Here's what you need to know this week:
1. Last day to register to vote
Tuesday is the last day to register to vote in the Nov. 8 election in Travis and Williamson counties. Prospective voters must fill out a voter registration application and mail it to the Travis County Voter Registration, PO Box 149327, Austin, TX 78714-9327 or the Williamson County Election office at P.O. Box 209, Georgetown, TX 78627.
Applications may be downloaded online or picked up at public libraries, post offices or Department of Public Safety offices in both counties. Registration must be postmarked by Oct. 11. Early voting is Oct. 24-Nov. 4. Visit www.traviscountyelections.org or www.wilco.org/elections for more information.
2. New lending tools for prospective, current homeowners
Last Thursday, Austin City Council approved a resolution that establishes a task force that targets middle-class, first-time homebuyers. The resolution specifically mentions homebuyers earning between 80 and 120 percent of the median family income, which is $77,800 for a Travis County household of four.
The city manager will assemble a housing lending advisory group that will recommend programs providing new lending tools for current and new homeowners. The advisory group will present preliminary recommendations to City Council by Dec. 6.
3. Weigh in on Austin ISD’s facility master plan
Austinites can share their feedback on Austin ISD’s facility master plan, or FMP, at upcoming meetings in October. The FMP outlines how the school district’s facilities are used and will be used in the future to guide the development of projects in the district and plan for future bond elections.
The closest meeting to Northwest Austin is Saturday from 12:30-2:30 p.m. in the Lamar Middle School cafeteria, 6201 Wynona Ave., Austin. Visit www.austinisd.org/fmp/meetings for more information.
HomeAway CEO Brian Sharples leads a march to Austin City Hall on Feb. 23 in support of short-term rentals.[/caption]
4. Austin's short-term rental regulations are being challenged
The city of Austin is being challenged on an ordinance enacted earlier this year that regulates vacation rentals.
Attorney General Ken Paxton intervened Oct. 5 in a lawsuit against the city of Austin over its short-term rental ordinance. Short-term rentals are properties rented for 30 consecutive days or fewer, typically booked through websites such as Austin-based HomeAway and AirBnB. A statement from Paxton’s office said he was “concerned that [the ordinance] exceeds the lawful scope of the city’s authority and infringes upon residents’ fundamental constitutional rights.”
5. Dogtoberfest is Saturday
The annual fundraiser supports local dog-rescue organizations. The event includes more than 50 pet-related vendor booths, a silent auction, a canine costume contest, wiener dog races and pet-related demonstrations. Prior to the day’s activities, the fifth annual DogtoberTROT race throughout The Domain 2 starts at 8 a.m. Dogtoberfest runs from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at 3225 Amy Donovan Plaza near iPic Theatres. Visit www.dogtoberfestaustin.org.
6. ModCloth is coming to Austin
ModCloth, an online retailer that sells women’s designer fashion, has chosen Austin as its first brick-and-mortar location.
ModCloth spokesperson Lauren Whitehouse confirmed the store is coming to Austin in November in an email Thursday. An address has yet to be set. In April, ModCloth began opening temporary, or pop-up, shops across the nation. Modcloth made Austin its first stop, opening at 249 w. Second St. from April 8-May 30.