Stories by Joseph Caterine

Monday, April 24, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Land-use commissions unimpressed with CodeNEXT mapping

Ending a bit rougher than it began, the CodeNEXT map’s first day in the sun experienced some cloudiness in the evening when, during a joint work session, some of the land-use commissioners made cutting observations about the effort’s potential impact…

Monday, April 17, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Convention center skybridge postponed by Planning Commission

A request seeking permission to construct a pedestrian skybridge connecting the Austin Convention Center and the Hilton Austin hotel downtown was postponed by the Planning Commission last week. The case, which the commission came close to denying altogether, will now…

Friday, April 14, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

In lieu of Imagine Austin update, Planning Commission recommends mixed-use project

The city’s comprehensive plan is starting to show its age. On Tuesday, the Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve a mixed-use zoning request, against staff’s recommendation, for three commercially zoned properties on the border of one of the Imagine Austin…

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

AISD trustee reveals reasons behind resignation

In a sit-down interview with the Austin Monitor, Austin Independent School District Trustee Paul Saldaña opened up about the reasons behind his departure from the board, disclosing his fears of becoming bogged down in bureaucracy and describing a school district…

Tuesday, April 11, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Planning Commission initiates historic zoning for Emancipation Park site

A week before the release of the Mayor’s Task Force on Institutional Racism and Systemic Equities’ 70-page report, the Planning Commission took a small step during its March 28 meeting in fixing what local historian Fred McGhee called a “broken…

Friday, April 7, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

AISD magnet school policy in turmoil

Emotions ran high as Austin Independent School District trustees, school alums and parents weighed in on the district’s magnet school policy at the board’s special called meeting April 3.The board deliberated for several hours before it voted to adopt the…

Thursday, April 6, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Zoning and Platting Commission debates its role in deciding reasonable use

Opposing zoning philosophies came to a head at Tuesday night’s Zoning and Platting Commission meeting, resulting in a split vote over a conditional overlay removal request for a planned gas station project in Northeast Austin.Last year, City Council approved commercial…

Wednesday, April 5, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

AISD board adopts Facility Master Plan update

Against the wishes of some trustees to postpone the item, the Austin Independent School District Board of Trustees worked into the early hours of Tuesday morning to adopt the Facility Master Plan update in a special called meeting.The master plan…

Friday, March 31, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Austin’s top magnet school may be dislocated from East Austin home

One of the top 10 high schools in the country, the Liberal Arts and Science Academy, may be relocated from its stomping grounds on the campus of Lyndon B. Johnson High School in East Austin to a more central location…

Thursday, March 30, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Planning Commission unanimously votes to recommend Strategic Housing Plan

It would be a stretch to call Tuesday night’s vote a confident one, but the Planning Commission nevertheless unanimously passed a motion to recommend the Austin Strategic Housing Plan to City Council at its meeting Tuesday night.The plan, if approved,…

Wednesday, March 29, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Draft AISD facilities update miscalculates root of underenrollment crisis, board trustees say

Tough conversations about racial segregation and economic disparity need to be had before the Austin Independent School District’s Facility Master Plan update is approved, some trustees said at the March 27 meeting of the AISD board.Monday night, members of the…

Tuesday, March 28, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

CodeNEXT consultants discuss the fate of conditional overlays and PUDs

Like magicians before a skeptical audience, the CodeNEXT consultants asked the land use commissioners at their March 21 joint meeting to suspend their disbelief and envision an Austin with very few planned unit developments and zero conditional overlays.Since they replaced…

Monday, March 27, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Austin Energy struggles to fill vacancies with outdated hiring process

Facing a wave of retirement over the next three to five years, Austin Energy urgently needs to revamp its hiring approach, staff told the Electric Utility Commission at its March 20 meeting.“We do very passive recruiting here,” said Chief Financial…

Thursday, March 23, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

CodeNEXT consultants respond to accusations of dividing city

Two weeks after the Zoning and Platting Commission passed a resolution stating that the CodeNEXT draft text “provides two very different, separate codes,” the CodeNEXT consultants reassured commissioners during the joint land use work session Tuesday night that the draft does in…

Tuesday, March 21, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Holly Power Plant to be officially decommissioned in August, staff reports

Remnants of the Holly Street Power Plant still stand in East Austin, bitter reminders of a facility that spread pollution to nearby residents, but Austin Energy staff assured the Electric Utility Commission at its March 20 meeting that the decommissioning…

Monday, March 20, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Board denies appeal accusing church of being front for multifamily residence

Wading through the gray area between religious assembly and residential uses, the Board of Adjustment decided at its Feb. 13 meeting to deny an appeal to reverse staff’s determination that the property at 2530 South Congress was being used for…

Friday, March 17, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Form-based considerations inform West Campus variance case

In the haze of CodeNEXT fever, the form-based language of building types and footprints continues to creep into discussions of land use, and those considerations found their way into the Board of Adjustment’s meeting Monday night.For its final item, the board heard…

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

King upholds neighborhood-first attitude in environmental variances case

Although some considered it off-topic, newly appointed Zoning and Platting Commissioner David King brought a neighborhood-centered perspective to the forefront of an environmental variances case, which the commission voted to recommend at its March 7 meeting.King had requested the item…

Thursday, March 9, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Commission asks Council to delay CodeNEXT mapping

In an act of defiance to the momentum of the CodeNEXT juggernaut, the Zoning and Platting Commission passed a resolution at the closing of its March 7 meeting calling on City Council to direct Planning and Zoning Department staff and consultants…

Wednesday, March 8, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Environmental Commission schedules special meeting on Easton Park

After two hours of debating the urgency of cut and fill variances requested for a residential development in the controversial Pilot Knob planned unit development, the Environmental Commission voted to postpone action until a special called meeting no later than…

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