Stories by Ryan Thornton

Friday, August 30, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Council looks beyond the budget

City Manager Spencer Cronk sat down with Council members at a special called work session Thursday to give an overview of four budget-related topics that have come up in recent weeks: the Hotel Occupancy Tax; an emergency-response report by the…

Friday, August 30, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Staff proposes exchanging parking for sidewalks

There is a controversial assumption informing the work of the Land Development Code revision team: That is, shrinking the city’s mode share of motorists driving alone from 74 percent to 50 percent in the next two decades will require, to…

Tuesday, August 27, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Capital Metro talks batteries over electric bus contract

The Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority is pressing on with its fleet electrification plan despite a number of kinks yet to be fully ironed out.After the agency’s board of directors approved a contract with New Flyer of America on Monday for…

Monday, August 26, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

City prepares for ‘shot clock’ bill with code amendments

Just in time, City Council approved changes to the Land Development Code Thursday intended to buffer the city’s subdivision development application process against House Bill 3167, known as the “shot clock” bill, effective statewide Sept. 1.Council members across the dais…

Friday, August 23, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Riverside development inches closer to approval

The so-called “Domain on Riverside” fell one vote short of the seven needed to pass City Council on both second and third readings. Council members rehashed common concerns about the development’s size and location on Thursday before passing the 4700…

Thursday, August 22, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Mobility Committee advances push for safe railroad crossings

A long-standing concern with pedestrian and bicycle safety at railroad crossings has earned support from some City Council members, but questions about equity and process may temper hopes of swift improvements.Since October 2018, both the Bicycle Advisory Council and Pedestrian…

Wednesday, August 21, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Housing supply and demand debate resurfaces over code rewrite

The Land Development Code rewrite team is going far beyond previous efforts in Draft 3 of CodeNEXT with its housing capacity goals. According to staff, aiming for more housing units in general will also help secure affordable housing while addressing…

Monday, August 19, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Shoal Creek trail project gets special attention

To support both the city’s transportation goals and the ongoing work of the Shoal Creek Conservancy, City Council passed a resolution Aug. 9 directing the city manager to consider ways to prioritize the Cypress and Shoal Creek Project, a heavily…

Thursday, August 15, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

City tightens standards for housing development assistance loans

The Austin Housing Finance Corporation plans to be more selective with loan applications and partnerships for its Rental Housing Development Assistance and Ownership Housing Development Assistance programs in the coming years.The programs offer loans to developers promising housing units for…

Wednesday, August 14, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Land Development Code team previews compromise

City Manager Spencer Cronk’s Land Development Code rewrite team claims to have struck a balance between respecting the long-term plans of current homeowners while encouraging new density to meet the city’s housing and transit goals.As part of the overall effort…

Tuesday, August 13, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Capital Metro board awards bus operations contract to single firm, MV Transportation

The Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s board of directors voted Monday to combine operations at its two garages under one company, Dallas-based MV Transportation, Inc.The contract includes a base five-year period for $575.1 million with two optional three-year extensions and a…

Friday, August 9, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Council OKs ‘Domain on Riverside’ on first reading

City Council sided with the Planning Commission Thursday in approving a first reading of a request to rezone five tracts of land comprising nearly 100 acres to accommodate the mixed-use development project once known as Project Catalyst, now known as…

Thursday, August 8, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Council to reconsider changes to Zilker Botanical Garden agreement

Zilker Botanical Garden Conservancy and the Austin Parks and Recreation Department released a memo Friday detailing a plan for the future management of Zilker Botanical Garden.The additional detail comes in response to a request last month from Council Member Kathie Tovo…

Wednesday, August 7, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Council likely to delay vote on street impact fees

City Council will likely allow two more weeks for dialogue before the Austin Transportation Department begins crafting details of its street impact fee program.With Council expected to adopt street impact fees in January 2020, Council Member Ann Kitchen said during…

Tuesday, August 6, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Capital Metro pitches in for new East Austin bus station

The Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s board of directors approved a 40-year interlocal agreement Monday, July 29, with the Capital Area Rural Transportation System for construction and joint operation of the Eastside Bus Plaza, a transit station at the convergence of…

Friday, August 2, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Project Connect Blue Line yet to be defined

In the shadow of 2014’s failed Highland-Riverside rail ballot measure, the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s similarly charted Blue Line is struggling to take form.The Blue Line is one of Project Connect’s two high-capacity transit lines. If approved, it will run…

Thursday, August 1, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Commission proposes code change to get housing in opportunity zones

Federal opportunity zones were designed to spur growth in economically disadvantaged areas, but the Planning Commission says the incentives are driving commercial development to the detriment of the city’s housing supply.Economic Development Department staff will give an overview and update…

Wednesday, July 31, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Permit granted for annual extraction of 289 million gallons from Trinity Aquifer

The Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District granted a permit to Needmore Water LLC on Monday evening to pump up to 289,080,000 gallons of water per year from the Trinity Aquifer. According to the applicant, the water will be used for…

Monday, July 29, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Planning Commission rejects city’s gradualism in modest rezoning case

The Planning Commission clashed with city staff Tuesday by voting in favor of a request to rezone two lots at 6501 and 6503 Cannonleague Drive from Family Residence (SF-3) to Urban Family Residence (SF-5).According to staff, the requested designation could…

Friday, July 26, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Commission pushes for increased height, reduced compatibility ahead of code rewrite

The Planning Commission voted Tuesday to initiate a code amendment that would increase the building height limit from 60 to 85 feet at properties located within a transit-oriented development or zoned as vertical mixed-use. For good measure, the amendment would…

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