to a new year on Jan. 6, members began with a lengthy discussion about the state of the Austin police force.After receiving a presentation from the department highlighting the personal, professional and emotional…

Thursday, January 9, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Public Safety Commission dives into building material safety

Fire unquestionably presents a risk to public safety. However, a less visible risk associated with a burning building are the toxic chemicals used in building materials that can damage the health of first responders and homeowners who inhale the fumes…

Tuesday, January 7, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Without paperwork, commissioners hear testimony on rezoning, but hold off on decision

It’s unusual for the Zoning and Platting Commission to postpone a final plat but hear a preliminary plan for a zoning case. Yet that is exactly what commissioners did at their Dec. 17 meeting, before discovering that they could not…

Monday, January 6, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Parks department staff occupy and transform a historic home in South Austin

A rare and intact example of a mid-1860s rural Travis County residence sits at 10140 Old San Antonio Road. After years of neglect, the Austin Parks and Recreation Department has taken over stewardship of the property and installed an administrative…

Monday, January 6, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Planning Commission recommends a commercial zoning change in the heart of Brentwood

Commercial enterprises are sprinkled throughout Brentwood, a residential neighborhood in North-Central Austin. However, the request for a zoning change to turn a residential home into a real estate office brought concerned residents to the Dec. 10 meeting of the Planning…

Thursday, December 19, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

HLC says Pemberton Heights home no longer deserves historic status

Remodeling the exterior of a historic home requires care, attention to detail – and a Certificate of Appropriateness from the Historic Landmark Commission to sign off on the proposed design. Failing to involve the commission can have financial consequences on…

Wednesday, December 18, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

A divided landmark commission recommends Green Pastures Hotel

In the decades since Green Pastures opened in 1946, the restaurant has become a beloved venue known for its elegant, porch-wrapped home and verdant grounds. It was noteworthy when the proposed addition of a hotel to the property swept through…

Tuesday, December 17, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

West Campus home fails to receive required votes for historic designation

The Historic Landmark Commission recently recommended historic zoning for a 19th-century West Campus home at 704 W. 22nd St. against the owner’s wishes. Planning commissioners have now voted to deny the recommendation for historic zoning, preventing the case from moving…

Monday, December 16, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Environmental Commission pushes for additional tree protections on Apple campus

Apple Inc. is well on its way to bringing a billion-dollar campus to Austin on a 133-acre parcel of land at 6900 Parmer Lane called Robinson Ranch.In an effort to offer increased protections for the trees on the property, the…

Friday, December 13, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Council Member Natasha Harper-Madison receives reprimand for campaign finance violations

Six months after midyear campaign finance reports revealed that Council Member Natasha Harper-Madison violated fundraising laws, the Ethics Review Commission voted to send the Council member a letter of admonition.Harper-Madison collected $3,695 in campaign funds between January and March of…

Friday, December 13, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Austin cat advocates ask city to reevaluate shelter-neuter-release program

The stated goal of the Austin Animal Center is to place all adoptable animals in forever homes. However, even with this intention and a no-kill policy to back it up, not all animals are given the same chance to find…

Monday, December 9, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Parks board expresses concern over metered parking in public parks

After postponing their decision in October about parking meters on city parkland, the Parks and Recreation Board broached the subject again at its Dec. 3 meeting. Following a long discussion about the equity and access issues that accompany metered parking,…

Friday, December 6, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Firefighters union and commissioners call for strengthening AFD sexual harassment policy

In the aftermath of several public sexual harassment cases, Austin EMS and the police and fire departments are updating their sexual harassment policies to create consistency across city emergency services.The action comes in the wake of Austin Fire Department Lt.…

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