Stories by Jessi Devenyns

Thursday, August 13, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Board of Adjustment considers neighboring trees grounds for variance

Last month, the Board of Adjustment postponed the case for the property at 1711 Waterston Ave. in order for the property owners to cobble together a case presenting a valid hardship. This month, the owners of the Clarksville bungalow returned…

Wednesday, August 12, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Commissioners Court considers allocating additional funding for high-risk youth program

As public education moves from classrooms to screens in students’ homes, families’ need for support from educational institutions has increased. Students from vulnerable populations, in particular, benefit from personalized contact with someone in the Austin Independent School District, according to…

Tuesday, August 11, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Environmental Commission recommends vision plan for John Treviño Jr. park

A 330-acre former ranch east of U.S. Highway 183 has been waiting for the city to introduce park amenities since 2003. On Aug. 5, the city-owned parcel took one step closer to becoming a nature-focused, master-planned metropolitan park named in…

Monday, August 10, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Historic Landmark Commission initiates historic zoning for ‘Air Temp’ home

In an effort to avoid the loss of one of the first homes in Austin to feature air conditioning, the Historic Landmark Commission voted at its July 27 meeting to initiate the historic zoning process for the “Air Temp” home…

Friday, August 7, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Public Safety Commission considers how to restructure its partnership with Council

The Public Safety Commission is working with City Council Member Jimmy Flannigan to offload some of its oversight duties in favor of becoming more of an advisory body.“We are particularly ill-suited for oversight,” Commissioner Rebecca Webber said at the commission’s…

Wednesday, August 5, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Travis County expands public health orders to unincorporated areas, fines up to $500

The Commissioners Court unanimously approved an order Tuesday making Austin Public Health’s Health Authority Rules enforceable in unincorporated areas of Travis County. Individuals who do not abide by the local health authority’s pandemic mitigation plan may face fines of up…

Tuesday, August 4, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

SAFE Alliance reports escalating domestic violence is ‘another public health pandemic’

Between April and June, the SAFE Alliance recorded a 25 percent increase in calls to its 24/7 SAFEline compared to the same time period in 2019. This spike in calls coincides with a reduction in visits from survivors of sexual…

Monday, August 3, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

East Austin historic district application receives support from Historic Landmark Commission

Austin is well on its way to getting its second historic district on the east side. The Rogers-Washington-Holy Cross neighborhood, which is roughly bounded by East 21st Street and East Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard between Cedar and Chestnut avenues,…

Thursday, July 30, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Travis County sets the stage for budget discussions in August, proposes 3.6% property tax hike

After an unprecedented year that has required Travis County staff to rework the county’s 2021 financial picture, the Commissioners Court opened public discussions about the upcoming 2021 budget on July 28.Despite predictions earlier this year of catastrophic budget shortfalls, the…

Wednesday, July 29, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Commissioners approve allocations for remainder of Covid-19 relief funding

Nearly three months to the day since Travis County received Covid-19 relief funding from the federal government under the CARES Act, Travis County commissioners approved an outline for the allocation of the $33.8 million in aid that remained unspent.County staff…

Wednesday, July 29, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Austin Energy to adjust customer rebates to achieve carbon-free energy goals

In an effort to encourage the more efficient and sustainable use of utilities, Austin Energy offers a host of rebate programs to residential and commercial customers through its Customer Energy Solutions division. This fiscal year, even with a lull in…

Friday, July 24, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Board of Adjustment denies sign variance, says it came too early in development process

The north MoPac Expressway by the old Hewlett Packard campus may not appear to be very scenic at first glance. Yet this section of highway is identified as a Scenic Roadway under city regulations, so all road signs must adhere to…

Thursday, July 23, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Commissioners Court approves easement vacation despite neighborhood protests

In the far reaches of Precinct 3 in Northwest Austin, in a subdivision between Nameless Road and Round Mountain Road owned by Giddens Development Inc., water is served to residents through wells operated by Aqua Texas. Although the developer of…

Wednesday, July 22, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

County to identify funding source for implementing permanent teleworking

Following a successful emergency rollout of teleworking capabilities in response to Covid-19 this spring, the Travis County Commissioners Court voted in May to make the digital work environment permanent for 75 percent of eligible county employees.On Tuesday, commissioners took the…

Monday, July 20, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Board of Adjustment says maintaining area character is not sufficient hardship

While neighborhood character is an important aspect of design in a historic neighborhood, it is not the only thing the Board of Adjustment takes into account when considering a variance request to modify a home.Architect Ryan Bollom proposed adding a 450-square-foot,…

Friday, July 17, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Environmental Commission recommends environmental aspects of COTA PUD

The Circuit of the Americas has been making its way through city boards and commissions on its quest to expand from a concert venue and racetrack into a more residential- and retail-focused development.The 1,153-acre parcel located east of State Highway…

Thursday, July 16, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Applicant contests the math of supermajority at Board of Adjustment vote

After several postponements and a design adjustment for the home at 71 Julius St., the Board of Adjustment narrowly failed to approve a motion to grant a variance to allow the Holly neighborhood house to be built within the waterfront…

Wednesday, July 15, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Travis County approves Tesla incentive deal

On Tuesday, the Travis County Commissioners Court approved a $13.9 million tax rebate deal to coax Tesla to build its “Gigafactory” in southeastern Travis County.The tax rebate is based on a $1.1 billion investment from Tesla and will be paid out…

Monday, July 13, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Commissioners Court considers allocating relief dollars to Baylor Scott & White

Baylor Scott & White Health is the largest not-for-profit hospital system in the state of Texas, and like many other businesses, it has been footing the bill for unanticipated Covid-19 related expenses since March. Jay Fox, the president of Baylor…

Thursday, July 9, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Goodnight Ranch working on PUD amendment, adds extra parkland

Goodnight Ranch, a planned unit development off Slaughter Lane in Southeast Austin, was originally approved in 2006. Fourteen years later, the neighborhood’s developers are looking to amend the PUD in order to create a municipal management district, add additional permitted land…

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