Samsung makes it official: Announcement from Governor's Mansion confirms $17B facility coming to Taylor "Nearly a year after Williamson County officials began pitching Samsung to bring a mega-facility to the area, the electronics giant has made it official. From outside the Governor's Mansion on Nov. 23, Gov. Greg Abbott confirmed they will locate a $17 billion, 6 million-square-foot plant that will bring 1,800 higher-paying jobs in eastern Williamson County." (Brian Rash, Community Impact)

Appeals court enters fight over Austin's land development code "A state appeals court in Houston has entered the fight over Austin's land development rules that determine where certain homes can be built and how large they can be. A hearing Wednesday before the 14th Court of Appeals marked the first significant development in the case since March 2020. That was when state District Judge Jan Soifer ruled the city's plans for a comprehensive rewrite of the rules were in violation of state law because residents were denied the opportunity to protest." (Ryan Autullo, Austin American-Statesman)

New collaborative hopes to address equity gaps in Austin's response to homelessness "The St. David’s Foundation is giving the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO) a $2 million grant to focus on getting marginalized Austinites — Black, Latino and LGBTQ folks — services. The project, called the Austin Street Outreach Collaborative, aims to hire 12 people over the two-year grant to connect these individuals with grassroots organizations already doing the work in marginalized communities." (Andrew Weber, KUT)

Council looks to increase height allowed under VMU zoning "City Council last Thursday took a step toward addressing housing affordability, passing a resolution to allow greater building height in areas zoned Vertical Mixed-Use (VMU). The code change would create VMU2, a new zoning category that allows 90 feet of height in exchange for on-site affordable housing. The current VMU zoning, which allows 60 feet of height, would change in name only, becoming VMU1. VMU, one of the city’s several density bonus programs, aims to create dense, mixed-use development on major corridors. If developers opt in, building restrictions are relaxed in exchange for providing on-site affordable housing and ground-floor commercial space." (Jonathan Lee, Austin Monitor)

Capital Metro moves forward with funding for one of Project Connect’s ‘most complex’ intersections "The Capital Metro board of directors authorized the public transit agency to put $4.7 million in federal funding toward a project at the intersection of North Lamar Boulevard and Airport Boulevard. The funding allows Capital Metro to take the next step in deciding if it will put the MetroRail Red Line above or below street level at the intersection. Project Connect envisions the area as a critical convergence of MetroRail lines, as the system map shows the Red, Orange and Blue lines all running through the adjacent Crestview Station." (Benton Graham, Community Impact)