7:47 PM Oct 15, 2019 CDT

City Council prioritizes changing Austin’s public camping laws by Oct. 17

Nearly four months after Austin City Council’s controversial decision to decriminalize public camping , sitting and lying down—bans on which critics said targeted the homeless population—the city’s elected officials are gearing up to vote this week on further changes to those laws.

Torchy’s Tacos to close original South First Street brick-and-mortar

In the spring of 2018, Torchy’s Tacos decided to close its original trailer on South First Street that started the franchise for owner Mike Rypka. On Oct. 22, the first brick-and-mortar Torchy’s will also close its doors.

Residents along Hwy. 290 attend first round of TxDOT open houses for future improvement project

The Texas Department of Transportation held its first round of open houses for an ongoing feasibility study the agency is conducting along the Hwy. 290 corridor between Oak Hill and Dripping Springs. After considering results from the yearlong feasibility study, which began July 31, 2019 and will conclude on approximately July 31, 2020, TxDOT will begin environmental vetting and schematic design for a mobility and safety improvement project along the corridor.

Flower shop and event design studio Frangrant Nirvana comes to Dripping Springs

Boutique flower shop and event design studio Fragrant Nirvana held its soft opening Sept. 20 at 31560 RR 12, …

New day spa open on South Lamar Boulevard

Austin Urban Retreat, a day spa at 3005 S. Lamar Blvd., Austin, opened Oct. 1 in the strip mall that includes …

Austin metered parking rates could reach $5 per hour this year depending on demand

The city announced earlier this week that starting Oct. 14, metered parking rates would increase to $2 per hour, up from the current rates of $1 per hour and $1.20 per hour downtown. However, that may not be the last rate increase drivers see this year.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott demands Austin reinstate its ban on public camping

In a second letter in as many weeks to Austin Mayor Steve Adler, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott demanded Austin reinstate its ban on public camping as a means to address the city’s growing homelessness challenge.

Austin’s long-awaited homelessness strategy officer leaves position after one month

Citing “family obligations,” Lori Pampilo Harris, the city’s long-sought-after homelessness strategy officer, will vacate the position after only one month on the job, according to city officials.

TxDOT seeks feedback on adding new lanes to I-35 at October open houses

The Texas Department of Transportation is planning to invest $700 million to add one to two lanes in each direction on I-35 in Central Texas.

Mark Black wedding venue saga continues with Dripping Springs city council's fee waiver deliberation

At an Oct. 8 meeting, Dripping Springs City Council opted to again table a vote on various fee waivers associated with Black Ranch, a much-debated wedding venue being developed along Crystal Hills Drive in the Dripping Springs extraterritorial jurisdiction The item addressed a motion filed by an attorney representing Mark Black, the project’s developer, contesting over $12,800 in city fees.

Early looks at newly proposed land-use code highlight its limited role in Austin’s affordable housing goals

The most recent draft of the proposed overhaul of Austin’s land development code—the rules governing what can be built in the city and where—shows revisions that boost the city’s income-restricted housing capacity from 1,500 to 8,841.

Annual report shows SXSW had $355.9 million economic impact to Austin in 2019

The South by Southwest Conference & Festivals increased its impact on the Austin economy in 2019 by 1.45% over the previous year, according to a report released Oct. 8.

ACC to hold community meetings to discuss future of Pinnacle campus

The Austin Community College district will host two community conversations in Southwest Austin to hear from the public about ACC’s Pinnacle campus.

Travis County commissioners appoint Dimple Malhotra to preside over family violence court

Travis County commissioners voted 4-0 to appoint Dimple Malhotra to preside over the county’s family violence court at an Oct. 8 meeting. Commissioner Jeffrey Travillion abstained.

Travis County commissioners consider raising fees for public improvement districts

Travis County staff recommended a series of revisions to the local Public Improvement District, or PID, policy at an Oct. 8 Commissioners Court meeting.

Travis County extends burn ban through Nov. 6

Travis County commissioners voted unanimously to extend a burn ban through Nov. 6 at a meeting Oct. 8.

Pizza Cave to reopen in new Dripping Springs location Oct. 9

Representatives for the Pizza Cave announced via Twitter Oct. 6 that the restaurant would officially reopen …

Austin Public Library's Hampton Branch at Oak Hill to re-open after yearlong closure

The Hampton Branch at Oak Hill Library will re-open on Oct. 21 after a year-long closure for renovations. Notable changes to the library include a skylight to let in natural light, a new “quiet room” and upgraded digital resources and tools, according to a news release from Austin Public Library.

Discovery Mood Anxiety Program brings mental health treatment to Dripping Springs

Discovery Mood and Anxiety Program has opened a new location in Dripping Springs at 11205 Bonham Ranch Road. …

City of Austin releases first draft of new land development code and revised zoning maps

After years of development, the city of Austin released its latest draft of a new land development code, including revised zoning maps, at a press conference Oct. 4.

H-E-B announces new Oak Hill supermarket will break ground in February

H-E-B plans to break ground on a new 90,000 square-foot store located at 7901 W. Hwy. 290, Austin—the corner of W. Hwy. 290 and FM 1826—in February.

Realty Austin's South Austin office now open at Lantana Place

Realty Austin opened its new South Austin office Oct. 4 at 7415 Southwest Parkway, Ste. 2-200, Austin, in the …