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Planning & Zoning Commission

Regular Session Agenda

June 1, 2015

6:00 PM

Council Chambers, 200 W. Walker Street

 

I.                   Call to Order and Roll Call of Members

 

II.                Approval of Minutes

A.     May 18, 2015

 

III.             Public Hearing and Action Items from Public Hearing

A.     Hold a public hearing and make a recommendation to City Council on Zone Change Application, Z15-11 (Texas Ave./Power St.), a request to rezone approximately 2.0 acres from “OS” (Open Space) to “RSF-20” (Single-family residential with a minimum lot size of 20,000 square feet), legally described as a portion of the northwestern 231.3 feet of Lot 35 (35-3) of the League City Division B Subdivision, generally located south of Power Street, east of Dickinson Avenue and west of Texas Avenue, with the approximate address being in the 1000 block of Power Street and the 1000 block of Texas Avenue in League City, Texas.

 

IV.              Items Tabled and Subject to Recall

A.     Hold a public hearing and make a recommendation to City Council on Zone Change Application, Z15-09 (Davis Road and FM 2094), a request to rezone approximately 1.3 acres from “PS” (Public / Semi-Public) to “CG” (General Commercial), legally described as a portion of Block 11 (11-0-8) of the Lakeside Addition Subdivision, generally located south of the GENCO cooling canal, east of Davis Road and west of Marina Bay Drive (FM 2094), with the approximate address being in the 2400 block of Marina Bay Drive in League City, Texas. (PUBLIC HEARING IS CLOSED)

 

V.                 Staff Comments

A.     Public notice procedure

 

VI.              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, ON OR BEFORE THE 29th 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.

 

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, AICP

City Planner

 

MINUTES

CITY OF LEAGUE CITY

PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION

Monday, June 1, 2015 at 6:00 P.M.

COUNCIL CHAMBERS

200 W WALKER ST.

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

 

I.                   Call to Order and Roll Call of Members

 

Eric Froeschner opened the meeting at 6:00 PM.

 

Members Present:                               Members Absent:

Hank Dugie

James Brockway

Kimberlee Prokhorov

Marc Edelman, Vice Chairman Arrived at 6:02 PM

Eric Froeschner, Chairman

Shane Hamilton

Ron Wicker

Doug Turner

 

Planning Staff:

Paul Menzies, Director of Planning & Zoning

Richard Werbiskis, Assistant Director of Planning & Development

Ryan Granata, Planning Manager

Mark Linenschmidt, Senior Planner

Matthew Grooms, Planner

Nghiem Doan, City Attorney

Earl Smith, Director of Engineering

 

II.                Approval of Minutes

A.     May 18, 2015

 

Ron Wicker motioned to approve the minutes of May 18, 2015.

 

Shane Hamilton seconded the motion.

 

Motion passed 8-0-0.

 

III.             Public Hearing and Action Items from Public Hearing

A.     Hold a public hearing and make a recommendation to City Council on Zone Change Application, Z15-11 (Texas Ave./Power St.), a request to rezone approximately 2.0 acres from “OS” (Open Space) to “RSF-20” (Single-family residential with a minimum lot size of 20,000 square feet), legally described as a portion of the northwestern 231.3 feet of Lot 35 (35-3) of the League City Division B Subdivision, generally located south of Power Street, east of Dickinson Avenue and west of Texas Avenue, with the approximate address being in the 1000 block of Power Street and the 1000 block of Texas Avenue in League City, Texas.

 

Ryan Granata (RG) addressed the commission.  These properties are all City owned properties, and are being recommended for approval by City Staff. A total of nine properties have been identified and the City is beginning the process of selling off the properties and bringing them back to the tax roll.  Five of those properties have been determined to need to be rezoned, with two of the properties shown tonight.

 

Ryan Granata (RG) presented for the City of League City. This property was originally acquired in March of 1989 for the Robinson Bayou Drainage Diversion Project, and the City has determined it no longer requires this tract for that purpose. At the time of presentation, there had been citizen objections to the original request, a zoning change from “OS” to “RSF-10”. Staff subsequently proposed a new request to rezone from “OS” to “RSF-20” and received no additional comments. The subject property is located outside of the drainage ditch. Staff held neighborhood meetings for the project on April 21st and April 30th. Public Notices were mailed to surrounding property owners on May 8th and the Public Notice was published in the Post newspaper on May 10th. The Planning and Zoning Commission holds a public hearing and considers the request on June 1st and offers recommendations to City Council. City Council will then hold a second public hearing on June 23rd. On July 14th, City Council will hold the final public meeting regarding this request. The future land use plan designates this property as Park with Open Space Natural with the surrounding area being designated as suburban residential. The proposed RSF-20 zoning district compliments the suburban residential classification. Staff reiterates the general nature of the Future Land Use Plan and highlights the proposed zoning change’s conformance with the surrounding area.

City Staff recommends approving Z15-11 (Texas Ave./Power Street).

 

Commissioner Question (CQ) - Is staff positive that there will never be a need for this property for expansion of the drainage?

RG – The property has been vetted by all city departments including the Engineering Department and there was no concern of this issue.

 

CQ – What facts and data were utilized in coming to this decision? In light of rising sea levels and recent weather events, how can we be confident that we will not need this property?

RG – Upon reviewing the appropriate facts and figures, it was determined that the current depth and width of the drainage channel were sufficient for the surrounding area.

 

Commissioner Comment (CC) – A metes and bounds representation of the site is not provided and the commission is basing its judgments off of general photographs and illustrations of the site. This is confusing for commission members.  

 

CC – The dimensions are not clearly identified in the exhibits. The lot appears to be more than 250 feet wide in the exhibit presented by staff, while the exhibit available to the commissioners appears to be 120 feet wide. This tract is two acres. The lots would be long and narrow resulting in four lots.

 

CG – Have you all given consideration to how these lots will be developed if someone purchases the property?

 

RG – At this point no. This process would be determined by the developer who purchases the property. Staff is moving forward with a rezoning request that is more in concert with the surrounding area to facilitate its sale. A future developer would work with the Planning, Engineering and all appropriate City Departments to ensure that the lot configurations would meet separation requirements from driveways.

 

CC – The lot sized are acceptable as there are similar properties located along Lawrence Road that are similarly narrow. If they are accessing power then these properties would be in demand. There would be a buyer for this type of property in our area.

  

CC – We are not operating from a survey and a true description of the property. We need to be certain that we are making a recommendation based on the same imagery that City Council sees. The imagery as is, is different for different exhibits. We ought to move to table this discussion until an accurate survey can be reviewed.

 

Marc Edelman motioned to table Z15-11 (Texas Ave./Power Street)

 

Shane Hamilton seconded the motion.

 

CQ – Do we want to hold a public hearing today, or would we like to table it before the public hearing?

 

CQ – Did we already hold a public hearing at the previous meeting?

 

RG – No, not for Z15-11 (Texas Ave./Power Street).

 

CC – We can hold a public hearing and then move to table this agenda item.

 

CC – We have to have the public hearing because of the notification period.

 

RG – That is correct.

 

Marc Edelman withdraws the motion to table Z15-11 (Texas Ave./Power Street)

 

Shane Hamilton withdraws the second.

 

The public hearing was opened at 6:13 PM.

 

There were no speakers for the public hearing.

 

The public hearing was closed at 6:14 PM.

 

Marc Edelman motioned to table Z15-11 (Texas Ave./Power Street)

 

Shane Hamilton seconded the motion.

 

CQ – Are we tabling this item until we can get a surveyor completed rendering of the site?

 

CC – If we are going to make a recommendation to City Council, we will need a full description of the property in place of some general graphics. 

 

CQ – Will we be meeting again before the City Council is scheduled to review this item?

 

RG – Yes. There is one more meeting on June 15th prior to the first reading by City Council on June 23rd.

 

Motion passed 8-0-0.

 

IV.              Items Tabled and Subject to Recall

A.     Make a recommendation to City Council on Zone Change Application, Z15-09 (Davis Road and FM 2094), a request to rezone approximately 1.3 acres from “PS” (Public / Semi-Public) to “CG” (General Commercial), legally described as a portion of Block 11 (11-0-8) of the Lakeside Addition Subdivision, generally located south of the GENCO cooling canal, east of Davis Road and west of Marina Bay Drive (FM 2094), with the approximate address being in the 2400 block of Marina Bay Drive in League City, Texas. (PUBLIC HEARING IS CLOSED)

 

Marc Edelman motions to remove to untable  Z15-09 (Davis Road and FM 2094).

 

Ron Wicker seconded the motion.

 

Ryan Granata presented for the City of League City. The subject property is currently zoned “PS” (Public/Semi-Public) and the City is requesting that the zoning be changed to “CG” (General Commercial). On May, 18th, The Planning and Zoning Commission tabled this item due to concerns over the intensity of the proposed land use, incongruence with the Comprehensive Plan’s Future Land Use Plan, and concerns over congestion and traffic flow. The Future Land Use Plan was not intended to provide specific guidance at the parcel level, but rather serve as a more general guide. The Planning and Zoning Commission also identified the possibility of converting the parcel into a park. The Parks Department does intend to retain a portion of the property along the GENCO canal for a proposed trail. There are no plans for a park due to its location; proximity to other businesses and nearby traffic. The Commission also had some concerns about traffic impacts. Traffic impacts are difficult to determine, as they are based off of the proposed use. Traffic impacts are not typically reviewed until the Site Plan Development Phase of a given project. According to City Ordinances, If a development meets certain requirements, they will be required to have a traffic impact analysis completed. This may also necessitate the need for surrounding roadway improvements. These would be required prior to the issuance of Occupancy Permits. “CG” is recommended by staff as adjacent properties are also zoned “CG” and there is also legal precedent which would discourage choosing another zoning classification.

City Staff recommends approving Z15-09 (Davis Road and FM 2094).

 

CQ – Could you tell us what is being developed across the street?

 

RG – There is nothing currently being developed on this site. It is being graded and cleared to help facilitate its sale. There are no active permit applications on file for that site.

 

CQ – Is the site zoned for “CG” (General Commercial”?

 

RG – The property is zoned for Residential use.

 

CC – That site has been cleared twice in the past.

 

CC – One concern is that if the site is developed as apartments or townhomes, traffic intensity will increase on that street. There is an existing 45,000 square foot property that exits out onto that street, and if a commercial property is developed there, it will significantly add to traffic.

 

CC – There was an envisioning process that occurred three months earlier, and in that process, there was discussion of land-banking properties along major thoroughfares. The City Manager felt that this was a good idea for the future of the City. This piece of land is perfect for the City to maintain. It seems that the City is in a hurry to rezone and dispose of this property. If the Commission approves this rezone, then it shows support for this site becoming a commercial property.

 

CC – The Amegy Bank has a cut-in for an adjacent commercial property built into the parking lot. It appears that a rezone to a commercial property could work out very well.

 

CC – That is only if Amegy Bank is willing to share and provide an access easement. They may not be willing to provide an easement.

 

CC – As in the previous case, it would be beneficial to see exact dimensions of the property with the portion allocated for the trail removed before making any decisions.

 

RG – The Parks Department is proposing to put in a ten foot wide trail that would run along the GENCO Canal pursuant to the Parks and Trails Master Plan. Staff can ascertain those dimensions. The size of the property will not change, as a trail can still cross a property zoned “CG” (General Commercial).

 

CC – General Commercial makes the most sense for this particular piece of property. Land Banking may be the best idea, but is it the role of the Commissioners to land bank properties? If this request were posed by a private applicant, it would likely be approved. However since this property is likely to be sold off, we are hesitant. For this reason, it should be approved.

 

CQ – Is that a motion?

 

Hank Dugie motioned to approve Z15-09 (Davis Road and FM 2094)

 

Hank Dugie withdrew motion to approve Z15-09 (Davis Road and FM 2094)

 

CC – The Planning and Zoning Commission would likely see an individual business attempting to rezone this property to “CG” (General Commercial) as a logical decision. However, as part of our Planning role, it is appropriate for us to not assist in the disposition of this property by changing the zoning. Based on the discussions held at the envisioning meeting, it is appropriate to maintain this piece of property as is.

 

Hank Dugie motioned to approve Z15-09 (Davis Road and FM 2094)

 

Shane Hamilton seconded the motion.

 

Motion failed on a vote of 3-5-0 with Hank Dugie, Shane Hamilton and Eric Froeschner in favor and Marc Edelman, James Brockway, Kimberlee Prokhorov, Doug Turner and Ron Wicker opposed.

 

Marc Edelman moved to deny with prejudice Z15-09 (Davis Road and FM 2094)

 

James Brockway seconded the motion.

 

Nghiem Doan (ND) – The denial of the motion to approve is in effect a denial. There is no need to motion to deny.

 

CC – A denial negates the ability to come back within a year.

 

ND – I believe that you are wanting to motion a denial with prejudice.

 

Marc Edelman withdrew motion to deny Z15-09 (Davis Road and FM 2094)

 

James Brockway withdrew the second.

 

Marc Edelman motioned to deny with prejudice Z15-09 (Davis Road and FM 2094)

 

James Brockway seconded the motion.

 

CQ – What does deny with prejudice mean exactly? Can this property not be rezoned at all, or only as “CG” (General Commercial)?

 

ND – This would bar a future request to rezone this property “CG” (General Commercial) within the time frame of one year. My opinion and counsel is that given that this is a City initiated request, it would not make sense to tie the hands of the city by voting to deny with prejudice. This would prevent staff from being able to propose an alternative within that time-frame if one arises.

 

CC – This would only be a recommendation to City Council and they make the final decision on this request. A denial would be one way of communicating our opinion on this matter.

 

ND – Yes, that is a way to send a message to City Council.

 

CC – Given our limited communication with City Council, it is important to say that we denied with prejudice as opposed to it not being approved, especially since this is only a recommendation and not final approval.

 

CQ – Is that a motion to recommend to City Council to deny with prejudice?

 

CC – We are recommending denial with prejudice, but not tying the hands of the City. Does the City Attorney agree?

 

ND – If this is a symbolic gesture and you feel the need to send a message to City Council then this is understandable. However, it is perplexing that the Planning and Zoning Commission would not support a City initiated zoning change.

 

CQ – Does City-initiated mean that it comes directly from City staff?

 

ND – The applicant in this situation is the City of League City. Zoning is done pursuant to the City’s regulations. Professionally trained staff looks at the zoning of a given property and ensures its conformity with the surrounding uses. These considerations are used in making a recommendation to the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council. These efforts took place in making this recommendation.

 

CC – When City Council receives our recommendation, it is important that we denied it as opposed to not approved it.

 

ND – A vote to not pass a motion to approve is in effect a denial.  

 

CC – In the past, denials have been recommended by voting a denial. City Council does not always understand our intent, and so a denial vote clearly communicates that. The Commission, in performing its planning duties, does not universally approve this zoning change.

 

ND – The City Council is likely sensitive to the significance of these votes.

 

Motion failed on a vote of 4-4-0 with Marc Edelman, James Brockway, Kimberlee Prokhorov and Ron Wicker in favor and Hank Dugie, Shane Hamilton, Eric Froeschner and Doug Turner opposed.

 

V.                 Staff Comments

RG – Staff produced a memo that outlines the changes made to the public notice procedure. These changes include alterations to the Public Notice Letter, sent out to abutting properties and a local newspaper, that provide instructions for how to submit comments to staff. Staff has also provided standardized language to be conveyed by the applicant to citizens in their notice for a neighborhood meeting. This was done in response to a concern that was raised by the Planning and Zoning Commission early in May in regards to a zoning change request. The concern was that the public did not have clear instructions on how to proceed with comments once they had received a notice.

 

RG – Staff will continue using the current Public Notice Signs. Staff is considering an alternative option which will be larger and sturdier than the existing signs, though not so great an expense as the previous signs.

 

VI.              Adjournment

Eric Froeschner adjourned the meeting at 6:35 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, ON OR BEFORE THE 29th 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.

 

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, AICP                              Eric Froeschner

City Planner                                                   Chairman