Council Approves Stub Driveways Along Buffalo Speedway Without 50-Percent Planted Area Rule
West U. City Council has approved an ordinance that allows for stub driveways on Buffalo Speedway, but took out the part of the ordinance that required 50 percent of the area to be planted.
“At first reading there were some questions about the 50 percent planted area,” said City Planner Debbie Scarcella. “I wanted to remind everyone when we first started with the Zoning and Planning Commission, the goal was to retain the character of the yard – retain some grassy area instead of having it all look like commercial pavement area.”
The 50-percent planted area rule raised concern among some residents who thought it would look like people were parked on their lawns. Councilwoman Phyllis Cohen proposed adopting the ordinance without the 50-percent planted area rule.
The ordinance change allows for stub and dead-end driveways for homes facing streets of four lanes or more. The “stubs” allow for cars to turn around and enter the street facing forward.
Kirby, Bissonnet and Bellaire already qualify as “major thoroughfares” which allow for the turn-around areas, but Buffalo Speedway does not. This ordinance would add Buffalo Speedway to the list.
Many homeowners along Buffalo Speedway have individually asked for variances to allow for turnaround space, and the Zoning and Planning Commission decided to address the issue as a whole.
The proposal allowed for a stub driveway with a maximum width of 9 feet, and a maximum length of 24-feet, which includes the original driveway. If the driveway is 12 feet wide, the stub could be a maximum of 12-feet wide as well. The stub has to be two feet away from any building and the property line or sidewalk