Stories by Ryan Thornton

Friday, May 17, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Austin Energy says Decker employees will be prepared for transition

Belated plans to decommission two aging steam turbines at Decker Creek Power Station have brought into question the futures of the estimated 39 employees who will be out of work when the last steam unit shuts down in late 2021.In…

Thursday, May 16, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

APD makes case for increased tow fee

The Austin Police Department says the city tow rate is due for an update. According to the department’s calculations, the current fee has fallen behind market rates and should be adjusted as soon as possible.While the city’s police tow rate…

Wednesday, May 15, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Council asks city staff for ideas on local Green New Deal, EVs

City Council unanimously approved its own Green New Deal resolution last week in response to the devastating consequences of the climate crisis, from record temperatures to the historic flooding seen in Austin and Central Texas over the last decade.Council Member…

Friday, May 10, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Council passes affordable housing density bonus program

In keeping with its previous support of Council Member Greg Casar’s proposed density bonus program, City Council unanimously approved the Affordability Unlocked bonus program Thursday evening, an ordinance amending city code by loosening site restrictions and promoting construction of more…

Thursday, May 9, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Code rewrite leaves little room for small area planning pilot

City Council will not be taking action Thursday on a resolution intended to direct City Manager Spencer Cronk to initiate a pilot small area planning project on North Lamar Boulevard between Tech Ridge Transit Center and U.S. Highway 183.Although the…

Wednesday, May 8, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

CAMPO dedicates money for I-35 expansion

The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization Transportation Policy Board clarified its priorities Monday evening by approving a resolution allocating $500 million of its Category 2 and 7 10-year budgets to the Texas Department of Transportation for highway congestion relief projects.The…

Tuesday, May 7, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Growing up: Council wrestles with competing water and housing needs

Between an invasion of zebra mussels, an extended boil-water notice due to continued flooding and the concerning results of the Atlas 14 regional rainfall study, city water problems have crowded to the surface in the months since the last land…

Friday, May 3, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Council directs city staff on code rewrite

Austin City Council has spoken: It wants a new Land Development Code and map to look at and consider for adoption this year, ready to pass on first reading in October.Council voted during a special session Thursday afternoon to direct…

Wednesday, May 1, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

ARCH prepares to improve results by serving fewer clients

As of April 1, the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless is moving forward with a renewed 18-month contract with Front Steps Inc. to redesign its services to have better focus on individual clients and improve efficiency.Vella Karman, manager of…

Tuesday, April 30, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Yard Bar evades muzzle on live music

Customers at Yard Bar, a Burnet Road restaurant, will continue enjoying outdoor live music with their dinner and drinks for years to come, thanks to City Council’s rejection of an appeal of the restaurant’s relatively strict outdoor music venue permit…

Friday, April 26, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Development code vote kicked down the road

City staffers are not quite in the clear to officially start work drafting a new Land Development Code. City Council was preparing to make a vote this week that would provide direction to City Manager Spencer Cronk regarding the code,…

Wednesday, April 24, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Council debates preservation of special zoning districts

City Council members have come to a loose consensus on the five questions in City Manager Spencer Cronk’s land development code memo. Council is fundamentally in agreement that a new code is necessary and that a zoning map should be…

Tuesday, April 23, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Capital Metro to buy last wave of diesel, first electric buses

In line with its overarching vision for Project Connect, the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority is hoping to phase out use of diesel engine buses beginning this year with the purchase of at least four battery electric buses.The agency has been…

Monday, April 22, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Austin Energy updates multifamily weatherization program

Despite spending less than ever on multifamily weatherization and tightening restrictions on its multifamily weatherization rebate program, Austin Energy claims to be on track to meet the city’s energy efficiency goals while continuing to lower energy bills for its customers.Debbie…

Wednesday, April 17, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

County considers matching Austin with $15 livable wage

Between the tax revenue ceiling regaining momentum at the state Legislature and ongoing affordability concerns, Travis County is looking for a way to increase its livable wage for county employees before the imminent property tax caps take effect.Todd Osburn, compensation…

Tuesday, April 16, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Summer pilot aims to save Zilker from parking overload

The first piece of a long-term effort to systematically rethink Zilker Park’s parking, transportation and environmental needs may come into play this summer with a short-term transportation pilot program aiming to reduce traffic and parking demand in and around the…

Friday, April 12, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Austin gets a new comprehensive transportation plan

After passing the Austin Strategic Mobility Plan – the transportation piece of the Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan – on an initial reading March 28, City Council unanimously approved the plan on second and third readings Thursday afternoon.According to the ASMP’s…

Thursday, April 11, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Region failing to keep up with expectations of clean air

The city of Austin may soon lose its standing as the largest city in the nation that is in conformity with federal air quality standards. If air quality doesn’t improve from last year, Austin and the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning…

Wednesday, April 10, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Land development code rewrite: Council works through responses to Cronk’s memo

According to Brent Lloyd, development officer at the Development Services Department, Austin City Council has already provided the “raw material” that will be necessary to guide city staffers as they begin to take up the task of writing a new…

Tuesday, April 9, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Getting everyone together for city’s first high-capacity transit line

Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority has only just begun its initial yearlong leg of conducting preliminary engineering and studying possible modes and alignments for Project Connect’s Orange Line, the city’s first high-capacity regional transit route, but transportation officials are ready for…

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