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Stories by Jessi Devenyns

Tuesday, October 16, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

No-show at the Board of Adjustment almost gets denied variance

For the second month in a row, the case of 4913 Avenue G came before the Board of Adjustment, and for the second time, it was postponed due to logistics.Although last month the case was postponed due to issues with…

Monday, October 15, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Water and Wastewater Commission holds off on billing recommendation

Over a year after the water billing saga surfaced in the news, Austin Water and Austin Energy are still working to adjust internal processes in order to proactively prevent a similar situation from reoccurring.In their effort to do so, several…

Thursday, October 11, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Board of Adjustment denies variance for storage center sign

These days, a roadway sign is no longer the sole indicator of a business’ location, but merely confirmation that Google Maps did indeed lead to the desired location.“In the day of Google Maps … once you’ve been there, you know…

Wednesday, October 10, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

BoA fee adjustments cause high tempers

On Oct. 1 of this year, the Development Services Department enacted a new set of fees for those looking to come before the Board of Adjustment to have the board hear their applications for a code variance.Although increases are to…

Tuesday, October 2, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Low morale in Austin’s public safety departments requires attention

The Public Safety Commission heard a variety of concerns at its Oct. 1 meeting in regards to the chronic low morale that public safety officers are experiencing within their respective departments.“It is pretty unanimous the officers are really getting tired…

Tuesday, October 2, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Temporary art project for Schneider Store building met with tepid enthusiasm

The J.P. Schneider Store building is the new target of an art installation called Inside Out/Vote intended to encourage voter participation and registration through reimagining civic engagement and unleashing the voice of America’s youth through art.Brought to the Sept. 24…

Thursday, September 27, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

A storybook-inspired home is not a fairy-tale ending for Clarksville neighbors

Sure, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but sometimes a desire for architectural continuity within a neighborhood trumps the desires of a homeowner.At 1002 Charlotte St. in the Clarksville neighborhood, there is a small one-story home built in…

Tuesday, September 25, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

At the Environmental Commission, man-made islands get man-made variances

There are few undeveloped lots along Lake Austin. However, those that are find themselves uniquely positioned as a clean slate that is ideal for a new, modern home – except when the lot is the wrong shape.Just underneath Mt. Bonnell…

Monday, September 24, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Camelback project narrowly receives Environmental Commission’s approval

After nearly four and a half hours of testimony and discussion, and two votes due to some confusion over the conditions attached to a motion, the Environmental Commission endorsed the environmental superiority of the Camelback PUD, the controversial planned unit…

Thursday, September 20, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

An update on the Fayette Power Plant reveals no news, inspires working group

Almost five years ago, Council recommended that Austin Energy retire its portion of the Fayette Power Plant, which is run on coal, by 2022. Despite intense pressure from environmentalists to move that date up, the city utility is sticking to…

Wednesday, September 19, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

EUC recommends code amendment to expand electric vehicle use

Soon Austin may have as many electric charging stations as gas stations.Currently, city code does not allow for the resale of city energy by third-party entities. However, the code was written before there was any inkling that electric vehicles would…

Tuesday, September 18, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

After 20 years the city protects 25 percent of the Barton Springs recharge zone

Since 1998, the city of Austin has been working diligently to preserve and care for the crown jewel of our city: Barton Springs.Doing so involves a lot more than draining and cleaning the pool every so often. According to Sherri…

Monday, September 17, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Board of Adjustment postpones Travis Heights ADU case, again

Citing neighborly discord, the Board of Adjustment postponed for the third time a variance request to treat an already-standing 1930s bungalow as an accessory dwelling unit.In a creative solution to add more density and square footage to a lot, architect…

Thursday, September 13, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Board of Adjustment fails to grant ‘ugly’ variance

On occasion, members of a neighborhood find a redevelopment project to be such an eyesore that they use it as their case as to why it shouldn’t be built in the first place.“We don’t need any more ugly. We’ve got…

Wednesday, September 12, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Tree removal permitting to change in October

Sometimes trees have the most powerful voices in our city.At the Sept. 5 meeting of the Environmental Commission, Max Elliott, who is a resident of the Govalle neighborhood, alerted the commission that recently a builder removed five heritage trees “on…

Monday, September 10, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Citing historical lessons, Environmental Commission opts for mitigation rather than preservation

It’s not often that a variance to remove heritage trees comes before the Environmental Commission. But when it does, the decision is no walk in the park.“Trees like this are one of the challenging cases for us,” City Arborist Keith Mars…

Friday, September 7, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Development Services preliminary budget asks for 50 new employees

According to the 2017 customer satisfaction poll by the Development Services Department, the time it takes to complete the inspection process was ranked as the most important component but had the lowest satisfaction rating.In an effort to change that perception,…

Thursday, September 6, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

For juveniles, no more curfew tickets does not mean more crime

Last September, City Council unanimously voted to end the late-night curfew for minors that had been on the books for 27 years. Those who made the case to nix the ordinance argued with data that showed that curfews do not…

Wednesday, September 5, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Office of the Police Monitor looks to revamp complaint process

According to a recent study by the Office of the Police Monitor, for many in Austin, being seen is being heard.At the Sept. 4 special called meeting of the Public Safety Commission, Police Monitor Farah Muscadin explained that many people…

Tuesday, August 21, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

BoA considers a quirky corner case

Sometimes, a permit can be granted or revoked based on a four-degree angle.“Even though I’m at an intersection, the city does not consider this a corner lot,” Joshua Lien, the owner of 14000 Echo Lane, explained to the Board of…

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