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Historic Commission

Special Meeting

April 20, 2017

6:00 PM

City Council Chambers, 200 W. Walker Street

 

I.           Call to Order and Roll Call of Members

 

II.        Citizen Communication

 

The privilege of speaking at this time is limited to the following persons: residents, persons having an ownership interest in property or a business within the City, or their attorneys.

 

A statement of no more than 3 minutes may be made. There will be no yielding of time to another person. State law prohibits members of the Historic Commission from commenting on any statement or engaging in dialogue without an appropriate agenda item being posted in accordance with the Texas Open Meetings Act. Comments should be directed to the entire Historic Commission, not individual members of the Historic Commission or staff. If addressing a specific agenda item, speakers must keep their remarks specific to the item being considered by the Historic Commission. Any speaker making personal attacks or using vulgar or profane language shall forfeit his/her remaining time and shall be seated.

 

III.     New Business

 

A.     Presentation by the City's consultant and possible direction by the Board to City staff regarding the draft version of the proposed development regulations for new construction within the Downtown Redevelopment area, located generally along Main Street (FM 518) between SH 3 and Iowa Street.

 

IV.     Commissioner's Comments

 

V.        Staff Comments

 

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 17th DAY OF APRIL, 2017, 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.

 

 

___________________________________

Kris Carpenter, Planning Manager

 

 

 

MINUTES

CITY OF LEAGUE CITY

HISTORIC COMMISSION

REGULAR MEETING

Thursday, April 20, 2017 at 6:00 P.M.

City Council Chambers

200 West Walker Street

 

I.                   Call to Order and Roll Call of Members of Historic Commission

Steph McDougal opened the meeting at 6:00 PM.

 

Members present:

Members absent:

David Hake, Vice-Chairperson

John Schoellkopf

Steph McDougal, Chairperson

Susan Pierce

Daniel Henn

Dick Calkins

Michael Hendershot, ex-officio

Elizabeth Hetico

 

 

City Representatives:

Korrie Becht, Senior Planner

Kris Carpenter, Planning Manager

Frankie Legaux, Assistant Director of Planning and Development

Michelle Villarreal, Deputy City Attorney

 

Mr. Hake made a motion to move Item II - Citizens Communication to Item III, after New Business.

Ms. Hetico seconded the motion.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

II.                New Business

A.     Work session to discuss the proposed form Based Code text amendment.

Kris Carpenter, Planning Manager for the City of League City, informed the Historic Commission that the materials provided was a rough draft and further changes were anticipated. He said that a full draft would be provided at the next meeting for recommendation, and stated that staff hoped to have the information to Council for a work session with both City Council and the Planning and Zoning Commission in June.

 

Naina Magon of Gateway Planning provided a presentation on the preliminary form-based code text amendment.

 

Ms. Magon informed there were five elements in a form-based code, of which included a zoning district map, an administration section, building standards, building design, and street scape and landscape. She stated the purpose and intent was to have a walkable and vibrant neighborhood in the heart of League City.

 

Ms. McDougal asked if the hope was to encourage people to come downtown.

Ms. Magon answered within reason and context, yes. She stated the intent was to provide a place where people wanted to come.

Ms. McDougal requested that the amendment be explicit on goals and how to achieve them.

 

Ms. Hetico stated that in some of the area within old town there were homes that people were living in, and asked what the plan was for those homeowners.

Ms. Magon replied whatever was existing would be grandfathered. If in the future, said owners decided to rebuild, they would be required to adhere to the new ordinance.

 

Mr. Henn asked what if someone wanted to continue to reside in and make improvements to their home.

Ms. Magon answered there was a matrix that would provide an idea for improvements of which took into consideration the percentage of changes. It depended on the amount of change and the value of said change.

 

Ms. Hetico asked what would happen to the buildings of which were not historical if they were grandfathered, and if a sale of the property would rid the grandfathering status.

Ms. Magon stated they would be allowed until something was triggered that would require the building to be brought to current standards, such as a change of use.

Mr. Menzies reminded the Commission of the goals of the Main Street presentation for the Downtown Revitalization Project. He stated one goal was to protect the existing neighborhoods and turn what was there into the vision. He referred to photos of what the downtown area could look like, which would only apply to new development. He stated that Ms. McDougal was correct in that the City purchased property in the area to get the ball rolling, and part of that would be to turn those properties over to a developer to implement the vision, of which would hopefully inspire others.

Ms. McDougal stated that was how downtowns were developed overtime, the process described by Mr. Menzies was how development happened, and a catalyst was required to get the ball rolling. The City?s initial purchase would provide that catalytic project.

 

Mr. Hake stated he was a homeowner in the core area, and asked if he wanted to make a change to his residence, which regulation would he fall under.

Ms. Magon stated he would fall under the residential home, even being within the core area. She informed the development standards would be cleaned up.

 

Ms. McDougal asked if the residential design standards would apply to a residential building of which was repurposed to commercial uses.

Ms. Magon stated it would not.

Ms. McDougal stated the use could go back to residential at some point.

Ms. Magon stated that would have to be flushed out more in the text.

 

Mr. Hake asked about the time period chosen from the 1880?s-1920?s, and stated that a more applicable time period would be 1900?s-1940?s.

Ms. Magon stated they would like feedback on that, and asked what time period they would like reflected.

Ms. McDougal stated they did not want to create a false sense of history, and preferred the buildings have a traditional scale massing and proportion. She stated she did not want to create a fake old town look, as it was almost always executed poorly. She said she would rather have good contemporary design that was scaled and proportioned appropriately, than have someone who did not know about architectural history try to interpret what high Victorian, beaux art, or art deco meant, which were the three styles typical of the time period mentioned. She said they would have to be careful about specifying architectural style of a new building in the area. 

Mr. Hendershot stated he agreed, and informed that a better facility would be created if contemporary design was allowed. He added that scale was perhaps the most important issue, even over style or design.

 

Ms. Legaux stated staff had the same goals, with an infill development that was compatible, rather than mimicking what was there.

Ms. McDougal stated if building elements were included, they would have to be real and protrude from the façade. She added that she was concerned about EIFS construction.

Mr. Carpenter stated that a masonry ordinance was recently adopted of which prohibited the use of EIFS.

 

Ms. McDougal, stated she did not want to specify styles and would prefer to give more direction regarding proportion, scale and rhythm patterns. She continued that building articulation should be considered without defining what the building should look like.

Ms. Legaux informed that illustrations were to be added in of which were taken from other preservation ordinances.

Ms. McDougal responded that there would need to be more discussion on topic.

 

Mr. Henn asked if they were still talking about a time period of contemporary.

Ms. McDougal replied that they did not want to dictate a period in terms of architectural style as it was more important to reference the scale and proportion of the building itself and its elements.

Mr. Henn asked what the look would be, as in which period would be applied.

Mr. Hendershot said it would go to the historic structure to see what would be deemed a contributing structure to ensure an organic growth.

Ms. McDougal said there was not a single commercial structure that would contribute to that growth.

Ms. Magon stated that a lot of code did not define a time, and a good look was provided with a scale.

Mr. Hendershot replied that the idea of form-based code was to look forward.

 

Mr. Henn stated that he reviewed drawings on page 14 and 15 and it appeared that the top structure was protruding over the build-to zone, and asked if that was anywhere within that zone.

Ms. Magon replied one could build anywhere in that zone, between 0 and 15 feet.

Mr. Henn asked if the sidewalk was the defining end of the line.

Ms. Magon replied yes.

 

Ms. Magon informed the range of 0 to 15 feet was to incorporate additions, such as a patio.

Mr. Henn referred to page 15 and asked if it was ok to go to the backside.

Ms. Magon, replied that was an exception for a historic structure.

 

Ms. McDougal stated the idea was that everything would be brought into the build to zone incrementally over time.

 

Ms. McDougal asked if the planting area would be about the size of the sidewalk.

Ms. Magon said it would depend on streetscape and oak trees.

Ms. McDougal asked if it was going to be consistent with a single block face.

Mr. Carpenter stated that the city would come in along Main Street and Park Avenue to install all the streetscape.

Ms. McDougal stated the actual setback may vary depending on where the oak trees were, and asked if they were going to figure out what maximum space was needed for oak trees and make everything have the same planting area.

Mr. Carpenter asked if the Commission had any suggestions.

Mr. Henn stated it may cause problems for existing buildings.

Ms. McDougal said that she measured closest building she could find, which was the Bay Area Baubles and Beads, and said it was 40 feet from the street. She continued if you had a 10 or 15-foot planting area, and a 5-foot sidewalk that?s 20 feet long, the build-to zone would not get to that point.

Mr. Henn said it would bring builders forward and that was the goal.

Ms. McDougal said a consistent planting zone would be better than moving it around.

Mr. Hendershot asked if there was going to be a maximum or minimum percentage in the build-to.

Ms. Magon stated it was currently 90% of the frontage.

Mr. Hendershot stated transparency meant the actual vision through the glass, and within that would be some function that was engaging to the people using the sidewalk.

 

Ms. Hetico stated that sidewalks were right up to the curb, and the issue has been that people were uncomfortable walking so close to the traffic. She requested information about the sidewalks.

Ms. Magon said that as part of the Main Street Plan revealed a year ago, the City would be redoing the streetscape on Main Street and Park Avenue to provide a buffer between the sidewalk and street.

Ms. Hetico suggested to plant vegetation between the sidewalk and street to provide a comfort zone to pedestrians.

 

Ms. McDougal asked if the new zoning districts would supersede the existing residential neighborhood conservation overlay and historic overlay.

Ms. Magon confirmed.

Mr. Carpenter stated there were far too many overlays and informed this was going to define a new boundary, of which would be its own base zoning district with no overlays.

Ms. McDougal stated that the Historic District extended to the southeast, therefore either the RNC or historic overlay would still have a strip on the south side of FM 518 that would be managed by the Historic Commission, unless the boundaries were redrawn.

Mr. Carpenter stated that staff would look into the overlay.

 

Ms. McDougal stated that impervious coverage needed to be considered as new parking lots would be created. She requested the design standards to address storm water management and flood mitigation including rain water retention, and under parking lot retention areas.

Mr. Carpenter replied that staff would take that under consideration and would work with Engineering.

 

Ms. McDougal stated in terms of the development regulation table, the minimum lot area was 5,000 square feet, which was a lot smaller than most of the existing lots. She wanted to clarify that due to the minimum lot area being 5,000 square feet, and the blocks on the north side of Main Street being just under 200 feet deep with the alley, per her calculations, the maximum depth of those lots on the north side fronting Main Street would be 92 feet. Therefore, to get 5,000 square feet, the lot must be 54 feet wide and the building must be 90% as wide as the lot, of which was 49 feet wide. She continued that a single retail space can?t be than more 6,000 square feet, of which would end up being 65 feet wide. She stated they were looking at a building width that would be 50 to 65 feet wide on the north side of Main Street to in order to meet those standards. She requested staff to check her math as she was concerned about the width. She said they should think about what was trying to be achieved, and to consider the building widths along Main Street.

Ms. Magon said the numbers would be updated.

Ms. McDougal stated historically the lot sides were 25 feet wide and 100 feet deep. If they wanted a continuous block-face of buildings, wide lots would not provide what they were looking for. She added that it would also limit what kind of tenants would be accommodated. She asked that multiple store fronts be included.

 

Ms. McDougal said she was concerned about solar access for those residential properties immediately adjacent to the proposed maximum three-story development provision in the transition area, where there was no alley or buffer between residential property and proposed higher development. She informed that the three-story buildings would keep residential backyards in shade most of the day and stated that it was a similar issue for residents next to the area north of Plymouth, between Waco and Houston.  She suggested to require buildings to be one-story in those residential areas where they were side-to-side and backing up to them, including the area south of Galveston Avenue on Wilkins. She said it would be beneficial for the maximum height to be two-story with a one-story limit in the rear to allow for privacy and sun.

 

Ms. McDougal asked if the code could specify what may happen to the historic residential type buildings of which had been repurposed in the event of the property being redeveloped. She said she would like to encourage relocation instead of demolition within the code.

Ms. Magon said it would be looked at.

 

Mr. Hake stated he was surprised to see excavation mining and oil and gas drilling in the uses, and opined it did not fit into the purpose of what is being proposed.

Mr. Carpenter said that state laws said they could not prohibit them in certain areas, but staff would do more research.

Ms. McDougal stated she would like to prohibit animal sales within a few blocks of the animal shelter as it was counterproductive.

 

Mr. Hake stated that the Butler Oaks may die off over time and he was concerned about not protecting other trees in the area.

Ms. McDougal stated they could consider planting mature trees if other trees were taken down.

Mr. Hendershot stated that tree mitigation would still apply.

Ms. Pierce asked what was considered a massage establishment.

Mr. Carpenter said that massage establishments were reviewed by the police department first, and informed a Special Use Permit requirement was a mechanism for that.

 

Mr. Hake asked about the design guidelines for the rest of the Historic District, and asked where it stood.

Mr. Carpenter said once the survey was completed for Historic District it would indicate what styles were in place. As such, it would help create the design guidelines that would be appropriate for the district

 

Mr. Hake asked what a survey would look like regarding the time period.

Ms. McDougal explained how a time frame regarding design guidelines was determined, of which considered context, period of significance, contributing buildings and architectural styles.

 

Ms. Hetico asked who would do the survey.

Mr. Carpenter informed the City was going to hire a consultant to complete the survey. At this time, an RFP was being drafted for staff review within the next two or three weeks.

Ms. Legaux informed the potential consultant would present their resume and a survey done from the past 5 years to determine work quality.

Ms. McDougal stated that a picture from every property, a form following THC survey standards, and an excel spreadsheet would be provided to the City. Information received would be inputted to the GIS system to provide more information for staff when considering applications.

Ms. Magon requested the Commission to email with any more comments

Mr. Carpenter asked the Commission to send all comments to him directly.

 

III.              Citizen Communication

Mike Peterson of 720 2nd Street and 721 3rd Street thanked everyone for their efforts and stated he appreciated examples provided by staff.

 

IV.             Commissioner Comments

Mr. Hake stated he was disappointed that they missed the opportunity to place input on the property renovations. He said that the Commission had expertise that may benefit the applications coming forward and stated that the Commission should be seen as adding value by providing good work for the citizens of League City.

Ms. Hetico thanked staff for the presentations and for Michael?s input.

Ms. McDougal thanked Ms. Magon.. She said she agreed with Mr. Hake, and stated that the Commission would need to be proactive in engaging the community in building awareness and education, and said the Planning Director would have to make that a priority.


V.                Staff Comments

Mr. Carpenter thanked Mr. Henn for bringing food to City Hall for staff.

 

VI.             Adjournment

The Meeting was adjourned at 7:17 p.m.


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, 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.

 

 

_______________________________________    _____________________________________

Mr. Kris Carpenter                                                Ms. Steph McDougal  

Planning Manager                                                 Chair, Historic District Commission  

 

 

Date minutes approved: ___________________