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Fully-Local • Non-Partisan • Public-Service Journalism
 

Stories by Jonathan Lee

APD making headway toward academy reforms, but still a work in progress

The Austin Police Department is well on its way toward implementing recommended changes to its training academy, according to a presentation Monday from consulting firm Kroll Associates. APD has enacted nearly all of the short-term recommendations and just under half…

Public divided over proposed development rules

Members of the public weighed in Thursday on changes to Vertical Mixed-Use (VMU) zoning and the potential for relaxed development rules along busy streets as City Council continued discussions on the proposals.  Opinions were split among those who spoke at…

Council endorses development bonuses near the Capitol

A rule prohibiting tall buildings near the Texas Capitol may soon be relaxed, opening up a sleepy part of downtown to more development. City Council passed a resolution Thursday that would allow properties currently under the Capitol Dominance Overlay –…

More homes on the way to substandard Rogers Lane

Rogers Lane, a steep, narrow road in East Austin, has seen substantial development recently. On Tuesday, the Zoning and Platting Commission heard a rezoning case that could bring 107 additional units to the street, drawing concern from some residents. The…

Council lays out compromise for more density along major streets

As Austin’s housing crisis deepens, City Council is pushing to relax two major constraints on development – compatibility and parking requirements – for properties along busy streets, in hopes of increasing the supply of housing. “We believe there is consensus…

Neighborhood association attempts to put kibosh on housing for the homeless

Advocates and city officials often say affordable housing is the key to ending homelessness. But as a rezoning case heard Tuesday at the Planning Commission showed, this type of housing can be hard to build, due in part to neighborhood…

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Planning Commission recommends rezoning amid 'heartwrenching' testimony

A case at the Planning Commission Tuesday highlighted the vulnerability of renters amid Austin’s rapid growth, as older apartment buildings are increasingly torn down to make way for new development. At issue is the Old Homestead apartment complex, an 80-year-old,…

Montopolis project gets Council go-ahead

City Council approved a rezoning Thursday that will bring affordable housing for women and children experiencing homelessness to the Montopolis neighborhood. The rezoning from Family Residence (SF-3-NP) to Multifamily-Moderate Density (MF-4-NP), which Council approved on all three readings, will allow…

Venue capacity still under negotiation in Austin Opry House rezoning

A proposal to bring back renowned music venue Austin Opry House might have sailed through City Council if not for neighbors concerned about one thing: venue capacity.  Because of neighbors fearing traffic and boisterous concertgoers from the proposed 1,200-capacity venue,…

Council endorses changes to East 11th and 12th street development regulations

Before a troubled history of urban renewal and disinvestment led the city to declare the areas blighted, 11th and 12th streets were once thriving corridors in East Austin’s Black community. Now, the city is shepherding land use changes along the…

Mixed-use project with affordable units coming near Mueller, pending rezoning  

The Planning Commission Tuesday supported a rezoning request for a 143-unit, mixed-income, mixed-use development near the Mueller neighborhood.  The rezoning concerns two tracts: a 1.2-acre property at 2015 E M. Franklin Ave., home to Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In, and…

Advocacy orgs target compatibility, parking requirements in VMU2

As City Council discusses VMU2, a proposal to allow taller buildings on sites zoned Vertical Mixed-Use in exchange for more affordable housing, advocacy groups have rallied to scrap what they say are VMU2’s biggest shortcomings: compatibility and parking requirements. “Eliminating…

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