Elon Musk plans Tesla lithium factory, Neuralink campus in Texas "Elon Musk's Texas business empire continues to mushroom. The latest expansion plans include a sprawling Travis County campus for brain-computer interface startup Neuralink Corp. and a potential lithium battery plant for Tesla Inc. near Corpus Christi." (Chris Mathews and Paul Thompson, Austin Business Journal)

Demolition case reveals shortcomings in city’s historic preservation policies "A monthslong debate over an East Austin bungalow has ended in a victory for the property owner, with City Council voting to reject historic zoning last Thursday. The home initially came to the Historic Landmark Commission as a demolition request in January. Despite its ruling that the site met the threshold for historic zoning, the Planning Commission and Council ultimately sided with owner Bradley Harrison, who argued that rehabilitation would prove too great a financial burden." (Kelli Bramble, Austin Monitor)

Austin's unlicensed Airbnb, Vrbo spaces in focus as council reviews short-term rental enforcement "City Council may soon be eyeing changes to how Austin manages aspects of the local housing market, including the thousands of unlicensed properties operating within an expanding short-term rental market. Members of council's subcommittee on housing gathered Sept. 6 for a briefing on short-term rentals, or STRs, in Austin, and a discussion of the challenges the city faces when regulating those spaces and their visitors." (Ben Thompson, Community Impact)

Queen of the Netherlands cruises downtown Austin by bike on royal visit "The City of the Violet Crown got a royal visitor on Thursday, when Queen Máxima of the Netherlands took an excursion through downtown Austin as part of a visit to the United States. Máxima joined Mayor Steve Adler and other city officials for a scenic trip on a Gazelle e-bike along the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail from Austin City Hall to the Central Library." (Earl Hopkins, Austin American-Statesman)

This new study declares Texas one of the worst states for workers "The findings of a new study might make for some unhappy Texas workers. Oxfam America, a nonprofit that aims to end poverty and injustice, ranks Texas 48th on its new Best States to Work Index, down from No. 47 last year. Out of a potential index score of 100, Texas ekes out a paltry score of 11.56 for 2022. The state fares poorly in all three of the index categories: organizing rights (0), wages (12.24), and worker protections (19.05)." (John Egan, CultureMap Austin)

Austin looks to speed up transition between shelter, housing for those experiencing homelessness "After Austin recently sent tens of millions of dollars toward continued and expanding homelessness services, a recent update on the city’s rehousing efforts also detailed how that work could be picking up speed." (Ben Thompson, Community Impact)

City prepares to announce community-led anti-displacement projects "The details are coming into focus on proposed partnerships between the city and community organizations to prevent displacement along Project Connect transit lines. Nefertitti Jackmon, the city’s community displacement prevention officer, described the efforts during a joint meeting of the Planning and Zoning and Platting commissions on Tuesday." (Jonathan Lee, Austin Monitor)