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

Stories by Jonathan Lee

Council approves ordinances to strengthen renters’ rights

City Council approved two ordinances Thursday enshrining the right of tenants to organize and to remedy lease violations prior to eviction.  As rents in Austin continue to rise, tenant advocates say the ordinances are increasingly necessary to help prevent eviction…

Code change to allow housing on commercial properties

A code change that would allow housing on commercial properties got an initial hearing at the Planning Commission Tuesday. After some discussion, the commission postponed the item until Nov. 8 amid concern over a recommendation by city staffers to not allow…

City aims to get out of its own way with 'fast-track' permitting for Project Connect rail lines

An ordinance aimed at streamlining permitting for Project Connect has been making its way through boards and commissions in recent weeks – the latest sign of progress toward new rail and bus lines approved by voters in 2020.  On Tuesday,…

Rock climbing gym to relocate, pending rezoning

A locally owned rock climbing gym may be getting a new home. Crux Climbing Center plans to open a new location near SouthPark Meadows and leave its current location on South Congress, should a rezoning request prove successful. “We’re not…

Planning Commission fails to recommend historic zoning for downtown tower

The Planning Commission did not have enough votes last Tuesday to recommend historic zoning for the Westgate Tower at 1122 Colorado St., as some members of the commission challenged the idea of giving tax breaks to downtown condo owners.  Commissioners…

Planning Commission recommends enviro code updates with caveats

The Planning Commission on Tuesday unanimously recommended that City Council approve only certain elements of a package of code updates aimed at making new development more environmentally friendly, and suggested Council retool or delay adoption of other elements. The complex…

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ZAP recommends mixed-use zoning along Lakeline Boulevard over neighbors' objections

Despite objections from several neighbors, the Zoning and Platting Commission recommended a rezoning Tuesday that could bring a mixed-use development to Lakeline Boulevard.  The property in question at 2610½ S. Lakeline Blvd. straddles the boundary between Austin and Cedar Park.…

ZAP supports zoning for 33 townhomes in South Austin

The Zoning and Platting Commission recommended a rezoning Tuesday for 33 homes in South Austin over the objections of two neighbors.  The case concerns a 2.7-acre property at 7901 Peaceful Hill Lane. The property owner, represented by Victoria Haase with…

As affordability concerns linger, Planning Commission postpones enviro code changes

The Planning Commission postponed a vote Tuesday on a complex package of environmental and water quality code amendments. Commissioners say much work remains to understand the full impact of the changes, especially as they relate to housing affordability.  While many…

Effort to save lakefront estate from demolition divides Planning Commission 

The Planning Commission was split Tuesday on whether to help save an eclectic lakefront estate from demolition by zoning it historic amid concerns over tax breaks and the likelihood that a previous owner participated in segregation as a business owner.  The…

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…

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