BG Note | News - What We're Reading (October 18, 2017)
MLS franchise Columbus Crew SC exploring move to Austin (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY
Luring an inaugural major-league sports franchise to Austin advanced Tuesday from a far-fetched idea to a legitimate possibility.
Anthony Precourt, chief executive officer of Precourt Sports Ventures, announced his intention to move Columbus Crew SC, a Major League Soccer franchise, from the capital city of Ohio to the capital of Texas in 2019.
Council looks to roll back CURE zoning (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY
Driven by concerns over gentrification, City Council is poised to do away with the final remnants of a policy that was put in place two decades ago to encourage redevelopment downtown.
The central urban redevelopment (CURE) combining district that Council adopted in 1996 covered the entire downtown area between Lady Bird Lake, Lamar Boulevard, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Interstate 35. However, the district also included four slivers of East Austin (or “fingers”) that covered portions of East Fourth, Fifth and Sixth streets; East 12th Street; East 11th Street; and East Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. It allowed exemptions from some site development regulations and fees for certain redevelopment projects in the area.
Petitioners prevail in Austin Board of Realtors election (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY
The Austin Board of Realtors will begin 2018 with seven newly elected directors who all campaigned on a platform of greater transparency for the 13,000-member organization.
The seven new directors, whose terms start Jan. 1, include Austin real estate agents Cord Shiflet and Brian Talley, who the board had ousted on Aug. 2. In published reports, board CEO Paul Hilgers said they breached their fiduciary duty – an allegation Shiflet and Talley have said was untrue.
How the felony corruption case against Rep. Dawnna Dukes unraveled (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY
On Sept. 6, as they were preparing for their corruption trial against state Rep. Dawnna Dukes, a group of Travis County prosecutors went to the Capitol to meet with witnesses they believed were on their side, an official with knowledge of the case recounted.
The first meeting was with Steve Adrian, the director of the House Business Office who previously had told a state investigator and a prosecutor in separate meetings in 2016 that lawmakers are not allowed to collect travel reimbursement pay between legislative sessions unless they go to their offices in the Capitol. That rule is the basis of a 12-count felony indictment against Dukes that alleges the 12-term Austin Democrat tampered with government records by submitting travel reimbursement forms for days that she did not go to the Capitol in 2013 and 2014.
Austin Loosens Rules For Designating Buildings Historic (KUT) LINK TO STORY
It may be easier for properties in Austin to be zoned historic now.
Until a few weeks ago, if a property owner filed written opposition to the designation, the city’s Historic Landmark Commission needed a two-thirds vote to override those wishes and recommend the site for historic zoning. An ordinance passed by City Council last month requires a simple majority vote.
The resolution was written by Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo, who notes that the 11-member commission sees frequent absences so it doesn’t always have enough votes to reach the two-thirds threshold.
San Antonio would’ve been a prime candidate to land Amazon, according to Moody’s (San Antonio Express-News) LINK TO STORY
Officials in San Antonio and Bexar County opted last week not to bid on Amazon’s $5 billion second headquarters, saying the city wouldn’t have been “competitive” on tax incentives and real estate.
But New York research firm Moody’s Analytics thinks otherwise.
The San Antonio-New Braunfels metropolitan area ranked 14th out of 65 U.S. metro areas vying for the Seattle e-commerce giant’s second headquarters and its promised 50,000 jobs, according to Moody’s. The Alamo City, in fact, was a better contender than Houston and the Dallas-Fort Worth area in Texas.