Stories by Jessi Devenyns

Thursday, March 28, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

HLC accepts demolition of West Lynn home for ‘Tudor mansion’

After last month’s revelation of the design plans for 1602 West Lynn St. left members of the Historic Landmark Commission reeling, the four weeks between then and now allowed the commissioners to begrudgingly accept the previously presented plans and comments from…

Wednesday, March 27, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Ramshackle 117-year-old house slated for historic zoning against owner’s wishes

Despite what city staff called the “heartbreaking” condition of a historically contributing structure and an owner’s opposition to historic zoning, the Historic Landmark Commission determined Monday that a 117-year-old home was worth saving.In an effort to preserve one of the…

Monday, March 25, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Board of Adjustment does not approve variance to ‘preserve neighborhood character’

The desire to build a house is not a sufficient reason to receive a variance, in the eyes of the Board of Adjustment.After having his case postponed at the February meeting of the Board of Adjustment, Joshua Inscoe, who was…

Friday, March 22, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

BoA grants boat dock variance, swayed by trees

After being denied a variance to reconstruct an existing dock to 44 feet instead of the code-compliant 30 feet, the case of 1515 Manana St. returned before the Board of Adjustment at its March 11 meeting.Based on a “substantial” amount…

Thursday, March 21, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

BoA OKs wellness project on third try

While the Board of Adjustment has twice denied variance requests required to construct an integrated acupuncture clinic and multifamily residence at 1800 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, members approved variances for the third iteration of the project at their…

Wednesday, March 20, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Neighbor takes out grievances over ADU at the Board of Adjustment

Although the Board of Adjustment prefers not to take neighborhood disputes into account when members consider variance requests, sometimes these conflicts can be difficult to ignore.Before hearing any cases at its March 11 meeting, the Board of Adjustment warned those…

Wednesday, March 20, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Ethics violation raises questions about city laptop policies

DeShawn Scott, a temporary administrative specialist in the Public Works Department, left his position in December after the Office of the City Auditor opened an investigation into Scott’s use of his city computer for purposes related to his two outside…

Tuesday, March 19, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Catholic school cites safety concerns for fence; BoA thinks fence will cause more

Most people would agree that when it comes to schools, safety is sacrosanct. In today’s climate, parents, educators and the community alike may consider a campus that is wide open to public access to be, at the least, worrisome. Under…

Friday, March 15, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Ethics Commission looks into omission of PAC donation

How does one forget to report $10,000? That was the question of the evening for the Ethics Review Commission at its March 13 convocation.In a complaint filed by Fred Lewis last November, he accused the No on J political action…

Thursday, March 14, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

BoA ponders historically zoned multifamily

For the owner of 608 Elmwood Place in the Hancock neighborhood, perhaps the third time in front of the Board of Adjustment will be the charm.After being postponed last month to allow for more discussion with the neighborhood about the…

Wednesday, March 13, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

CTM’s Office of Design and Delivery: Corporate workshops should not be awful

As Austin grows and city officials begin to question how their jobs are evolving to meet the demands of the tens of thousands of new residents every year, it stands to reason that the city of Austin would ask for…

Tuesday, March 12, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

APD investigates causes of traffic fatalities

As busy and congested as Austin streets have become, drivers have managed to keep the number of traffic fatalities from rising over the last few years.“We’re on a four-year downward trend,” Ron MacKay, Austin Police Department’s crime analysis division manager,…

Monday, March 11, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Bowie High School development plan nullified by new survey

Technological advancements are generally welcomed with open arms thanks to their potential to save time, money and recalculations. Unfortunately, applying these new capabilities to work done almost three decades ago can reveal errors that throw carefully negotiated plans out the…

Friday, March 8, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

APD racial profiling statistics hold steady despite dip in traffic stops

Each year, the Austin Police Department releases a report to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement detailing the number of traffic stops and searches it makes and categorizing them by race. Recently released statistics show that while the Austin Police Department…

Wednesday, March 6, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Council-mandated sexual assault process review comes before Public Safety Commission

After City Council ordered an independent review of the Austin Police Department’s handling of sexual assault cases, the city manager’s office went straight to work. Staffers requested proposals from non-governmental entities with expertise in the prosecution of the crime to…

Tuesday, March 5, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

In Austin, violent crime is down but hot spots persist

As Austin continues to experience explosive growth as it transforms into one of the nation’s larger metro areas, concerns about big-city-sized crime abound.However, despite meteoric growth, overall violent crime is down. Ron MacKay, the crime analysis division manager with APD,…

Tuesday, March 5, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Brush Square Master Plan gets wholehearted approval from HLC

Brush Square may be the least memorable of the four original squares designed as part of the 1839 Waller Plan. Today, thanks to a new master plan, that may be about to change.Kim McKnight, a planner with the Parks and Recreation…

Monday, March 4, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Commission drills down on Grove at Shoal Creek park plans

After years of contentious planning, the Grove at Shoal Creek has broken ground and begun construction on the first two blocks of residences of this mixed-use development in central Northwest Austin.The plan for the accompanying parkland remains under discussion.At the Feb.…

Friday, March 1, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Landmark commissioners say they feel double-crossed over West Austin property

Despite a local homeowner and the city spending months compromising, negotiating and working to comply with suggestions from Austin’s Historic Preservation Office, Historic Landmark commissioners were flabbergasted Monday night at the final plans for a multimillion-dollar home in Old West…

Thursday, February 28, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Which shingles are the right shingles on a historic structure?

Roofs are pesky. Every 25 years or so they need to be replaced, though not usually with an identical material. Over a quarter-century, technology advances, materials become more environmentally friendly, and roof materials can easily affect a home’s energy efficiency.…

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