BG Note | News - What We're Reading (March 5, 2018)


[Austin Metro]

East side zoning case gets personal (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

It takes great care for the Planning Commission to balance developer and neighborhood concerns for any zoning case. That can be especially true when the land in question is smack dab in the middle of one of the most rapidly gentrifying ZIP codes in the city. Not only was a compromise not reached and a vote postponed for a 78702 rezone at the commission’s Feb. 27 meeting, tensions flared and accusations were exchanged between some members of the commission and community opposition.

Owner Otto Friedrich Jr. has applied to change the zoning at 1125 Shady Lane from Family Residence (SF-3) to Multifamily Residence – Moderate-High Density (MF-4) in order to construct a 290-unit apartment complex. Agent Dave Anderson said that in response to neighborhood concerns, the applicant was willing to limit the height to 50 feet (instead of the entitled 60 feet) and stay below a limit of 2,000 vehicle trips per day...

Two Years From Now, East Austin's Art Space Could Be Gone (Bisnow Austin) LINK TO STORY

Art spaces that have been key to the development of the Austin art scene — Pump Project Art Complex, Flatbed Studios, Salvage Vanguard Theater and Art Camp — either have moved or will be moving to new spaces in the next year.
Brimberry, a high-quality printmaker, was one of the first artists to move to East Austin. She started her business in a downtown warehouse but was pushed out by the Spring Condominiums. Rather than risk another lost lease downtown, she and her partner took a look at East Austin. No one associated East Austin with art in 1999. The rent was reasonable, and the space was big enough to bring in other artists, Brimberry said...


Regardless of outcome, HD-134 primary to leave mark on Texas politics (Texas Tribune) LINK TO STORY

There is not much both sides can agree on in the Republican primary for House District 134. But at least one thing seems to unite them: Whatever the outcome Tuesday, the race is likely to leave a lasting mark on the Texas political landscape. Making an extraordinary effort to unseat state Rep. Sarah Davis — a fellow Republican — Gov. Greg Abbott has called it a "fight for the very future of both the Republican Party and the state of Texas." Supporters of the defiant Houston-area lawmaker, meanwhile, are similarly aware of the stakes in the final days before Tuesday election, which pits Davis against Abbott-backed challenger Susanna Dokpuil...

With days to go, Sylvia Garcia aims to avoid runoff in Houston congressional race (Texas Tribune) LINK TO STORY

State Sen. Sylvia Garcia did not have much of an entourage with her as she knocked on doors in the final stretch of her bid for the Democratic nomination in Houston's 29th Congressional District. In fact, it was downright old-fashioned: A single staffer tagged along with yard signs as an old friend drove her around his stomping grounds in his Chevy Blazer, introducing her to his neighbors. A rally would come later in the day, and campaign volunteers were also canvassing the district, but for now, this was a remarkably intimate campaign moment, particularly given that old friend helping her was the seat's retiring congressman, Gene Green...

A Q&A with Houston’s Harvey recovery czar (Houston Chronicle) LINK TO STORY

In the six months since Hurricane Harvey battered the Houston region, local leaders have talked at length about not just restoring flood-damaged neighborhoods and infrastructure, but hardening the area against future disasters. Not surprisingly, much of that will depend on massive amounts of funding, much of it from the federal government. Houston’s Hurricane Harvey recovery czar, former Shell president Marvin Odum, visited the Houston Chronicle editorial board Friday to discuss the city’s recovery efforts...


In Texas-sized congressional primaries, most GOP candidates run toward Trump (Washington Post) LINK TO STORY

One candidate’s campaign signs declare “MAGA,” referencing President Trump’s mantra of “Make America Great Again.” Another’s is promising to “drain the swamp” and plays up his ties to a key Trump political adviser. And another’s promises to “Make America Like Texas,” a slogan spelled out in the Trump campaign’s signature font.
In several crowded Texas congressional primaries Tuesday, Republican candidates have decided that the best way to stand out is to stand squarely in Trump’s shadow — a campaign strategy that has been only slightly scrambled since the president’s sudden embrace of gun control and protectionist tariffs last week. With some notable exceptions, candidates in one especially raucous Republican primary — the 18-person contest to fill the 21st District seat being vacated by Rep. Lamar Smith — have been wary of showing any daylight between their position and Trump’s...

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