Council Passes Two Zoning Ordinances On Second Reading

August 25, 2008

In a short meeting Monday night, West U. City Council passed two zoning ordinances on second reading.

The first ordinance, which passed 4-1 with Council Michael Talianchich voting against, creates a minimum nine-foot “mirror to mirror” driveway width for new residential construction in the city. The actual paved area does not have to be nine feet, but the area the vehicle travels through has to be at least nine feet.

The ordinance allows for pervious pavement as opposed to hard-surfaced pavement, and requires an additional parking space between the garage and the public roadway that does not cross the public sidewalk.

The second ordinance passed 4-0, and requires at least two garage parking spaces per house and requires they be enclosed or semi-enclosed and adjoining a driveway. An additional requirement for a minimum “maneuvering area” outside garages was deleted after input at a public hearing and discussion at a previous council meeting.

Prior to the 5:15 p.m. meeting, council met in executive session to discuss real estate matters.

The city has shown interest in the 6728 Westpoint Street and 4204 Cason St. properties since purchasing the old YMCA for use as a recreation center.

According to city officials, the owners of the Westpoint Street property have indicated a willingness to sell the property to the city. The Harris County Appraisal District lists the 2008 appraised value of the property as $281,383 for the land and $161,539 for the improvement, for a total of $442,922.

The owner of the Cason Street property told city officials he wanted to remain in West U., and would consider exchanging his land for another city-owned property. The city owns a property at 3501 Corondo Court, which was purchased about a year ago for open space. The city hoped to eventually purchase the land adjacent to the property, with the possibility of the land becoming a pocket park. The Corondo property was bought with money from the general fund reserve, at a cost of $420,000.

The Cason Street property’s HCAD value for 2008 was $194,481 for the land and $10,957 for the improvements, for a total of $205,438.

Ross says the city is in the process of determining the fair market value of all properties involved. The issue will be brought to council for any action.

Mayor Bob Kelly said after the meeting that he thought it would be premature to consider purchasing the properties before the Nov. 4 $13.8 million bond election for renovations to the West U. Recreation Center and Colonial Park Pool.

He said while owning the properties could be used to make an attractive entrance off of Westpoint, if the bond election fails, he isn’t sure what would be done with the land.

InstantNewsWestu Staff

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