Travis County commits $110 million in federal funding to combat homelessness "Travis County commissioners voted Sept. 14 to allocate $110 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to affordable housing and efforts to combat homelessness in the Austin area. The allocation will fund approximately 2,000 new supportive housing units in partnership with local nonprofits and developers." (Olivia Aldridge, Community Impact)

Historic Austin Opera House could be revived in proposed mixed-use project off South Congress "A 4.6-acre lot that includes the former Austin Opera House — known by many as the Austin Opry House — and the longtime Arlyn Studios is being targeted for a massive redevelopment. Property owner Spearhead Academy LTD plans to create thousands of square feet of housing, office and retail space, all centered around reviving the opera house into a 17,500-square-foot music venue and museum."  (Kathryn Hardison, Austin Business Journal)

For neighbors’ sake, Planning Commission recommends downsizing multifamily project by half
"In an attempt to appease neighbors wary of new multifamily development, the Planning Commission Tuesday recommended less dense zoning than was requested by the owner of several vacant lots at Grady and Brownie drives in North Austin. The commission followed city staffers’ recommendation of Multifamily-Low Density (MF-2) and Neighborhood Commercial Mixed-Use (LR-MU) zoning for the site." (Jonathan Lee, Austin Monitor)

Recalibrated density bonus fees bring good news for commercial projects, bad news for residential "As the city works on recalibrating fees under a popular density bonus program, staff have said that residential developers can expect to pay more, while commercial developers will likely pay less for bigger downtown projects. City leaders have been retooling the Downtown Density Bonus Program in recent months to bring the popular city program up to date with current market conditions, which has meant higher fee-in-lieu requirements for added density in tower projects. Controversial interim fee adjustments, based on formulas from 2019, were approved in May while the city continues work on tweaking the program." (Kathryn Hardison, ABJ)

Austin-Round Rock MSA housing market calming, still a top-market in U.S. "According to the Austin Board of Realtors August 2021 Central Texas Housing Report, home sales decreased 4.6% compared to August 2020. The data indicates the market is calming as typical seasonality has returned in terms of number of closings, even as median sales prices maintained the gains made over the course of 2021. Despite setting a record for the month of August with a median sales price of $470,000 across the MSA, prices are no longer increasing at a significant rate month to month." (ABoR)

Bastrop County Commissioners Court gets first look at proposed 1,200-acre development "Developers for a proposed 1,200-acre development featuring residential and commercial properties in Western Bastrop County presented their proposal to the Commissioners Court on Monday morning. ... Creekside by Lifeside, which is being developed by CTX Management Holdings, is planned to be built near Texas 21 and FM 812 and will dedicate about 70 acres for commercial development and more than 560 acres for single-family housing. The project would also have space for manufactured homes, townhomes and multifamily developments." (Colleen DeGuzman, Austin American-Statesman)

Proposed ‘Statesman’ PUD draws criticism "Members of the city’s Parks and Recreation Board will be deciding in less than two weeks whether to recommend approval of the Statesman planned unit development from a parks perspective. It could prove to be a difficult decision. Parks planner Scott Grantham told board members at Tuesday’s meeting that he wasn’t sure if they would have enough information to make a decision by Sept. 28, the date the board is scheduled to vote on their recommendation. Atha Phillips, the city’s environmental program coordinator, echoed his statements." (Jo Clifton, AM)

3 weeks before first weekend, ACL Music Festival awaits permit, final health and safety procedures "Three weeks before ACL Festival's first weekend, Zilker Park's Great Lawn remains, empty, bearing few hints of the massive event on the horizon, save for a posted sign announcing that the lawn and adjacent parking lots will close to prepare for the festival beginning Sept. 20. Festival organizers have yet to receive a permit for the event, the city of Austin confirmed Sept. 14, but city representative Sara Henry said this timeline is 'not uncommon.'' Olivia Aldridge, CI)

Parks board says no to parkland compromise "Austin’s Parks and Recreation Board voted unanimously at Tuesday’s meeting to reject a developer’s appeal related to city regulations for parkland dedication for a proposed apartment complex at 403 E. Koenig Lane." (Jo Clifton, AM)

CDC Warns About Health Risks Of More Algae Blooms, But Data On Algae In Austin Lakes Is Still Scarce "When toxic blue-green algae was first reported in Austin in 2019, it struck fear into the hearts of dog owners. In its first year detected in Lady Bird Lake, the slimy stuff claimed the lives of at least five dogs that had ingested it while swimming. Since then, it has been a recurring problem in lakes around the region. But while the risk posed to dogs was clear, less is known about the algae’s potential impact on humans. A report released this month from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began to fill in those blanks, but still leaves many questions without clear answers." (Mose Buchele, KUT)

Texas outpaces the nation for COVID-19 deaths, Washington Post study shows "[A]nalysis of federal data, published September 15 by The Washington Post, shows 1 in 490 Texans have died as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. By no means is that the worst death rate among the states. ... But the Texas rate is slightly worse than the national rate of 1 in 500." (John Egan, CultureMap Austin)