Stories by Jessi Devenyns

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…

Thursday, May 23, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

ZAP recommends rezoning AISD property for commercial use

Austin Independent School District’s Rosedale School is a special institution that serves students of all ages with severe disabilities, including children who are medically fragile or who need intensive behavioral support. Many of these special-needs children require intensive medical care,…

Thursday, May 23, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Eureka Holdings to begin repairing I.Q. Hurdle House

After a surprising turn of events last month brought the I.Q. Hurdle House from a demolition-by-neglect case to a Certificate of Appropriateness approval for maintenance and repairs, the Historic Landmark Commission expressed enthusiasm that the fate of the property was…

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

East Austin poised to gain a new local historic district

East Austin is on its way to anointing another local historic district. Amid support from dozens of neighborhood residents in the audience, the Historic Landmark Commission unanimously recommended the approval of the creation of a Robertson/Stuart & Mair Historic District.The…

Monday, May 20, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Despite zebra mussels, Austin’s waterways seeing a recovery trend

The news is full of horror stories about zebra mussels invading intake pipes and sediment causing city water to be of questionable quality. Yet statistics show that, overall, the waterways of Austin are regaining their health.According to Mateo Scoggins of the…

Monday, May 20, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Planning Commission decides how much office is too much office in a neighborhood

In Central Austin especially, neighborhoods evolve and zonings change. However, change is not always simple.The two owners of the properties at 1804, 1806 and 1808 W. Sixth St. came before the Planning Commission at its May 14 meeting to request…

Friday, May 17, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Planning Commission fails to recommend zoning change, citing proximity to hazardous materials

Abutting the Cypress Semiconductor manufacturing plant is an undeveloped 1.63-acre tract of land that is currently zoned commercial. This transition property connects the industrial tract to the east with residential developments closer to town.On May 14, Ferris Clements, an associate…

Friday, May 17, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

BoA postpones case to better understand 10-foot setback implications

After combining two plots of land in the West Austin Sweetbrush neighborhood in January and agreeing to conform to city of Austin ordinances in the process, the owners of 2404 Sweetbrush Drive came before the Board of Adjustment on May…

Thursday, May 16, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Mis-measured fence must come down to size, according to BoA

City code considers a swimming pool to be a backyard hazard that should be securely encircled by a solid fence – sometimes a fence that is higher than the 6-foot standard. However, a fence of increased height is only permitted…

Wednesday, May 15, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

BoA says expanded parking at Travis County Tax Office is insufficient

For years, the Travis County Clerk’s Office and the Tax Office at 5501 Airport Blvd. have used the vacant lot next door to accommodate the perpetual parking overflow from Austinites seeking a variety of services.Now, as Austin continues to expand,…

Tuesday, May 14, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Ethics commission finds Prop J PAC violated campaign finance laws

After hours of politically caustic testimony, the Ethics Review Commission found at its May 8 meeting that the No on Prop J political action committee had violated city ethics codes by failing to disclose a $10,000 donation in a timely…

Monday, May 13, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Mobile home rezoning case raises questions about living arrangements

In an attempt to tackle gentrification head-on, last August City Council directed city staff to begin rezoning mobile home parks that were operating as such but were not appropriately zoned. Six of those rezoning cases came before the Zoning and…

Friday, May 10, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Rodriguez case fails to find agreeable settlement

In a novel solution, the Office of the City Auditor and Frank Rodriguez presented a settlement agreement to the Ethics Review Commission at what should have been the final hearing on the case May 8. However, ethics commissioners felt the…

Thursday, May 9, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Affordability Unlocked gets ZAP approval, with concerns

With a $250 million bond geared toward affordable housing, a goal to preserve 10,000 affordable units over the next 10 years and a City Council resolution seeking ways to increase the number of affordable units, city staff members brought forward…

Wednesday, May 8, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Fire and police response times lagging due to low staffing

In an effort to serve citizens as quickly, efficiently and proficiently as possible, Austin public safety departments have response time goals. For the Fire Department, this means response times of eight minutes 90 percent of the time, while police should…

Tuesday, May 7, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Commission zeros in on scooter safety

A landmark study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Austin Public Health Department documented that 192 dockless scooter riders were injured between Sept. 5 and Nov. 30 last year.During that time, “There were about two injuries…

Thursday, May 2, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

BoA grants variance to keep heritage trees and affordable housing

In North Central Austin, developers are working with Central Health and the Housing Authority of the City of Austin to combine nine lots to create an affordable housing complex.The 258-unit complex, located at 411 and 601 E. Powell Lane and…

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