Austin (Tex.). Boards and Commissions. Planning Commission Records
An Inventory to the Collection
Boards and commissions are an established feature of Austin's municipal government. State, federal and Charter provisions establish several of the City's boards and commissions, while most result from the passage of ordinances. Boards and commissions address a multitude of topics including planning, zoning, transportation, parks, libraries and the airport. Their influence and value are significant because they lend a more diverse viewpoint for the City Council to consider, by offering citizens an opportunity to participate in the City's governmental process. A full list of the current City of Austin boards and commissions is available on the City of Austin website.
Coordinating appointments to City of Austin boards and commissions are overseen by the City of Austin Office of the City Clerk. The City Clerk website is also a clearinghouse for disseminating information about boards and commissions to the public. However, each board and commission has an advising representative from a relevant corresponding city department. The Planning Commission has city staff from the Planning and Development Review Department assigned to it. Board and commission members must be nominated by a member of the City Council.
Duties of the Planning Commission (or City Plan Commission as it was called originally) are to make and amend a master plan, recommend approval or disapproval of proposed zoning changes, control land subdivision within neighborhood planning areas and submit, annually, a list of recommended capital improvements. See Article X of the City Charter.
The collection is arranged into two series: City Plan Commission Records and the Planning Commission Records. The City Plan Commission Records series contain .2 linear feet of materials dated 1944-1949. Included is correspondence between the City Plan Commission and City of Austin officials such as the Mayor and City Manager; meeting minutes and notes; discussion about the duties of the City Planning Division (Department) and Planning Department reports; and various reports including the 1947 and 1948 City Plan Commission Annual Reports, the Preliminary Capitol Plan Report of the Austin City Plan Commission, and a report on the value of a comprehensive Master Plan.
The Planning Commission Records series contains .6 linear feet of materials dated from 1967 to 1988. Included is the Planning Commission "Correspondence Pad" which contains, in addition to correspondence, memorandum, work plans, telephone message slips and copies of the Austin Agenda. The "Correspondence Pad" documents the contentious relationship between Planning Commissioner Chris Eakle and Commission Chair Mary Arnold. Also documented is the work of the Land Development Task Group and its subcommittee the Austinplan Transition Task Group through agendas, reports, notes, and correspondence. The material also offers insight into the Commission's consideration of the sign ordinance, the Town Lake Park Plan and the waterfront overlay zone for the Town Lake corridor. Aditionally, there are documents outlining the ammendments to the Austin Development Plan from 1967 to 1972.
Restrictions on Access
Open to all users.
Restrictions on Use
The Planning Commission records were donated by James Cousar in 2009. Cousar served as Mayor Frank Cooksey's appointee during the time period reflected in the records. The City Plan Commission records were donated by a family member of former Plan Commission member Walter Guttman.
Austin (Tex.). Boards and Commissions. Planning Commission Records (AR.2011.010). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.
Donor #: DO/2009/060
Donation Date: 2009
Donor #: DO/1996/041
Donation Date: 1996
Finding aid created by Molly Hults/2009. Revised and encoded by Ashley Adair/2011. Updated by Kelly Hanus/2018.
Detailed Description of the Collection