From the land development code to bail reform, here’s a look at what our KUT reporters are keeping their eyes on this week. We also have a couple events in the works, including the first Views and Brews of 2020.
Austin City Council To Take Second Vote On New Land Development Code
Austin City Council members are expected to take the second of three votes on a proposed new land development code sometime this week; they've put aside time on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to discuss and potentially vote.
Council members took the first vote on the new land code in December.
Austin ISD To Discuss Latest Demographic Report And A Transition Plan
The Austin Independent School District hires an outside firm to do an annual demographic report, which looks at trends in the city to try to forecast how many students will enroll in AISD schools. Despite an increase in enrollment this year, the latest report predicts more students will leave over the next five years. The report anticipates around 4,500 fewer students in the district by the 2024 school year.
The board will discuss this report Monday night and review a transition plan for four schools it voted to close. This is the last semester for Brooke and Pease elementary schools; Metz and Sims elementary schools have another year until they close. The board meets at 6 p.m. at its new headquarters at 4000 S. Interstate 35 Frontage Road.
Round Rock ISD Continues Boundary Changes Process
The school district has been looking to ease overcrowding at some of its schools by changing boundaries. The adjustments could impact attendance zones for Elsa England Elementary, Herrington Elementary, Caraway Elementary and Teravista Elementary.
The Board of Trustees is holding a workshop Thursday at 5:30 p.m. to talk about boundary options and hear community input. The board meets at the Round Rock High School 1100 Cafeteria at 201 Deep Wood Dr. A vote on the changes is expected Feb. 20.
Transportation Policy Board To Set Safety Goals
The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, or CAMPO, Transportation Policy Board meets Monday night. CAMPO is in the final stages of developing its new regional transportation plan.
Part of the planning includes a strategy for reducing the number of traffic deaths on the region’s roads. The federal government requires regional planning agencies to come up with safety targets each year and include those in regional transportation plans.
CAMPO’s staff is recommending the organization use estimates from the Texas Department of Transportation in coming up with its plans. TxDOT is aiming to have no more than 3,840 fatalities in 2020, which would be lower than the 2019 target. The state is also seeking lower numbers of serious injuries and pedestrian deaths this year.
The CAMPO Board is also expected to discuss a regional transit study, focusing on areas not served by Capital Metro. That study could be adopted at its meeting next month.
Follow Up: Travis County Takes A Step Toward Bail Reform
Travis County judges took a step toward bail reform late last week by ordering automatic release for most people accused of class A and B misdemeanors. The order signed by Travis County criminal judges seemingly caught a lot of people off guard.
This week, KUT’s Andrew Weber will be following up on the impact of that order – and how it could change as the county rolls out the new policy.
Common Ground: A Community Storytelling Project
We're teaming up with the Austin Public Library Foundation for a storytelling project called Common Ground. Over the coming weeks, we’re inviting you to craft personal stories of overcoming differences with others at one of a series of creative writing workshops. The second of four workshops is Monday from 7-9 p.m. at the Windsor Park Branch Library. RSVP here.
Views And Brews
The first Views and Brews event of the year is at 6 p.m. Tuesday at The Cactus Cafe. The topic is “Charting the Uncharted Universe.” KUT’s Rebecca McInroy talks with space scientist and aerospace engineer Moriba Jah and astrophysicist Karl Gebhardt about dark matter, dark energy, space junk and more.