Stories by Jessi Devenyns

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…

Friday, August 17, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

For grandfathered signs, the proof is in the permitting

Occasionally, despite one’s best intentions to provide the right board or commission with the proper permitting to ensure a smooth continuation of a project, a request is presented incorrectly.“I’m not sure that this item is properly before the board,” Assistant City…

Thursday, August 16, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Cellphone tower ruffles Board of Adjustment

Sometimes, if you don’t know what to do, you have to ask.Vincent Huebinger, representing Crown Castle International and Dean Davidov in a request to relocate a single-antenna cellphone tower to another location at 610 1/2 Kenniston Drive on the southeast…

Tuesday, August 14, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Citizen Review Panel audit brings up questions of document security

After 17 years of evaluation of the Austin Police Department by the Citizen Review Panel, not much happened. That is the conclusion that the Office of the City Auditor presented at the Aug. 6 meeting of the Public Safety Commission:…

Monday, August 13, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Final hearing scheduled for fraudulent vacation time case

After retiring in June of last year, Curtis Graves, a former superintendent of system operations at Austin Energy, found out that he was under investigation for his use of vacation and sick time by both Austin Energy’s internal Human Resources…

Friday, August 10, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

One of Austin’s oldest homes needs help

At 9019 Parkfield Drive sits one of the oldest structures in the city of Austin. However, as it currently stands, it is easy to pass it by as a teardown.In partnership with Sam Williams, the 30-year tenant of this property,…

Thursday, August 9, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Despite need for housing, ZAP does not approve Southwest Austin subdivision

After the Environmental Commission failed to recommend the environmental suitability of a densely planned Southwest Austin subdivision due to traffic concerns, the preliminary plan for this development proceeded to the Zoning and Platting Commission.Much like the hearing in June, the…

Wednesday, August 8, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

SAFE wants to help make Austin safer by reducing violence early

Relationship violence is a significant driver of violence in any city. However, it can be difficult for the police to do anything more than respond to incident calls; they cannot be caseworkers for those who are involved in violent relationships.In…

Monday, August 6, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Austin Water lays the path forward for the next 100 years of water conservation

There’s no denying it: The climate as we know it is changing, but access to water sources is not.Three years ago the second iteration of the Water Forward Task Force convened in an effort to draft a 100-year water supply…

Friday, August 3, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Environmental Commission votes against tram, arguing for safety

Everyone knows the saying, “If everyone jumped off a cliff, would you do it too?” Well, spoiler alert, the answer should be no.Although that was not exactly the question that the Environmental Commission asked at its Aug. 1 meeting, it…

Friday, August 3, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Commissioners dive into St. Edward’s records

There are many reasons that a building can be historic. One of them is if a structure is a part of a historic district where an architect has produced a significant body of work that embodies a period style and…

Thursday, August 2, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Commissioners request authentic reconstruction for Lamar Bridge

Sometimes, accidents happen.In an emergency addition to the Historic Landmark Commission agenda on July 23, commissioners heard the case of the Lamar Boulevard Bridge over Shoal Creek.Last month a vehicular collision damaged the bridge, which lies between 12th Street and…

Wednesday, August 1, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Seaholm Waterfront study produces a plan that PARD recommends

Seven years ago, the Seaholm Intake building along the shores of Lady Bird Lake was turned over to the Austin Parks and Recreation Department, and it has since stood waiting for change.Now, after months of study, community input, and a partnership…

Thursday, July 26, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Rowing center contract bounced back to committee

After reviewing the reworked terms of the Austin Rowing Club’s new contract extension, the Parks and Recreation Board suggested that they go back to the drawing board.City Council voted unanimously in June to give the Austin Rowing Club the go-ahead…

Wednesday, July 25, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Critical water quality zone crossing approved for the second time

Sometimes for development projects, it’s the second time that’s the charm.Over a decade ago, developers of a 42-acre tract of land at 1322 W. Dittmar Road received a variance to construct a private drive across a critical water quality zone…

Tuesday, July 24, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Despite water bill debacle, Austin’s utility customer service rating remains unharmed

The wounds that last fall’s water bill catastrophe left behind had the potential to open up once again as Austin Energy reviewed its customer service ratings and presented the findings at the July 16 meeting of the Electric Utility Commission.“Didn’t we…

Back to Top