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Stories by Joseph Caterine

Wednesday, December 14, 2016 by Joseph Caterine

City defends stance on Dripping Springs discharge permit

Chris Herrington, an engineer with the city’s Watershed Protection Department, hopes to dispel the notion that the city of Austin is an “800-pound gorilla” that intimidates surrounding municipalities into submitting to its environmental policy.At the Dec. 7 meeting of the…

Friday, December 9, 2016 by Joseph Caterine

Parks compliance with ADA to take 10 years

Nearly a year after the city’s established compliance deadline for the new American with Disabilities Act requirements, the Parks and Recreation Board heard a presentation on the city’s ADA transition plan during its Dec. 6 meeting.Jesus Lardizabal from Altura Solutions,…

Thursday, December 8, 2016 by Joseph Caterine

Parks board OKs Lamar Beach Master Plan

In advance of its appearance at the Dec. 8 City Council meeting, the Lamar Beach Master Plan was approved with recommendation by the Parks and Recreation Board when it met on Dec. 6.“This is a bad deal for the parks…

Tuesday, December 6, 2016 by Joseph Caterine

Land use commissions scramble to prepare for CodeNEXT draft release

Apprehension was in the air as representatives of the CodeNEXT team, led by Planning and Zoning Department Director Greg Guernsey, addressed the joint meeting of the Planning and Zoning and Platting commissions on Nov. 29.“The fact that we’re here, and…

Monday, December 5, 2016 by Joseph Caterine

Slow response to flood report frustrates some commissioners

The city does not have many options for supporting individuals who suffer loss or damages from flooding caused by a development upstream, based on an exchange at the Nov. 29 joint meeting of the Planning and the Zoning and Platting…

Thursday, December 1, 2016 by Joseph Caterine

City attorney presence could be scaled down at land-use commission meetings

The city’s land-use commissions may lose their on-call legal counsel, according to Mitzi Cotton, assistant division chief at the Law Department, who presented at the Nov. 29 joint meeting of the Planning Commission and the Zoning and Platting Commission.After the…

Monday, November 28, 2016 by Joseph Caterine

BoA postpones interpretation case, disappoints developer

During a special called meeting on Nov. 21, the Board of Adjustment voted to postpone an interpretation case to its next meeting on Dec. 12. Leah Bojo, a senior manager at Drenner Group representing PSW Real Estate, cried “No!” from…

Monday, November 21, 2016 by Joseph Caterine

Musical infill: ZAP passes ‘spot zoning’ case

The Zoning and Platting Commission heard a rezoning case during its Nov. 15 meeting that drew criticism from neighborhood representatives who saw it as an example of “spot zoning.”The property is located in Northwest Austin at 7901 Ranch Road 2222.…

Friday, November 18, 2016 by Joseph Caterine

ZAP approves Robert’s Rules training

A resolution to provide city staff and assistant city attorneys with training on Robert’s Rules of Order – and to make that training available to all members of boards and commissions – met with animosity from Commissioner Susan Harris at…

Wednesday, November 16, 2016 by Joseph Caterine

New city contract: ‘death knell’ for private dumpster services?

Bob Gregory, CEO of Texas Disposal Systems, and his son Adam Gregory sounded the alarm at Monday’s Electric Utility Commission meeting concerning the pending authorization of a 36-month city contract with Republic Services, or another qualified bidder, to provide dumpster…

Wednesday, November 9, 2016 by Joseph Caterine

Flannigan takes District 6, ousts Zimmerman

Don Zimmerman, one of the city’s most controversial City Council members, conceded to challenger Jimmy Flannigan yesterday after the early voting results were released in the early evening, with 12,542 votes (57.65 percent) for Flannigan and 9,213 (42.35 percent) for…

Monday, November 7, 2016 by Joseph Caterine

Environmental variances for church approved, despite lack of tree survey

The Environmental Commission approved a list of variance requests for the Iglesia Camino del Rey Church during its Nov. 4 meeting, despite the fact that there was no tree survey for review.The new church with parking will cover 10,000 square…

Thursday, November 3, 2016 by Joseph Caterine

Austin Oaks PUD wins ZAP recommendation

After hours of heated testimony and intense deliberation, the Zoning and Platting Commission passed a motion during its Nov. 1 meeting recommending the Austin Oaks planned unit development rezoning request with conditions.The project has been in the works since mid-2014,…

Tuesday, November 1, 2016 by Joseph Caterine

Despite protest, commission OKs liquor rezoning

The Planning Commission has endorsed a rezoning case that will result in a Twin Liquors store opening near the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders. Despite opposition from Austin Neighborhoods Council President David King, lack of objection from the…

Friday, October 28, 2016 by Joseph Caterine

‘Train wreck’: Planning Commission discusses CodeNEXT

A working group of the Planning Commission had only negative things to report at the commission’s Oct. 25 meeting after analyzing the final prescription paper for CodeNEXT, the city’s overhaul of the Land Development Code. The paper, which addresses fiscal…

Thursday, October 27, 2016 by Joseph Caterine

‘Spot Zoning’ case moved to subcommittee

A strange example of patchy zoning came before the Planning Commission at its Tuesday meeting. Chair Stephen Oliver and Commissioner Michael Wilson co-sponsored an item that proposed initiating a code amendment to create an overlay district for two lots on…

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 by Joseph Caterine

First-of-its-kind housing plan presented to Planning Commission

In a city where 200,000 additional housing units will be needed over the next 30 years to meet the growing number of newcomers, having a plan to keep those units affordable is prudent. Accordingly, Jonathan Tomko, a senior planner with…

Tuesday, October 18, 2016 by Joseph Caterine

Planning Commission debates connectivity over rezoning application

Following a CodeNEXT presentation advocating for greater connectivity in Austin, the Planning Commission had an opportunity to emulate that theme in considering a rezoning application at its Oct. 11 meeting.Applicant Brown & Gay Engineering, represented at the meeting by Steven…

Friday, October 14, 2016 by Joseph Caterine

CodeNEXT prescription papers scrutinized at Planning Commission

CodeNEXT Advisory Group members Dave Sullivan and Colby Wallis – joined by city staff members Annick Beaudet, Ashley Greenstein and Paul DiGiuseppe – were met with skeptical looks when they presented the final two CodeNEXT prescription papers at this week’s Planning…

Thursday, October 13, 2016 by Joseph Caterine

Lamar Beach Master Plan moves to Council

Pitching a park master plan at a Planning Commission meeting is a hard sell, especially when you’re following presentations on the city’s fiscal health and its affordability crisis. Rebecca Leonard of Design Workshop nevertheless took up the task before an…

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