Live Blog: Monday’s city council meetings (Nov. 20)

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Monday, Nov. 20. 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.

4:50 p.m.

The workshop has started. Council took no action out of executive session.

4:53 p.m.

Canvassing of Election Returns

The council canvassed the Nov. 7 election returns and unanimously declared the results. Linda Harvell, Bob Brick, and John Nichols are elected to the city council.

4:57 p.m.

Oaths of Office 

Harvell, Brick, and Nichols were sworn in as council members by Municipal Court Judge Ed Spillane. We’ll post photos here later.

John Nichols
Linda Harvell
Bob Brick

5:38 p.m.

Farewell to Outgoing Council Members

Council members, city staff, and citizens bid farewell to outgoing Mayor Pro Tem Julie Schultz and Councilwoman Blanche Brick, who each served two terms since their initial election in 2011. As a parting gift, Brick presented a large print of Norman Rockwell’s “Freedom of Speech” for display in city hall.

The council will take a short break for a reception honoring the new and former council members.

Firefighters with Blanche Brick and Julie Schultz
Norman Rockwell’s “Freedom of Speech”

6:14 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

6:19 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.

  • Councilman James Benham recognized Army Capt. Andrew R. Houghton as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 25-year-old Houston native died Aug. 9, 2004, when a rocket-propelled grenade detonated near his vehicle in Ad Dhuha, Iraq.

6:22 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

The council will vote on items listed on the consent agenda. Councilmembers pulled these consent items for discussion:

  • Christmas Parade Banners: The city has been approached about erecting and displaying seven banners at various locations from Nov. 21-Dec. 4 to recognize the annual Christmas parade. Banners may be exempt from regulations when they promote a positive image for the city that attracts business or tourism, depicts an accomplishment of an individual or group, or creates a positive community spirit.
  • FY18 Certificates of Obligation: The FY18 Budget includes several Parks and Recreation, Public Works and Information Technology projects funded with certificates of obligation that haven’t been issued. The “Resolution Declaring Intention to Reimburse Certain Expenditures with Proceeds from Debt” would cover spending that is estimated to occur in advance of the scheduled FY18 debt issue.
  • Greens Prairie Trail Project: The change order would reduce the contract for the Greens Prairie Trail Widening Project by $198,223.18. The project included reconstruction of Greens Prairie Trail from Wellborn Road through the intersection of Royder Road. Quantities actually used were less than estimated in the original contract.

6:22 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • Banners for the annual Christmas Parade.
  • A resolution declaring intent to reimburse certain expenditures with proceeds from debt for Parks and Recreation, Public Works and Information Technology projects in the FY18 Capital Improvements Program Budget.
  • A reduction of $198,223.18 to the contract with Hassell Construction for the Greens Prairie Trail Widening Project.
  • The $136,470 purchase of 15 traffic signal cabinets from Paradigm Traffic Systems.

6:29 p.m.

UDO Master Plan Amendments

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to amend the city’s Unified Development Ordinance to recognize locational flexibility to ensure consistency among various master plan components and clarify that plan depictions may be updated as development occurs.

The UDO is intended to implement planning policy as provided in the city’s Comprehensive Plan and associated plans. Since thoroughfare and bikeway alignments in these plans are generalized locations, the plans authorize discretion for those elements to be refined as needed up to a distance of 1,000 feet without an ordinance amendment.

As part of reviewing thoroughfares for the proposed Thoroughfare Plan update, it was identified that several thoroughfares remain depicted as conceptually shown in the 2009 Comprehensive Plan, although development plans and surrounding conditions have provided refinement when implemented.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:07 p.m.

Comprehensive Plan Thoroughfare Amendments

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve an amendment to the city’s Thoroughfare Plan and Bicycle, Pedestrian, and Greenways Master Plan to reflect recent revisions to the Bryan/College Station Metropolitan Planning Organization’s 2050 Thoroughfare Concept.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:09 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items.

7:09 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the regular meeting. The workshop meeting will resume after a short break.

7:14 p.m.

The workshop has resumed.

7:46 p.m.

Suburban Commercial Zoning Requirements

The council voted 6-1 to approve the Planning & Zoning Commission’s recommendations for changes to Suburban Commercial zoning as part of the 10-year update to the Comprehensive Plan. Councilwoman Harvell voted against the motion. 

Most current and future Suburban Commercial locations are located near neighborhoods along major highways and thoroughfares, which creates tension between neighborhood concerns and market demands for higher intensity.

The council voted 5-2 against an earlier motion to approve the recommendations with the exception of gas stations and drive-thru establishments.  Harvell and Councilman Brick voted for the motion.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:39 p.m.

Bicycle Parking Requirements

The council discussed the city’s bicycle parking guidelines and ways to increase development flexibility and reduce requirements. The consensus of the council, with the exception of Councilman Jerome Rektorik, was for staff to bring back an ordinance reflecting the recommendations.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:46 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the workshop after the council discussed its calendar and received committee reports. 

The council meets again on Thursday, Dec. 14.


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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