Stories by Jessi Devenyns

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…

Monday, June 10, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Shoal Creek Trail solution coming to Council

After a catastrophic landslide carved a 30-foot-high cliff through residents’ backyards along Shoal Creek last year, the city sprang into action to devise a plan to stabilize what was left. However, the slope shifted again this spring, leaving Austinites wondering…

Thursday, June 6, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

ZAP says unlimited RVs should be allowed in mobile home parks

City Council will attempt to alleviate some of Austin’s affordability pressures on Thursday by discussing rezoning mobile home parks that are operating as such yet are not appropriately zoned and by amending the mobile home ordinance to allow recreational vehicles in…

Wednesday, June 5, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Rezoning mobile home parks not straightforward, according to Planning Commission

Last August, City Council acknowledged that mobile home parks are a crucial housing option that can help combat Austin’s affordability crisis. Council gave city staff direction to identify mobile home parks that have improper zoning and work toward appropriately rezoning…

Tuesday, June 4, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Board of Adjustment members file grievance against former assistant city attorney

On Monday, Board of Adjustment Chair William Burkhardt and former Board Member Bryan King, with the support of Board Member Don Leighton-Burwell, filed a complaint with the State Bar of Texas against former Assistant City Attorney Brent Lloyd. The complaint…

Monday, June 3, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Start of summertime brings trash to Austin’s greenbelts

Austin’s greenbelts, though beautiful, have had a fraught history of visitors contaminating the wild beauty of the Central Texas landscape with their trash.At the May 28 meeting of the Parks and Recreation Board meeting, Board Member Rich DePalma brought parks…

Friday, May 31, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Austin’s Google Fiberhood smaller than promised

In 2013, with much fanfare, Google announced the arrival of Fiber in Austin, with promises of providing free Google Fiber services to 102 city buildings. But the internet giant has succeeded so far in providing that service to only 28…

Thursday, May 30, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Citing discrimination, City Council considers changing homelessness ordinances

City Council has decided it is time to take a hard look at the city’s policies associated with homelessness and take dramatic action.The homeless population in Austin is continuing to grow as the city’s population swells. According to the annual…

Wednesday, May 29, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Historic Landmark Commission postpones demolition of home, has questions about integrity

A picture may be worth 1,000 words, but it does not always clearly tell the story of the integrity of a century-old structure. Such is the case for the Herrera family home at 1805 E. Third St.At the May 20…

Tuesday, May 28, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Historic Landmark Commission discovers code interpretation error

At its April meeting, the Historic Landmark Commission postponed the case for 1400 Winsted Lane in search of more context for the property. Instead, staff returned with a new reading of the code that could change how the commission does business…

Friday, May 24, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Annexation causes confusion over property zoning at ZAP

Before being annexed into the city of Austin in 1984, the half-acre lot at 9606 Swansons Ranch Road operated as a commercial lot with a gunsmithing business and later a seafood business. After annexation, the parcel of land, which was…

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