Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (Nov. 9)

Back (L-R): Linda Harvell, Jerome Rektorik, James Benham, Barry Moore. Front (L-R): Blanche Brick, Mayor Karl Mooney, Julie Schultz.

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Nov. 9. It’s not the official minutes.

The meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink Channel 19 or online. An archive of previous council meetings is available on the website.

5:17 p.m.

The workshop has started. No action was taken out of executive session.

Councilman James Benham is participating by teleconference.

5:33 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:

  • Architectural Advisory Committee: The five-member committee will consist of not more than three council members and two qualified citizens appointed by the council. The committee’s purpose is to “review and make recommendations on scope and schematic design for the exterior of vertical projects and the aesthetic finishes on linear projects.”
  • Greens Prairie-Arrington Cost Participation/Contract: Two items concern the addition of a traffic signal and other improvements at the Arrington Road-Greens Prairie Road intersection. The first is a cost participation agreement with the landowner and the second is a $650,000 construction contract with Palasota Contracting.
  • Cooner Street Parking Removal: The ordinance would remove parking on the south side of Cooner Street from Texas Avenue to the cul-de-sac, around the cul-de-sac, and on the north side of Cooner to the west of the intersection with MacArthur Street. Severe traffic congestion has been witnessed on Cooner because of parking on both sides of the street. School buses also are unable to complete their bus routes without drivers knocking on doors to have cars moved.

6:03 p.m.

New Police Station Design

The council reviewed fresh design concepts for the new police station that reflect the council’s desire for a traditional theme with elements such as a pitched roof, arches, columns, and a clock tower. The council directed the architect to bring back additional information as quickly as possible.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:27 p.m.

Future City Hall Location

The council voted 4-2-1 to select the current city hall property at 1101 Texas Ave. as the site for a future city hall building. Councilwomen Blanche Brick and Julie Schultz voted against the motion, and Mayor Karl Mooney abstained. Basic concepts and site layouts were discussed for each of three proposed locations. The design process is tentatively scheduled to begin in FY18, with construction planned for FY19.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:36 p.m.

Student Housing in Single-Family Neighborhoods

The council discussed potential short-term and long-term options to mitigate the impact of student housing in established single-family neighborhoods, including minimum parking requirements, accessory structures, and single-family overlays. The consensus of the council was to schedule a further discussion for another workshop. 

Issues include an increasing number of student rental properties that impact neighborhood character, high market demand to re-plat and rebuild homes on single-family lots as student rental housing, and concerns about traffic, noise, and trash.

The Planning & Zoning Commission recommended the following actions for consideration:

  • Amend the single-family parking requirements for new construction in areas designated Neighborhood Conservation on the Comprehensive Plan to require one parking space per bedroom.
  • Amend the accessory structures code to allow living quarters to be rented with some limitations.
  • Amend the single-family overlay code section to allow additional options for inclusion in Neighborhood Conservation Overlay Districts.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:36 p.m.

The workshop has been suspended and will resume after the regular meeting, which will start after a short break.

7:47 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:53 p.m.

B-CS Regional Association of Realtors

Mayor Mooney recognized Nov. 16 as the 50th Anniversary of Bryan-College Station Regional Association of Realtors

7:56 p.m.

CSU’s Rowe Cited for Lineman Rodeo Performance

Mayor Mooney recognized College Station Utilities Lineman Justin Rowe for winning three of five events in the Annual Apprentice Lineman Rodeo last month at Veterans Park. In his second year as a CSU lineman, Rowe won first place in hurt man rescue, fuse replacement, and obstacle pole. Here’s a short highlight video of the event:

8:01 p.m.

Hear Visitors

One person spoke during Hear Visitors when citizens might address the council on any item that doesn’t appear on the posted agenda.

  • Ben Roper recognized Army 2nd Lt. Brian D. Smith as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 30-year-old McKinney native died July 2, 2004, when he was shot in combat in Habbaniyah, Iraq.

8:04 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve these consent agenda items:

  • A participation agreement with OGC Greens Prairie Investors to share the costs of intersection improvements at Greens Prairie Road and Arrington Road.
  • An interlocal agreement with Texas A&M for sharing the costs of pedestrian improvements at the intersections of FM 60 with Discovery Drive and the Large Animal Clinic driveway.
  • A $51,185.04 credit change order to an existing contract and a new emergency contract for $135,887.30 with Blastco to repair a concrete foundation at the Carters Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant.
  • A $651,494.05 contract with Palasota Contracting for the Greens Prairie and Arrington Road Intersection Improvements Project.
  • A $439,126 contract with Marek Brothers Construction for renovations to the Traffic Operations Center.
  • Removal of parking on Cooner Street from Texas Avenue to near the cul-de-sac to the intersection with MacArthur Street.

The council voted separately on this consent item:

  • By a 7-0 vote, the council created an Architectural Advisory Committee, which will consist of no more than three council members and two citizens, preferably qualified, appointed by the council.

10:25 p.m.

Eastgate Neighborhood Plan Amendment

After a public hearing, the council voted 4-2 to amend the Eastgate Neighborhood Plan to allow for vehicular access from Lincoln Avenue to a proposed Planned Development District (PDD) at 801 Lincoln Avenue. Councilwomen Blanche Brick and Linda Harvell voted against the motion, and Councilman Barry Moore recused himself.

The PDD request proposes multi-family and commercial uses on the interior property, and single-family land uses fronting Lincoln Avenue. The amendment removes language from the Eastgate plan that restricts vehicular access between multi-family/commercial and single-family uses.

Fifteen people spoke during the public hearing, and most were against the change.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

11:01 p.m.

University Town Center Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted 6-0 to approve a request to change the zoning designation from General Suburban to Planned Development District for about 7½ acres at 801 Lincoln Avenue. The plan calls for multi-family and commercial uses on the interior property, and single-family land uses fronting Lincoln Avenue. Councilman Moore recused himself from the vote.

Seven people spoke during the public hearing.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

11:02 p.m.

The council is taking a short break

11:10 p.m.

The meeting has resumed.

11:12 p.m.

Corsair Drive Right-of-Way Abandonment

After a public hearing, the council voted 6-0 to abandon a 0.132-acre portion of right-of-way on Corsair Drive to allow for development. Councilwoman Julie Schultz recused herself from the vote.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

11:14 p.m.

Corsair Drive Easement Abandonment

After a public hearing, the council voted 6-0 to abandon a 0.083-acre portion of a 20-foot wide public utility easement on Corsair Drive to allow for development. Councilwoman Schultz recused herself from the vote.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

11:15 p.m.

Brazos Central Appraisal District Appointments

The council voted unanimously to reappoint Ron Kaiser to the Brazos Central Appraisal District board of directors. The current term expires Dec. 31.

11:16 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items.

11:19 p.m.

The remaining workshop item about suburban commercial zoning districts has been pulled and will be discussed at a later date.

The council has gone into executive session.

The next council meeting is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 20.


About the Blogger

Colin Killian (@ColinKillian) has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also worked as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.


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