Stories by Jessi Devenyns

Thursday, August 27, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Historic Landmark Commission vetoes skyscraper design for historic building

In recent months, there have been several cases of developers proposing multi-story buildings as a way to preserve the facades of historic structures while balancing the economics of Austin real estate. On Aug. 24, the Historic Landmark Commission firmly put…

Wednesday, August 26, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Travis County plans for drive-thru voting drop-off for mail-in ballots

November’s presidential election is fast approaching and the Travis County Clerk’s Office is working diligently to ensure county residents have safe and well-functioning access to voting, both in-person and by mail-in ballot. To provide the required safety measures and necessary…

Monday, August 24, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Ethics commission discusses transparency in unbroadcast meeting

As Covid-19 has pushed city meetings online, questions about public participation have taken center stage, with community members and commissioners alike struggling with cumbersome web platforms and long waiting times on phone lines. The topic came before the Ethics Review Commission…

Friday, August 21, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Environmental Commission recommends increased impervious cover for Goodwill

Goodwill of Central Texas is hoping to bring a new secondhand store and drop-off center to 2411 Lake Austin Blvd. In order to do so, the donation retailer will require a variance to allow it to build up to 89…

Thursday, August 20, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

East Austin tank farm site poised to become a PUD

Despite years of remediation efforts and development proposals for the former East Austin tank farm at 1011 and 1017 Springdale Road, the site has remained undeveloped. Then in May, the Jay Paul Company brought the city a new development proposal…

Wednesday, August 19, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Travis County budget makes concessions and cuts to achieve balance

After months of rework triggered by the financial ramifications of the pandemic, the Commissioners Court held its first public hearing associated with the 2021 Travis County budget on Aug. 18. As they went through the 120-page, $1.28 billion budget proposal, Planning and…

Tuesday, August 18, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Austin Water aims to bring new conservation ordinances before Council in December

Timelines across the city have been adjusted or paused following the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the ongoing limitations imposed by the “new normal” have not stopped Austin Water from developing new conservation ordinances to bring before City Council…

Monday, August 17, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Parking requirements jam up decision at the Board of Adjustment

In Austin, the subject of parking has a way of striking a nerve. So when a proposal for an office project at 43 N. Interstate 35 came before the Board of Adjustment on Aug. 10, board members struggled to come…

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…

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,…

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…

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…

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