Public Notice: A Fresh Take on Development
City’s new “one-stop” permitting shop opens at Highland
This coming Tuesday, July 6, marks something of a milestone in Austin's development history, with the long-awaited opening of the city's new Permitting and Development Center, which promises "a fresh take on permitting and development for the Austin community, bringing together multiple departments under one roof for a streamlined, efficient experience for residential and commercial customers alike." The city's Development Services Department has been a whipping boy for a long while – the one thing all sides in the ongoing development debate can agree on is that it's a slow and confusing process to pull permits, schedule inspections, or get applications reviewed in the city of Austin. One consistent complaint is the difficulty in getting coordinated answers from various city departments, so having partner departments together in one place should help that. So should a large bump in staffing recently approved by City Council, but the proof will be in the pudding: If backlogs don't get cleared and contractors aren't at least a little happier, Council may start to wonder where all that money went.
See more info about the new center, and how to use all the services now housed there, at austintexas.gov/pdc.
But if you're trying to be user-friendly ... In touting its new Permitting and Development Center, DSD identifies the location as "6310 Wilhelmina Delco Dr., Austin, TX 78752," with no other description. True, but not that helpful, because Wilhelmina Delco Drive is a brand-new street inside the Highland development that no one's ever heard of and that isn't yet on all maps. If you want people to know where it is, you might add that it's at the corner of Highland Mall Boulevard and Middle Fiskville, behind the parking garage that faces the Linc and AFS Cinema.
Imagine my excitement when I opened my email this morning to an announcement that James White is running for statewide office. True, agriculture commissioner seemed a bit of a stretch for the 81-year-old proprietor of the legendary Broken Spoke – who'd lived in the city all his life, as far as I knew, and had spent the last 56-or-so years of it running the Spoke. Plus, he died earlier this year. Still, anything would be better than Sid Miller, animate or not, and who knows? A recently deceased country music legend might be what voters want.
Well (maybe you can see where this is going), I read down a little further, and it turns out that there are two different people named James White – what are the odds?!? And this one's an East Texas Republican, running on his early and steadfast support of Donald Trump, so presumably trying to go to the right of Miller, and that's when this whole thing just turned ugly and depressing. Forget I ever brought it up.