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Four easy ways to create neighborhood harmony

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By Lacey Lively, Marketing & Community Outreach Coordinator

Our growing community of 103,245 people consists of an uncommon blend of college students, families and retirees. With so many different lifestyles, it can be difficult to establish harmonious relationships with your neighbors.

It doesn’t have to be.

By following these four simple suggestions, we can help each other enjoy living in our terrific neighborhoods.

  1. Say “howdy” and keep the noise down.

Whether you’re a student or a permanent resident, introduce yourself and get to know your neighbors. If you’re planning a party or other potentially noisy activity, consider these questions about those who live nearby:

  • Are there young families with babies?
  • Elderly people?
  • People who have to go to work early?
  • Students trying to study?

You should also remember that it’s unlawful to willfully make or allow continuous loud noise, especially from 10 p.m.-7 a.m. That includes barking dogs.

As a general rule, if you can hear the noise from the end of your property line, then it’s too loud and everyone on your lease could receive a citation. If you’re bothered by noise and can’t resolve the issue on your own, complaints can be reported to the College Station Police Department at 979-764-3600.

It’s also a good idea to exchange contact information with your neighbors in case of emergencies or other problems. Let them know if you’re hosting a large event and ask them to contact you if it becomes too noisy.

That typically leads to a much better outcome than your neighbor calling the police.

  1. Properly dispose of trash.

Our Sanitation Division provides bulk, brush, garbage and recycling collections once a week, and the city also provides free curbside recycling. Items should be placed near the curb by 8 a.m. on your designated collection day.

Bulk collection is meant for items too big to fit in the regular garbage container such as furniture, household appliances, large cardboard boxes, etc. It doesn’t include bags of household garbage. Brush collection includes tree limbs, shrubs, woody vines, and other herbaceous or woody plants.

Brush and bulk items should be divided into separate piles and neatly stacked within three feet of the curb in front of your home.

Don’t place items:

  • … in the street or on the sidewalk.
  • … closer than four feet from fixed objects such as mailboxes, hydrants, cars, trees, etc.
  • … on top of sprinkler heads, water or gas meters, underground cable or electrical boxes.
  • … under low tree limbs or overhead wires.
  • … in front of sanitation containers. Don’t overload the containers, either.

We don’t collect:

  • Dirt, sod, brush, concrete or rock.
  • Tires, oil filters and CFC containing appliances such as air conditioners or refrigerators.
  • Flammable materials such as oil, gas or paint.
  • Contractor-generated debris from construction, remodeling or demolition.
  • Household hazardous wastes. These can be disposed of at local HHW Collection Events.
  • Bagged items that weigh more than 50 pounds.
  1. Avoid code violations.

If you’re like most people, city codes never cross your mind — until you receive a citation. You can avoid costly fines by following these tips:

  • Don’t park vehicles or motorcycles on the grass and don’t block driveways, mailboxes or roadways. Related Blog: 10 Gameday parking citations you can easily avoid.
  • The city doesn’t allow more than four unrelated individuals to occupy a dwelling unit. For example, four friends or siblings living together in a home are complying with the decades-old ordinance, but if an unrelated friend moves in, it’s a violation.
  • Weeds and grass shouldn’t be higher than 12 inches.
  • Don’t store anything in your yard or patio that’s not intended for outdoor use. Firewood can be stored on the side or in the backyard.
  1. Stay informed.

Follow the City of College Station on Facebook or Twitter for fire and police alerts, traffic advisories, special events and other important information.

We’d love to hear from you, too!

Getting along with others in your neighborhood really isn’t that challenging. Good neighborhood relations come down to the common courtesy and friendliness that’s always made Aggieland a great place.

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Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (Aug. 27)

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Aug. 27. It’s not the official minutes.

Both meetings are being broadcast live on Suddenlink Channel 19 and streamed online. An archive of previous council meetings is available on the website.

5:30 p.m.

The workshop has started.

5:48 p.m.

BVSWMA FY16 Budget

The council voted unanimously to approve the Brazos Valley Solid Waste Management Agency’s FY16 budget, which includes no rate changes. BVSWMA, Inc., owns and operates the Twin Oaks Landfill and compost facility and maintains the closed Rock Prairie Road Landfill. 

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

5:56 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

The council will vote on items listed on the consent agenda during tonight’s regular meeting. Councilmembers pulled these consent items for workshop discussion:

  • Luther Street Project: The Luther Street Project includes the reconstruction of Luther from FM2818 to Penberthy and the relocation of a waterline. The $2.4 million budget includes funds from the Streets Capital Improvement Projects Fund and the Water Capital Improvement Projects Fund.

6:40 p.m.

Northgate Parking Lot Special Events

The council discussed the possible use of the Northgate surface parking lot for special events. The lot was the site of the 2007 Northgate Music Festival, but the city has since developed the festival site at Wolf Pen Creek Park as a special events venue.

Challenges of allowing special events on the Northgate lot include a reduction of available parking, water and power supplies, traffic control, pedestrian safety, and sanitation and recycling capacity. Based on current use and the increased demand for parking in the district, staff recommended not allowing special events in the lot.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

6:48 p.m.

The mayor adjourned the workshop after the council discussed its calendar, future agenda items, and committee reports. The regular meeting will start at 7 p.m.

7:01 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:07 p.m.

Hear Visitors

Three people spoke during Hear Visitors when citizens may address the council on any item that doesn’t appear on the posted agenda.

  • Ben Roper recognized Army Sgt. Michael Paul Barrera as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 26-year-old Von Ormy native died on Oct. 28, 2003, when an improvised explosive device hit his tank in Baqubah, Iraq.
  • Chris Scotti, longtime director of the Northgate District Association, introduced the organization’s new director, Andrew Chen, who said he was born and raised in College Station and graduated from Texas A&M.

7:08 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • An inter-local agreement to sell the City of Normangee four surplus police radar units.
  • A $77,420 contract with Buyers Barricades to deploy and remove traffic control devices as part of the Texas A&M Football Postgame Traffic Control Plan.
  • Consented to the Brazos County Commissioners Court’s use of county funds to construct an extension of Greens Prairie Trail from Wellborn Road west to the College Station city limits.
  • A $167,000 contract with Jones and Carter for engineering services for the Luther
  • Street Project.
  • Authorized city staff to negotiate easement purchases for the Munson Street Rehabilitation Project.
  • An $84,342.41 reduction to a contract with HDR Engineering for the University Drive Pedestrian Improvements Phase 2 Project.
  • An $80,186.30 contract with Jamail and Smith for new standing seam roofs on various park shelters.
  • A $128,925 contract with Alcott Inc., for the installation of electric conduits on Turkey Creek Road and Health Science Center Parkway.
  • A $437,700 bid award for the annual purchase of three phase pad-mounted transformers.
  • An infrastructure and economic development agreement with Pappas Restaurants for the redevelopment of about 4.37 acres at 1600 University Dr.

7:11 p.m.

Renee Lane Parking Removal

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to remove parking on both sides of Renee Lane between Barron Road and the end of the roadway. The change was supported by residents and will allow the College Station Fire Department to respond to emergency calls.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

7:30 p.m.

Embassy Suites Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to change the zoning district boundaries from Office and General Commercial to Planned Development for property located north of University Drive between Jane and Eisenhower streets.

The change will allow for the development of an Embassy Suites hotel.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

8:43 p.m.

McCulloch Neighborhood Conservation Overlay

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to add a neighborhood conservation overlay for about 32 acres in the McCulloch Subdivision. Holleman Drive, Nevada Street, Georgia Street and Oney Hervey Drive borders the area. Eleven people addressed the council in the public hearing. 

Property owners requested the change in response to large homes being constructed in and around the neighborhood. The overlay will restrict any expansion or development to one story with a minimum setback of 25 feet and a maximum lot coverage of 41 percent.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

The council is taking a five-minute break.

8:55 p.m.

Renee Lane Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to change the zoning district boundaries from Rural to General Suburban for about 1.5 acres north of Barron Road and between Renee Lane and Victoria Avenue.

The change will allow for the development of single-family residential lots.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

9:07 p.m.

MRC Senior Housing Project Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to change the zoning district boundaries from General Commercial to Planned Development District for about 12 acres north of Christ United Methodist Church on State Highway 6.

The change will allow Methodist Retirement Communities to develop a project that combines independent senior living, assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

9:09 p.m.

Technology Way Abandonment

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to abandon a half-acre right-of-way at the end of Technology Way to allow for development.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

9:32 p.m.

Aspen Heights Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted 6-1 to change the zoning district boundaries from Rural and General Suburban to Planned Development District for about 28.5 acres along Holleman Drive South across from Saddle Lane and the Quail Run subdivision. Councilwoman Blanche Brick voted against the motion.

The change would allow for multi-family residential development.

Here is the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

9:32 p.m.

The mayor adjourned the meeting. The council meets again Sept. 10.

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Five things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

By Colin Killian, Communications Manager

The College Station City Council gathers Thursday at city hall for its workshop (5:30 p.m.) and regular (7 p.m.) meetings. Here are five items to watch:

  1. BVSWMA Budget: In the workshop, the council will consider approving the Brazos Valley Solid Waste Management Agency’s (BVSWMA) proposed FY16 budget of $8.85 million.
  2. Northgate Parking Lot Special Events: The council will hear a workshop presentation about the potential use of the Northgate surface parking lot for special events.
  3. Greens Prairie Trail Extension: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider allowing Brazos County to fund an extension of Greens Prairie Trail from Wellborn Road to the College Station city limit, including a new railroad crossing.
  4. Embassy Suites Rezoning: After a public hearing, the council will consider changing the zoning district boundaries from office and general commercial to planned development district for about 2.4 acres north of University Drive East between Jane and Eisenhower streets. The change will allow for the development of an Embassy Suites hotel.
  5. McCulloch Subdivision Overlay: After a public hearing, the council will consider adding a neighborhood conservation overlay is the area south of Holleman Drive and north of Nevada Street, generally between Welsh Avenue and Oney Hervey Drive. The request is in response to large homes recently constructed in and around the McColloch neighborhood and will provide additional standards for development.

The meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink Ch. 19, or online. The website includes an archive of previous council meetings. We’ll post a detailed live blog on this site.

Related links:                                                                 

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Podcast: The perplexing profession of Planner Prochazka

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

While the work of our Planning & Development Services professionals may not be high-profile, the results of their labor sometimes are. They facilitate and implement College Station’s growth – including the monster-sized developments – based on codes, ordinances, and visionary plans.

In this podcast, Principal Planner Jennifer Prochazka discusses the challenges of her profession, the continuing urban legend of why we don’t have a Joe’s Crab Shack, and how her kids have no idea what she does.

Podcast Archive

Click below to listen. If Soundcloud doesn’t play in your older version of Internet Explorer, click here to listen to the audio file from your system.

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Being tops in Texas means we’re pretty special

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By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Is everything truly bigger and better in Texas?

Folks elsewhere may disagree, but those of us who call Texas home consider that adage to be self-evident. We’re just honest, right?

That’s why being considered the best place for anything in Texas means you’re pretty special.

In recent years, the Bryan-College Station area has received plenty of national attention for our thriving economy, outstanding schools and overall high quality of life. Having the best university in the country in our front yard doesn’t hurt, either.

Forbes magazine’s latest rankings again place B-CS among Texas’ top small metropolitan areas:

It’s also interesting to note that no other Central Texas communities rank in the top 10 on any of these lists.

Forbes crunched the numbers on the nation’s 401 metropolitan statistical areas – more than 200 were classified as small places — and rated them on a dozen factors related to employment, business and living costs, income growth, quality of life and the education of the labor force. They used data from Moody’s Analytics, Sperling’s Best Places and the U.S. Census.

Click here to see the rankings for the state’s large metropolitan areas.

To be the best small city in the best state in the country is pretty significant, don’t you think?

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Photo Copyright: psisa/123RF Stock Photo 

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Our after-school programs offer activities, responsible supervision

By Kelli Nesbitt, Parks & Recreation Marketing Coordinator

6261843642_834254905f_oAs parents, caregivers and students across the Brazos Valley gear up to start a new school year, they should also consider enrolling in the City of College Station’s after-school programs.

High-quality after-school programs help keep kids safe, inspire them to learn and serve as a source of support and comfort to working families.

According to the Afterschool Alliance, the number of kids unsupervised after 3 p.m. has declined, but 20 percent still don’t have someone to care for them after school. In many cases, cost and a lack of transportation keep families from enrolling in a program.

Infographic: America After 3 p.m.

Two affordable programs offered through the College Station Parks and Recreation Department provide constructive activities and responsible supervision by well-trained staff. Both programs are open to residents and non-residents and provide transportation:

LINCOLN RECREATION CENTER
Ages
: 6-18 years
Program: Mon.-Thu., 3-6:30 p.m. & Fri., 3-6 p.m. (Aug. 24-Dec. 14)
All-Day Program: Oct. 12, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Early Release Day: Nov. 11, 12:30-5:30 p.m.
Closed: Nov. 25-27
School Year Membership: Resident — $30; Non-Resident — $60
Low-Income School Year Membership: Resident — $20; Non-Resident — $40
Transportation: Provided from South Knoll, College Hills, Rock Prairie, Southwood Valley and Oakwood Intermediate., responsible supervision

SOUTHWOOD COMMUNITY CENTER
Ages
: 6th-8th Graders
Program: Mon.-Fri.: 3:45-6 p.m. (Aug. 24-Dec. 18)
Friday Night Teen Scene: Aug. 28, Sept. 25, Oct. 30, Nov. 20 — 6-9 p.m.
Closed: Nov. 25-27
Annual Membership: Resident — $30, Non-Resident — $60
Semester Bus Fee: $75
Transportation: Bus from AMCMS, Cypress Grove and Oakwood

For more information on our after-school programs, visit cstx.gov/youth or call 979.764.3486.

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