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Tag Archives: Planning and Zoning Department

Tuesday, August 21, 2018 by Jack Craver

Despite progress, builders complain of long waits for permits

Among the many factors blamed for Austin’s affordability crisis are the city’s notoriously complicated development regulations.The development review process is so cumbersome, critics say, that builders have to hire agents to get their permits approved, creating a cost that is…

Monday, July 23, 2018 by Jo Clifton

CodeNEXT testing: What to look for

Depending on who you ask, the testing of CodeNEXT, the rewrite of the city’s Land Development Code, is either an important exercise in moving the city toward more efficient construction or just an obscure game being played at City Hall.Members…

Monday, May 21, 2018 by Jack Craver

CodeNEXT: What’s the plan, here?

After seeing the city spend five years and $8.5 million on CodeNEXT, some members of the Planning Commission are worried that the final product will be little more than a “plan to plan.”Currently, the commission is in the process of…

Thursday, May 3, 2018 by Jo Clifton

Despite staff objection, Slaughter zoning OK’d

Jim Wittliff of Land Answers Inc. represents the owner of two lots on Slaughter Lane, one of which is adjacent to a small residential street. After meeting with members of the Slaughter Lane Neighborhood Association last November, Wittliff told the…

Monday, April 9, 2018 by Austin Monitor

Reporter’s Notebook: Ornithology edition

Bird brains… After the Uber and Lyft fiasco of 2016 and the city’s crackdown against rogue bike-sharing companies in 2017, we have no idea why rent-a-scooter firm Bird figured it’d be a swell idea to try to elbow its way…

Monday, March 19, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

City defends unusual sidewalk design

A short stretch of zigzagging sidewalk in downtown Austin has wound the city’s Public Works Department into a small patch of controversy.The meandering path on West Seventh Street just before West Avenue first appeared last month and, according to the…

Tuesday, October 31, 2017 by Jo Clifton

Light at the end of the tunnel for landowner

It’s been many years in the making, but it seems likely that Abraham Birgani, who owns a tract at the corner of McNeil Drive and Blackfoot Trail, may finally get the zoning he needs to allow him to offer commercial…

Thursday, October 19, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Commission vents about CodeNEXT’s momentum

Somewhere, hiding mysteriously in the drafting timeline of the new land use code, there is a point of no return. The Zoning and Platting Commission, a body that has repeatedly called for the CodeNEXT review process to be slowed down,…

Wednesday, August 23, 2017 by Jo Clifton

Audit shows big problems with demo permitting

The Office of the City Auditor has found that the city’s demolition permitting process is not designed efficiently and contains gaps that allow unsafe practices during demolition.According to an audit approved by the City Council Audit and Finance Committee Tuesday,…

Tuesday, May 2, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

CodeNEXT review process to get makeover

With only a few months left to provide its recommendations on CodeNEXT, the Planning Commission is talking about scrapping staff’s prescribed review process for one of its own making. “I don’t think we’re going to get where we want to…

Wednesday, February 8, 2017 by Jo Clifton

Plan for new city facility faces questions

City Council members Ann Kitchen and Alison Alter along with Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo expressed skepticism at Tuesday’s work session about a staff plan to move the Development Services Department, the Planning and Zoning Department and some staff from…

Tuesday, February 7, 2017 by Jo Clifton

Audit criticizes city’s historic program management

Citing a lack of staff dedicated to the city’s historic preservation program, an outdated fee collection system and inadequate coordination between historic preservation staff and those higher up in the chain of command, the Office of the City Auditor has…

Monday, December 12, 2016 by Syeda Hasan

Testifying on zoning cases can mean waiting for hours – but is that fair?

Last week, when the contentious case for the Grove at Shoal Creek returned yet again to City Hall, City Council made welcome progress – but not quite when people expected it. Council was supposed to start its discussion at 9…

Tuesday, November 15, 2016 by Jo Clifton

Audit critical of city, neighborhood contact teams

The city’s neighborhood planning processes “are inequitable, lack transparency, and may constitute a risk to fair housing choice,” according to an audit conducted by the Office of the City Auditor. Auditors presented their findings to the City Council Audit and…

Wednesday, June 8, 2016 by Jo Clifton

CodeNEXT leader: City adding costs to code rewrite

The chair of the citizens group advising the city of Austin on the rewrite of the city’s land-use regulations has voiced concerns that the contract for the project, known as CodeNEXT, is being used as a “mothership on which to…

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…

Tuesday, May 31, 2016 by Jo Clifton

Kitchen steps into planning personnel issues

Last fall, City Council Member Ann Kitchen asked Planning and Zoning Department Director Greg Guernsey to remove the staff member who had been overseeing the formation of one of the South Austin Combined Neighborhood Plan’s contact teams because she did…

Friday, May 13, 2016 by Caleb Pritchard

Council taps into zoning relief for South Austin beer store

A South Austin boutique beer shop looking to sell growlers to go got a boost from City Council on Thursday, but it’s not out of the woods yet.Council approved on first reading a measure to change WhichCraft Beer Store’s zoning…

Thursday, May 12, 2016 by Elizabeth Pagano

East Austin zoning mess fix moves forward, for now

A fix for a mistake made two years ago is headed to City Council, and nine east side properties once owned by the city hang in the balance, as does a deal struck for affordable housing as a condition of…

Monday, May 2, 2016 by Elizabeth Pagano

Density bonus program raises doubts in commission

A change to the Land Development Code that would include multifamily zoning in the city’s density bonus programs hit a stumbling block at last week’s Planning Commission meeting. Commissioners voted overwhelmingly to pass the proposal on to City Council without…

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