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City Council: To Patio, Or Not To Patio?

Posted by: tdt -

By Warren Slaughter
Special to the Texan

     The first reading and a public hearing were held regarding Ordinance 2009-22, which would change the zoning on lots owned by David Lowe from R-1 Residential to Special Use for the purpose of building zero lot line patio or garden homes. The zoning change would increase the number of lots from four to six. Plans presented by Lowe show a 30’ wide paved street with curb and gutter that would be paid for by Lowe and deeded to the city as a public street. The plans also call for burying all utilities in that area.

    “We want it to be a nice addition to our community,”  David Lowe said, adding that the houses would not look all the same as they have plans for six different facades.

    The homes would be built with the north wall right on the property line, with the south wall being no closer than 10 feet of the south property line. There are other covenants and restrictions that Lowe would file if granted the zoning change.

    A number of existing homeowners oppose the zoning change. They are concerned that the development will change the character of an established neighborhood and there will be increased traffic and increased noise.

    “I’m just not in favor of it,” stated Barry Harp, who lives near the area being considered for the zoning change. “They’re going to be squeezing large homes onto small lots.” He also reminded the council that over 50 percent of the residents in the area are opposed to the zoning change.

    Jack Bradley, who also lives in the area, did not think is was right for part of the neighborhood to be zoned Residential and the other part to be zoned for Special Use.

    This issue had been brought to the council some months before, but it had been tabled. At that meeting, Harp and Bradley spoke against the zoning change and brought in letters from other residents that also expressed opposition to this proposal.

    A second reading of the ordinance will be held at 6:05 p.m. during the city council’s regular meeting on Tuesday, August 11.

    Fidel Olivarez has been appointed to fill the unexpired term of late Ward 3 councilman Jim Chandler. Olivarez and Joe Garcia were put in nomination for the position. A secret ballot resulted in a 3-3 tie for both men, and Mayor Kevin Caddell was called upon to cast a tie-breaking vote. Mayor Caddell voted for Olivarez, but said that either man would be a great asset to the city.

    Council members passed two resolutions, Resolution 2009-19 and Resolution 2009-20, designating manufactured homes at 504 Oak and 1105 Omaha as public nuisances and calling for their abatement.

    The council then discussed paving on the north side. City Manager Greg Duggan said the city would be hard pressed to get all the requested paving projects in due to time constraints. It is not advisable to pave after September 15 because of weather concerns. It also takes about a week to put in curb and gutter in one block before the actual paving is put down. Councilwoman Lola Barrow said she would like to see the three blocks on Aspen paved as that would pave that street all the way down to Dallam Street. She also wanted approval to pave two blocks on Pine Street in spring of next year.

    A public hearing to set the 2010 tax rate and budget will be held at 6:20 p.m. during the council’s regular meeting on Tuesday, August 11.

    The council approved the city’s quarterly investment report.

    Mayor Kevin Caddell asked the council if they would consider changing the meeting time from 6:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at some time in the future. No action was taken on this discussion item.

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