Stories by Vicky Garza

Wednesday, June 15, 2016 by Vicky Garza

Advocates push for permanent animal cruelty prosecutors

The Travis County District Attorney’s Office has assigned two prosecutors to handle animal cruelty cases after a family and animal law attorney made the case for a special animal cruelty prosecutor to the Animal Advisory Commission last month during citizens…

Friday, June 10, 2016 by Vicky Garza

State considering sale of land in Central and West Austin

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission is considering the sale of state-owned land totaling 223 192 acres on two sites in Central and West Austin.The first step is a study, currently underway, to determine the feasibility of relocating the…

Friday, June 3, 2016 by Vicky Garza

Grove PUD plan punted back to developers

After getting the thumbs-down from the Parks and Recreation Department last week, the Grove at Shoal Creek Planned Unit Development has been put in a two-week timeout by the Environmental Commission to give the developer time to address some outstanding…

Friday, May 27, 2016 by Vicky Garza

Parks board weighs in on Shoal Creek PUD

After more than three hours of presentations and testimony, the Parks and Recreation Board decided to send the message that the amount and quality of open space planned for The Grove at Shoal Creek Planned Unit Development is not to…

Wednesday, May 25, 2016 by Vicky Garza

Commission votes to clean up ‘East Austin’s Mount Bonnell’

In a move some residents and commissioners referred to as symbolic, the Environmental Commission voted to clean up a site that has been called the Mount Bonnell of East Austin.The La Loma trail and Red Bluff site, located behind the…

Tuesday, May 24, 2016 by Vicky Garza

Tenant relocation assistance program moves forward

In recognition of urgent community need, the Planning Commission’s Committee on Codes and Ordinances voted unanimously to push forward with a proposed tenant relocation assistance program, despite the lack of a draft ordinance at the meeting.As requested by City Council…

Monday, May 23, 2016 by Vicky Garza

Proposed ordinance puts charter schools at odds with neighborhoods

Though they gave it a shot, members of the Planning Commission’s Committee on Codes and Ordinances were unable to reach an agreement on what to do with the draft ordinance that would remove site development plan exemptions for charter schools.Andrew…

Thursday, March 24, 2016 by Vicky Garza

New study envisions major changes around Barton Springs Pool

Austin’s rapid population growth and development, along with Zilker Park’s aging facilities, are threatening Barton Springs, the pool and its bathhouse. In a presentation to the Parks and Recreation Board on Tuesday, city staff and members of the Barton Spring…

Monday, March 21, 2016 by Vicky Garza

Animal Services punts spay and neuter proposal

The Animal Advisory Commission voted down a proposal last week that would have allowed animal shelter staff to spay or neuter an animal the first time it is impounded. Instead, the commissioners will wait for the results of a six-month…

Wednesday, March 2, 2016 by Vicky Garza

Daugherty wins Precinct 3 primary

Travis County Commissioner Gerald Daugherty will be able to run again for his Precinct 3 seat in November.With 70.83 percent of the vote, he defeated attorney and businessman Jason Nassour to become the Republican nominee for a sprawling precinct that includes 12 cities…

Tuesday, February 9, 2016 by Vicky Garza

Forum updates on community health initiatives

City and county health officials and health services organizations provided an update last Wednesday night on a five-year comprehensive community health planning initiative that will end in June.About 86 residents attended the community forum at the George Washington Carver Museum…

Thursday, January 28, 2016 by Vicky Garza

Parkland dedication fees head to Council, again

The Open Space, Environment and Sustainability Committee voted on Wednesday to push forward on a long-overdue proposal to amend the city’s Parkland Dedication Ordinance after a one-month delay.During that time, Parks and Recreation Department staff added an additional amendment to…

Monday, January 25, 2016 by Vicky Garza

Committee pushes for regular HHS budget increase

City Council’s Health and Human Services Committee is asking City Manager Marc Ott to consider an annual increase of at least 3 percent for the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department’s budget.The move comes after Council increased the department’s…

Friday, January 22, 2016 by Vicky Garza

Planning and Neighborhoods Committee approves contact-team changes

City Council’s Planning and Neighborhoods Committee has voted unanimously to move forward on staff-proposed changes that would add oversight and compliance requirements to neighborhood-plan contact teams.The ordinance, which on Jan. 12 was also approved by the Planning Commission, would change…

Friday, January 15, 2016 by Vicky Garza

Council to soon consider public restrooms downtown

Everyone has to use the restroom, but sometimes it can be frustrating to find somewhere to go, especially if you are in downtown Austin.To help alleviate this problem, the City Council’s Health and Human Services Committee has directed the Office…

Thursday, January 14, 2016 by Vicky Garza

Mandatory pet sterilization not recommended to help reduce number of animals in shelters

Austin animal owners should not be forced to spay or neuter their animals, said Chief Animal Services Officer Tawny Hammond in a briefing before the City Council Health and Human Services Committee.The presentation, which comes just as Austin is about to…

Friday, December 18, 2015 by Vicky Garza

Onion Creek buyouts complicated by costs

The Austin real estate market is too hot.The city would like to speed up the Onion Creek home buyouts in order to move residents out of the floodplain as soon as possible, but it faces one major constraint – a…

Thursday, December 17, 2015 by Vicky Garza

Committee votes to close living wage loophole

City Council’s Economic Opportunity Committee approved a resolution at its meeting on Monday that would effectively close a loophole that allows some city contractors to avoid paying workers a living wage.Both Bob Batlan, of Austin Interfaith, and Emily Timm, deputy…

Monday, December 14, 2015 by Vicky Garza

Changes to park renaming rules advance

It may soon be harder to name a park or facility in Austin after a person. At the Tuesday meeting of the Parks and Recreation Board, members voted 6-0 to recommend a draft ordinance that adds restrictions to rules regarding…

Thursday, December 10, 2015 by Vicky Garza

Commissioners envision co-working space for musicians

The Music Commission would like City Council to consider creating a centrally located hub for the Austin music industry comparable to what Austin Studios is for the film industry.The resolution discussed at the Music Commission’s Monday evening meeting is a…

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