Tag Archives: City of Austin Environmental Commission

Monday, July 22, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

One year later: The new life of the old Onion Creek flood plain

Since 1999, the city of Austin has been working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to buy homeowners out of the Onion Creek flood zone. Last year, when the Watershed Protection Department completed the buyout program, 813 houses had…

Friday, July 19, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Environmental Commission gives Walter E. Long Park plan the green light, with conditions

Following the lead of the Parks and Recreation Board, the Environmental Commission unanimously approved the new master plan for East Austin’s Walter E. Long Park. The vote, however, came with a host of conditions.The commissioners expressed concern that the Parks…

Monday, July 1, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Carbon-reducing concrete could come to Austin

Concrete is the second-largest industrial producer of carbon dioxide in the world, according to the International Energy Agency. Yet it is still one of the most popular building materials.Tom Ennis, the sustainability officer with the Watershed Protection Department, told the…

Thursday, June 27, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Environmental Commission recommends SOS amendment for private development

Under the Save Our Springs Ordinance, which was passed in 1992, all land in the Barton Springs Zone is subject to increased development regulation in order to protect the water quality of the springs and the Edwards Aquifer. One of…

Monday, June 24, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

City shares reason for Barton Springs’ cloudy water last December

After Barton Springs was closed for a few days last December following an unusual level of turbidity in the water, the city immediately began investigating the cause.As the plumes of sediment filling the freshwater pool settled, instruments measuring water quality…

Tuesday, June 11, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Austin at risk for violating federal ozone standards

Ozone levels in the Austin area have been hovering just below federal violation levels for the last six years.Ground-level ozone – or “bad” ozone – is an ingredient in smog and a primary pollutant that can cause a number of…

Monday, June 10, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Shoal Creek Trail solution coming to Council

After a catastrophic landslide carved a 30-foot-high cliff through residents’ backyards along Shoal Creek last year, the city sprang into action to devise a plan to stabilize what was left. However, the slope shifted again this spring, leaving Austinites wondering…

Monday, May 20, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Despite zebra mussels, Austin’s waterways seeing a recovery trend

The news is full of horror stories about zebra mussels invading intake pipes and sediment causing city water to be of questionable quality. Yet statistics show that, overall, the waterways of Austin are regaining their health.According to Mateo Scoggins of the…

Wednesday, April 24, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Environmental Commission recommends rimrock stairwell to lake

Shoreline access from the rimrock cliffs of Lake Austin has been a touchy subject in the past. While mechanized access has not been permissible for nearly a decade and property owners are only allowed to install pedestrian access, there are…

Monday, April 22, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

West Austin housing development claims vested rights, compromises on development regulations

Even if a property remains undeveloped for years, the property’s vested rights can, in some cases, allow a project to be grandfathered into another era’s development regulations. In the case of a project at FM 620 at Storm Drive, that era…

Friday, April 19, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Tree protection outweighs density concerns for Environmental Commission

There are only four reasons a heritage tree can be removed in the city of Austin: it must be dead, diseased, an imminent hazard, or prevent reasonable use of a property.Even if a tree meets one or more of these…

Wednesday, April 10, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Project Catalyst and Country Club Creek Trail: An ‘inopportune’ overlap

At the same meeting of the Environmental Commission where citizens aired their concerns about the Northern Walnut Creek Trail, commissioners had questions about the Country Club Creek Trail off of Riverside Drive.Commissioners wanted to know how plans for the Country…

Tuesday, April 9, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

New medical office moves forward with no recommendation from Environmental Commission

Trees are such an essential resource in Central Texas that even the thought of razing them to the ground can rattle the branches of the Environmental Commission.The city of Austin does not have the authority to mandate the preservation of…

Monday, April 8, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Public expresses concern about Urban Trails causing erosion

In 2014, the city of Austin approved an Urban Trails Master Plan that laid out the path forward to construct 300 miles of non-motorized trails throughout the city. Five years later, construction is well underway, but community members have raised…

Monday, March 11, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Bowie High School development plan nullified by new survey

Technological advancements are generally welcomed with open arms thanks to their potential to save time, money and recalculations. Unfortunately, applying these new capabilities to work done almost three decades ago can reveal errors that throw carefully negotiated plans out the…

Monday, February 25, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Austin Water touts water conservation efforts

Despite Austin’s consistent growth and the city demographer’s prediction that city utilities will need to serve 4 million residents in the next 100 years, Austin Water feels confident that its facilities are up to the challenge.In terms of today’s water…

Friday, February 22, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Permanent zebra mussel solution still 18 months out

Following the odorous indication that a zebra mussel infestation had arrived in Austin waterways earlier this month, Austin Water has been working to come up with a solution to prevent a similar instance from recurring.Austin Water is already working to slow the…

Tuesday, February 12, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Citing density concerns, West Austin lot receives recommendation for subdivision

After purchasing his home in May 2016 under the assumption that the city would permit him to subdivide his 3.2-acre lot into two 1.6-acre lots, Rick Engel, the owner of Ski Shores restaurant, found himself still pleading his case almost three…

Monday, February 11, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Watershed department works with city to clean up homeless camps

The number of people experiencing homelessness is growing in the city of Austin. Last fall, recognizing the crisis on the streets and the pressure on city resources, City Council approved an increased budget to help relieve the situation.In addition to…

Friday, January 18, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Environmental Commission debates 30 years of history to approve project

At the Environmental Commission, the third time was not the charm to recommend a change to the land plan of the Senna Hills Municipal Utility District. The proposed change would repurpose 11.73 acres of irrigation land with two developable acres…

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