Early Special Session Includes Two Executive Sessions: Residential Sprinklers, Property On Westpark
An early 4:30 p.m. West U. City Council special session will include two executive sessions, one to discuss the city’s land on Westpark that the mayor has said could be the site for a two-story Molina’s restaurant, and one to discuss the recently passed bill that stops the city from requiring residential sprinklers. The meeting will take place Monday, July 13, in the conference room of the Municipal Building, 3800 University Boulevard.
The agenda also includes discussion on the procedures for making board, committee and commission appointments, City Council’s Rules of Procedure and the 2009-2011 council goals.
The regular council meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. in council chambers, and includes a report from the West University Place Good Neighbor Team. The consent agenda includes the appointment of Clyde Mahavier, Susie Forge and Kim Vega as Deputy Court Clerks.
Despite opposition from fire chiefs and others around the state, Governor Rick Perry in June signed Senate Bill 1410, which includes an amendment that disallows municipalities from requiring residential sprinklers in new home construction. The passage of the bill comes about a month after West U. City Council passed an ordinance requiring the systems. West U. Fire Chief Steve Ralls recently called the passage of the bill “disheartening” and Councilman George Boehme described it as an assault on local control.
Although talks are in the preliminary stages, Mayor Bob Kelly says the city may eventually be in the business of leasing land with a two-story restaurant and parking garage on it, across from the city’s RecyclExpress at Westpark.
The city has leased the land, a little more than an acre on Westpark between Wakeforest and Dincans streets, to Goode Company since September of 2006. The current contract calls for a seven-year lease at $4,328.47 per month. Goode Company uses the land as parking for their seafood restaurant.
According to Kelly, Molina’s Mexican food restaurant has expressed interest in the property, and proposes a two-story restaurant with a parking structure large enough to serve both Molina’s and Goode Company Seafood.
Although City Manager Michael Ross has not confirmed that Molina’s is interested in the property, he did say that the city is currently in the process of working out new lease agreement for the property.
“We currently have a lease agreement with Goode Company, there is another party interested in exploring with a lease agreement with the city,” said Ross. “That’s what we are exploring. Our broker will be having discussions with the other party’s broker to look at various lease arrangements and bring those back for council consideration.”
Goode Company and Molina’s would have to come to an agreement before the city can make any official decisions – otherwise, the city would be breaking the current lease. Kelly has said that Goode Company representatives are interested in the proposal. If structures are built on the land, they would belong to the city when and if the lease agreement was completed.