Author Archive

Are address numbers required on homes, businesses?

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By Julie Caler, Code Enforcement Supervisor

Have you ever had a problem finding an unfamiliar home or business?

Even with the prevalence of GPS on our smartphones, locating some places remains difficult if the building isn’t identifiable from the street. That can create serious problems not only for visitors, deliveries and service calls but also for first responders in an emergency.

That’s why almost all cities, including College Station, have ordinances that require clearly displayed address numbers for homes and businesses.

What’s required?

house-numbers-poleIn College Station, the address number for houses must be at least two inches high on both sides of a mailbox near the curb, or at least four inches high on the house or a prominently displayed sign.

For businesses, the numbers must be at least four inches high and have at least a half-inch stroke width in the main body. They should also be made of a durable material.

The color of the numbers should also provide a contrast with the background. For example, brass or black numbers on a dark background are hard to see from the street, especially at night.

In addition, be sure your numbers won’t be obstructed by bushes and shrubs as they grow. If it’s behind a bush and can’t be seen from the street, you’re violating the ordinance.

Does the curb count?

2900-arroyo-st-s-002You may occasionally find a flyer on your door from a business that paints address numbers on curbs. The flyers sometimes claim that if you don’t have your address on the curb, you’re violating city ordinance.

While it’s certainly not a bad idea to display your house number on the curb, our ordinance only requires it to be on your house, mailbox or a prominent sign on your property.

For more information about properly displaying your address, contact Code Enforcement at codeenforcement@cstx.gov.

Related Link:

 


0000018EPAbout the Author

Code Enforcement Supervisor Julie Caler has been with the City of College Station for 17 years.


 

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Quidditch event attracts 21 teams to town this weekend

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Texas A&M Quidditch team members pose for a photo. The team will participate in the 2017 Southwest Regional Championship hosted at Veterans Park and Athletic Complex in College Station, Texas, Feb. 18-19. Photo source: www.facebook.com/texasamquidditch/

The Texas A&M Quidditch team will participate in the 2017 Southwest Regional Championship on Saturday and Sunday at Veterans Park and Athletic Complex. Photo source: Facebook.

By J.D. Wood, Tourism Manager

Now that our Super Bowl buzz is finally wearing off, College Station is turning its focus to a lesser known sport – Quidditch. And it’s for the same reason Houston and every other major city in America want to host Super Bowls.

The almighty dollar.

Veterans Park and Athletic Complex will host the 2017 U.S. Quidditch Southwest Regional Championship on Saturday and Sunday, bringing in 21 teams from five different states. It’ll be the first major Quidditch event hosted at a City of College Station facility, and we hope it won’t be the last. Admission is free.

Super Bowl tourism in perspective

Houston reportedly welcomed more than 1.3 million guests for the Super Bowl weekend, with economic impact estimates as high as $350 million for the entire metro. For one weekend, that’s pretty mind blowing.

But Houston couldn’t do it alone.

The state’s event trust fund paid $25.4 million to help build up to the big game, and Houston was asked to guarantee an impressive array of complimentary services. When Dallas bid for the 2011 Super Bowl, the trust fund awarded $32.1 million, and the city pooled its vast resources to win over the National Football League.

What does this mean for College Station?

Although College Station will never host a Super Bowl, Texas A&M’s collegiate events are the Super Bowl equivalent to our local economy. According to a recent study by A&M’s Division of Finance and Administration, Aggie sporting events and related campus activities attracted 1.3 million visitors and $385 million to the regional economy in 2013. The numbers for 2016 likely exceed those estimates.

The City of College Station and Bryan College Station Sports & Events capture bids on a variety of sporting events each year that add significant value to our community. The successful bid to host our first U.S. Quidditch regional will not only spur the weekend economy, but it could also lead to additional opportunities for us to host more Quidditch tournaments.

We expect the event to attract about 300 visitors who will spend money for two days on local hotel rooms, food, and entertainment.

How do we land these events?

College Station competes with other cities to host these types of events and the economic benefits they bring. But like Houston, we can’t do it alone.

The U.S. Quidditch bid manual describes what the organization typically asks of a host community in incentives and services. While it’s no Super Bowl request, it requires host communities to commit a significant level of time and resources.

The Parks and Recreation Department and Bryan College Station Sports & Events leveraged the Texas A&M Quidditch team’s participation in national and regional competitions to assemble our pitch.

Supporting new business for local hoteliers, retailers, and restaurateurs is what drives this effort, and Quidditch is certainly not the first successful pitch we’ve had. Here are a few other notable visitor-based events hosted by College Station thanks to winning bids submitted by our dedicated Parks and CVB sports event managers:

When it’s all said and done, these events will have attracted more than 50,000 visitors who injected $20-25 million into our local economy.

Free Quidditch youth clinic

Still not sure what to think? Come out to Veterans Park and Athletic Complex on Saturday or Sunday and see what sports tourism looks like in action.

As a friendly gesture to fans and curious onlookers, U.S. Quidditch will conduct a free clinic on Quidditch Field 3 to teach kids and young adults about the sport. The clinics will last about an hour and a half and will start at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, and at noon on Sunday.

They’ll provide the equipment, too, so no need to bring your broomstick.

We’ll see you this weekend at Veterans Park!

Source: U.S. Quidditch

Graphic: U.S. Quidditch

 


AAEAAQAAAAAAAAPXAAAAJDIzZWZlOWYzLTkyMmQtNDkxOS1iMDk0LTAyM2NjMTA1MDFmYwAbout the Author

J.D. Wood has been the City of College Station’s tourism manager since 2014 after serving as lead athletic supervisor for a year. His extensive experience in sports and tourism includes stints with the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau and Texas A&M Athletics. A native of Onalaska, J.D. earned his bachelor’s (2009) and master’s (2010) degrees in sports management from Texas A&M.


 

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Warrant amnesty can help you save money, avoid jail

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By Ed Spillane, Municipal Court Judge

Since the City of College Station began our warrant amnesty/warrant roundup program in 2007, we’ve cleared about 5,500 warrants valued at more than $1.8 million. The twice-yearly amnesty period has proven to be a win for defendants and our court because it’s provided a path for people to pay outstanding warrants and avoid jail.

The spring warrant amnesty period for the City of College Station and Brazos County starts Monday and runs through March 3.

If you have an outstanding warrant, you can avoid paying a $50 per case warrant fee if you pay the fine in full. During the warrant roundup March 4-12, city marshals, police officers, reserve police officers, and constables will arrest those who haven’t paid their fines.

If you have an unpaid outstanding warrant, there’s a good chance you’ll be arrested.

Many cities do the roundup without offering amnesty, but we think the amnesty period is important because you can make restitution, save a little money, and avoid jail time.

We’ve been a leader in encouraging other courts to participate, and now there is a statewide round-up in March. Our court has even been recognized by The Baltimore Sun as a national leader due to our amnesty program.

Do you have an outstanding warrant?

If the College Station Police Department issued your citation, you can check your warrant’s status at cstx.gov/warrants. You may also call the College Station Municipal Court at 979-764-3683.

No partial payment schedules will be allowed if you want to avoid the $50 fee. The City of College Station accepts cash, cashier’s check, credit cards, money orders, and personal checks. You may also pay your outstanding warrant through our online citation payment system.

If you have an outstanding warrant, I strongly encourage you to take care of it today. It’s a much better option than going to jail.

Related Link:

Podcast: Judge Spillane on warrant amnesty and toughest cases (Oct. 14, 2015)

 


20bec6fAbout the Author

Ed Spillane is president of the Texas Municipal Courts Association and has been the presiding judge of College Station’s Municipal Court since 2002. He received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard in 1985 and earned his Doctor of Law degree from the University of Chicago Law School in 1992.


 

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

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By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

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

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

6:02 p.m.

The workshop has started. Councilman James Benham is absent tonight.

6:03 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

The council will vote on items listed on the consent agenda during tonight’s regular meeting. No consent items were pulled for workshop discussion.

6:37 p.m.

Affordable Housing Development

The council unanimously supported the concept of an affordable housing development off Rock Prairie Road East and applications by developers for low-income housing tax credits through the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. The development will still need to come back to council for approval at a later date.

The 2015 Consolidated Plan and Annual Action Plan identified rental housing as a priority need for low-to-moderate income individuals and families, as well as the city’s elderly and disabled populations. The FY17 Action Plan and adopted budget allocate funds for acquisition and infrastructure costs related to supporting the development of affordable housing units.

Here are the PowerPoint presentations:

7:17 p.m.

Suburban Commercial Zoning Districts

The council reviewed the uses and design standards associated with Suburban Commercial zoning districts.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:20 p.m.

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

The regular meeting will start after a short break.

7:29 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:36 p.m.

2-1-1 Day Proclamation

Mayor Karl Mooney proclaimed Saturday as National 2-1-1 Day. United Way of the Brazos Valley’s 2-1-1 Texas program is a free information and referral center that connects residents to community resources. When callers dial 2-1-1, they are connected to specialists who ensure the caller’s specific needs are addressed with accurate and prompt referrals.

Pictured below are (L-R): Debbie Eller (City of College Station community services director), Peggi Goss (vice president of community impact), Mayor Mooney, Hilda Salazar (2-1-1 program manager), Katharine Gammon (program and resource coordinator), and CeAnne Jones (communications and outreach coordinator). 

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7:41 p.m.

Local Housing Assistance Partnerships

The council recognized the city’s collaborative partnerships that address local housing assistance. State Farm also presented a check for $8,900 to Rebuilding Together-BCS, whose mission is to transform the lives of low-income homeowners by improving the safety and health of their homes and revitalizing their community. Click here to read Community Development Analyst David Brower’s recent blog post about the partnerships.

Pictured below are (L-R): Ron Lightsey (RT BCS board president) Bruce Boyd (State Farm agent), Kelli Smith (State Farm sales leader), Steve Godby (RT BCS executive director), and Janis Godby (RT BCS board secretary/treasurer).  

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7:46 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 Spc. Adolfo C. Carballo as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 20-year-old Houston native died April 10, 2004, when he was struck by shrapnel in Baghdad, Iraq.

7:47 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • Added the local government investment pool, LOGIC.
  • Added the prime account in the local government investment pool, TexPool.
  • The second renewal of an annual agreement not to exceed $190,000 with the Brazos Valley Softball Umpires Association to provide officiating services for city athletic leagues, programs, and tournaments.
  • Authorized the city manager or his designees to execute grant applications for Criminal Justice Division funds from the Office of the Governor.

9:00 p.m.

Arrington Road Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted 5-0 to approve a request to rezone about 10.5 acres at the intersection of Arrington Road and Old Arrington Road.The change will allow the development of an apartment complex called Caprock 10. Councilman Barry Moore recused himself because of a conflict of interest. 

In the public hearing, seven people expressed concerns about traffic and other issues created by the development.

Here are the PowerPoint presentations:

9:04 p.m.

Crescent Point Land Use Change

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the land use designation for about six acres at the intersection of Crescent Pointe Parkway and Copperfield Parkway. The change will allow the development of The Crescent Pointe Townhomes. No one spoke during the public hearing.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

9:07 p.m.

Crescent Point Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the zoning designation for about six acres at the intersection of Crescent Pointe Parkway and Copperfield Parkway. The change would allow the development of The Crescent Pointe Townhomes. No one spoke during the public hearing.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

9:09 p.m.

Stasney and Nagle Easement Abandonments

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to abandon a pair of public utility easements on Stasney Street and Nagle Street to accommodate the design of a new apartment complex in Northgate. No one spoke during the public hearing.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

9:12 p.m.

RELLIS External Advisory Council

The council voted unanimously to nominate Mayor Mooney to the external advisory council for the Texas A&M University System’s new RELLIS campus. The nomination was made at the request of Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp.

9:15 p.m.

The council discussed future agenda items.

9:15 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Thursday, Feb. 23.


14316755_10108798313965164_2904942172107966680_nAbout the Author

Colin Killian (@ColinKillian) has been with the City of College Station since 2010. He previously served 23 years as associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also been 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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5 things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

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By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The College Station City Council gathers Thursday at city hall for its workshop (6 p.m.) and regular (7 p.m.) meetings. Here are five items to watch:

  1. Affordable Housing Tax Credits: In the workshop, the council will discuss applications by developers for state low income housing tax credits. Affordable housing for low-to-moderate income residents has been identified as a high-priority need in College Station.
  2. Suburban Commercial Zoning: The council will also have a workshop discussion about possible changes to Suburban Commercial zoning districts.
  3. Arrington Road Rezoning: After a public hearing, the council will consider a request to rezone about 10.5 acres at the intersection of Arrington Road and Old Arrington Road. The change would allow the development of apartments.
  4. Crescent Pointe Rezoning: After a public hearing, the council will consider a request to change the land use designation and zoning for about six acres at the intersection of Crescent Pointe Parkway and Copperfield Parkway. The change would allow for the development of townhomes.
  5. RELLIS External Advisory Council: The council will consider possible nominations to the external advisory council for the Texas A&M University System’s new RELLIS campus.

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:                                                                 

 


14316755_10108798313965164_2904942172107966680_nAbout the Author

Colin Killian (@ColinKillian)has been with the City of College Station since 2010. He previously served 23 years as associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also done extensive volunteer work for the U.S. Olympic Committee and 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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City, local groups join forces to help residents in need

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By David Brower, Community Development Analyst

When the City of College Station’s Community Services Department is unable to help a citizen in distress, we reach out to other community partners to see if they can help.

Two recent examples show how these partnerships are paying huge dividends in our community.

Recently, an unstable tree was threatening to fall on a home. The owner didn’t have the money to get the tree removed, so the city contacted a local church with a disaster relief ministry. Members of the congregation who had been trained to take down trees removed the dangerous timber at no cost, averting a potential catastrophe.

Another vivid example is a senior woman who lives in a 50-year-old house. Although she’s been diligent in maintaining her home, major systems are failing and need to be replaced. She can’t handle the large expenses on her fixed income, so she contacted the Community Services Department for help.

She qualified for assistance through our Housing Minor Repair Program, and we helped her replace her malfunctioning – and dangerous – electrical breaker box. We also took care of a drainage problem in her backyard.

Then, with temperatures dropping below freezing, her heater suddenly went out, too.

We reached out to an organization called Rebuilding Together Bryan/College Station, which is part of the national Rebuilding Together organization. Founded by Steve Godby, the local chapter serves low-income homeowners who are over the age of 62 or are a veteran or the spouse of a veteran. Families with children under 18 may also qualify.

Rebuilding Together BCS uses a network of business, faith groups, and other nonprofits to supply funds and volunteers for their projects. They immediately provided a space heater and within days raised funds to replace her furnace.

These are just two of many success stories that illustrate how the city takes advantage of our resources through collaborative partnerships to make our community a better place.

For more on the City of College Station’s housing assistance programs, go to cstx.gov/housingassistance.

 


David BrowerAbout the Author

David Brower has been a community development analyst for the City of College Station since 2008. He is a 2008 graduate of Texas A&M.


 

 

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