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Stories by Joseph Caterine

Friday, March 30, 2018 by Joseph Caterine

As deadline nears, CodeNEXT capacity figures still in question

The land use commissions received a briefing on the affordability implications of the third and final draft of CodeNEXT Tuesday night, with only a few weeks left before they turn in their official recommendations to City Council. Consultants and staff…

Monday, March 26, 2018 by Joseph Caterine

Commission strikes compromise in contentious mixed use zoning request

In line with the emphasis on mixed use zoning proposed in the CodeNEXT draft, the Zoning and Platting Commission voted to approve staff’s recommendation of mixed use Limited Office zoning for a lot on Slaughter Lane during its Mar. 20…

Tuesday, March 20, 2018 by Joseph Caterine

Commission votes to deny rezoning for Northwest bar

The Zoning and Platting Commission voted to side with members of a Northwest Austin neighborhood against a request that would permit a bar to open in their neighborhood. It is not the first time this neighborhood has opposed similar requests,…

Friday, March 16, 2018 by Joseph Caterine

Planning Commission moves Rosewood Courts case to Council

Voting against a request to postpone the case, the Planning Commission unanimously approved staff’s recommendation to grant a portion of east side public housing project Rosewood Courts historic zoning at its Mar. 13 meeting.Controversy has centered around whether all of…

Monday, March 5, 2018 by Joseph Caterine

East side zoning case gets personal

It takes great care for the Planning Commission to balance developer and neighborhood concerns for any zoning case. That can be especially true when the land in question is smack dab in the middle of one of the most rapidly…

Tuesday, February 27, 2018 by Joseph Caterine

School board approves Confederate school renaming process

The Austin Independent School District Board of Trustees voted 7-2 last night to approve an action initiated by district staff last fall to rename five school facilities named after Confederate military personnel.Deliberation on whether to change the names for the…

Thursday, February 22, 2018 by Joseph Caterine

Middle school turnaround plan impresses board

Having to reinvest in a failing school is typically a somber affair, but the Austin Independent School District’s board of trustees was pleasantly surprised by the thought and energy that had been put into the Burnet Middle School Turnaround Plan…

Tuesday, February 20, 2018 by Joseph Caterine

Land use commissions skeptical about CodeNEXT 3.0 promises

The third draft of CodeNEXT made its long-awaited debut last Monday, presented to the public at an open house that evening in the flattering light of the golden hour – but by the next night, at the joint land use…

Wednesday, February 14, 2018 by Joseph Caterine

School board still split on school renamings

At its Feb. 12 work session, the Austin Independent School District Board of Trustees formally discussed the possibility of renaming several Confederate-affiliated facilities. It was the first time it has done so since tensions between some trustees had culminated in an…

Monday, February 12, 2018 by Joseph Caterine

Commission vice chair calls density bonus programs a failure

At the Zoning and Platting Commission’s Feb. 6 meeting, Vice Chair Jim Duncan continued his series of CodeNEXT presentations with an indictment of the city’s density bonus programs, one of the city’s main approaches to facilitating housing for households making less…

Thursday, February 1, 2018 by Joseph Caterine

City demographer smashes assumptions about growth at CodeNEXT meeting

For the past year, the land use commissions have been reviewing the drafts of CodeNEXT, and the discussions have primarily revolved around how to accommodate the incredible population growth the city has experienced for the past few decades. About two…

Friday, January 26, 2018 by Joseph Caterine

Neighborhood fights for holistic infrastructure improvements on east side rezoning

Less than a week after the Planning Commission held a CodeNEXT discussion on the predicament of upzoning in areas with insufficient infrastructure, it had the opportunity to weigh in on a real-life example. At their Jan. 23 meeting, commissioners voted…

Wednesday, January 24, 2018 by Joseph Caterine

School district fiscal forecast bleak

Although it did not come as a shock, the precarious position of the Austin Independent School District’s financial future dampened the mood at the end of the board of trustees’ Jan. 22 meeting. The ever-increasing amount of recapture the district…

Tuesday, January 23, 2018 by Joseph Caterine

Mobility plan preview raises questions at Planning Commission

At a special called Jan. 18 meeting, the Planning Commission got its first look at the beginnings of the Austin Strategic Mobility Plan, what will be an amendment to the city’s comprehensive plan, Imagine Austin. The plan is still in…

Monday, January 22, 2018 by Joseph Caterine

CodeNEXT wrong on PUDs, says commission

Waiting for the release of the third and final draft of CodeNEXT has not stopped the Zoning and Platting Commission from continuing to criticize the second draft, even after the commission submitted its formal recommendation last October. One of the…

Thursday, January 18, 2018 by Joseph Caterine

Flag lot variance request revived after failed approval

Having already been postponed once before, a plat application for a new subdivision in West Austin was postponed again by the Zoning and Platting Commission at its Jan. 2 meeting after a motion to approve failed to pass.Two of the…

Tuesday, January 16, 2018 by Joseph Caterine

AISD submits top picks for Transformation Zone partner

After meeting with representatives from eight Northeast Austin campus advisory councils last week, the Austin Independent School District administration has selected its top picks for the role of design partner in a Transformation Zone grant. Empower Schools Inc. from Boston…

Friday, January 12, 2018 by Joseph Caterine

Commission struggles with perplexing conditional use permit

CodeNEXT may make the current Land Development Code seem outdated, but there are still buildings around the city that have yet to be registered with the city. In these cases, something as simple as changing a building’s use can carry…

Wednesday, January 10, 2018 by Joseph Caterine

AISD pumps brakes on Confederacy renamings

The initiative to change the names of Austin school facilities bearing the titles of Confederate military personnel lost steam at the Austin Independent School District Board of Trustees’ Jan. 8 work session. The item was scheduled to come to a…

Friday, December 22, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Commission tries in vain to add affordability requirements to commercial rezone

The legal constraints of Vertical Mixed Use zoning stalled efforts to add income-restricted affordable housing to a rezoning request at the Zoning and Platting Commission’s Dec. 19 meeting.The 2-acre property at 9829 1/2 North Lake Creek Parkway is currently zoned…

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