Stories by Jessi Devenyns

Wednesday, October 30, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Parks board recommends that the Parkland Dedication Ordinance remain untouched

The city of Austin has had a Parkland Dedication Ordinance as part of its Land Development Code since 1985. The ordinance has been updated three times since its institution, with the most recent iteration in 2016, after two years of…

Monday, October 28, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Lake setbacks threaten construction of family home in West Lake

Paris Schindler, owner of the lot at 1901 Westlake Drive, came to the Board of Adjustment seeking a variance to construct a 6,354-square-foot family home.While normally a 2.26-acre property would easily accommodate such a structure, 44,000 square feet of the…

Friday, October 25, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Hays and Travis counties prioritize aquifer conservation

The Trinity Aquifer is the primary groundwater supply for Hill Country residents in both Hays and Travis counties. But as a natural resource, its freshwater supply is limited, even as populations continue to grow.Already, the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District…

Thursday, October 24, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Parks board member ‘completely opposed’ to meters in parks

Last week, the city of Austin changed the prices on its parking meters for the first time in nearly 30 years. Prices jumped from $1.20 inside the city’s downtown core – $1 outside of that core – to $2 an…

Tuesday, October 22, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Commission calls air quality motion a ‘vague statement,’ fails to pass it

Despite the philosophical support of commissioners, a motion to improve air quality at construction sites failed at the Oct. 16 meeting of the Environmental Commission.Commissioner Pam Thompson prepared a motion on the fly during a presentation by the Office of…

Tuesday, October 22, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Board of Adjustment waits for new code to make a decision on a fence

Slow and steady wins the race, and sometimes that requires a case postponement – or two, or three – to successfully acquire a variance.Such was the case at the Oct. 14 meeting of the Board of Adjustment, where Corey Keller…

Friday, October 18, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Developer turns variance process upside-down, asks Environmental Commission for ‘feedback’

In an unusual request, development lawyer Richard Suttle with Armbrust & Brown appeared before the Environmental Commission on Oct. 16 to ask not for a site plan variance, but for feedback on a possible upcoming one.“I’m anticipating needing to come…

Thursday, October 17, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Board of Adjustment debates how far is too far to read a sign

The Hill Country Roadway Ordinance mandates that any sign along Highway 360 be less than 12 feet high, smaller than 64 square feet and conceal exterior lighting.However, Ben Robinson, who was representing the applicant for the Nalle Woods apartments at…

Wednesday, October 16, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Board of Adjustment wants to participate more fully in LDC review

The Land Development Code draft continues to make its way through the city’s boards and commissions, making its latest stop at the Board of Adjustment on Monday night.The Board of Adjustment is tasked with sending feedback to the Planning Commission…

Tuesday, October 15, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Planning Commission begins tackling the new LDC draft

Friday, Oct. 4, was a big day for the city of Austin. That afternoon ushered in the draft of the city’s most recent attempt to rewrite its Land Development Code, kicking off months of discussions about the topic.The Planning Commission…

Monday, October 14, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

At Robinson Ranch, the apple may fall far from the tree

When Apple Inc. announced its plans to build a $1 billion campus late last year, there was a wave of speculation about what the company’s expansion would mean for Austin in terms of traffic congestion and employment opportunities.However, there was…

Thursday, October 10, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Planning Commission recommends food truck in Tarrytown

Tarrytown may be a centrally located neighborhood, but it is not very walkable. To give neighbors at least one option that is accessible on foot, David Kanne, a resident and local developer, purchased the 11-unit multifamily complex at 2401 Winsted…

Tuesday, October 8, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Public Safety Commission talks homelessness with APD

Last week brought a new level of scrutiny to the way the city polices individuals experiencing homelessness. The governor declared he would “unleash” state resources if Austin doesn’t address its homelessness issues by Nov. 1. Police Chief Brian Manley suggested…

Tuesday, October 8, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Texas’ oldest psychiatric facility faces demolition but is eligible to be a historic landmark

This past legislative session, lawmakers identified the Austin State Hospital as a top health care funding priority and set aside $165 million for its refurbishment. Texas Health and Human Services and the University of Texas at Austin’s Dell Medical School…

Monday, October 7, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Pioneer Crossing PUD changes course, adding parkland

Having passed through and received an approval recommendation from the Zoning and Platting Commission on Sept. 17 for its 14th amendment, the Pioneer Crossing planned unit development arrived at the Environmental Commission on Oct. 2.A 376-acre portion of the 1,410-acre…

Friday, October 4, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Developer offers extra parkland to speed construction

Pioneer Crossing at 10930 Defender Trail is an old, undeveloped planned unit development that City Council approved in 1997. A history of foreclosures and bankruptcy has left the 1,410-acre parcel fragmented between various owners. Nevertheless, the site is still beholden…

Thursday, October 3, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Planning Commission votes in favor of protecting future ears from airport expansion

Generally speaking, residential use is prohibited within the airport overlay zones. The exception is the third zone (AO3) of the airport overlay, which under certain circumstances permits residential development.“We don’t just meet one of the three thresholds, we meet two,”…

Wednesday, October 2, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

State law leaves the Historic Landmark Commission in gridlock

Getting a property zoned historic when the owner opposes it requires a supermajority vote at City Council. Yet even getting such a case before Council is an endeavor that requires the support of the Historical Landmark and Planning commissions.Prior to…

Tuesday, October 1, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Historic Herrera homestead heads to Council with Planning Commission approval

It’s rare that a structure is zoned historic against an owner’s wishes. According to Preservation Austin, it has happened only three times since 1974; however, that number may be about to grow to four.Following in the footsteps of the Historic…

Friday, September 27, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Historic Landmark Commission contemplates bending rules for influential Mexican American activist

Sometimes a house is more than a home. In the case of Edward Rendon Sr., his home served as a community center that some say is as meaningful to the neighborhood today as it was 40 years ago.Rendon was an…

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