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logo2013

Zoning Board of Adjustments /

building and standards commission

Regular Session Agenda

June 18, 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.     May 21, 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 BASC15-02 (2806 Sugar Wood Drive), 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 2806 Sugar Wood Drive, League City, Texas, 77573, legally described as Lot 60, Block 10, Meadow Bend, Section 2, a subdivision in League City, Galveston County, Texas, according to the map thereof recorded in Volume 15, Pages 18 and 19, in the Office of the County Clerk of Galveston County, Texas, together with all improvements thereon.

 

OWNERS/LIENHOLDERS/OTHER PARTIES

1.   James and Regina Jackson, 2806 Sugar Wood Drive, League City, TX, 77573

2.   Victor A. Strum, Law Office of Victor A. Sturm, P.C., 2420 South Grand Blvd. Pearland, TX, 77581

3.   Albert E. Butler, 5353 West Alabama, Suite 515, Houston, TX, 77056

4.   Harbour Insurance Services, LLC, 2800 Marina Bay Drive, Suite P, League City, TX, 77573

5.   Houston Community Management Services, 17049 El Camino Real Suite 100, Houston, TX, 77058

6.   Logos Investments, LLC., 2002 Sandy Lake Dr., Friendswood, TX, 77548

7.   Orchid Underwriters Agency, Inc, 1201 19th Place, Suite A110, Vero Beach, FL. 32960

8.   Randall B. Ashby, Waldron & Schneider, L.L.P., 15150 Middlebrook Drive, Houston, TX. 77058

 

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 11st DAY OF JUNE, 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, JUNE 18, 2015 at 6:00 P.M.

COUNCIL CHAMBERS

200 WEST WALKER STREET

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

 

I.                   Call to order and Roll call of members

Mr. Christiansen called the meeting to order at 6:08 p.m.

 

Members present:                                                      Members absent:

James R. Christiansen, Chair                                       Michael Hendershot, Vice-Chair

            Katie Benoit                                                                 Ed Rainey

Tamra Gann-Curry                                                      Lianne Russell

 

City Representatives:

Oscar Arevalo, Building Official                                

Mark Linenschmidt, Senior Planner

Kris Carpenter, Neighborhood Services Manager

Michelle Villarreal, Deputy City Attorney 

 

II.                Approval of Minutes

A.     May 21, 2015

 

Mr. Christiansen motioned to approve the minutes of May 21, 2015 with corrections noted.

 

Mr. Christiansen asked for a vote.

 

The motion passed by a vote of 3-0-0.

 

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 and 30 days for the Building and Standards Commission 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 BASC15-02 (2806 Sugar Wood Drive.), 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 2806 Sugar Wood Drive, League City, Texas 77573, legally described as Lot 60, Block 10, Meadow Bend, Section 2, a subdivision in League City, Galveston County, Texas, according to the map thereof recorded in Volume 15, Page 18 and 19 in the Office of the County Clerk of Galveston County, Texas, together with all improvements thereon.

 

OWNERS/LIENHOLDERS/OTHER PARTIES

1.      James and Regina Jackson, 2806 Sugar Wood Drive, League City, TX, 77573

2.      Victor A. Strum, Law Office of Victor A. Sturm, P.C., 2420 South Grand Blvd. Pearland, TX, 77581

3.      Albert E. Butler, 5353 West Alabama, Suite 515, Houston, TX, 77056

4.      Harbour Insurance Services, LLC, 2800 Marina Bay Drive, Suite P, League City, TX, 77573

5.      Houston Community Management Services, 17049 El Camino Real Suite 100, Houston, TX, 77058

6.      Logos Investments, LLC., 2002 Sandy Lake Dr., Friendswood, TX, 77548

7.      Orchid Underwriters Agency, Inc, 1201 19th Place, Suite A110, Vero Beach, FL. 32960

8.      Randall B. Ashby, Waldron & Schneider, L.L.P., 15150 Middlebrook Drive, Houston, TX. 77058

 

Kris Carpenter, Neighborhood Services Manager, presented on behalf of the City of League City. This structure was inspected by the City Staff on May 27, 2015; 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, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 12. The City recommends the structure be repaired.

 

(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 home, on the west side, was open to air, and sections of the roof were left exposed.

 

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 the plumbing in the kitchen area had been removed, and the breaker box was removed leaving wires exposed to the air.

 

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, which is a potential fire risk, although the structure had no electricity at the time.

 

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. The master bedroom and bathroom received smoke damage.

 

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 it is not sanitary or fit for living. The support beams located in the garage received severe fire damage, causing the structure to be unsafe for living.

 

Condition 12 – “Inadequate facilities for egress in case of fire or panic or insufficient stairways, elevators, doors, aisles, passageways or fire escapes.” It was discovered during the inspection that the stairway was impassable due to the fire damage underneath the stairs.

 

Considering the extent of damage to the structure, City Staff recommends that the structure be repaired to protect the welfare, health and safety of the neighboring residents and the community.

 

Mr. Carpenter addressed the commission. It was recommended that the structure be boarded up to keep further damage from occurring to the structure and to keep animals from entering the structure.  

 

 

Mr. Christiansen – The City determined that the house could be and should be repaired, as opposed to being demolished based on the value of the home and the estimated cost to repair?

Mr. Carpenter – That is correct. I would have to defer that to Oscar. Oscar did determine that it would be feasible to repair, rather than to demolish.

 

Ms. Benoit – So, there is no one living in the house at this time?

Mr. Carpenter – It’s currently vacated.

 

Ms. Benoit – Have you heard back from the owners?

Mr. Carpenter – We have had limited contact with them. The owner had a lawyer contact our attorney, but that’s pretty much the only contact we’ve had, since the last meeting.

 

Ms. Benoit – So, it’s been a few weeks? Was that our first meeting on this?

Mr. Carpenter – This actually hasn’t come before the board yet. We didn’t have a quorum last time, so we deferred it, to this meeting about three weeks ago. The owner works out of state. We did send him another notice and told him about this meeting. We spoke to his attorney and told him about this meeting, as well.

 

Ms. Benoit – Other than that, besides notification you haven’t heard from anyone else involved?

Mr. Carpenter – No ma’am. Though we’re working with the insurance company, we have not had contact with them. No repairs have been started. The garage was boarded up, but that was all that was done.

 

Ms. Benoit – Did they clean up the refuse that was in the front?

Mr. Carpenter – No, we had it cleaned up.

 

Ms. Benoit – The City did? 

Mr. Carpenter – Yes ma’am.

 

Mr. Carpenter – If you have technical questions about the damage or cause I defer those questions to Oscar.

Mr. Christiansen – Yes, I’m going to have to call Oscar up because we need to discuss the value of the house and the determination of cost to repair it, for the record.

 

Oscar – My name is Oscar Arevalo, I’m the Building Official, for the City and I did go with the Code Enforcement inspectors to go evaluate the situation and saw the damage. As you can see from the pictures, the majority of the damage was done in the garage or some other areas, like underneath the stairs, where there was severe damage. The roof and the rest of the house, a little bit into the master bedroom, you see a little bit of damage. A lot of it is smoke damage, but as far as structural, the majority of it was confined to the garage. There are a lot of factors to commit to when you’re doing a full repair for a house like this, with fire damage. You also have to consider not only the structural, but the cosmetic, and also the smoke damage to a certain extent. So, other things we saw in the house which probably need to be repaired because they are violations of the code are the electrical problems. It was probably vandalism, theft, or damage; I don’t think it was done by fire-fighters. The sink area was broken; I don’t know if this was done prior to the point of the fire. We don’t have that information, but it’s possible that it was vandalism. We would have to repair all that. I estimate the cost of repairs would be between $25,000 and $30,000. The value of the home is $158,000, so my estimation illustrates that we are not at 50 percent.

Mr. Christiansen – Okay, that’s what we needed to know. Thanks Oscar.

 

Mr. Christiansen – Does any other commissioner have any questions for the City? Ok, so there are no other questions for the City.  I’m going to ask if any owners are present, or any of the owner’s representatives are present. For the record, no one has indicated that the owner and/or owner representative are present this evening. Therefore, this a public hearing and I’m going to go ahead and open to public hearing portion at 6:27 p.m. I’m going to ask if there’s anybody present here that wants to speak about this property – for or against it?

 

Russell Miller – 2805 Sugar Wood – We’re the ones who have to live with this, see this every day, and what they’re not showing you in the pictures is where the hole was in the wall. The two windows right there (pointing to presentation) have been opened since the fire, so rain is entering the property. To answer your question on the electrical, the owners took that out, and yes, I do have it on video. So, I’m the one who keeps complaining to the City, and so far they’ve cleaned up the front yard. The mailbox is full; the post office is not delivering mail to the house, which is why your letters keep coming back. He is not out of state; he was there two days ago. So, he’s just avoiding you guys because he doesn’t want to take responsibility for his property. The neighbors are the ones who are mowing the front yard. The pool is discolored, unsecure, and unsafe. The owner is stripping items out the house. The house is an eyesore to all the neighbors.

 

Mr. Christiansen – Have you seen any vagrancy?

Mr. Miller – Yes, the neighbor’s kids enter the backyard and have gone into the house. The owner of the house will be in there for two to four hours at night.

 

Mr. Christiansen – The consensus of the neighborhood is that they would like to see the house repaired to a new condition. One, so the value of the neighborhood doesn’t go down.

Mr. Miller – We would like to see it repaired or torn down. We would prefer for it to be repaired, but we’re tired of looking at it.

 

Mr. Christiansen – Measures will be taken to ensure that something is going to happen to the house.

Mr. Miller – Do you have any more questions?

 

Ms. Benoit – In regards to the swimming pool, is the fence unsecure?

Mr. Miller – The fence is old and needs to be repaired.

 

Ms. Benoit – Are there any holes?

Mr. Miller – There are a few fences missing.

 

Ms. Benoit – Is the gate locked?

Mr. Miller – No Ma’am, it’s opened to the public.

 

Mr. Christiansen – Are there any more questions for Mr. Miller? Are there any other citizens who want to come forward?

 

Tina Miller – 2805 Sugar Wood – The house has been receiving rain from the open windows upstairs, the fence is unsecure, and the roof is sagging, due to the rain. That is all I want to say.

 

Mr. Christiansen – The public hearing is closed at 6:45 p.m.

 

Mr. Christiansen - Commissioners, in front of you, you have the copy of the orders and findings, which we will vote on.

 

Mr. Christiansen – The city had recommended and showed slides on findings 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 12.  I agree that the remaining findings would be non-applicable. Finding 7, “Building and structures, regardless of their structural condition, that have been, during times that they were not actually occupied by their owners, lessees or other legal invitees, left unsecured from unauthorized entry to the extent that they may be vagrants or other uninvited persons as a place of harborage or could be entered by children,” was marked. Finding 8, “Building and structures, which are secured by means inadequate to prevent unauthorized entry or used in the manner described in paragraph (6) above,” was also marked.   Let’s go to page 4, section IV on orders.

 

            Item 1 was marked.

 

            Item 2 was marked with the date June 25th, 2015 for the date the building needs to be secured.

 

            Item 3 was marked N/A.

 

Item 4 was marked.

 

Item 5 was marked with the date August 6th, 2015 to complete the repairs. Mr. Carpenter noted that a pool cover would be placed over the pool before that date by the Code Enforcement Department.

 

Item 6 was marked N/A.

 

Item 7 was marked N/A.

 

Item 8 was marked N/A.

 

Item 9 was marked with the August 6th, 2015 as being the date for the owners to appear at the meeting of the Commission to present a status/ compliance report.

 

Item 10 was marked with conditions that the exterior of the building be secured from further damage and from the entrance of animals.

 

Item 11 was marked N/A.

 

Mr. Christiansen stated that the order would be a compliance order.

 

Ms. Gann-Curry asked whether all the lien holders were notified.

Mr. Carpenter stated that all the lien holders were notified.

 

Mr. Christiansen called for a motion to vote on the compliance order to secure the property, to post a “no entry” notice, and to have a second meeting regarding the status of the property.

 

Ms. Benoit made a motion to approve the order.

 

Ms. Gann-Curry seconded the motion and an electronic vote was taken.

The motion passed unanimously with a vote of 3-0-0.

 

V.                Adjournment

Mr. Christiansen asked for a motion to adjourn the meeting.

 

Ms. Benoit made a motion to adjourn.

 

Ms. Gann-Curry seconded the motion.

 

The motion passed unanimously with a vote of 3-0-0.

 

Mr. Christiansen adjourned the meeting at 7:03 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: ___________________