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Stories by Jessi Devenyns

Thursday, January 18, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Environmental Commission recommends Hooters PUD

Unable to wait for the codification of the new South Central Waterfront Vision Framework Plan and its associated environmental standards, eager builders came to the Environmental Commission on Jan. 3 in pursuit of a planned unit development on the site…

Tuesday, January 16, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Ex-Austin Energy employee found not guilty of ethics violation

After a drawn-out series of hearings over the last seven months, the Ethics Review Commission on Jan. 10 found that retired Austin Energy supervisor Stefan Sasko made no violation of the city’s ethics regulations.However, the ruling may have implications for…

Monday, January 15, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Environmental Commission recommends Watershed Department issue a middle-of-the-road bond in 2018

The beginning of 2018 marked the beginning of a bond election year. At the latest meeting of the Environmental Commission, the Watershed Protection Department presented plans to ask the public for help conserving Austin’s environment through the acquisition of green…

Tuesday, January 9, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

CAMPO keeps Conley as chair

After legal counsel proposed a unique interpretation of Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization bylaws, CAMPO Transportation Policy Board members voted on Monday to keep Will Conley as chair but removed his ability to vote on policy issues.Although federal statute dictates…

Monday, January 8, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

CodeNEXT: City says few environmental surprises in store

Conversations today about the city run like clockwork: You can guarantee that at some point CodeNEXT will be mentioned.However, although it is spoken about with regularity, there are so many varying opinions, stances and regulatory improvements being presented that it…

Tuesday, December 19, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Austin Water pitches rate reductions in 2018

It has been 15 years since the last time Austin Water reduced the rates for the utility. There is a chance, however, that this trend may end in January.On Dec. 13, the assistant director of Austin Water, David Anders, presented…

Monday, December 18, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Phantom water bill charges remain an unsolved mystery at Austin Water

For several years, water bills have been mysteriously spiking and leaving homeowners clutching their wallets and demanding answers. However, even when the public came en masse to plead that the Electric Utility Commission demand answers from city staff after the…

Thursday, December 14, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Electric Utility Commission recommends purchase of more solar power

Austin has a herculean trial ahead of itself as it tries to reach 65 percent renewable energy by 2027. Thankfully, one new proposed project may make that goal achievable.Despite making up only 4 percent of the Electric Reliability Council of…

Thursday, November 30, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Human Rights Commission finds the naming of Austin public spaces inequitable

In Austin, streets have their names changed from time to time. City parks, however, rarely seem to undergo name changes, but the Human Rights Commission wants to change that.On Nov. 27, the Human Rights Commission considered amending its previous recommendation…

Monday, November 27, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Changes in the Texas wholesale energy grid may increase prices

In August 2017, City Council made a commitment to providing 65 percent renewable energy to its residents by 2027. This aggressive energy plan is, according to Robert Cullick, director of communications and marketing at Austin Energy, the only one of…

Wednesday, November 22, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Request for lakefront bulkhead variance creates new questions 

It’s not often that a request for a variance from the city’s code has no predecessors against which it can be compared. At the Environmental Commission meeting on Nov. 15, this unlikely scenario became reality.Janis Smith, civil engineer and representative…

Tuesday, November 21, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Energy efficiency rebates not impacting rent 

The Austin Energy MultiFamily Rebate Program was launched in 1991, but only since 2013 has it been the focus of a data tracking initiative with the aim of investigating the possible effects of participation on rental prices.Liz Jambor, a data…

Monday, November 20, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Aquatics task force says in all scenarios, Austin pools need more money

After several months of scrutiny by both the public and the City Council-appointed Aquatic Master Plan Task Force, the 150-page Aquatic Master Plan is getting the final touches to be presented to Council in December.The redesign of Austin’s aquatics system…

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Environmental Commission defers CodeNEXT 2.0 recommendation

With the third draft of CodeNEXT slated to be presented to the public on Nov. 28, Watershed Protection Department staff hoped to receive a recommendation of approval from the Environmental Commission for the completed second draft on Nov. 1. However,…

Tuesday, November 14, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

City composting may soon expand, go high-tech

A month after select Austin residents received their green compost bins to expand the city’s composting pilot program, the time has come to assess the success of the program’s reception. On Nov. 8, Emlea Chanslor, Austin Resource Recovery acting division…

Monday, November 6, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Central Texas resident asks Environmental Commission for dam help

On Nov. 1, Ann McElroy, co-founder of the organization No Colorado River Dam Inc., stood in front of the Environmental Commission to plead for its assistance in encouraging the city of Austin to pass a resolution denouncing a dam that…

Monday, October 30, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

An amphitheater for Bolm Road District Park?

On Oct. 24, the Parks and Recreation Board voted unanimously to make a recommendation to City Council regarding a request for information for parkland improvement and the management of Bolm Road District Park as an outdoor events venue. The RFI…

Friday, October 27, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Austin parks reconsidering leash law enforcement

It’s no secret that although many parks around Austin require dogs to remain on leash, there always seem to be free-range dogs chasing Frisbees and splashing around in the greenbelt. Amanda Ross, the natural resources division manager for the Parks…

Thursday, October 19, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Council to take up street impact fees today

In an effort to help fund public infrastructure made necessary by new development, the Austin Transportation Department is proposing new street impact fees throughout the city. These one-time fees for developers constructing new sites are intended to help pay for…

Wednesday, October 18, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Environmental Commission stalls on CodeNEXT 2.0

CodeNEXT once again took center stage at a meeting of the Environmental Commission earlier this month, when commissioners refrained from recommending the second draft of the Land Development Code rewrite, with a hope that they would have comments prepared just…

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