As with any annexation, the City of College Station accepted a number of obligations when it annexed 649 acres in the Wellborn area in mid-April. In addition to these obligations, the city council made a number of commitments that go well beyond those mandated by state law. This blog outlines some of the steps the city recently has taken to honor its obligations and commitments.
The obligations required by state law are spelled out in the service plan that was adopted with the annexation. These obligations include providing emergency services such as fire and police protection, street and drainage maintenance, sanitary sewer service, etc. The commitments are actions the city has indicated it will carry out that exceed state law and are either identified in the service plan or were discussed by council during the annexation public hearings. These include significant commitments to provide building inspections, code enforcement, planning services, etc.
The following items are a brief overview of the city’s recent efforts to honor its obligations and commitments:
Emergency Services: The city has included the newly annexed area into its emergency service area, conducting routine patrols, responding to inquiries, issuing permits and responding to emergency calls for items ranging from animals-at-large to reports of suspicious persons.
Voting: The city timed the annexation proceedings in part to ensure that if annexed, the residents of the area would be able to participate in the May city election. The City Secretary’s Office worked very closely with the county voter registrar’s office to set up a new precinct in the area. Votes cast in this new city precinct represented a substantial percentage of the eligible voters in the area.
Sanitation: Though residents and businesses are not required for a period of time to use City of College Station sanitation services, to date the department has established service at the owner’s request for six residences and one business in the area.
Streets and Drainage: City staff has mowed the rights-of-way along several area streets, patched potholes as needed, installed and updated street and traffic control signs to comply with contemporary practices and standards. Staff has also initiated preliminary planning for seal coating roads.
Wastewater Collection: City staff has initiated the preliminary routing analysis for the wastewater collection line that will serve the business area of the annexed property. The city also has advertised for and received Statements of Qualifications from consulting firms to perform engineering and design services for the line.
Planning and Building: City staff has assisted property owners in the platting of a large tract of land for a business park and the construction of a number of residential buildings in the area. On Thursday, the city council unanimously approved an ordinance amendment to ensure that pre-existing businesses and homes may expand their buildings without needing to secure rezoning or variances. This measure is considered a temporary measure as the city works with area residents to develop a Wellborn small area plan and specific zoning. The city expects to begin the citizen engagement portion of the planning process with area residents at some point in the fall. This planning process is expected to take one year to complete.
Code Enforcement: Based on a citizen complaint, staff initiated a code enforcement case on a property regarding construction debris and inoperable vehicles.
Each of these actions demonstrates the city’s genuine commitment to the residents and businesses of the annexed area. Residents are encouraged to contact their city representatives and staff with any questions or concerns they may have about services or facilities. Further, area residents and businesses are encouraged to visit the city’s website to learn more about these and other actions and initiatives that impact their area.
Director | Planning & Development Services