Tag Archives: City of Austin Environmental Commission

Tuesday, October 22, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Commission calls air quality motion a ‘vague statement,’ fails to pass it

Despite the philosophical support of commissioners, a motion to improve air quality at construction sites failed at the Oct. 16 meeting of the Environmental Commission.Commissioner Pam Thompson prepared a motion on the fly during a presentation by the Office of…

Friday, October 18, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Developer turns variance process upside-down, asks Environmental Commission for ‘feedback’

In an unusual request, development lawyer Richard Suttle with Armbrust & Brown appeared before the Environmental Commission on Oct. 16 to ask not for a site plan variance, but for feedback on a possible upcoming one.“I’m anticipating needing to come…

Monday, October 7, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Pioneer Crossing PUD changes course, adding parkland

Having passed through and received an approval recommendation from the Zoning and Platting Commission on Sept. 17 for its 14th amendment, the Pioneer Crossing planned unit development arrived at the Environmental Commission on Oct. 2.A 376-acre portion of the 1,410-acre…

Monday, October 7, 2019 by Austin Monitor

Reporter’s Notebook: Read all about it

Planting the seeds… Just because water is crystal clear doesn’t mean it is clean. Craig Nazor, a citizen who sits on the Animal Advisory Commission, alerted the Environmental Commission on Oct. 2 that the discharge from the Walnut Creek Water…

Tuesday, September 10, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Environmental Commission recommends Council include Atlas 14 update in code rewrite

Atlas 14 is a historical rainfall study that alters the city’s flood plains drastically, showing that Austin is projected to receive a 30 percent increase in rainfall. Nevertheless, the study is not something that can change development on its own.To…

Friday, September 6, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Environmental Commission discusses how to make the Heritage Tree Ordinance even more tree-centric

Austin values its trees. According to the city arborist’s office, trees are a $16 billion asset to the community.In 1982, in an effort to better protect its trees, Austin implemented its inaugural tree ordinance, which was unique both then and…

Friday, August 30, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Youth outreach program is cut after city doubled funding

When the city funds grants, should it do so based on achievable objectives or program intent? That question was at the crux of a debate at the July 24 meeting of the Environmental Commission’s Urban Forestry Committee.Last budget cycle, before…

Friday, August 23, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

Toxic algae blooms expected to recur

Algae in Austin’s waterways is nothing new. In the summertime when the water warms up and flows slowly, it’s common to see tendrils of blue-green algae floating in the current.“It’s a very seasonal pattern. A very regular pattern,” Brent Bellinger…

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…

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