Stories by Joseph Caterine

Monday, June 26, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Bond doubles down on segregation, trustee says

At last week’s Austin Independent School District Board of Trustees meeting, only one trustee voted against the adoption of the list of projects to be included in this year’s bond election: District 1 representative Edmund Gordon. In a sit-down interview…

Wednesday, June 21, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

School board wary of tax rate increase in bond election

Read their lips: no tax increase. With the exception of District 1 Trustee Edmund Gordon, the Austin Independent School District Board of Trustees was united in its stance against raising the tax rate with the 2017 Bond Package as it…

Tuesday, June 20, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Garage placement tool ignites political blowback from Bouldin Creek

Light shone through the cracks in the contact team model for neighborhood planning during deliberation over a neighborhood plan amendment at the most recent meeting of the Planning Commission.The Bouldin Creek Neighborhood Plan, adopted in 2002, includes voluntary design guidelines…

Monday, June 19, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Commission pushes for more affordable large apartments to increase school enrollment

Problems are rarely solved by doing what’s typical. That was the motto steering the Planning Commission at its most recent meeting, when members chose not to accept a proposal for a multifamily development with the usual shortage of three-bedroom apartments.Commissioners…

Tuesday, June 13, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

City code enforcement suit may eliminate affordable units

For weeks, tenants at Orchard Plaza apartments in Windsor Park have been evacuating the premises following a contempt order against the owners for substandard housing conditions. Meanwhile, the question of whether the property will continue to provide affordable housing is…

Monday, June 12, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Consultants dodge questions on ideology behind CodeNEXT

Making a rare appearance, an elephant was spotted waltzing through the Boards and Commissions Room at City Hall during the May 30 land use joint commission meeting. Supposedly, the large creature has always been in the room during CodeNEXT work…

Wednesday, June 7, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

AISD board calls for budget to be more voter-friendly

A budget can be financially sound and make economic sense, but if it doesn’t make sense to the public, it’s worthless. That’s the point that some Austin Independent School District board trustees tried to drive home to district administration and…

Tuesday, June 6, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Land use commissions’ collaboration on CodeNEXT shows signs of wear

Months of the land use commissions generally seeing eye-to-eye regarding the CodeNEXT draft text and mapping may be over after tensions flared between members of the Planning and Zoning and Platting commissions during their May 30 joint meeting.Just before the…

Tuesday, May 30, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Historical use clashes with CodeNEXT future in East Cesar Chavez zoning case

It was another episode of Whose Code Is It Anyway? during the limbo period before CodeNEXT, when it sometimes feels like planning is made up and zoning doesn’t matter. This time, the Planning Commission struggled at its May 23 meeting…

Friday, May 26, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Convention center skybridge earns Planning Commission approval

A proposal for a skybridge connecting the Austin Convention Center to the nearby Hilton Austin hotel will make its way to City Council after a narrow Planning Commission vote approved staff’s recommendation during its May 23 meeting.The applicant, Austin Convention…

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

AISD braces itself for end of legislative session

The Austin Independent School District’s budget has been strained since the city’s rapid growth began in the late 1990s, but this year’s state legislative session has district staff anticipating the worst.Chief Financial Officer Nicole Conley Johnson told the AISD Board…

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Commission considers flood survivors in CodeNEXT recommendation

CodeNEXT will make floods worse and displace more low-income Austin residents: That was the opinion of several residents and former residents of Dove Springs, a community that bore the brunt of the 2013 and 2015 Onion Creek floods, who spoke…

Monday, May 22, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Zoning and Platting brainstorms for CodeNEXT recommendation

The Good, the Missing and the Unacceptable: not a reboot of the Clint Eastwood classic, but the categories of CodeNEXT criticism established as the foundation of the Zoning and Platting Commission’s letter of recommendation at its May 16 meeting.Like a…

Friday, May 19, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Environmental Commission calls for investigation into hidden junkyards

In the same way that it’s hard to pinpoint how many pieces of garbage it takes to make a heap, the Environmental Commission deliberated Wednesday night how many instances of localized dumping in the city would amount to a serious…

Tuesday, May 16, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Planning Commission assembles CodeNEXT working groups

CodeNEXT has a way of inspiring drama, even over as something as mundane as the approval of working groups.Case in point: Planning Commissioner Patricia Seeger attempted to make a motion on May 9 to approve breaking into three committees to…

Thursday, May 11, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Commission on Immigrant Affairs responds to SB 4

As the sky crumbled above them, the city’s Commission on Immigrant Affairs scrambled to pick up the pieces Monday night in response to Gov. Greg Abbott’s signing of Senate Bill 4 over the weekend. Slated to become law September 1,…

Tuesday, May 9, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Zoning and Platting looks to pinpoint gentrification

As the only major growth city in the U.S. with a declining African-American population, Austin knows it has a gentrification problem, and the Zoning and Platting Commission took a step toward addressing it on May 2. Commissioners unanimously passed a…

Tuesday, May 2, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

CodeNEXT review process to get makeover

With only a few months left to provide its recommendations on CodeNEXT, the Planning Commission is talking about scrapping staff’s prescribed review process for one of its own making. “I don’t think we’re going to get where we want to…

Thursday, April 27, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Teacher health care surfaces as key issue in AISD budget conversations

As the Austin Independent School District braces for a tough financial year, even by district standards, staff presented preliminary budget plans to the Board of Trustees at its regular meeting April 24.The rough waters are courtesy of Austin’s growth. Significant…

Wednesday, April 26, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

No special election: AISD Board votes to appoint District 6 rep

In an emotional ceremony Monday night, the Austin Independent School District Board of Trustees honored outgoing Vice President Paul Saldaña at his last official meeting as a board trustee. His colleagues made personal statements expressing their gratitude for Saldaña’s service…

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