Stories by Nina Hernandez

Friday, July 10, 2020 by Nina Hernandez

City evaluates rental assistance program, prepares for round two

Back in May, the city’s Relief of Emergency Needs for Tenants program disbursed $1.2 million in emergency rental assistance to 1,680 families across the city. This week, the Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Department, in conjunction with the Housing Authority of…

Thursday, July 9, 2020 by Nina Hernandez

ZAP approves East Austin zoning change with condition

At its Tuesday evening meeting, the Zoning and Platting Commission voted to recommend a zoning change at 5601 Nixon Lane. The commission voted in favor of the 4.67-acre property, at the corner of Nixon Lane and FM 969, changing from Community…

Tuesday, July 7, 2020 by Nina Hernandez

Animal advocates decry Austin Animal Center intake policy changes

In a video making the rounds on social media, a woman is standing near the entrance to the Austin Animal Center with a medium-sized dog on a leash. She’s telling a staff member she cannot keep the dog, who is a stray,…

Monday, July 6, 2020 by Nina Hernandez

City issues first notices of intent to suspend in Repeat Offender Program

The city announced last week its first notices of intent to suspend in the Repeat Offender Program, which is designed to ensure that property owners or their agents keep their properties in compliance with Austin city code.The two properties that…

Thursday, July 2, 2020 by Nina Hernandez

Public Safety Committee to hear testimony on changes to police tactics

City Council’s newly revived Public Safety Committee convenes today at 2 p.m. to discuss the Austin Police Department’s General Orders and tactics. It’ll be a different kind of committee meeting: Rather than lead the discussion, committee members will listen to…

Wednesday, July 1, 2020 by Nina Hernandez

Council to review plan for St. Johns Home Depot project after July break

Six years ago, when City Council Member Greg Casar was knocking on thousands of District 4 doors campaigning for his current seat, one question came up time and time again.“People were asking, ‘What’s ever going to happen to the Home…

Monday, June 29, 2020 by Nina Hernandez

Two Montopolis rezoning cases move forward

The battle over a group of Montopolis rezoning cases continued at the Planning Commission last Tuesday. One of the cases – 1.32 acres at 200 Montopolis Drive and 6206 Clovis – passed on consent, and three others were postponed. After…

Thursday, June 25, 2020 by Nina Hernandez

Planning Commission punts MLK zoning case so applicant can work with neighbors

This story has been corrected to reflect a reconsideration of the case by the Planning Commission at the end of its meeting.The Planning Commission voted at its Tuesday meeting to postpone consideration of a zoning change for 5201 E. Martin…

Wednesday, June 24, 2020 by Nina Hernandez

City to give group auditing APD training materials more time

The next Austin Police Department cadet class is on hold indefinitely, City Manager Spencer Cronk reiterated Thursday during the Public Safety Committee meeting. The department will not proceed with the new cadet class, which it had hoped to begin in…

Monday, June 22, 2020 by Nina Hernandez

City could see sharp decline in traffic fatalities after speed limit reductions

City Council recently made a decision to decrease speed limits to 25 mph on most residential streets. Now it’s up to the Transportation Department to implement the new limits, educate the public and partner with the Austin Police Department to…

Friday, June 19, 2020 by Nina Hernandez

ZAP approves restaurant use for plot at Slaughter and Cullen despite neighborhood concerns

On Tuesday night, the Zoning and Platting Commission agreed to an applicant’s request to remove restaurant (general) and restaurant (limited) uses from the conditional overlay attached to the property.Rob Pivnick of LG Slaughter and Cullen LLC owns 116 W. Slaughter…

Monday, June 15, 2020 by Nina Hernandez

Austin Public Health works to address Covid-19 racial disparities

During last week’s City Council work session, staff reported that Covid-19 is disproportionately impacting the Latinx and African American communities and detailed ways to address and reverse that trend.According to an accompanying memo from Austin Public Health Acting Director Adrienne…

Thursday, June 11, 2020 by Nina Hernandez

Airport Advisory Commission attaches strict conditions to landfill expansion proposal

Late last month, the Airport Advisory Commission voted to oppose Texas Regional Landfill Company’s request for a permit to expand its landfill near the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, unless the company promises to remediate the landfill conditions that could attract wildlife…

Thursday, June 11, 2020 by Nina Hernandez

ZAP deadlocked on Jollyville Apartments case

After three separate deadlocked votes, at its June 2 meeting the Zoning and Platting Commission moved on from the Jollyville Apartments case without making a recommendation to City Council.The applicant is requesting a rezoning of the 0.79-acre parcel at Jollyville…

Tuesday, June 9, 2020 by Nina Hernandez

Council unveils resolutions aimed at dismantling systemic racism

On Monday morning, City Council members Natasha Harper-Madison, Delia Garza, Greg Casar and Jimmy Flannigan, along with Mayor Steve Adler, held a press conference to discuss a group of resolutions aimed at reforming the Austin Police Department and dismantling systemic…

Wednesday, June 3, 2020 by Nina Hernandez

Public safety departments run modified cadet classes during pandemic

At the Public Safety Commission’s Monday meeting, Austin Police Department, Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services and Austin Fire Department representatives discussed how cadet classes that were delayed due to Covid-19 (and other issues) will move forward.ATCEMS Chief of Staff Jasper…

Tuesday, June 2, 2020 by Nina Hernandez

Public Safety Commission addresses George Floyd killing

The Public Safety Commission convened Monday afternoon with a lengthy statement by Chair Meghan Hollis, who said she would be “remiss” if she didn’t address the national furor over the police killing of George Floyd, a black man in Minneapolis.She…

Monday, June 1, 2020 by Nina Hernandez

City begins reopening library, pool facilities

City libraries and pools are reopening for the summer beginning this week.Beginning today, Austin Public Library begins its phased reopening of library branches across the city. In phase two, which started today, book drops at branches are open.Books returned to…

Thursday, May 28, 2020 by Nina Hernandez

Planning Commission declines to rescind Simon-Caskey Tract plan

After a lengthy discussion at Tuesday night’s meeting, the Planning Commission ultimately voted to uphold its April 28 vote on the Simon-Caskey Tract Preliminary Plan in City Council District 8.The preliminary plan, approved April 28, calls for the development of…

Wednesday, May 27, 2020 by Nina Hernandez

Staffers offer a preview of FY 2020 budget

The Austin Health and Human Services Committee heard a budget update Tuesday morning that included news of how the Covid-19 pandemic is affecting the city.“We were projecting a balanced budget for FY 21,” Deputy Chief Financial Officer Ed Van Eenoo…

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