Stories by Jonathan Lee

Monday, September 20, 2021 by Jonathan Lee

Austin Opry House development faces opposition from Planning Commission, neighbors

A mixed-use project seeking to revive historic music venue Austin Opry House ran into concerns Tuesday from the Planning Commission, which voted to postpone the rezoning case by a month to give the applicant, Richard Weiss, more time to work…

Friday, September 17, 2021 by Jonathan Lee

For neighbors’ sake, Planning Commission recommends downsizing multifamily project by half

In an attempt to appease neighbors wary of new multifamily development, the Planning Commission Tuesday recommended less dense zoning than was requested by the owner of several vacant lots at Grady and Brownie drives in North Austin. The commission followed…

Friday, September 10, 2021 by Jonathan Lee

ZAP recommends VMU zoning on increasingly dense Slaughter Lane corridor

On Tuesday, the Zoning and Platting Commission unanimously recommended Vertical Mixed-Use zoning to allow a 290-unit multifamily development with ground floor retail at 1017 W. Slaughter Lane. Though VMU zoning is more often seen in the central city, commissioners thought…

Tuesday, September 7, 2021 by Jonathan Lee

12th and Springdale rezoning gets final Council approval

In a move that will bring more housing to East Austin, City Council approved the rezoning of 1200, 1202 and 1208 Springdale Road at its Aug. 26 regular meeting.  Mayor Pro Tem Natasha Harper-Madison made the case at the meeting…

Wednesday, September 1, 2021 by Jonathan Lee

Council gives initial OK to Fair Market rezoning

City Council has tentatively approved a height increase for a new East Austin office project that would replace Fair Market, an event space, on the southern half of the block bordered by Waller, East Fifth and Sixth streets. Council Member…

Monday, August 30, 2021 by Jonathan Lee

Council approves ‘multimodal’ residential project in northwest downtown

City Council said yes to more density in the northwest corner of downtown by voting unanimously Thursday to approve Downtown Mixed-Use (DMU) zoning with a 90-foot height limit for Shoal Cycle, a 210-bed multimodal-friendly apartment project at 812 W. 11th…

Friday, August 27, 2021 by Jonathan Lee

A new Austin Energy rule aims to keep construction workers safe. It could also make homes harder to build.

In response to the death by electrocution of a construction worker and a subsequent lawsuit, Austin Energy has increased the minimum distance between power lines and new buildings, a regulation the utility says will keep workers safer. A jury in…

Tuesday, August 24, 2021 by Jonathan Lee

ZAP fails to recommend rezoning for 100 percent affordable apartments

A tie vote at the Zoning and Platting Commission last Tuesday means that the rezoning for Fox Hollow, an affordable housing project, goes to City Council without ZAP’s recommendation. Half of the commission sided with neighbors who say the site…

Friday, August 20, 2021 by Jonathan Lee

Cave concern means no ZAP recommendation for Luby’s rezoning

Two weeks ago, Zoning and Platting commissioners made one thing clear: Without more information about two caves under the Luby’s cafeteria site in Northwest Austin, the commission can’t discuss the Multifamily-Highest Density (MF-6) zoning requested by the developer, who wants…

Monday, August 16, 2021 by Jonathan Lee

Design Commission wants to remove downtown FAR caps, cut Council out of density bonus program

Following a City Council discussion earlier this year about updating the Downtown Density Bonus Program, the Design Commission last week recommended several changes for Council to mull, including removing Council’s discretion over allowing extra-dense towers and removing floor area ratio…

Friday, August 13, 2021 by Jonathan Lee

New street impact fee will make development more predictable, ATD says

The Austin Transportation Department updated members of the City Council Mobility Committee last week on the city’s new street impact fee, which developers will pay to offset impacts from increased car trips to and from new buildings. Council adopted the…

Friday, August 6, 2021 by Jonathan Lee

Designated campsite strategy remains in limbo 

On Thursday, City Council members had their most in-depth discussion about designated encampments for homeless people since voting unanimously to explore the strategy back in May. Still, much remains uncertain. Last week, Mayor Pro Tem Natasha Harper-Madison and Council Member…

Thursday, August 5, 2021 by Jonathan Lee

Attempted tree removal creates cul-de-sac conflict

A saga that stretched a year and a half and pitted neighbor against neighbor ended last week when the Planning Commission prevented North Austin resident Patrick Fulker from removing a cottonwood tree in the public right of way.  Neighbor Krenda…

Wednesday, August 4, 2021 by Jonathan Lee

Public Safety Commission recommends ceasing Prop B citations

The Public Safety Commission Monday recommended that City Council halt citations and arrests related to Proposition B, arguing that public camping should not be criminalized when people don’t have anywhere else to go. “There are myriad reasons listed for why…

Tuesday, August 3, 2021 by Jonathan Lee

A Council resolution floats safety-minded changes on Sixth Street. Some are more controversial than others.

In response to a recent spate of violence on Sixth Street, City Council unanimously passed a resolution Thursday that sets out to tackle long-neglected safety problems in the area. If the proposed changes in the resolution come to fruition after…

Monday, August 2, 2021 by Jonathan Lee

Developer sidesteps valid petition, drawing Council members’ ire

Five City Council members voted against an affordable housing project in Northeast Austin after the developer skirted a valid petition by reducing the requested rezoning area. The case still passed on first reading Thursday, with six votes in favor, but…

Friday, July 30, 2021 by Jonathan Lee

Council chooses developer for St. John Home Depot site

After years of community engagement, redevelopment of the city-owned St. John Home Depot site is finally happening. City Council Thursday voted unanimously to select the joint proposal from developer Greystar and the Housing Authority of the City of Austin. The…

Thursday, July 29, 2021 by Jonathan Lee

Planning Commission recommends ‘missing middle’ project next to single-family homes

On Tuesday, the Planning Commission recommended multifamily zoning for a 20-unit townhome project at 901 & 907 Stobaugh St. in the Crestview neighborhood. The rezoning would represent a substantial increase in density compared to the single-family properties just west of…

Wednesday, July 28, 2021 by Jonathan Lee

Council may abandon designated campsite strategy

City Council members Paige Ellis and Natasha Harper-Madison have announced that they will not support designated campsites for people experiencing homelessness, casting doubt on the viability of a strategy Council adopted in May. “After a week of extremely difficult conversations,…

Tuesday, July 27, 2021 by Jonathan Lee

South Austin rezoning sails through ZAP

The Zoning and Platting Commission unanimously recommended the requested Family Residence (SF-3) zoning for a 2.4-acre lot at 2414 Drew Lane in South Austin on Tuesday. Council’s approval of the request would pave the way for 16 units that are…

Back to Top