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

Stories by Jonathan Lee

Planning Commission OKs Vertical Mixed-Use zoning on East Cesar Chavez site 

The Planning Commission on Tuesday recommended approval of Vertical Mixed-Use (VMU) zoning for a property along East Cesar Chavez Street, moving a planned mixed-use residential development one step forward.  The project at 3020 E. Cesar Chavez St. could have around…

To improve connectivity, ZAP recommends prohibiting culs-de-sac in most cases

The Zoning and Platting Commission recommended changes to city code on Tuesday to improve street connectivity in new subdivisions. “I look at culs-de-sac as kind of destroying the grid,” said Commissioner Lonny Stern, who initially proposed the changes. He explained…

City falls further behind on affordable housing goals

The city continues to fall behind on its affordable housing goals, according to a report from nonprofit HousingWorks Austin.  In 2021, nine out of 10 Council districts failed to achieve district-based affordable housing production goals, and seven out of 10…

Because of compatibility, mini storage units block 10 homes in South Austin 

The Board of Adjustment failed last Monday to approve a compatibility waiver that would have allowed 10 townhomes at 1609 Matthews Lane in South Austin.  In order to build the units, the owner of the half-acre property requested a variance to…

Featured Collection: Sixth Street

Stream reveals details of six possible new Sixth Street music venues

Stream Realty Partners is eyeing the possibility of turning at least six of its properties on East Sixth Street into music venues, including a plan to convert the former Buffalo Billiards space into a daytime food hall with music in the evenings.…

Affordable housing for survivors of domestic violence planned near Mueller

The Planning Commission unanimously supported a rezoning Tuesday for a mixed-use project that includes affordable housing for survivors of domestic violence.  The project, developed by Capital A Housing, is slated for several lots at 5107-5115 Lancaster Court, near Mueller. Plans…

Majority of Austin’s short-term rentals operating illegally

As the city struggles to enforce short-term rental regulations, a large majority of Austin’s STRs continue to operate illegally, according to a Sept. 6. presentation from the Code Department to the City Council Housing and Planning Committee. There are anywhere between…

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City finally funds tenant relocation assistance, though program’s future remains uncertain

After leaving the Tenant Relocation Assistance Program without funds for six years, the city has found money in next year’s budget to help tenants displaced because of redevelopment. But without a dedicated funding source, the program’s longevity remains uncertain.  On…

ZAP supports zoning change that would allow school to reopen

A visual arts school that shut down after running afoul of zoning laws received support Tuesday from the Zoning and Platting Commission to open back up.  Colette Barcilon, president of Gemini School of Visual Arts, explained that the Texas Workforce…

Austin Police Department Budget, 2012-2022

During the 2020-21 budget process, City Council cut $31.5 million from APD’s budget, citing the protests and “community outcry against the disproportionate impact of police violence on Black Americans, Latinx Americans and other non-white ethnic communities,” according to the approved…

City prepares to announce community-led anti-displacement projects

The details are coming into focus on proposed partnerships between the city and community organizations to prevent displacement along Project Connect transit lines.  Nefertitti Jackmon, the city’s community displacement prevention officer, described the efforts during a joint meeting of the Planning and…

Public workers are being priced out of the city. Affordable housing can't help many of them.

As wages for public sector workers fail to keep pace with housing prices, some city employees have turned to income-restricted housing for relief. But because finding an affordable home and meeting the qualifications isn’t always easy, many workers are forced…

Planning Commission worries new environmental regulations could make housing more expensive

After expressing concerns over the impact of new water quality and drainage regulations on housing affordability, members of the Planning Commission voted Tuesday to form a working group to tackle the code changes before giving a final recommendation to City…

Historic zoning for Westgate Tower delayed amid concern over tax breaks

The Planning Commission postponed a decision Tuesday on whether the Westgate Tower should be zoned historic due to concern about a tax break for condo owners. Preservationists deem the tower at 1122 Colorado Street historic for its architecture and its…

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