Stories by Jessi Devenyns

Monday, October 30, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

An amphitheater for Bolm Road District Park?

On Oct. 24, the Parks and Recreation Board voted unanimously to make a recommendation to City Council regarding a request for information for parkland improvement and the management of Bolm Road District Park as an outdoor events venue. The RFI…

Friday, October 27, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Austin parks reconsidering leash law enforcement

It’s no secret that although many parks around Austin require dogs to remain on leash, there always seem to be free-range dogs chasing Frisbees and splashing around in the greenbelt. Amanda Ross, the natural resources division manager for the Parks…

Thursday, October 19, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Council to take up street impact fees today

In an effort to help fund public infrastructure made necessary by new development, the Austin Transportation Department is proposing new street impact fees throughout the city. These one-time fees for developers constructing new sites are intended to help pay for…

Wednesday, October 18, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Environmental Commission stalls on CodeNEXT 2.0

CodeNEXT once again took center stage at a meeting of the Environmental Commission earlier this month, when commissioners refrained from recommending the second draft of the Land Development Code rewrite, with a hope that they would have comments prepared just…

Tuesday, October 17, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Urban Transportation Commission reacts to Capital Metro route changes

In September, the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority informed the Austin public that there would be a major restructuring of citywide bus lines to kick-start the Connections 2025 transit plan. To elaborate on the exact changes, on Oct. 10, Caitlin D’Alton,…

Tuesday, October 10, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Environmental Commission OKs Holdsworth Center PUD

At its Oct. 4 meeting, the Environmental Commission weighed the benefits of allowing the Holdsworth Center planned unit development to go forward in lieu of adhering to the current zoning for single-family residents on a 44-acre swath of undeveloped agricultural land along…

Monday, October 9, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Environmental Commission briefed on water pollution program

No one, even commissioners, understands the ins and outs of every single city program. At its Sept. 20 meeting, the Environmental Commission took an opportunity to learn more about the Watershed Protection Department’s Spills and Complaints Response Program.Following the city-sanctioned…

Tuesday, October 3, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Austin Energy to turn over Holly Power Plant site by December

The bitter reminder of decades of pollution that the Holly Street Power Plant presents to the residents of the Holly neighborhood will soon disappear.As of the Parks and Recreation Board meeting on Sept. 26, the plant is in its final…

Friday, September 29, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Will city composting ever make it to multifamily residences?

Some people in Austin saw a new, green compost bin waiting at the curb when they arrived home from work this week. However, although the city of Austin’s single-family residence composting program is entering its next phase, the next question…

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

In a gesture of goodwill, the city wants to reward those who are reusing their stormwater

Most Austin residents are aware of the sometimes economically painful reality of fixed stormwater drainage charges adding up on their monthly bills. However, after years of operating under this system, the Watershed Protection Department is changing its approach by rolling…

Tuesday, September 26, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Upper Boggy Creek Trail one step closer to reality

After a contentious debate among the commissioners, the Environmental Commission approved a variance request submitted by the Public Works Department to widen the design of a concrete trail from 12 feet to 14 feet on Sept. 20 with only Vice…

Friday, September 22, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Austin’s creative culture holds weight in economic incentives revision

In response to City Council direction in March, Austin’s Economic Development Department has spent the better part of the year meeting with specific groups in the community that have a stake in how the city approaches policies such as business…

Thursday, September 21, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

After a successful first year, the Art Space Assistance Program will not continue

The Art Space Assistance Program that is aimed at assisting creative-focused nonprofits facing permanent displacement, those previously displaced, or those facing lease renewals at substantially higher rates did not receive funding from City Council for 2018.Council approved $200,000 of General…

Monday, September 18, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Watershed Protection begins testing to change Waller hydrology

After two years of toying with the possibility of emulating the natural hydrology of Austin’s pre-urbanized watersheds through man-made controls, the Watershed Protection Department is finally putting its theories to the test at Reilly Elementary School.Reilly Elementary sits at the…

Tuesday, September 12, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Austin’s Blackland Prairie remains unexpectedly unrecovered

On Wednesday, graduate engineer Lindsay Olinde and Mateo Scoggins, a senior environmental scientist from the Watershed Protection Department, presented the Environmental Commission with the unexpected findings on Blackland Prairie riparian corridors.Contrary to the hypothesis that this historically less-urbanized and –…

Tuesday, September 5, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Aquatic Master Plan Task Force moves forward

It’s no secret that Austin city pools are on life support. Last month, City Council put off a vote on the dense and troubling Aquatic Master Plan. Instead, Council members created a task force to take a closer look at…

Thursday, August 31, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Whose job it is to provide recycling in Austin parks?

Austin’s Universal Recycling Ordinance mandates that by Oct. 1, all commercial properties in Austin will be required to provide recycling. However, open spaces, including public parks, are not included in the current ordinance, which leaves the Parks and Recreation Department…

Thursday, August 24, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Equity Office asks city to look through a new lens

In the fall of 2016, the city of Austin readjusted its rudder and straightened itself on a course toward equity. Ten months ago, Brion Oaks stepped in as the chief equity officer of the newly established Equity Office, which is…

Tuesday, August 22, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Concerned citizens and commissioners display disapproval at SOS amendments

On Wednesday night, it was standing room only at the Environmental Commission meeting as concerned citizens gathered to express their dissent over the Watershed Protection Department’s seven proposed amendments to the current Land Development Code.Six of these stand-alone amendments were…

Friday, August 18, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Watershed Protection reports on youth outreach successes

Just as it does every year, the Watershed Protection Department came to present a summary of its Youth Education outreach program to the Environmental Commission. Susan Wall, who is the department’s conservation program coordinator, on Wednesday updated the commissioners on…

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