Stories by Jessi Devenyns

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Wednesday, July 8, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Discussion about Tesla tax break drags into second day of discussion

The debate surrounding the proposed incentive package designed to coax Tesla to make its new home in Travis County will continue at the Commissioners Court on Wednesday. After taking public testimony for the item on July 7, the commissioners unanimously…

Monday, July 6, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Travis County continues moving forward with its phased reopening plan

Unlike the city of Austin, Travis County will not need to revise its return-to-work strategy. The county approached its return-to-work plan with an eye toward flexibility and no date certain for reopening. As a result, county facilities are plowing ahead with…

Wednesday, July 1, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

County development incentive for Tesla sees more support

This Tuesday, the Travis County Commissioners Court once again opened the floor to public testimony regarding the development incentive package for Tesla’s proposed “Gigafactory” in southeastern Travis County. The court took no action on the matter. Over a dozen speakers…

Wednesday, July 1, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

HLC wants further scrutiny of home in the ‘Air-Conditioned Village’

Seventy years ago, 22 homes in Northwest Austin served as the test case for bringing central air conditioning to the middle classes. Today only 15 of those homes remain standing, with one more proposed for demolition. The midcentury modern home…

Friday, June 26, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

City gets parks board blessing to rename Metz Recreation Center

Austin is now one step closer to officially changing the name of the Metz Recreation Center at 2407 Canterbury St. to the Rodolfo “Rudy” Mendez Recreation Center. On June 24, the Parks and Recreation Board unanimously recommended that City Council…

Thursday, June 25, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Parks board recommends not installing metered parking at parks

Parking in Austin is a precious commodity. It has also become more expensive for many residents who use the city’s parks for recreation. After hiking the prices for metered parking to $2 an hour last year, the city announced it will…

Wednesday, June 24, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Travis County considers 80% tax break to coax Tesla

Electric vehicle company Tesla is considering moving to southeastern Travis County to build its “Gigafactory” where it will construct its much-hyped Cybertruck. To entice the California company to make its home in Texas, Travis County is proposing giving the company…

Monday, June 22, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Travis County’s small business grant program sees $2.5M in requests in three days

In April, Travis County approved $10 million in grant funding to aid small businesses affected by the economic crisis caused by Covid-19. However, it was only last week that Travis County businesses outside of Austin had their first chance to…

Friday, June 19, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Environmental Commission recommends Watershed Protection Department budget

Among the coronavirus pandemic’s many consequences is an impact on the Watershed Protection Department’s proposed budget for the 2021 fiscal year. Even with the decision to cut back in areas, the department is still proposing a $107.1 million operating budget…

Thursday, June 18, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Travis County $10M mortgage and rental assistance program to go live June 29

After spending a month working through the details of a proposed rent and mortgage assistance program for Travis County residents impacted by the economic fallout from Covid-19, the Commissioners Court unanimously voted to allocate $10 million of the county’s $61…

Wednesday, June 17, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Travis County plans to reopen facilities but with masking requirements

After nearly three months of quiet hallways and locked doors, Travis County facilities will begin reopening at the end of June. To ensure the continued safety of employees returning to the workplace as well as residents accessing county services, the…

Wednesday, June 17, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

Board of Adjustment debates request to sacrifice heritage tree or waterfront overlay

The Board of Adjustment exists to help residents achieve variances from the Land Development Code’s building regulations, but only if an applicant is willing to provide information and evidence of a valid hardship. Dan Coops, the owner of 71 Julius…

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