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Planning & Zoning Commission

Regular Session Agenda

December 4, 2006

6:00 PM

League City Council Chambers

200 West Walker Street

I.                     Call to order and Roll call of members

II.            New Business     

A.      Consider and take action on a Final Plat – Village at Tuscan Lakes, Section 2, Phase 1.

B.      Consider and take action on a Preliminary/Final Plat – Champion Acura.

C.      Consider and take action on a Final Plat – Centerpointe, Section 8, Phase 1.

III.           Tabled and Subject to Recall            

A.      Consider and take action on amendments to Section 125-191 (Nonconforming Uses and Structures), Chapter 125 of the Code of the City of League City (Zoning Ordinance). (PUBLIC HEARING CLOSED)

IV.                            Public Hearing Items

A.      Conduct a public hearing and take action on a Replat – Constellation Pointe, Section 3.

B.      Conduct a public hearing and take action to rezone approximately 430.3 acres located within the boundaries south of Walker Street, west of Dickinson Avenue, north of 18th Street, and east of State Highway 3, also known as the "Empowerment Zone".

C.      Conduct a public hearing and take action on Z06-23 (Poole), a request to rezone approximately 0.3 acres from “RSF-7” (Single-family residential with a minimum lot size of 7,000 square feet) to “CN” (Neighborhood Commercial), legally described as Lots 7 and 8, Southeast Block 2 of the Interurban Addition, generally located south of Third Street and east of Dallas Avenue, with the approximate address being 320 Dallas Avenue.

V.            Planning and Zoning Commissioners' Comments

VI.           Reports from Staff

VII.         Adjournment

CERTIFICATE

THIS IS TO CERTIFY THAT THE ABOVE NOTICE OF MEETING WAS POSTED ON THE BULLETIN BOARD AT CITY HALL OF THE CITY OF LEAGUE CITY, TEXAS, THIS THE 1st DAY OF DECEMBER 2006, AT 5 PM, AND WAS POSTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH CHAPTER 551, LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE (THE TEXAS OPEN MEETINGS ACT).  ITEMS POSTED IN THE OPEN SESSION PORTIONS OF THIS AGENDA MAY ALSO BE DISCUSSED IN CLOSED OR EXECUTIVE SESSION IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE TEXAS OPEN MEETINGS ACT.

 

 

__________________________________________

LaSHONDRA HOLMES

PLANNING MANAGER


 

 

MINUTES

PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION

OF

THE CITY OF LEAGUE CITY

REGULAR MEETING

MONDAY, DECEMBER 04, 2006 AT 6:00 P.M.

COUNCIL CHAMBERS

200 WEST WALKER

************************************************************************

I.      Call to order and Roll call of members

Mr. Wycoff called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.

Members present:                                                                 Members absent:

Marc Edelman                                                                        Floyd Mahanay                      

Christopher Hullman                                                              Lemuel Bottoms

William Koonce

Jack Owens

John C. Wycoff, Chairperson

Robert Zeller

 

LaShondra Holmes – City Staff Support, Senior Planner

Jack Murphy – City Staff Support, City Engineer

Mark Linenschmidt – City Staff Support, Planner

Berna Dette Williams – City Staff Support, Planner

Doug Frazior –City Staff Support, Director Economic Development

Lori McCutchen – City Staff Support, Recording Secretary

 

II.    New Business

A.   Consider and take action on a Final Plat – Village at Tuscan Lakes, Section 2,    Phase 1.

 

Mr. Linenschmidt presented the staff report on this item with staff recommending approval.

 

Mr. Edelman made a motion to approve the final plat for the Village at Tuscan Lakes, Section 2, Phase 1.

 

Mr. Koonce 2nd the motion.

 

No discussion.

 

The motion to approve the final plat for the Village at Tuscan Lakes, Section 2, Phase 1, passed

unanimously 6-0-0, with two absent.

 

 

B.    Consider and take action on a Preliminary/Final Plat – Champion Acura.

 

Ms. Holmes presented the staff report on this item with staff recommending approval.

 

Mr. Koonce made a motion to approve a Preliminary/Final Plat for Champion Acura.

 

 

 

Mr. Edelman 2nd the motion.

 

No discussion.

 

The motion to approve a Preliminary/Final Plat for Champion Acura passed unanimously 6-0-0, with two absent.

 

 

C.    Consider and take action on a Final Plat – Centerpointe, Section 8, Phase 1.

 

Ms. Linenschmidt presented the staff report on this item.

 

Mr. Koonce made a motion to approve a final plat for Centerpointe, Section 8, Phase 1.

 

Mr. Zeller 2nd the motion.

 

A discussion was held on the sidewalks.

 

The motion to approve a final plat for Centerpointe, Section 8, Phase 1, passed unanimously 6-0-0, with two absent.

 

III. Tabled and Subject to Recall      

AConsider and take action on amendments to Section 125-191 (Nonconforming Uses and Structures), Chapter 125 of the Code of the City of League City (Zoning Ordinance). (PUBLIC HEARING CLOSED Ms. Holmes requested that this item be postponed.

 

Ms. Holmes restated the staff report on this item.

 

Mr. Hullman made a motion to remove this item from the table.

 

Mr. Zeller 2nd the motion.

 

The motion to remove item III-A from the table passed unanimously.

 

Mr. Koonce asked why (the board) was not provided with a copy the City Attorney’s email on his opinion of the revisions.

 

Ms. Holmes responded that it had only been sent to her because (the City Attorney) did not get a chance to send out a memo before he left for New Orleans and offered her copy of the email for the board to look at.

 

A question from the board was raised regarding the Nonconforming Uses section of the proposed revision of the ordinance in reference to fires with concerns on the subjective nature of the wording.

 

A discussion was held between Ms. Holmes and the board on how to reword the ordinance to be less subjective in language.

 

Mr. Hullman asked if the issue of multiple lots was addressed in Mr. Polanco’s memo.

 

Ms. Holmes asked are you talking about as far as if two lots are together…

 

Mr. Hullman answered well as far as the nonconforming multiple lot issue that was discussed at the last P&Z meeting where a lot of language was deleted out of that section talking about multiple lots…

 

Ms. Holmes responded actually that’s what we were talking about with the lot sizes vesting; actually I think that’s at the very top of the first page…

 

Mr. Hullman interjected ok so there’s no change in the language in the draft nonconforming…

 

Ms. Holmes responded no, sir he said that was fine and that was correct.

 

Mr. Hullman asked if there would be a problem or issue if at the end of the multiple lots paragraph, where the other language was deleted, adding in place of that the words “shall be subject to all use in development regulations for the district within which said lands are located,”  for clarification and to avoid misinterpretation down the road.

 

In a discussion as to when to go over a final draft with the modifications, Ms. Holmes recommended adding it to the December 18th agenda.

 

A discussion was held on whether or not it is unreasonable to require a survey upon the request of a certificate of nonconforming status.

 

Mr. Edelman stated I think the issue becomes how you control what takes place post a Katrina type situation here, and so having requirements to show what was there and what you intend to put there is probably important for the City to control what goes back on it, correct.  While we don’t want to put too much burden on people already having problems from a disaster, we still have to worry about what comes after that – we can’t have anarchy…so I think the way to balance that potentially is…what would you suggest…because I have an idea.

 

Mr. Zeller responded when they ask for a certificate of nonconforming status I think they need to provide some information that would go into some sort of electronic archive that can be retrieved in the event of a natural disaster…what that format looks like I think the City has to decide…is it a three or four-hundred dollar survey, I don’t think so, I think a lot of times that’s probably too burdensome.

 

Ms. Holmes interjected if something has come through the City, we’ll have it, so if something were to happen and say someone never got that certificate I don’t see the City saying you know just because you may have not have gotten a certificate… if we have that information on file I can’t see us not letting them rebuild that way.  If the City doesn’t have that information a lot of times the Galveston Appraisal District will have it on their website and sometimes they’ll have surveys that you can just pull up.

 

Mr. Zeller asked so your intent was not to include the requirements to receive a certificate of nonconforming status in this document.

 

Ms. Holmes responded that’s correct.

 

The discussion continued.

 

Mr. Edelman made a motion to table this item again.

Mr. Edelman retracted his motion for further discussion.

 

Mr. Wycoff asked Mr. Hardy if he would come forward to answer a question.

 

Mr. Wycoff asked Mr. Hardy on the subject of nonconforming uses in the city, from a surveyor’s standpoint if there is a less expensive, easy way where a surveyor could go out and get the corners of the homeowner’s structure so that in the event of a natural disaster they could bring it to the city to show how big their structure was at the time so that they can rebuild.

 

Mr. Dale Hardyresponded yes, there is a way to do that, under the act that regulates Land Surveyor’s work, we would not be able to provide a certified copy and call it a survey…what we could do though…and as I understand what you’re trying to do is…document the existing conditions, but without the degree of detail that would normally go into a survey with all of the finer points of a survey, what you’re really talking about is basically a plot plan and that can be done…as long as it’s identified as a plot plan, in other words if the city were to come up with a definition of what this plan would incorporate and it was clear that that was not being offered to the public as a land survey, then yes, that could be done and depending on how you want to do it you could probably define it in such a way that it meant property owners could do it themselves.

 

Mr. Wycoff responded that’s what I’m not sure about, what’s to keep a property owner from recording something or writing something down and I know you said you couldn’t certify it and that’s what we were talking about earlier, a surveyor when they stamped it at least we knew that a third party had looked at it, but on a plot plan you legally can’t stamp that.

 

Mr. Hardy responded no, and one of the problems you’re going to run into is if the nature of the use is such that what comes into question are building set back lines for example, then in order to determine whether or not you are currently encroaching over a building set back line or not almost in by it’s very nature requires it to do a relatively detailed survey…

 

The board continued a discussion to try to achieve an inexpensive solution for homeowners with nonconforming lots to be able to document the existing conditions of their structure with the city so that in the event of a disaster they could rebuild as to the same standards as before.

 

Mr. Zeller asked I guess what the question is, is what are we directing staff to do.

The board discussed how to modify the language in the ordinance in the third paragraph under the nonconforming uses section, in reference to obtaining a Certificate of Nonconforming Status to include the words plot plan and remove the word current so that it reads The application shall include a survey or plot plan describing the improvements and uses to which the property is being put at the time of the application.

 

Mr. Wycoff asked Ms. Holmes if this was helpful in trying to get this into the draft.

 

Ms. Holmes responded yes.

 

Mr. Wycoff asked if there was anymore discussion.

 

Mr. Edelman made a motion to table item III-A.

 

Mr. Koonce 2nd the motion.

 

The motion to table item III-A passed unanimously, 6-0-0, with two absent.

 

 

IV. Public Hearing Items  

.

D.     Conduct a public hearing and take action on a Replat – Constellation Pointe, Section 3.

 

This item was pulled. 

 

E.     Conduct a public hearing and take action to rezone approximately 430.3 acres located within the boundaries south of Walker Street, west of Dickinson Avenue, north of 18th Street, and east of State Highway 3, also known as the "Empowerment Zone".

 

Ms. Holmes restated the staff report giving a brief history of the Empowerment Zone and presenting the two Zoning Options formulated by staff.

 

A discussion was held on protecting the Scenic Byway Corridor.

 

Mr. Doug Frazior, Economic Development Coordinator: stated the Economic Development Corporation has had a strong interest in this empowerment zone since they were the ones who encouraged its creation in 2003.  He stated they realize it’s impossible to choose a zoning plan that will satisfy everyone but encouraged (the board) to adopt a plan that will allow limited industrial use within this area.  Presently the entire zone is the only location in our city with any highway access that allows light manufacturing, distribution or industrial assembly businesses, and that’s important, he explained because League City competes for and offers incentives for these types of business that could locate just about anywhere.  Mr. Frazior explained that these type businesses are wealth creators for the city, they sell products out of the area and they bring new dollars to stimulate local employment, he then referred to small locally owned companies located within the empowerment zone such as Process Level Technologies, Computech, Advanced Reclamation and Bay Area Seafood, and stated these represent the type of businesses that are on our targeted recruitment list.  If you don’t allow adequate limited industrial area in the empowerment zone we may as well pass up any future opportunities to recruit these types of firms to League City before we ever have another area that’s designated for limited industrial.

Finally, he stated I want to remind you that the City Council did create the Empowerment Zone as LaShondra said for the purpose of encouraging smaller limited industrial users to locate in the area…

 

Mr. Koonce stated that having a rail road going through our community may be a big industrial opportunity and an asset that we may need to capitalize on and asked Mr. Frazior if (League City) is equipped to do that sort of thing.     

 

Mr. Frazior responded not at this time…no we’re not.  He explained there are a lot of problems associated with the entire zone as LaShondra mentioned such as drainage issues, multiple ownerships and unpaved streets.  He continued the area is an ideal location though, just in terms of location only for industrial use as (Mr. Koonce) said near the tracks also the access to State Highway 96 and on to the interstate, so a lot of these businesses are transportation dependant and so it’s very important to have a location that they can utilize the closest major highway areas

and rail road so a lot would have to be done in order to put in an industrial district that would be very very competitive with other communities, we hope in the future there will be a source of dedicated funding for economic development that we can use to purchase property and to extend utilities but until that time we’ll just have to deal with what we have…

 

A discussion was held on the interest in industrial development in League City.

 

Mr. Wycoff opened the public portion of the hearing at 6:56 p.m.

 

Mr. George Ronan:  explained that he came to League City about three years ago and talked to the Planning Department about starting a machine shop that makes tool joints for drill pipes.  He explained he bought some land in the location designated by the City, who was, he stated excited about getting some industrial right at the rail road tracks.  He explained he built the shop and spent quite a bit of money putting it all together and though they are not currently in production, the process was to make a part that is currently made in Italy for the drill pipe industry.  He explained he cannot meet the demands of people wanting these parts because he had to shut down because he can’t go any further; he would like to put another building in but can’t because it is now zoned residential…

 

Mr. John Dupla:  stated that he is one of Mr. Ronan’s neighbors and is in support of Mr. Ronan’s business and explained because of the surrounding businesses he can’t build a house at that location and can’t make use of the light industrial because his lot doesn’t meet the required parameters.  He considers it a waste of property use to zone as single family because it is an ideal location to improve that area.  He said basically (Mr. Ronan) can’t do anything with his lot and he is unable to do anything with his and suggested a little more flexibility in the zoning based on the zoning use.

Mr. Kevin Byrne:  Owner of Computech and Kevin Byrne Investments at 1320 Hwy 3 South.

Mr. Byrne explained his property was initially zoned Commercial mix when they started and was developed out at increased cost of 25% above the development cost anywhere else on FM 646 which is limited industrial due to landscaping for the scenic byway and underground parking retention, this resulting in an increased cost of about .20 per square foot.  He explained the problem he is currently facing is he already has personal service businesses who have already pre-leased from him and it will bankrupt them if they do not get some kind of commercial mix or office use because light industrial prevents them from having these business there.

 

Ms. Lopez, 1750 Carolinastated she has resided at this address for almost 25 years and is opting for Option 1. 

 

Mr. Dallas Anderson:  stated he has a tree service company on Independence and Alaska and is opting for Option 2 because he doesn’t see why there can’t be a co-existence there like there was in the past.

 

Mr. Tony Palazzo, 824 Hwy 3:  stated in his view there is a need for commercial development and is opting for Option 1.

 

Mr. Larry Corona, 101 E. Walker: stated he would like (the board) to consider Option 1.

 

Ms. Toby Hall:  stated she did her share in helping develop the empowerment zone by bringing in an 8” waterline from Walker to almost down to Washington to benefit everybody and now she would like to see the zoning changed back to (General Commercial).

 

Ms. Marsha Woods:  stated she has family property on 18th Street and is not in favor of either one of the zoning options.

 

Mr. Barry LaChance, 305 E. Walker and 610 Clear Creek Avenue:  stated he thinks mixed commercial with light industrial would be a better approach and not just one type of zoning.

 

Ms. Kim Carroll, 800 Hwy 3 South:  stated is opting for Option 1 with some modification allowing some industrial along the back.

 

Mr. Joseph Sawyer:  After buying his property on Hwy 3 in August 2005 the zoning was changed from light industrial to single family residence.  He stated that neither option 1 nor option 2 will do him any good so he is asking for more industrial to be allowed in that area.

 

Mr. Joe Martin, 1429 Hwy 3 South:  stated he owns a metal recycling business at this location which is currently zoned light industrial and asked if it is changed to office commercial if it would affect his business.

 

Mr. Wycoff responded when we close the public hearing we will answer your question. 

 

Mr. Ray Williams: stated he owns a small corporation that owns property near the southeast corner of Hwy 96 and Hwy 3.  He stated he thinks the zoning in this area needs to be general commercial so that the properties in this area can be pulled together to benefit the city.

 

Mr. Wycoff asked if there was anyone else who wished to speak.

 

No response.

 

Mr. Wycoff closed the public portion of the hearing at 7:28 p.m.

 

Mr. Hullman made a motion to approve Option 1.

 

Mr. Edelman 2nd the motion.

 

A discussion was held between the board and Ms. Holmes going over several different zoning options to try to solve the current problems in the areas presented in the public hearing as well as future zoning in the areas of the Empowerment Zone.

 

Mr. Lorenzo Delgado:  during a conversation on spot zoning held by the board Mr. Delgado (a homeowner) was asked to come forward to speak.  He explained he has resided at this location for thirty years and would like to keep it the way it is for his grandsons and great-grandsons and explained as long as he is able to rebuild or add on to his house he does not have a problem with the commercial.

 

The discussion continued.

 

Mr. Hullman withdrew his motion to approve Option 1.

 

Mr. Edelman withdrew his 2nd to the motion.

 

Mr. Hullman made a motion to approve a zoning map to be drawn up for the area under consideration indicating the area north of Hwy 96 and south of Walker Street where the east half

Of Clear Creek is Light Industrial and the west half to Hwy 3 is General Commercial and the area south of Hwy 96 being the same, the east side being Light Industrial and the west side General Commercial down to FM 646, subject to the existing residences in that area on the east half being zoned Single Family to take advantage of the community development block grant.

 

Mr. Edelman 2nd the motion.

 

No discussion.

 

The motion passed unanimously 6-0-0, with two absent.

 

The board took a five minute recess and reconvened at 8:59 p.m.

 

Conduct a public hearing and take action on Z06-23 (Poole), a request to rezone approximately 0.3 acres from “RSF-7” (Single-family residential with a minimum lot size of 7,000 square feet) to “CN” (Neighborhood Commercial), legally described as Lots 7 and 8, Southeast Block 2 of the Interurban Addition, generally located south of Third Street and east of Dallas Avenue, with the approximate address being 320 Dallas Avenue.

 

Mr. Linenschmidt presented the staff report on this item.

 

A discussion was held on whether or not the ordinance requirements could be met without variances.

 

Mr. Wycoff referring to the notification map asked what is to the east Z05-48A.

 

Mr. Linenschmidt responded Bob’s A/C or we called it the Surman case in which Mr. Murray and Bob’s A/C came forward to Council who approved Bob’s A/C to be changed to neighborhood commercial but denied Mr. Murray’s request.

 

Mr. Hullman asked …did they ask for a neighborhood commercial…and Council did not approve that…but they did for Bob’s A/C.

 

Mr. Linenschmidt responded yes.

 

Mr. Hullman pointed out that one quarter of this block is neighborhood commercial but stated his concern was whether or not the business would even fit on this tract and asked if the owners were aware of the encumbrances.

 

Mr. Linenschmidt responded we’ve spoken with the applicant several times and they came through a feasibility review with the Development Review Committee.

 

Mr. Wycoff asked whether or not the Development Review Committee said it was feasible within the current ordinances.

 

Mr. Linenschmidt explained they don’t really say whether it’s feasible or not but give them their options they have and the difficulties they may face in developing that property such as the buffer yard and the parking requirements.

 

Mr. Zeller asked so is it feasible or not feasible, I mean is it possible or not possible.

 

Ms. Holmes responded almost anything is possible if you’re willing to pay the money…

 

Mr. Owens interjected if you get enough variances.

 

Mr. Zeller asked with no variances is it possible.

 

Ms. Holmes well with no variances I don’t see how they could do it without…

 

Mr. Hullman interjected I guess my thought is if you have someone that wants to start a business in a transitional area and knows the encumbrances and is willing to pay the extra money to make it happen, if it’s a justified land use change why not consider it…

 

A brief discussion was held on the Colony Apartment zoning issues.

 

Mr. Wycoff opened the public portion of the meeting at 9:09 p.m.

 

Mr.Wycoff asked anyone who wished to speak to come forward.

 

Amy Rossman, Owner of the property:  presented a sketched copy of the survey and proposed parking.  Ms. Rossman explained what she did is basically move the back property fence line up to accommodate more parking in the back and stated she has enough parking spaces according to the square footage of the building and explained her only dilemma for the variance would be the buffer.

 

Bob Murray:  reminded the board he came before (Council) previously to request a zone change but was denied and stated I don’t know how they can make one place neighborhood commercial but won’t let another…

 

Mr. Wycoff asked if anyone else wished to speak.

 

Mr. Wycoff closed the public hearing at 9:15 p.m.

 

Mr. Hullman made a motion to approve the request to rezone the approximate 1.2 acres from RSF-7 to CM.

 

Mr.Owens 2nd the motion.

 

A discussion was held.

 

The motion to approve the request to rezone the approximate 1.2 acres from RSF-7 to CM passed unanimously, 6-0-0 with two absent.

 

V.      Planning and Zoning Commissioners’ Comments

Mr. Owens brought up a communication issue between Council and P&Z explaining that when P&Z votes on an item, Council would like to know the reason behind the vote.  A discussion followed on resolving the issue.

Mr. Koonce brought up an article he emailed out about growth in the Bay Area pointing out Webster’s business growth and League City’s residential growth, he explained the point he was trying to make with the article was that if you want to maintain a small town quality you’ll remain small.

 

 VI.         Reports from Staff

An inaudible comment was made by Ms. Holmes on Constellation Point.

VII.     Adjournment

 

Mr. Wycoff adjourned the meeting at 9:43 p.m.

 

 

____________________________                  ________________________________

John C. Wycoff, Chairperson                          LaShondra Holmes, Planning Manager

 

 

Note:  This meeting was recorded on tape.

Date minutes were approved: ________________________.