Stories by Jessi Devenyns

Thursday, April 30, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Historic Landmark Commission denies request to remove historic zoning

For over a year now, the owners of the historic Majors-Butler-Thomas House at 1119 E. 11th St. have been asking the city to remove historic zoning from the property. Despite repeated attempts, their requests have been met with denial.The first…

Wednesday, April 29, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Govalle neighborhood looks for compromise in affordable housing project

The city of Austin owns 5 acres of land on three adjacent properties at 1127-1131 Tillery St. Two of those acres are home to a grove of pecan trees that some in the neighborhood worry are in danger of being…

Monday, April 27, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Travis County releases unemployment and financial transparency tracker

In addition to its toll on public health, Covid-19 poses an economic threat both to individual finances and to businesses. In Travis County, the Economic Development & Strategic Investments Department has rolled out a public dashboard to track the pandemic’s…

Monday, April 27, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Compromise reached at Lantana PCA, Environmental Commission recommends project

After postponing its recommendation on the project consent agreement at the Lantana project in Southwest Austin, the Environmental Commission has reached an agreement with the developer and the Save Our Springs Alliance on how to move forward.On Tuesday, the Planning…

Thursday, April 23, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Commissioners Court discusses ‘oscillation strategy’ to exit quarantine

As the county’s May 8 end date for its stay-at-home order draws near, the Commissioners Court began to discuss the next steps in the battle to flatten the curve.“There is no return to ‘normal,’” County Judge Sarah Eckhardt said at…

Wednesday, April 22, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Commissioners Court approves community-generated emergency food contract

In an effort to simultaneously cut down on food waste and increase community access to food, the Commissioners Court unanimously approved a contract to provide supplemental emergency prepared food to Travis County residents.The $160,000 contract is the result of a…

Monday, April 20, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

County commissioners send admonishing letter to CAMPO

After weeks of debate, the Travis County Commissioners Court unanimously voted to send a letter to the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization criticizing its planning process for the 2045 Regional Transportation Plan.However, despite concerns from commissioners and the public about the…

Friday, April 17, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

CommUnityCare opens new drive-thru testing sites

After indefinitely closing seven CommUnityCare clinics earlier this month, the community healthcare provider opened its second drive-thru Covid-19 testing center to serve eastern Travis County. CommUnityCare is also reopening two of its clinics in the Eastern Crescent.April 16 was the…

Wednesday, April 15, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

County freezes hiring for remainder of the fiscal year

In search of steadier financial footing amid the economic turmoil triggered by Covid-19, the Travis County Commissioners Court voted Tuesday to authorize staff to pursue an immediate hiring freeze for nonessential personnel. Commissioners will permit county staff to return on…

Tuesday, April 14, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

County commissioners to write ‘harsh’ letter reprimanding CAMPO planning process

After considering asking for a delay, the Travis County Commissioners Court agreed not to obstruct the scheduled adoption of the 2045 Regional Transportation Plan. Instead, the commissioners intend to communicate their displeasure with the planning process through a letter they…

Monday, April 13, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Austin has a new Wildland-Urban Interface fire code

After years of planning and preparation, City Council unanimously adopted the Wildland-Urban Interface Code last Thursday.In addition to adopting the code, which focuses on regulating building codes to protect structures against wildfires, Council Member Alison Alter made a motion instructing…

Monday, April 13, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

City of Austin releases update on climate resilience plan

Resilience is a word that seems particularly relevant as Austin closes public spaces and dining institutions and limits gatherings in response to the spread of Covid-19. Although the city has yet to develop a holistic resilience plan that prepares the…

Thursday, April 9, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Central Health to add additional drive-thru Covid-19 testing site

Travis County Central Health and CommUnityCare will announce the location of one new drive-thru Covid-19 testing site by the end of this week.“By the end of this week, at the latest, we’ll have a plan,” said Matt Balthazar, a vice…

Wednesday, April 8, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

County Commissioners Court looks toward economic recovery solutions

The financial figures representing the economic repercussions of self-isolation and shuttered businesses are beginning to surface in Travis County.Diana Ramirez, the director of Travis County’s Economic Development & Strategic Investments, told the Commissioners Court on April 7 that although local…

Tuesday, April 7, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Covid-19: Senior citizens at risk of food shortages and isolation

With Covid-19 upending daily life, many senior citizens in Central Texas are finding their access to food limited and their social isolation increased.“Food became the overall concern for everybody,” Patty Bordie, director of the CAPCOG Area Agency on Aging, told…

Thursday, April 2, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

City clocks for zoning applications stopped ticking, state deadlines still in effect

A mayoral order issued March 17 effectively paused all deadlines outlined in city code until May 1; however, state deadlines remain in effect.For zoning cases, that means conventional rules are suspended – such as applications appearing before a land use…

Wednesday, April 1, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Historic zoning, demolitions on hold for the time being

When it comes to zoning cases, the city has carved many different timelines into the code to keep cases moving forward. Those timelines are currently on hold.For historic zoning cases, non-administratively approved applications have been stopped in their tracks until…

Tuesday, March 31, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

City works out logistics to allow boards and commissions to meet virtually

After nearly a month of meetings being on hold, City Council voted last Thursday to temporarily waive a local ordinance requiring a quorum of board or commission members to be physically present in order for a meeting to take place.The…

Monday, March 30, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Austin Water reports happier customers and over-budget expenses for first quarter

In a mixed start to the year, Austin Water reported expenses that were 14 percent above budget for the quarter and revenues that were 6.2 percent higher than projections.“We were above our (revenue) budget by $8.79 million,” Christina Romero, Austin…

Friday, March 27, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Council approves update to Resource, Generation and Climate Protection Plan

In spite of a slew of public speakers requesting that City Council postpone a vote on the Austin Energy Resource, Generation and Climate Protection plan due to a lack of public engagement, Council voted to approve the update to the…

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