Stories by Sean Saldaña

Wednesday, October 20, 2021 by Sean Saldaña

How Capital Metro is able to offer free rides

Last month, Capital Metro announced that for the month of October, it would waive all bus and train fares as a way to encourage people to use public transit and to ease recent service interruptions. The decision to waive fees…

Thursday, October 14, 2021 by Sean Saldaña

Study reveals positive developments for LGBT Austinites

On Tuesday, Austin’s LGBTQ+ Quality of Life Commission presented its first ever LGBTQIA+ quality of life study to City Council. Overall, the report paints a nuanced but optimistic picture for LGBT Austinites. The report, which has been in the works…

Wednesday, October 6, 2021 by Sean Saldaña

Park rangers get funding for six additional staff members

For months, the Parks and Recreation Department has been pleading for additional park ranger staffing resources. Finally, the city has answered its prayers with $615,000 in increased funding for the department’s Park Ranger program. In a memo sent to Mayor Steve Adler and City…

Thursday, September 16, 2021 by Sean Saldaña

What happened to Austin’s 24/7 restaurants, cafes and coffee shops?

Austin, over the course of its storied history, has developed a thriving hospitality scene. There is no shortage of bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and cafes that show the diversity and breadth of the city. Among this grand selection, some of the…

Monday, September 13, 2021 by Sean Saldaña

East Austin stadium celebrated by Black community nominated for national historic status

At first glance, Yellow Jacket Stadium feels a bit unassuming. Visitors see a track, a football field, a few sets of bleachers, and a parking lot with room for only a handful of vehicles. Unlike other athletic sites like Burger…

Tuesday, September 7, 2021 by Sean Saldaña

The census in Austin: homelessness, housing and schoolchildren

It’s hard to overstate the importance of the census, especially on a local level. As city demographer Lila Valencia told the Austin Monitor, “The census touches so many aspects of our lives, from our representation at our nation’s capital, to local representation…

Friday, August 27, 2021 by Sean Saldaña

Partial demolition granted for Avenue A home located outside of historic districts

Earlier this week, the Historic Landmark Commission unanimously voted to co-sign some major redesign plans at 4315 Avenue A, a property located in the Hyde Park neighborhood. Owner/applicant Nathan Hobbs is seeking to expand the size of the home, which…

Thursday, August 26, 2021 by Sean Saldaña

Landmark commission doubles down on Air Conditioned Village recommendation

This week, the Historic Landmark Commission voted unanimously to recommend 2502 Park View Drive for historic zoning, a move working against the wish of homeowners to demolish the house. The case has been before the commission several times as efforts…

Thursday, August 5, 2021 by Sean Saldaña

Landmark commission initiates historic zoning against wishes of property owners

At last month’s Historic Landmark Commission meeting, commissioners voted unanimously to initiate the historic zoning process at 2502 Park View Drive against the request of the homeowners, who were seeking to demolish the aging home. The house was under review…

Thursday, July 29, 2021 by Sean Saldaña

Lutheran Church relocation case looks at the nature of historic status

On Monday, the Historic Landmark Commission revisited a case that involves relocating the Dessau Lutheran Church, which was constructed in 1876, to Pioneer Farms, an outdoor museum dedicated to 19th-century Texas history. The church, located at 13300 Dessau Road in…

Thursday, July 22, 2021 by Sean Saldaña

Animal Advisory Commission looks to reform operations at city shelter

At last week’s meeting of the Animal Advisory Commission, commissioners voted to form a working group aimed at addressing the ongoing capacity crisis at the Austin Animal Center. The move came after Chief Animal Services Officer Don Bland sent a…

Friday, July 16, 2021 by Sean Saldaña

Austin Animal Center contemplates ‘notifications for possible euthanasia’

In a memo last month, Chief Animal Services Officer Don Bland updated City Council and Mayor Steve Adler about the ongoing capacity issues at the Austin Animal Center. The memo included a few lines that made animal lovers around the…

Tuesday, July 13, 2021 by Sean Saldaña

Vision plan takes on mobility woes at Zilker Park

Last month, the Parks and Recreation Department held its first community meeting for the Zilker Metropolitan Park Vision Plan, an ambitious effort to develop a framework for the park’s future. The department calls it the “first comprehensive planning effort in…

Wednesday, July 7, 2021 by Sean Saldaña

Landmark Commission sends West Line case to Architectural Review Committee

Last week, applicants asked the Historic Landmark Commission for permission to demolish a building located in the West Line Historic District and replace it with a one-story cabana and a garage at 1415 W. 10th St. The building, which was…

Thursday, July 1, 2021 by Sean Saldaña

Landmark commission reverses course, grants demolition for Scenic Drive home

Last month, a demolition permit request for the property at 2708 Scenic Drive came in front of the Historic Landmark Commission. The home, which was built in 1952, has fallen into disrepair, but instead of granting the permit, city staffers…

Tuesday, June 29, 2021 by Sean Saldaña

PARD continues to work through lifeguard staffing shortages

After a year of lockdown measures and closures aimed at stopping the spread of the coronavirus, Austinites have entered the summer season ready to interact with the world again. But as people head outdoors, they’re noticing that the city’s aquatics operations…

Thursday, June 24, 2021 by Sean Saldaña

City begins blue-green algae mitigation at Red Bud Isle

Since 2019, dog-lovers in Austin have had to worry about cyanobacteria, more commonly known as blue-green algae, when stories came out of several dogs dying after swimming in Lady Bird Lake during the algae bloom. A particular area of concern…

Friday, June 18, 2021 by Sean Saldaña

Austin Animal Center continues to struggle with capacity

Earlier this week at the Animal Advisory Commission’s monthly meeting, commissioners discussed the reopening process of the Austin Animal Center as the risk of coronavirus continues to decline locally. In recent months, the shelter has been running out of kennel space for…

Wednesday, June 16, 2021 by Sean Saldaña

ZWAC looks to extend contract for encampment cleanups

Last week, the Zero Waste Advisory Commission voted unanimously to advance a contract extension with Relief Enterprise of Texas Inc., a contractor that has handled homeless encampment trash cleanup for the city around Interstate 35, U.S. Highway 183, Loop 1…

Wednesday, June 9, 2021 by Sean Saldaña

Former Long Estate granted demolition permit after March fire

Last month, the Historic Landmark Commission unanimously voted to issue a demolition permit for 2308 Woodlawn Blvd., a property located in the Old West Austin National Register Historic District. Unlike many demolition permit requests that the landmark commission hears, this…

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