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Zoning Board of Adjustments /

building and standards commission

Special Session Agenda

May 21, 2015

6:00 PM

City Council Chambers

200 West Walker Street

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I.                   Call to order and Roll call of members

 

II.                Approval of Minutes

A.     April 2, 2015

 

III.             The Swearing in of Speakers and Witnesses

 

IV.              Public Hearings and Action Items from Public Hearings (BASC)

A.     Hold a public compliance hearing with possible action on BASC15-01 (311 Perkins Ave.), to determine whether a building or structure is a dangerous building, to show cause why the ordered action has not been completed and/or why civil penalties should not be assessed, and issue any order(s) determined necessary to address such conditions per 22-331 et. seq. of the League City Code of Ordinances on property located at 331 Perkins Avenue, League City, Texas 77573, legally described as Lots one (1) and two (2), Block one (1) of Merchant’s Addition Subdivision, a subdivision in League City, Galveston County, Texas, according to the map thereof recorded in Volume 238, Page 12 in the Office of the County Clerk of Galveston County, Texas, together with all improvements thereon.

 

OWNERS/LIENHOLDERS

Brent A. Lovett, 311 Perkins Avenue, League City, Texas 77573-2151

James A. and Beverly M. Lovett, P.O. Box 686, Port O’Connor, Texas 77982

Lisa G. Tolman, Trustee, 322 East Main Street, Suite 108, League City, Texas 77573

Sears, Roebuck & Co., 45 Congress Street, Salem, MA 01970

Sears, Roebuck & Co., c/o Jay Taylor, Jay A. Taylor, P.C., 3311 Richmond Avenue, Suite 307, Houston, Texas 77098

 

V.                 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, BY THE 15th DAY OF MAY, 2015 BY 6 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. THE BOARD RESERVES THE RIGHT TO HEAR ANY OF THE ABOVE DESCRIBED AGENDA ITEMS THAT QUALIFY FOR AN EXECUTIVE SESSION, IN AN EXECUTIVE SESSION BY PUBLICLY ANNOUNCING THE APPLICABLE SECTION NUMBER OF THE OPEN MEETINGS ACT, (CHAPTER 551 OF THE TEXAS GOVERNMENT CODE, SPECIFICALLY INCLUDING CHAPTER 551.071 “CONSULTATION WITH ATTORNEY”), THAT JUSTIFIES EXECUTIVE SESSION TREATMENT.

 

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT THE PRESENCE OF A QUORUM OF THE MEMBERS OF CITY COUNCIL AT ANY TIME DURING THE COURSE OF THE ABOVE-REFERENCED PROCEEDING MAY CONSTITUTE A MEETING OF CITY COUNCIL PURSUANT TO THE TEXAS OPEN MEETINGS ACT, CHAPTER 551 OF THE TEXAS GOVERNMENT CODE.  BY THIS NOTICE, THE PUBLIC IS HEREBY ADVISED OF SAID MEETING NOT LESS THAN 72 HOURS IN ADVANCE OF THE DATE, TIME AND LOCATION NOTED ABOVE.

 

 

__________________________________________             

RICHARD WERBISKIS      

CITY PLANNER

 

               MINUTES

CITY OF LEAGUE CITY

ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENTS/

BUILDING AND STANDARDS COMMISSION

SPECIAL SESSION

THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2015 at 6:00 P.M.

COUNCIL CHAMBERS

400 WEST WALKER STREET

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

 

I.                   Call to order and Roll call of members

Mr. Christiansen called the meeting to order at 6:07 p.m.

 

Members present:                                                      Members absent:

James R. Christiansen, Chair                                      

Katie Benoit                                        

Michael Hendershot, Vice-Chair                                 

Ed Rainey

Lianne Russell

Tamra Gann-Curry

                 

City Representatives:

Richard Werbiskis, Assistant Director of Planning & Development

Oscar Arevalo, Building Official

Mark Linenschmidt, Senior Planner

Frank LeBlanc, Code Compliance Officer

 

II.                Approval of Minutes

A.     April 2, 2015

 

Ms. Russell motioned to approve the minutes of April 2, 2015 as presented.

 

Mr. Christiansen seconded the motion.

 

Mr. Christiansen asked for a vote.

 

The motion passed by a vote of 6-0-0.

 

III.             The Swearing in of Speakers and Witnesses

Mr. Christiansen swore in the witnesses, stating this is a quasi-judicial board, which is being recorded; therefore, anybody who speaks should be aware it is considered testimony. Any appeal of the decision by the Zoning Board of Adjustment or Building and Standards Commission must be filed with the Court of Competent Jurisdiction within 10 days for the ZBA after the date of the decision rendered by this board/commission, or such time period as indicated by Section 216.014 Texas Local Government Code.

 

IV.             Public Hearings and Action Items from Public Hearings (BASC)

A.     Hold a public compliance hearing with possible action on BASC15-01 (311 Perkins Ave.), to determine whether a building or structure is a dangerous building, to show cause why the ordered action has not been completed and/or why civil penalties should not be assessed, and issue any order(s) determined necessary to address such conditions per 22-331 et. seq. of the League City Code of Ordinances on property located at 331 Perkins Avenue, League City, Texas 77573, legally described as Lots one (1) and two (2), Block one (1) of Merchant’s Addition Subdivision, a subdivision in League City, Galveston County, Texas, according to the map thereof recorded in Volume 238, Page 12 in the Office of the County Clerk of Galveston County, Texas, together with all improvements thereon.

 

OWNERS/LIENHOLDERS

Brent A. Lovett, 311 Perkins Avenue, League City, Texas 77573-2151

James A. and Beverly M. Lovett, P.O. Box 686, Port O’Connor, Texas 77982

Lisa G. Tolman, Trustee, 322 East Main Street, Suite 108, League City, Texas 77573

Sears, Roebuck & Co., 45 Congress Street, Salem, MA 01970

Sears, Roebuck & Co., c/o Jay Taylor, Jay A. Taylor, P.C., 3311 Richmond Avenue, Suite 307, Houston, Texas 77098

 

Frank LeBlanc, Code Compliance Officer, presented on behalf of the City of League City. This structure was inspected by the City’s Building Official on April 20, 2015 and during the inspection, it was found that the structure met the criteria of a dangerous building - Section 22-334 - with the conditions of numbers 1, 2,3,4,5,6,10 and 11.   A notice was sent out to the owners and lien owners of the property regarding the conditions of the structure.  As per the Code of Ordinances Section 22-339, if more than 50% of a building is damaged or deteriorated, it will be determined dangerous it needs to be repaired and the conditions remedied, and if it cannot be repaired it needs to be considered for demolition.  The City recommends demolition of the structure. (A power point presentation was given.)

 

Conditions in violation Per Section 22-334 of League City’s Code of Ordinances:

 

Condition 1 – “Any building or structure that has become deteriorated or damaged such that its roof, walls or flooring is not weather-tight and waterproof.”

It was discovered during the inspection that the top section of the mobile home has siding pulling away and allowing water into the structure.

 

Condition 2 – “Any building or structure that is so structurally deteriorated or damaged that it is in danger of collapse or that cannot be expected to withstand reasonably anticipated weather conditions, such as storms or hurricanes.”

It was discovered during the inspection that many tie-downs are broken or missing, and the structure is not expected to withstand reasonable weather conditions.

 

Condition 3 – “Conditions within any building or structure that violate any provision of the city’s building, electrical, plumbing, fire or other such codes or laws of this state, when such nonconformity constitutes a danger to the public health, safety and welfare.”

It was discovered during the inspection that electrical wiring is not properly connected, and still has active utilities connected to it.  In addition, the plumbing and water are still at the structure.

 

Condition 4 – “Any unsafe or defective electrical wiring, devices or equipment, or unsafe or defective gas piping or appliances which are apt to cause or promote fires.”

It was discovered during the inspection that there is improper wiring connection that is a potential fire risk, and the structure still has active utilities.

 

Condition 5 – “Light, air or sanitation facilities which are inadequate to protect the health, safety or general welfare of human beings occupying the premises.”

It was discovered during the inspection that the interior sanitation, lighting, and air condition units are not in proper working order.

 

Condition 6 – “Dilapidated, decayed, unsafe, unsanitary, or substandard conditions or any condition that fails to provide amenities essential to decent living so that the premises are unfit for human habitation, or are likely to cause sickness or disease, so as to cause injury to the public health, safety, and welfare.”

It was discovered during the inspection that the interior of the structure is in disarray, and are not sanitary or fit for living.  The structure is not being occupied or lived it, and it has significant debris and unsafe flooring inside the structure.

 

Condition 10 – “Exclusive of the foundation, 33% or more damage or deterioration to the supporting member or members or 50% of damage or deterioration to the non-supporting enclosing or outside walls or coverings.”

It was discovered during the inspection that the beam that holds the ceiling of the structure is starting to buckle and give way, and is a hazard allowing for the roof to potentially cave in on the structure.

 

Condition 11 – “An improperly distributed load upon the floor or roof, or an overloaded roof or floor, or a floor or roof with insufficient strength to be reasonably safe for the purpose used.”

It was discovered during the inspection that there are holes in the flooring that look straight onto the ground, and under the mobile home, there is evidence of flooring that has given way and is starting to deteriorate and give way.

 

Considering the extent of damage to the structure, City Staff recommends demolition of the structure for the purpose of life safety.

 

Oscar addressed the commission. Upon inspection of the structure, there has been such extensive damage to the structure, which it is more than 50% disarray and disrepair, and the structure would need such extensive repairs that it is the City’s recommendation for demolition and not for repair.  

 

Mr. Christiansen – Do we have concern with the general public being able to go into the place and get hurt?

Oscar Arevalo – it is secure from the main entrance points, but because of the deterioration, it would be easy to break in from the floors and other areas.

 

Mr. Christiansen – Will the owner or representative come forward, please.

Brent Lovett, Owner – addressed the commission.

I have been trying to replace the structure for over a year and a half.  I need ordinances from the city to know what I can and cannot do.  My intentions are to replace the mobile home.  It is not as bad as the City makes it out to be. 

 

Mr. Christiansen Are you currently living there?

Mr. Lovett – Yes

 

Mr. Christiansen Do you have a timeline on replacement?

Mr. Lovett – I need the information on what it can and cannot be. I don’t know what it needs to be – I could buy a brand new mobile home and have it in a month.

 

Mr. Christiansen Are you trying to replace the mobile home with another mobile home?

Mr. Lovett – Yes, I have been trying to do that for over a year. It is dry, it isn’t raining inside of it.

 

Ms. Benoit – From a fire safety point of view, if someone is living at the structure, the fire department would come looking for you and it looks like if there was a fire there, we would lose a fireman at least.  The wiring and the flooring and the debris are very unsafe.  Also, if someone were to break into there, it would be very dangerous.

Mr. Lovett – – If someone breaks into your house, its your fault?

 

Ms. Benoit – No, I am just saying that it looks to be a very dangerous structure.

Mr. Lovett – the doors are locked; if they break in they have to break something. Yes the floors are soft, but they would still have to break something – carpet or something – to get in.

 

Mr. Christiansen – could you replace this tomorrow if need be?

Mr. Lovett – I called a guy today and I could have a new one in the month if I knew it was the right one. It is going to take at least a month no matter what, and I need to find one that suits me.  It is going to take a few months to get this rectified. I don’t know what you want me to do?

 

Mr. Rainey – what are you planning to do with the current mobile home?

Mr. Lovett – they will haul it off when they bring the new one in.

 

Mr. Rainey – have you looked into selling it?

Mr. Lovett – No, you ain’t going to get something for it. I don’t know what they do with it once they haul it off. It is a 45 year old mobile home.

 

Mr. Rainey – in dilapidated condition.

Mr. Lovett – it is not in the best of condition, no sir, it is not.

 

Mr. Rainey – you couldn’t market that to sell it?

Mr. Lovett – probably not.

 

Mr. Rainey – and the roof, the ceiling where there are issues?

Mr. Lovett – that is the ceiling; that is a just piece of sheetrock.

 

Mr. Rainey – Sheetrock is going to repair the damage shown in the picture?

Mr. Lovett – All you have to do is put a piece of sheetrock up and a piece of paneling on the wall.

 

Mr. Rainey – So the roof is waterproof?

Mr. Lovett – Yes, it is not raining inside.  (Addresses Frank/Oscar) – You were in it, was it wet?

 

Mr. Christiansen – Sir, you would have to recall that witness to ask him a question.

Mr. Lovett – As much rain as we have had, it would be wet.

 

Mr. Christiansen – Are you opposed to having the City demolish it? It seems like it would be in your favor.

Mr. Lovett – How will it be in my favor to make me homeless?

 

Mr. Christiansen – You are having it hauled off anyway.

Mr. Lovett – Ok, you are going to demolish it and not charge me?

 

Mr. Christiansen – So you are opposed to it because you don’t want to be charged?
Mr. Lovett – I am opposed to it because it is my home. Let me demolish your home and see if you aren’t opposed to it.  You would be opposed to it because it is your home. It isn’t the best home, but it is my home.

 

Mr. Christiansen - When did you first inquire about replacing it?

Mr. Lovett – Over a year ago.

 

Mr. Christiansen – How did you inquire about replacing it?

Mr. Lovett – I went to the building department and asked for the codes. They told me to go to the planning department.

 

Mr. Christiansen – Did you inquire with someone who sells mobile homes?

Mr. Lovett – Yes

 

Mr. Christiansen – What did they tell you?

Mr. Lovett – Two told me that you won’t ever be able to get a mobile home in League City – just to quit. I have a paper that says I can – but it is difficult to build in League City.

 

Mr. Christiansen – So, you have information from the City that says you can replace the mobile home.

Mr. Lovett – If I had them all (ordinances) then I would know.  This says I can do it, he says I can do it.

 

Mr. Christiansen – Is there any intention to make any repairs to it?

Mr. Lovett – No, why would I?

 

Mr. Rainey – At least, for the reason of public safety, there should at least be tie downs.

Mr. Lovett – there are tie downs, there aren’t all of them, but it has some of them. He (inspectors) have never lied? Never stretched the truth?

 

Mr. Rainey – I can see the pictures.

Mr. Lovett – There are tie downs on it.

 

Mr. Rainey – do you think that it would survive a hurricane?

Mr. Lovett – It didn’t blow away during Ike. It didn’t blow away the other day in the storm with 70mph winds in the City. It was put on the property before they even had to be on it. How can you make me update it when it wasn’t required when the home was put on the property?

 

Mr. Rainey – Sir, I am not going to argue with it.

Mr. Lovett – I am not trying to argue with you.

 

Mr. Rainey – Sir, it isn’t about you, it is about the people around you. If there is a 150mph storm, or 120mph storm, do you really think the structure will be safe? I have no way to tell you if it will be safe or not.

Mr. Lovett – if a 120mph storm hit here, there would be a whole lot of houses not standing.

 

Mr. Rainey – Potentially.

Mr. Lovett – Potentially?

 

Mr. Rainey – The codes require a 120mph rating on the house. 

Mr. Lovett – new codes, but this was put on in 1970.

 

Mr. Rainey – At the very least, new tie-downs that meet the code should be put on in the meantime so that if something like that happened, the people around you wouldn’t be in danger.  It is not about you, it is about public safety.

Mr. Lovett – Whatever.

 

Mr. Rainey – I am not arguing.

Mr. Lovett – whatever, it has tie downs on it – it has 5 of them.  They are there – I don’t know how to tell you, but they are there – there is one of them broke that goes around the top but the ones on the frame to the ground, they are there. I don’t know what to say – once I get all the stuff and have all the stuff, I will replace it.

 

Mr. Rainey – I am sure that the board can get you a proper answer for that so that you can move forward with that and we can proceed with our case for this evening. Does anyone have any questions?

 

Ms. Russell – what ordinance do you need specifically?  What specifically are you needing or confused over that has taken you over a year to replace it? 

Mr. Lovett – I need all of them, I only have a piece of paper that tells me what I need, but the people selling them say that League City won’t take them.  I need something in black and white that says this is what it is – and that will be what it is, and I can get this done.

 

Mr. Christiansen – It seems clear that your intentions are to replace the mobile home and remove the old one from the property. Does anyone else have any questions?

 

Mr. Rainey – What document do you have there?

Mr. Lovett – it is from the City. (Hands over the document)

 

Ms. Benoit – So you don’t plan on making any repairs until you replace it?

Mr. Lovett – No.

 

Ms. Russell – and you are living there? You go there every night to sleep?
Mr. Lovett – Yes, every night, I get there about 3:30 every morning. That paper says that I can replace it, but the people selling it say that there is more.

 

Ms. Russell – did you ever have a conversation about the City about that issue, specifically?

Mr. Lovett – I spoke to Ryan Granata, who gave me that information, but I don’t believe him that that is the only stuff I need.  There has got to be more to it. There has to be more than this little piece of paper.

 

Mr. Rainey – So that everyone knows what the piece of paper is – it is a print out of a publically available code that talks about what the requirements of the mobile homes are allowed.

 

Ms. Russell – Just to clarify, you do not want the City to demolish it because you want to use it like a trade in on a new mobile home.

Mr. Lovett – Correct

 

Ms. Russell – Have you taken steps towards financing towards the purchase of the new mobile home? What steps have you taken to resolve this issue?
Mr. Lovett – I have the funds in the bank to replace it right now.

 

Mr. Christiansen – We are done with the questions now, you can sit down please. Oscar or Frank, will someone from the City please come up and discuss if you can replace a mobile home in the City.  Some of us are under the impression that that is not allowed.

 

Oscar Arevalo – It has been a heavily debated item and with a lot of confusion – that is why there has been confusion when he goes in to the mobile home sales sites.  There are rules against brining in mobile homes, but this is a different situation. There is an existing home that is allowed by state law to be replaced.  We can give him all the specifics on what he has to have.  It is all standard information and we can provide him everything he needs and we have checked with the City Attorney who also states he can replace it.  The City wants to correct the problem that is there – the dangerous building.  We will encourage and work with him to correct the dangerous building situation – either by demolition or him replacing and removing the structure.

 

Mr. Christiansen – Ok, thank you.  As this is a public hearing, I am going to ask if there is anyone who wishes to speak on this – for or against.

 

Mark Linenschmidt – Mr. Chairman, can you please notify what time the public hearing was opened.

 

Mr. Christiansen – The public hearing is opened at 6:45PM.

 

Jay Ewend – 1013 East Main Street – It is sad to kick this guy out of his house, but we do have to worry about public safety? This is an eyesore, but let’s become part of the solution and not the problem. Why don’t we help this guy find a HUD trailer, and put this on a 90, 60 or 30 day timeframe to make it happen? In the best interest of the citizens, I think this is fair for everyone. I don’t know the time frame; I have never purchased a trailer.  This guy is down on his luck, let us try and help him.

 

Mr. Christiansen – Did you come to speak against the trailer?

 

Jay Ewend – No, I just came to understand the process.

 

Mark Linenschmidt – This is a public hearing, so it isn’t the time for a discussion, but that can be had after the public hearing.

 

Jay Ewend – Fair enough, that is all I have to say.

 

Mr. Christiansen – The public hearing is closed at 6:48PM.

 

Mr. Christiansen – Commissioners, in front of you, you have the copy of the orders and findings.

 

Mr. Christiansen – They city had recommended and showed slides on findings 1,2,3,4,5,6,10 and 11.  I agree that the remaining findings would be non-applicable.  Does anyone want to counter that or have discussion on the other ones? As there was no discussion, I presume the board agrees what the findings based off of the City’s presentation this evening. Let’s go to page 4, section IV on orders.

 

Item 1 was marked.

 

Item 2 was marked N/A.

 

Item 3 was marked N/A.

 

Item 4 was marked N/A.

 

Item 5 was marked N/A.

 

Item 6 was marked N/A.

 

Item 7 was marked N/A.

 

Item 8 was marked N/A.

 

Item 9 was marked with a Compliance Order to appear at the ZBA meeting July 9, 2015.

 

Item 10 was marked Compliance Order to show proof of purchase, dates of removal and dates of delivery for the new mobile home, and to have proof to the Building Department by July 1, 2015 so it can go in the ZBA packets for the commissioners.

 

Item 11 was marked N/A.

 

Section V:

Item 1 was marked N/A.

 

Item 2 was marked N/A.

 

Page 7 –

 

Mr. Christiansen– This order will be signed tonight and notarized by May 22, 2015.

 

Mr. Christiansen – If we have no further questions, comments or changes, I call for a vote to approve the Compliance Order.

 

The compliance order passed with a vote of 6-0-0.

 

V.                 Adjournment

Mr. Christiansen made a motion to adjourn the meeting.

 

Ms. Benoit seconded the motion.

 

The motion passed unanimously with a vote of 6-0-0.

 

Mr. Christiansen adjourned the meeting at 7:09 PM.

 

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, BY THE 15th DAY OF MAY, 2015 BY 6 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. THE BOARD RESERVES THE RIGHT TO HEAR ANY OF THE ABOVE DESCRIBED AGENDA ITEMS THAT QUALIFY FOR AN EXECUTIVE SESSION, IN AN EXECUTIVE SESSION BY PUBLICLY ANNOUNCING THE APPLICABLE SECTION NUMBER OF THE OPEN MEETINGS ACT, (CHAPTER 551 OF THE TEXAS GOVERNMENT CODE, SPECIFICALLY INCLUDING CHAPTER 551.071 “CONSULTATION WITH ATTORNEY”), THAT JUSTIFIES EXECUTIVE SESSION TREATMENT.

 

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT THE PRESENCE OF A QUORUM OF THE MEMBERS OF CITY COUNCIL AT ANY TIME DURING THE COURSE OF THE ABOVE-REFERENCED PROCEEDING MAY CONSTITUTE A MEETING OF CITY COUNCIL PURSUANT TO THE TEXAS OPEN MEETINGS ACT, CHAPTER 551 OF THE TEXAS GOVERNMENT CODE.  BY THIS NOTICE, THE PUBLIC IS HEREBY ADVISED OF SAID MEETING NOT LESS THAN 72 HOURS IN ADVANCE OF THE DATE, TIME AND LOCATION NOTED ABOVE.

 

 

________________________                                                ________________________

Richard Werbiskis                                                                  James R. Christiansen,

Assistant Director of Planning & Development                    Chairperson, Zoning Board of Adjustment/

                                                                                                Building and Standards Commission

 

Date minutes approved: ___________________