Stories by Jessi Devenyns

Monday, July 8, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

ZAP case triggers discussion on affordable housing and transit in North Austin

Northwest Austin is developing quickly. Many of the large tracts of developable land in the far reaches of the city’s jurisdiction, by Farm to Market 620 and Texas State Highway 45, are outside the city limits, which makes it difficult…

Monday, July 8, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

‘Sensitive’ addition prompts Historic Landmark Commission to open historic zoning case

In order to expand a home and obtain room to display a 300-piece Hispanic art collection, the owners of 1216 E. Seventh St. submitted plans to the city to construct a 2,200-square-foot addition to the back side of their 1919…

Friday, July 5, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Historic Landmark Commission looks for a pitch-perfect roofline solution

The Historic Landmark Commission recently discovered that the design guidelines of a local historic district may not always be practical in real-life situations.When Mike Synowiec, the owner of 305 W. 45th St., came before the commission’s Certificate of Appropriateness committee,…

Wednesday, July 3, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

I.Q. Hurdle House makes slow but steady progress

The old adage that slow and steady wins the race came into play during a discussion about the status of the I.Q. Hurdle House at the June 24 Historic Landmark Commission meeting.Pam Madere with the Jackson Walker firm, who is…

Wednesday, July 3, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

State Bar accepts complaint against former assistant city attorney

The State Bar of Texas has determined it will be pursuing a formal investigation of former Assistant City Attorney Brent Lloyd.Lloyd was the subject of a complaint filed last month by Board of Adjustment Chair William Burkhardt and former Board…

Tuesday, July 2, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

City adjusts flood map adjustment timeline

The Atlas 14 study conducted by the National Weather Service indicated that in the immediate future, Central Texas is likely to experience more powerful storm events that will increase flooding by 30 percent. Last fall’s major floods turned scientific conjecture…

Monday, July 1, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Carbon-reducing concrete could come to Austin

Concrete is the second-largest industrial producer of carbon dioxide in the world, according to the International Energy Agency. Yet it is still one of the most popular building materials.Tom Ennis, the sustainability officer with the Watershed Protection Department, told the…

Thursday, June 27, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Environmental Commission recommends SOS amendment for private development

Under the Save Our Springs Ordinance, which was passed in 1992, all land in the Barton Springs Zone is subject to increased development regulation in order to protect the water quality of the springs and the Edwards Aquifer. One of…

Wednesday, June 26, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Commissioner calls modern addition to Masonic Lodge a ‘desecration of an actual landmark’

In a collaborative effort, the Austin-based Mason Chapter of the York Rite began working with the city’s Historic Preservation Office and several local architecture firms to design a structure that would allow the Masons to retain their ancestral lodge on…

Tuesday, June 25, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Planning Commission sees its first development trying to ‘unlock affordability’

Last May, City Council unanimously passed the Affordability Unlocked bonus program, a density program that loosens site restrictions and promotes the construction of more units in affordable and mixed-income housing developments.This month, the first developer came before the Planning Commission to…

Monday, June 24, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

City shares reason for Barton Springs’ cloudy water last December

After Barton Springs was closed for a few days last December following an unusual level of turbidity in the water, the city immediately began investigating the cause.As the plumes of sediment filling the freshwater pool settled, instruments measuring water quality…

Thursday, June 20, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Planning Commission split between preserving mobile homes and encouraging density

Council is set to consider a citywide effort to standardize zoning for mobile home parks today, but a few cases still present some wrinkles.One of those cases, which came before the Planning Commission at its June 11 meeting, sparked a debate…

Wednesday, June 19, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

BoA says project’s affordable housing is a token gesture

In Austin, “affordable housing” has become a magical phrase that is repeatedly heard within the walls of City Hall.Although affordable housing is undoubtedly needed in the city, the Board of Adjustment indicated that it’s fed up with this phrase being…

Tuesday, June 18, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Planning Commission gives no recommendation on contentious historic zoning case

After the Historic Landmark Commission voted against the owner’s wishes and staff recommendation to recommend historic zoning for the property at 1603 Willow St., the case came to the June 11 meeting of the Planning Commission.The commissioners weighed the recommendation…

Monday, June 17, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Lack of notification brings case back to BoA

After the Board of Adjustment quickly approved a variance with hearty support last month to allow an increase in building height from 40 to 50 feet for the construction of a cultural center, the property at 810½ San Marcos St.…

Friday, June 14, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Flooding concerns prevent BoA from approving increased impervious cover

When it comes to drainage controls, how much of a good thing is too much? The answer is, when drainage control threatens to heighten flood risk due to the increase in impervious cover required for its installation.Jason Asbury came on…

Thursday, June 13, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Ethics Review Commission finds Frank Rodriguez in violation of city ethics rules

Justice has been a long time coming in the case concerning Frank Rodriguez’s continued ties to Latino Healthcare Forum, a nonprofit he founded while serving as a senior policy adviser to Mayor Steve Adler.After the Ethics Review Commission chose not…

Wednesday, June 12, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Despite ‘fuzzy’ answers, Planning Commission approves 4700 E. Riverside project

After three hours of discussion and deliberation against the backdrop of incessant shouting and profanities from members of Defend Our Hoodz, the Planning Commission voted 7-4 to forgo staff’s recommendation and approve the rezoning of the five tracts composing 4700…

Wednesday, June 12, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

ZAP recommends allowing cellphone tower on church property

Data use on cell phones has become so ubiquitous that Verizon Wireless is finding some of its towers overwhelmed by capacity. One area Verizon is unable to adequately serve is in North Austin at the Parmer Lane and MoPac Expressway…

Tuesday, June 11, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Austin at risk for violating federal ozone standards

Ozone levels in the Austin area have been hovering just below federal violation levels for the last six years.Ground-level ozone – or “bad” ozone – is an ingredient in smog and a primary pollutant that can cause a number of…

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