City Council Preview (Jan. 26)
Here’s a quick overview of some of the items the College Station City Council will be discussing at its workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Jan. 26. This blog is not a complete and official agenda.
The workshop and regular meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink Ch. 19, or online. Previous council meetings are archived on the website. A live blog from the meetings will be posted on this site and can also be accessed through the city’s Facebook page.
Workshop Meeting (3 p.m.)
Tax Abatement Guidelines
The council will hear a presentation regarding the city’s tax abatement guidelines, and will later consider adopting the guidelines as part of the consent agenda in the regular meeting. Local governments often use tax abatement as an economic development tool to attract new industry and commercial enterprises, and to encourage the retention and development of existing businesses. According to the Texas Comptroller, more than 700 tax abatement agreements have been executed by local governments in the state since the early 1980s. The presentation will include an overview of the tax abatement process and describe the statutory requirements for entering into an agreement and designating a reinvestment zone, if the city ever wishes to do so.
Neighborhood, District and Master Plans
The council will receive an update on current and pending neighborhood, district and master plans, including the Southside Neighborhood Plan, the Wellborn District Plan and the Economic Development Master Plan. The city’s Comprehensive Plan identifies the need for focused smaller area plans as well as master plans for functional areas such as water and economic development. The council will review the plan development process, the plan implementation and monitoring process and details of the process for plans being developed in 2012.
Regular Meeting (7 p.m.)
This is not a complete list of consent agenda items. Click here to view all the consent items.
Wolf Pen Creek TIRZ Repayment to Brazos County
The council will consider approving a payment of $570,783 to Brazos County in unspent funds from the Wolf Pen Creek Tax Increment Refinance Zone (TIRZ). When the TIRZ expired at the end of 2009, almost $2.5 million was not contractually obligated and must now be returned to the participating entities. The remaining funds will go to the College Station Independent School District ($1,235,043) and the City of College Station ($645,991).
Tax Abatement Guidelines
The council will consider adopting the city’s tax abatement guidelines until a comprehensive set of economic development guidelines is drafted as part of the Economic Development Master Plan. The guidelines do not commit the city to provide tax abatements, and all requests must be approved by the council. The last economic development guidelines, which included a tax abatement component, were adopted in 2008.
Regular Meeting (7 p.m.)
FY 2012 Budget Amendment
After a public hearing, the council will consider approving an $8.5 million budget amendment for the 2011-2012 Fiscal Year, which includes four inter-fund transfers totaling $2.7 million. The amendment includes $5.2 million for the defeasance of the convention center land debt, and $570,784 for repaying Brazos County the remaining funds from the Wolf Pen Creek Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone. It also rolls over $2.3 million in budgeted expenses from FY 2011 projects that weren’t completed. For more details on the inter-fund transfers and amendment items, see pages 32-34 in the council packet.
Rezoning: 4050 Holleman Dr. South
After a public hearing, the council will consider rezoning 10.4 acres at 4050 Holleman Dr. South, near the Las Palomas Subdivision, to allow townhomes, duplexes, and apartments with a maximum of 20 dwelling units per acre. If the development occurs on the subject tract as multi-family, a 10-foot planted buffer and a fence will be required along the property line of the Great Oaks Subdivision.
Rezoning: 12900 Old Wellborn Rd.
After a public hearing, the council will consider rezoning 2.39 acres at 12900 Old Wellborn Rd., near the intersection with North Graham Road, to allow for retail sales, warehousing and fabrication of building products and building supplies.
RV Parking in Residential Areas
At the request of a number of residents, the council will consider amending the traffic code to prohibit the parking, storing or standing of recreational vehicles on front yards or lawns, including driveways, of residential properties. The code defines recreational vehicles as “any motor vehicle or trailer designed or used as a travel trailer, camper, motor home, tent trailer, boat, boat trailer, camping trailer, or other similar purposes.”
The current code allows recreational vehicles to be parked or stored in front yards without exception. However, the vehicles are not permitted to be parked on the street for more than 72 hours in any 30-day period. Under the proposed amendment, recreational vehicles could be parked in residential driveways for up to 72 hours in any 30-day period, and could still be stored in back yards as long as they were screened from public view. Subdivisions zoned A-O Agricultural Open and A-OR Rural Residential, which includes Foxfire, Williams Creek and Bird Pond Estates, would remain exempt because of their required large lot size.
After registered Homeowner and Neighborhood Associations were notified, a stakeholder meeting was held on Jan. 10, but attracted few participants. Those in attendance favored the proposed amendment.