Stories by Joseph Caterine

Tuesday, September 12, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Rezoning applicant loses rematch with neighborhood

A property owner expected different results at last Tuesday’s Zoning and Platting Commission meeting when making the same rezoning application for a Northwest Austin property. The zoning had been previously cut down by City Council, and the commission decided to…

Thursday, September 7, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Council gets preview of CodeNEXT 2.0

Many of the answers amounted to “wait another week,” but City Council was able to pry some information about the second draft of CodeNEXT from consultants and staff at a special called meeting Wednesday.One of the main criticisms of the…

Friday, September 1, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Single-family occupancy limits drop back to four in CodeNEXT second draft

There is a two-sided nature of the CodeNEXT drafting process. On the one hand, staff and third-party consultants meticulously work through the details of the new land use code on a daily basis. And, on the other, the land use…

Thursday, August 31, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Harvey revives flooding concerns about CodeNEXT

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the land use commissions questioned staff on how CodeNEXT would address local flooding at their Aug. 29 joint meeting. “Austin came real close to having another catastrophe this (past) weekend. Real close,” Zoning and…

Wednesday, August 30, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Trustees cast doubt on success of UT partnership program

At its Aug. 28 meeting, the Austin Independent School District Board of Trustees approved an interlocal agreement with the University of Texas at Austin to renew the Literacy First program at 22 Austin schools for the coming school year, but…

Tuesday, August 29, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Limits of land use code exposed in unique zoning case

An application for commercial zoning at the corner of a North Austin neighborhood elicited a tiresome recommendation from the Zoning and Platting Commission at its Aug. 15 meeting. Commissioners had to go item by item through a list of zoning…

Monday, August 28, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Commission finds itself at CodeNEXT crossroads

Only a few weeks before the scheduled release of CodeNEXT Draft 2.0, the Planning Commission at its Aug. 22 meeting took a step outside of business as usual and considered the alternatives in proceeding with the revamp of the city’s…

Friday, August 25, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Mosaic Sound Collective one step closer to East Austin campus

Tuesday night, the Planning Commission voted to approve recommendations for the rezoning of a property in East Austin that would allow for the expansion of a local music collective’s campus, despite some commissioners’ wariness of how the upzoning might attract…

Friday, August 4, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Crowd demands answers from AISD trustee at east side rally

Austin Independent School District Trustee Jayme Mathias struggled to find common ground with parents, teacher assistants and other community members at the Save East Austin Schools rally Wednesday night. The event was organized by Bertha Delgado and Monica Sanchez, who…

Thursday, August 3, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Former Code director’s delay put STR renewals in limbo

The former Code Department Director Carl Smart’s decision to pause judgment of several appeals from Type 2 short-term rental owners became clear over the course of the July 26 meeting of the Building and Standards Commission, over a year after…

Tuesday, August 1, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Commissioners spar on definition of family-friendly housing

With a school district facing cases of severe under-enrollment, it has become clear that the city needs to do more to cater to younger families and especially to provide housing that suits their needs. CodeNEXT, currently being mulled over by…

Monday, July 31, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Flag lots could be making a comeback

There’s more to CodeNEXT than zoning, believe it or not, and last week the land use commissions received an update from staff on non-zoning changes that would be part of the rewrite’s second draft, with the hottest item of discussion…

Thursday, July 27, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Commission asks if curfew ordinance does any good

Austin and the United States at large share a history of law enforcement policy discriminating against non-white people, and Monday night Human Rights commissioners Sukyi McMahon and Kristian Caballero invited Texas Appleseed staff and community members to help them answer…

Tuesday, July 25, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

CodeNEXT divides commission, spurs review of recommendation process

No city commission has been as prolific in its criticism of CodeNEXT than the Zoning and Platting Commission, and the commission fired off another letter of recommendation at its July 18 meeting in an effort to get feedback in before…

Wednesday, July 19, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Signs fail to point the way at Planning Commission

Though it hasn’t gotten a lot of attention, local sign regulations could drastically change with the implementation of CodeNEXT. While that is still a ways away, that didn’t stop the image of Austin’s homey neighborhoods being overrun by digital billboards…

Tuesday, July 18, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Commission decides mistake made in East Austin plan

Cold case zoning files may not have the same morbid allure as the cold case murders unearthed on late night television, but for the neighborhood and stakeholders involved in these mysteries, justice is still on the line. Last week, the…

Monday, July 17, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Commission talks reversing institutional racism

Cast out of its usual place in the shadows, racism was put front and center as a topic of discussion during a briefing at the Planning Commission Tuesday night. Eric Tang and Jane Rivera, co-chairs of the Real Estate and…

Friday, July 7, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Recent study reveals benefits of Austin’s historic neighborhoods

Longtime Austin residents and historic preservation advocates have new data to back up their defense of neighborhood character thanks to a report that has made its way into local CodeNEXT discussions.Last week, Council Member Leslie Pool shared a link to…

Monday, July 3, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Commission fights for seat at CodeNEXT table

The Zoning and Platting Commission has been perceived by some as the proverbial “stick in the mud” since the CodeNEXT drafting process began earlier this year, but a resolution passed at City Council’s most recent meeting reiterates the commission’s inability…

Wednesday, June 28, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

School board calls for biggest bond in its history

Unprecedented in cost, the $1.05 billion bond package the Austin Independent School District Board of Trustees officially approved at its last meeting before summer break is its most ambitious yet. Unlike the 2013 bond election where the package was divided…

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