Posts tagged “code enforcement

How to register your short-term rental housing

By Brian Piscacek, Assistant to the City Manager

In College Station, nothing matches the excitement of the arrival of football season. Especially after all we’ve been through in 2020.

If you rent your home or other property for Aggie game day weekends — or for any other reason — you want to do it the right way. Starting this year, that means registering your short-term rental with the City of College Station. The ordinance goes into effect on Oct. 1.

A short-term rental is a residential unit that’s rented out for fewer than 30 consecutive days. It includes single-family homes, duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, multifamily units, and manufactured homes.

If you are a short-term rental operator, you must have a valid permit and collect and remit hotel occupancy taxes monthly. The permit is valid for one year from the date of issuance and must be renewed each year. The permit is $100, and the required inspection is an additional $100. The annual renewal is $75.

In addition to the permit and hotel taxes, the ordinance requires STR operators to:

  • Provide an informational brochure to guests that includes pertinent neighborhood information, how to contact the operator, and local emergency numbers.
  • Equip the dwelling with working life safety equipment such as smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors if using gas/propane, and one fire extinguisher per floor.
  • Maintain the unit in compliance with applicable city codes.

How to Apply for a Permit

STEP 1

Request access to the online permitting system by emailing STR@cstx.gov with your name, permanent (i.e., your homestead property) address, email address, and phone number. You must receive a login and password before applying online.

STEP 2

Know your STR type. The ordinance permits three categories of STRs related to zoning. To identify your zoning, go to the city’s interactive map, click the layer icon on the upper right, then select “Zoning” from the options.

  • Short-Term Rental I is a bed and breakfast facility located in a residential zoning district. They have specific rules that align with our Unified Development Ordinance for B&B properties, including requirements that the unit is the proprietor’s permanent residence, no more than four unrelated may occupy overnight, and no more than one meal is served daily. If your STR is not a bed and breakfast, you are not an STR I.
  • Short-Term Rental II is an owner-occupied unit in a residential zoning district of either General Suburban (GS), Restricted Suburban (RS), or Wellborn Restricted Suburban (WRS). These are located in what you think of as a typical single-family neighborhood. Are you in one of these zoning districts? Do you owner-occupy the residence? If so, this is your category. If the unit you’re operating as a short-term rental is an accessory dwelling on the property — such as a mother-in-law suite or a garage apartment — you’re required to be on-site during the rental.
  • Short-Term Rental III is a short-term rental in a residential zoning district other than General Suburban, Restricted Suburban, or Wellborn Restricted Suburban. It includes Rural (R), Estate (E), Wellborn Estate (WE), Townhouse (T), Duplex (D), Multifamily (MF), Mixed-Use (MU), and Manufactured Home (MHP). These units may be owner-occupied or non-owner-occupied.

Non-Owner Occupied STRs: If you’ve been operating the unit as an STR but don’t live there, the ordinance includes a grandfathering provision, and you may apply for a permit until Nov. 27. After that, no application for non-owner-occupied units in GS, RS, or WRS zoning will be considered. You must demonstrate that the unit has been used as a short-term rental by providing evidence that you’ve remitted hotel occupancy taxes.

To illustrate continuous use, proof of tax remittance must cover a period of at least six of the last 12 — or 12 of the last 24 — months immediately preceding October. If you have not remitted those taxes, you may do so through Avenu Insights with the applicable penalties for late filings. Please include evidence of your filings and payments when you apply for the STR permit.

Planned Development Districts: If your property is located in a Planned Development District (PDD), refer to the base zoning. Plans submitted with at PDD designation include a list of land uses that align with zoning districts. For assistance, contact Planning & Development Services at 979-764-3570.

STEP 3

Apply online. Include the proper documentation: homestead exemption (if required), completed Guest Information Guide, and hotel occupancy tax evidence, if applicable.

STEP 4

When notified, schedule your Life Safety Inspection to ensure your STR meets the ordinance’s life safety requirements. For most STRs, inspections are also required for renewal.

STEP 5

Receive your permit when your application is approved. Please include your permit number in your advertisements and internet booking sites.

STEP 6

Register with Avenu Insights to set up your hotel occupancy tax remittance and report filing. The ordinance requires that Hotel Occupancy Taxes be assessed and collected by short-term rental operators. The Code of Ordinances authorizes a hotel occupancy tax equal to 7% of the occupant’s consideration where the cost of occupancy is at least $2 per day.

On the last business day of the month after the month of collection, entities required to collect the tax must file a report and remit the appropriate amount. Failure to submit the report and remit payment is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine and a penalty of 15% of the tax due for every 30 days that the report isn’t filed or the payment isn’t made.

For more information on hotel occupancy taxes, go to our STR webpage.

If you have additional questions about short-term rentals, contact Code Enforcement at 979-764-6363 or str@cstx.gov.

 


About the Blogger

Brian Piscacek has been with the City of College Station since 2012 and has served as assistant to the city manager for special projects since early 2019. He was previously a community development analyst. Before coming to College Station, Brian worked for Texas Tech and the North & East Lubbock Community Development Corporation. He earned bachelor’s (2007, Political Science/History) and master’s (2009, Public Administration) degrees from Tech.


 

If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!

 


Online options for reporting non-emergency issues

By Julie Caler, Code Enforcement Supervisor

The City of College Station offers two online options for citizens to report non-emergency issues. The Police Department monitors one, and Code Enforcement handles the other.

Let’s take a look at how each platform works and what issues you may report to each. These tools don’t apply when health, life, property or the environment is at risk. For emergencies, always call 9-1-1.

Non-Emergency Police Issues

The Police Department’s Citizen’s Online Police Report System is for reporting seven types of non-urgent offenses:

  • Vehicle burglary
  • Credit/debit card abuse
  • Criminal mischief
  • Identity theft
  • Harassment
  • Lost property
  • Property theft

If the crime you need to report isn’t listed, call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 979-764-3600.

When completing your online report, fill out the form completely and accurately with as much detailed information as possible. If you can, include serial numbers and the value of stolen or damaged property. CSPD may not assign an investigator to every case, and they may contact you for additional information.

The system confirms your submission is complete by displaying the message “Your online police report has been submitted.” Keep the temporary report number until a permanent number is assigned. Your report is also printable.

For financial crimes, the police won’t investigate until you submit a completed Financial Crime Packet at the police station at 2611 Texas Ave.

Code Enforcement Issues

Code Enforcement’s online work order reporting system is SeeClickFix, a website and app for reporting public works issues or code violations you want the city to address. Examples include trimming trees that block traffic signs or signals, faulty water fountains in parks, accumulated trash or garbage cans left out, and illegally parked or junk vehicles.

If the reported issue isn’t code-related, our staff forwards the report to the appropriate city department. Through SeeClickFix, we’ll let you know which department is addressing the problem along with a phone number to call with questions or updates.

When submitting an online report, remember a few basic rules:

  1. SeeClickFix isn’t a social media platform for discussion and debate.
  2. Don’t post personal information about yourself or your property.
  3. Don’t post derogatory nor profane language or verbally attack others. We’ll immediately remove such posts.

If you have questions about SeeClickFix, call Code Enforcement at 979-764-6363.

Remember: These systems are not interchangeable; they are designed to report specific issues. Don’t report lost or stolen items on SeeClickFix, and don’t submit code violations to the police.

 


0000018EPAbout the Blogger

Code Enforcement Supervisor Julie Caler has been with the City of College Station for almost two decades.


 

If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!

 

 


Discussion about short-term rentals set for Nov. 18

By Brian Piscacek, Assistant to the City Manager

The City of College Station invites residents to join city staff on Monday, Nov. 18, for a discussion about short-term housing rentals.

The informal gathering will be at 6:30 p.m. at the CSU Meeting and Training Facility at 1603 Graham Road. We’ll also serve light refreshments.

The idea of homeowners renting out their homes has evolved through online platforms such as Airbnb and expanded in College Station with the demand created by Aggie football weekends. The recent growth of short-term rentals across the nation has been dramatic, with Airbnb alone logging a half-million transactions last year in Texas.

Our discussion includes an overview of the short-term rental model and its impact on our community. We’ll address current conditions, solutions adopted by other municipalities, and elements of a prospective ordinance.

We’d like to hear not only from residents, but also real estate professionals, lodging operators, and short-term rental hosts. Elected and appointed city officials may be in attendance, but city staff will lead the activities, including small group discussions.

For more information, contact me at bpiscacek@cstx.gov.

 


About the Blogger

Brian Piscacek has been with the City of College Station since 2012 and has served as assistant to the city manager for special projects since early 2019. He was previously a community development analyst. Before coming to College Station, Brian worked for Texas Tech and the North & East Lubbock Community Development Corporation. He earned bachelor’s (2007, Political Science/History) and master’s (2009, Public Administration) degrees from Tech.


 

If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!

 


Game day parking doesn’t have to be a hassle

By Julie Caler, Code Enforcement Supervisor

For football fans, following their favorite team to Kyle Field can be tricky. With tens of thousands of fans descending on a relatively small area, finding a place to park their vehicles can be daunting.

Visitors understandably want to park as close to the stadium as possible, and that creates challenges for our guests and residents, especially in the Southside neighborhood. Making sure everyone abides by our city parking ordinances is a significant test for city staff, too.

Our parking ordinances are designed to make our streets and neighborhoods safe. Emergency vehicles need to be able to respond if required, and cars must be kept off yards to prevent fires, broken meters, broken gas lines, and other problems. The College Station Police Department, Code Enforcement, and the Northgate District staff work together to ensure a safe environment for you on game day.

Street Parking

Many of the streets in the Southside area were developed years ago and are exceptionally narrow. Police officers will be looking for vehicles parked illegally, including those facing traffic, blocking fire hydrants, parking too close to stop signs, blocking intersections, and parking in no-parking zones, to name a few. You also can’t directly block a driveway, but that doesn’t mean you can’t park across the street.

Some of these are violations of state law, and a few are towable offenses. If you are parked illegally in certain areas, your vehicle will likely be towed. If you discover your vehicle has been towed, call the Police Department’s non-emergency number at 979-764-3600.

Yard Parking

Code Enforcement Staff will be actively looking for vehicles parking in yards. We discourage residents from illegally selling parking spots on their property. If we find a vehicle parked in the yard, we issue a warning to the resident in person and with a letter. If it’s a rental property, we also inform the property owner and management company.

If the violation happens again on another game day, we may issue a citation or court summons for the property owner and resident.  If you have any questions about this or any other city ordinance, call Code Enforcement at 979-764-6363.

Northgate Parking

The Northgate District provides safe and affordable parking options, including the Northgate Parking Garage, which is just a short walk to Kyle Field. The special game day rate is $25. Parking in the garage means you don’t have to worry about parking in the wrong place or being towed.

We also have limited parking available on certain Northgate streets and in the surface parking lot. The game day rate for both options is $3.50 an hour and is applicable from 6 a.m. Saturday until 3 a.m. Sunday.

For more information about the Northgate Parking Garage, including the availability of parking spaces, call 979-764-6313.

 

For general questions about parking or Code Enforcement, please feel free to contact me at 979-764-6363 or jcaler@cstx.gov.

Game Day Information

Here are some maps and other information that we hope will move you around town as quickly as possible on Aggie game days:

Gig ‘em, Aggies!

 


0000018EPAbout the Blogger

Code Enforcement Supervisor Julie Caler has been with the City of College Station for almost two decades.


 

If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!

 

 


8 easy ways for students to thrive in College Station

By Lacey Lively, Marketing Manager

As a former Texas A&M student and now a permanent resident, I love the hustle and bustle that fall brings. Autumn also means football and pumpkin spice latte season. Whoop!

Watching the students move in and gear up for classes brings back fond memories, and it’s also a perfect opportunity to offer some friendly advice for our new residents.

A common misconception about College Station is that it’s just a college town filled with students. While Texas A&M is the heart and soul of College Station, our community is filled with more than 122,000 residents of all ages, lifestyles, and backgrounds.

College Station has been nationally recognized as one of the best college towns, the best places to raise a family, start a career, and to retire. As a student living in a neighborhood, you might have a retired couple on one side, a young professional on the other, or a family with little ones. That’s why it’s so important to be a good neighbor so you can avoid citations and enjoy your college years to the fullest.

1. Say howdy

Don’t be shy! Meet your neighbors and exchange contact information so they can call you in case of emergencies or other issues. It’s also a good idea to let them know about any big gatherings you’re planning and ask them to contact you if there are any noise or parking problems. Wouldn’t you rather hear from your neighbor than a police officer?

2. Turn it down a notch

It’s unlawful for anyone to willfully make or allow continued loud noise – including barking dogs – especially from 10 p.m.-6 a.m. As a general rule, if you can hear the noise at the end of your property line, it’s too loud. If you are bothered by noise and can’t resolve the issue on your own, report it to the College Station Police Department at 979-764-3600.

3. Tend to your pets

When not on their owner’s property, dogs must be on a leash, and owners must clean up after them. College Station also has four, off-leash dog parks. Dogs, cats, and ferrets are required to be licensed, tagged, and vaccinated in Brazos County. Even if your pet is licensed elsewhere, you’ll still need to tag them here. You can purchase registration tags through your veterinarian or the Aggieland Humane Society. Learn more at cstx.gov/animalcontrol or call 979-775-5755.

4. Talk trash (and recycling)

The process of moving in and out can result in a mountain of unwanted items and trash. Consider donating lightly used furniture, clothing, and other household items to local organizations instead of placing them at the curb for solid waste collection.

Some things to remember:

  • Trash containers must be placed at the curb in front of your residence before 8 a.m. on your designated collection day.
  • Don’t place your container closer than four feet from fixed objects, mailboxes, cars, or trees.
  • Garbage should be bagged, tied, and securely stored in your container with the lid closed at all times.
  • Don’t pile bags or trash on top of or around your container, or the sanitation truck’s automated arm won’t be able to empty it.
  • Items too large to fit in your container should be placed neatly on the curb for bulk collection.
  • Brush should be cut into 8-foot lengths or shorter and put in a separate pile.
  • You must remove your garbage and recycling containers from the curb within 12 hours of collection.

If you have a blue, single-stream recycling container, it’s collected by Brazos Valley Recycling. We encourage you to review the list of acceptable items printed on top of each container. Place only clean items in your recycling container, and anything not on the list should be put in the garbage. Shredded paper is the only recyclable that should be placed in a clear plastic bag. Bagging other items isn’t necessary and could cause significant and costly damage to the sorting equipment.

For more information about solid waste or recycling, visit cstx.gov/solidwaste or contact Solid Waste Services at pubworks@cstx.gov or 979-764-3690.

5. Know where to park

If you park where you’re not supposed to, you can be stuck with a costly citation. Avoid that headache by remembering our 10 most common parking violations:

  1. Parking within 30 feet of a traffic control device such as a stop sign, yield sign or flashing light.
  2. Parking facing traffic – your car must always be parked in the direction of traffic flow.
  3. Parking within 15 feet of a fire hydrant.
  4. Parking within 20 feet of a marked or unmarked crosswalk.
  5. Parking in a handicap space without a handicap placard.
  6. Parking on a yard – if more than half of the vehicle is parked in the grass, it’s a violation.
  7. Parking at expired meters.
  8. Overstaying allotted periods in time-limited parking.
  9. Parking in loading zones.
  10. Blocking driveways so residents can’t get in or out.

6. Know the code

Many people don’t think about city codes until it’s too late. These are our most common code violations, which can also result in hefty fines:

  • Open Storage: Don’t store anything in your yard or patio that’s not intended for outdoor use, like a couch.
  • Yard Maintenance: Weeds and grass shouldn’t be higher than 12 inches.
  • Flyers/Signs: Nothing should be placed on utility poles, street signs, or in the public right-of-way.
  • Selling Parking Spaces: It’s illegal to operate a business in a residential neighborhood in College Station. Selling parking spaces on your property is a business.

You can review a complete list of code violations at cstx.gov/codeenforcement.

7. Get out and vote

Since you are affected by these codes and ordinances, it might be a good idea to participate in your local government by voting. To register to vote in Brazos County, go to brazosvotes.org.

The next city election is Nov. 5.

8. Take advantage of job opportunities

The City of College Station has part-time and seasonal jobs available throughout the year. Go to cstx.gov to see the latest listings and to apply.

Good luck this year!

Note to Permanent Residents: You can help College Station keep its reputation as one of the nation’s friendliest cities by helping your new neighbors out through understanding, education, and kindness. My office, Public Communications, has welcome bags available for free that includes information from this blog and more. For more information, email me at llively@cstx.gov.

 


About the Blogger

Lacey Lively serves as the chief information officer for the Brazos Valley Veterans Memorial Board. She has been with the City of College Station’s Public Communications Office since 2011. Lacey previously worked as an internet marketing consultant for the Bryan-College Station Eagle and as a web designer. A native of Beaumont, Lacey earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism and communications from Texas A&M in 2009.


 

If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!


SeeClickFix remains a valuable reporting tool

By Julie Caler, Code Enforcement Supervisor

See. Click. Fix.

It’s as easy as that for citizens to report code enforcement, public works, and other non-emergency issues to the City of College Station.

The online application allows anyone with internet access to report and easily track updates to their concerns.  It empowers you and your local government to take care of and improve our neighborhoods in a tangible and meaningful way.

SeeClickFix can be accessed through desktop computers, smartphones or other mobile devices. Better yet, it’s simple to use and creates a higher level of accountability through timely communication between you and your city.

How do you use it?

The most popular way to use SeeClickFix is with a smartphone or tablet. Mobile devices make it easy to take and submit photos, which help city staff quickly identify problems and determine how to resolve them as efficiently as possible. Go to your device’s app store for a free download. The system can also be accessed through the city’s mobile-friendly website.

Pinning or entering an exact address will help staff locate and resolve the issue in a timelier manner.  Remember, pictures say a thousand words so whenever possible, please provide a picture of your concern.  If you have specific questions, call Code Enforcement at 979-764-6363, and we will be happy to answer your questions.

In addition, problems phoned into Code Enforcement are entered into SeeClickFix, which allows us to count the numbers and types of reported cases accurately.

How does it work?

SeeClickFix incorporates code enforcement, public works, parks and even outside agencies such as the Texas Department of Transportation to address the issues you report. While code enforcement is the clearinghouse for SeeClickFix, we ensure the proper agency addresses your specific issue.

Sometimes we receive updates, and sometimes we don’t.  But we can always provide you with direct contact information if you have specific questions for that agency.

SeeClickFix is not a social media site but an online reporting work order system. That means posting personal information or vulgar or inappropriate language will cause your post to be flagged and removed.

Who responds and how?

The type of concern reported determines who responds. While most issues are directed to code enforcement, not all issues are code related. Most potholes, street lights/sign issues are sent to either Public Works or TxDOT, depending on the location. Issues concerning parks are sent to the Parks and Recreation Department and so on.

Each agency has procedures for responding to concerns on SCF, and while we may get updates from some agencies, we don’t get updates from them all.

Code Enforcement will respond to issues that are possible code violations. An officer will investigate, and if a violation is found, the officer will proceed with a code case in our tracking system.

Some cases take longer than others to resolve, such as junk vehicles or weeds and grass, but a typical case is resolved within 10 days.

SeeClickFix isn’t 911

SeeClickFix isn’t monitored 24/7, so don’t report public safety concerns such as suspicious persons, robberies, threats to life, etc. on. Always call 911 when a real emergency exists.

SeeClickFix has proven to be a valuable tool for our citizens and has helped the city become more efficient and effective at resolving everyday issues. We hope you will continue to use it when you see something that needs to be addressed.

Just go to seeclickfix.com/college-station to report an issue.

Keep seeing and clicking, and we’ll keep fixing!

 


0000018EPAbout the Blogger

Code Enforcement Supervisor Julie Caler has been with the City of College Station for almost two decades.


 

If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!

 

 


Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (Sept. 27)

(L-R): Bob Brick, Linda Harvell, Jerome Rektorik, Karl Mooney (mayor), John Nichols, Barry Moore, James Benham.

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Sept. 27. 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.

5:20 p.m.

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

5:30 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

The council will vote on items listed on the consent agenda during tonight’s regular meeting. Councilmembers pulled this consent item for workshop discussion:

  • Towing Ordinance: The proposed amendment would add any motor vehicle unlawfully parked or violating any city code may be towed at the owner’s or operator’s expense.

6:26 p.m.

Code Enforcement Ordinance Revisions

The council discussed possible amendments to city ordinances to provide more consistent code enforcement. Points of discussion include open storage, vegetation, right-of-way maintenance, abandoned shopping carts, and the parking or storing of recreational vehicles, trailers or trucks.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:38 p.m.

Mayor Karl Mooney adjourned the workshop after the council discussed its calendar and received committee reports. The regular meeting will start after a short break.

6:47 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

6:50 p.m.

Proclamations

Mayor Mooney presented a proclamation for College Station firefighters’ “Fill the Boot” campaign to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

6:58 p.m.

Hear Visitors

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

  • James Benham recognized Marine Cpl. Richard Waller as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 22-year-old Fort Worth native died April 7, 2006, while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq.
  • Justin Ikpo spoke about criminal behavior in his neighborhood.

7:00 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve these consent agenda items:

  • A BuyBoard contract purchase of $138,750 for traffic signal cabinets from Paradigm Traffic Systems Inc.
  • Renewal of a $230,000 Xpedient Mail contract for printing and mailing services.
  • The expenditure of funds for FY19 for items exempt from competitive bidding and other expenditures for inter-local contracts or fees mandated by state law that are greater than $100,000.
  • Adopted fees, rates and charges as provided by Chapter 2 of the city’s Code of Ordinances.
  • An increase the FY18 expenditure limit by $55,000 for a new FY 2018 expenditure limit of $145,000 for police uniforms, body armor and accessories from Miller Uniforms & Emblems.
  • Added language to city ordinances for towing unlawfully parked vehicles.
  • Amended city ordinances related to home solicitation.
  • A contract for the grant of federal HOME Investment Partnership Program Grant Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO) set-aside funds with Elder-Aid, Inc. in the amount of $200,000 for acquisition and rehabilitation of two dwelling units at 3416-3418 Normand to be used as affordable rental housing for income-eligible elderly households.
  • The $54,224.50 purchase of traffic signs, prefabricated signs and sign blanks from Vulcan Signs Inc. for and the $61,585 purchase of traffic sign hardware and posts from Dobie Supply.
  • An advance funding agreement with the State of Texas, acting through the Texas Department of Transportation, for the Cain/Deacon project.
  • Six master agreements for Real Estate Appraisal Services: Duff & Phelps, LLC; JLL Valuation & Advisory Services, LLC; Lowery Property Advisors, LLC; Paul Hornsby & Company; S.T. Lovett & Associates; Valbridge Property Advisors.
  • Amended the funding agreement with Experience Bryan College Station to increase the amount for FY18 by $194,423 for a total of $594,423 related to the CVB Grant Program.
  • The second reading on a non-exclusive pipeline franchise ordinance with Hawkwood Energy Midstream for pipeline facilities for transporting petroleum products and byproducts.
  • Amended the city’s Code of Ordinances regarding false alarm fees.
  • Amended the city’s Code of Ordinances regarding Fire Department and Planning and Development Services afterhours inspection fees.
  • Changes to guidelines for the city’s housing assistance program funded with grants from the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

 Council voted on this consent item separately and approved it unanimously:

  • FY19 premiums not to exceed $516,000 for excess liability and workers’ compensation insurance, property/boiler & machinery, commercial crime, EMT liability, auto property damage, cyber liability, unmanned aircraft liability and property, and special events policies.

7:08 p.m. 

FY18 Budget Amendment

After a public hearing, the council approved a $3.8 million amendment to the FY18 city budget. See pages 282-284 for a list of amended items.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:13 p.m. 

FY19 City Budget

The council unanimously approved the city budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year and ratified the increase in property tax revenue.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:20 p.m. 

FY19 Property Tax Rate

The council unanimously adopted a property tax rate of .505841 cents per $100 of assessed value for FY19, a .08341-cent increase from the FY18 rate.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:22 p.m. 

BVSWMA Board Appointment

The council unanimously appointed Mayor Mooney to another term on the BVSWMA Board of Directors.

7:24 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items.

7:24 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Thursday, Oct. 11.

 


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.


If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!


		
	

5 things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The College Station City Council gathers Thursday at city hall for its workshop (5 p.m.) and regular (6 p.m.) meetings.

Here are five items to watch:

  1. Code Enforcement Revisions: In the workshop, The council will discuss possible amendments to city ordinances to provide more consistent code enforcement.
  2. Cain-Deacon Crossing Project: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider an advanced funding agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation to cover work within the TxDOT right-of-way as part of the Cain Road/Deacon Drive Railroad Crossing Switch project.
  3. FY18 Budget Amendment: After a public hearing, the council will consider a $3.8 million amendment to the FY18 city budget. See pages 282-284 of the council packet for a complete list of amended items.
  4. FY19 City Budget Adoption: The council will consider approving the city budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year and ratifying the increase in property tax revenue.
  5. FY19 Property Tax Rate Adoption: The council will consider adopting a property tax rate of .505841 cents per $100 of assessed value, a .08341-cent increase from the FY18 rate.

The meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink Channels 19 or online. We’ll post a detailed live blog on this site.

Related Links:                                                                 

 


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.


If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!


		
	

8 ways you can be a good neighbor this school year

By Lacey Lively, Marketing Manager

As a former Texas A&M student and now a permanent resident, I love the hustle and bustle that fall brings. Autumn also means football and pumpkin spice latte season. Whoop!

Watching the students move in and gear up for classes brings back fond memories, and it’s also a perfect opportunity to offer some friendly advice for our new residents.

A common misconception about College Station is that it’s just a college town filled with students. While Texas A&M is the heart and soul of College Station, our community is filled with more than 118,000 residents of all ages, lifestyles, and backgrounds.

College Station has been nationally recognized as one of the best college towns, best places to raise a family, and best places to retire. As a student living in a neighborhood, you might have a retired couple on one side, a young professional on the other, or a family with little ones. That’s why it’s so important to be a good neighbor so you can avoid citations and enjoy your college years to the fullest.

1. Say howdy

Don’t be shy! Meet your neighbors and exchange contact information so they can call you in case of emergencies or other issues. It’s also a good idea to let them know about any big gatherings you’re planning and ask them to contact you directly if there are any noise or parking problems. Wouldn’t you rather hear from your neighbor than a police officer?

2. Turn it down a notch

It’s unlawful for anyone to willfully make or allow continued loud noise – including barking dogs – especially from 10 p.m.-6 a.m. As a general rule, if you can hear the noise at the end of your property line, it’s too loud. If you are bothered by noise and can’t resolve the issue on your own, report it to the College Station Police Department at 979-764-3600.

3. Tend to your pets

When not on their owner’s property, dogs must be on a leash and owners must clean up after them. College Station also has four, off-leash dog parks. Dogs, cats, and ferrets are required to be licensed, tagged and vaccinated in Brazos County. Even if your pet is licensed elsewhere, you’ll still need to tag them here. You can purchase registration tags through your veterinarian or the Aggieland Humane Society. Learn more at cstx.gov/animalcontrol or call 979-775-5755.

4. Talk trash (and recycling)

The process of moving in and out can result in a mountain of unwanted items and trash. Consider donating lightly used furniture, clothing, and other household items to local organizations instead of placing them at the curb for solid waste collection.

Some things to remember:

  • Trash containers must be placed at the curb in front of your residence before 8 a.m. on your designated collection day.
  • Don’t place your container closer than four feet from fixed objects, mailboxes, cars or trees.
  • Garbage should be bagged, tied and securely stored in your container with the lid closed at all times.
  • Don’t pile bags or trash on top of or around your container, or the sanitation truck’s automated arm won’t be able to empty it.
  • Items too large to fit in your container should be placed neatly on the curb for bulk collection.
  • Brush should be cut into 8-foot lengths or shorter and put in a separate pile.
  • You must remove your garbage and recycling containers from the curb within 12 hours of collection.

If you have a blue, single-stream recycling container, it’s collected by Brazos Valley Recycling. We encourage you to review the list of acceptable items printed on top of each container. Place only clean items in your recycling container, and anything not on the list should be put in the garbage. Shredded paper is the only recyclable that should be placed in a clear plastic bag. Bagging other items isn’t necessary and could cause significant and costly damage to the sorting equipment.

For more information about solid waste or recycling, visit cstx.gov/sanitation or contact Solid Waste Services at pubworks@cstx.gov or 979-764-3690. You can also download the free MyWaste app to keep up with collection schedules and updates on your mobile devices.

5. Know where to park

If you park where you’re not supposed to, you can be stuck with a costly citation. Avoid that headache by remembering our 10 most common parking violations:

  1. Parking within 30 feet of a traffic control device such as a stop sign, yield sign or flashing light.
  2. Parking facing traffic – your car must always be parked in the direction of traffic flow.
  3. Parking within 15 feet of a fire hydrant.
  4. Parking within 20 feet of a marked or unmarked crosswalk.
  5. Parking in a handicap space without a handicap placard.
  6. Parking on a yard – if more than half of the vehicle is parked in the grass, it’s a violation.
  7. Parking at expired meters.
  8. Overstaying allotted time periods in time-limited parking.
  9. Parking in loading zones.
  10. Blocking driveways so residents can’t get in or out.

6. Know the code

Many people don’t think about city codes until it’s too late. These are our most common code violations, which can also result in hefty fines:

  • Open Storage: Don’t store anything in your yard or patio that’s not intended for outdoor use, like a couch.
  • Yard Maintenance: Weeds and grass shouldn’t be higher than 12 inches.
  • Flyers/Signs: Nothing should be placed on utility poles, street signs or in the public right-of-way.
  • Selling Parking Spaces: It’s illegal to operate a business in a residential neighborhood in College Station. Selling parking spaces on your property is a business.

You can review a complete list of code violations at cstx.gov/codeenforcement.

7. Get out and vote

Since you are affected by these codes and ordinances, it might be a good idea to participate in your local government by voting. To register to vote in Brazos County, go to brazosvotes.org.

The next city election is Nov. 6.

8. Take advantage of job opportunities

The City of College Station has part-time and seasonal jobs available throughout the year. Go to csjobs.cstx.gov to see the latest listings and to apply.

Good luck this year!

Note to Permanent Residents: You can help College Station keep its reputation as one of the nation’s friendliest cities by helping your new neighbors out through understanding, education, and kindness. My office, Public Communications, has welcome bags available for free that includes information from this blog and more. For more information, email me at llively@cstx.gov.

 


About the Blogger

Lacey Lively serves as the chief information officer for the Brazos Valley Veterans Memorial Board. She has been with the City of College Station’s Public Communications Office since 2011. Lacey previously worked as an internet marketing consultant for the Bryan-College Station Eagle and as a web designer. A native of Beaumont, Lacey earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism and communications from Texas A&M in 2009.


 

If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!

 


Game day parking doesn’t have to be a hassle

By Julie Caler, Code Enforcement Supervisor

For football fans, following your favorite team to Kyle Field can be tricky. With tens of thousands of fans descending on a relatively small area, finding a place to park your vehicle can be daunting.

Visitors understandably want to park as close to the stadium as possible, and that creates challenges for our guests and residents, especially in the Southside neighborhood. Making sure everyone abides by our city parking ordinances is a major test for city staff, too.

Our parking ordinances are designed to make our streets and neighborhoods safe. Emergency vehicles need to be able to respond if needed, and cars must be kept off yards to prevent fires, broken meters, broken gas lines, or other problems. The College Station Police Department, Code Enforcement, and the Northgate District staff work together to provide a safe environment for you on game day.

Street Parking

Many of the streets in the Southside area were developed years ago and are exceptionally narrow. Police officers will be looking for vehicles parked facing traffic, blocking a fire hydrant, parking too close to a traffic control device such as stop sign, blocking intersections, and parking in a no parking zone, to name a few. You also can’t directly block a driveway, but that doesn’t mean you can’t park across the street.

Some of these are violations of state law, and a few are towable offenses. If you are parked illegally in certain areas, your vehicle will likely be towed. If you discover your vehicle has been towed, call the Police Department’s non-emergency number at 979-764-3600.

Yard Parking

Code Enforcement Staff will be actively looking for vehicles parking in yards. We discourage residents from illegally selling parking spots on their property. If we find a vehicle parked in the yard, we issue a warning to the resident in person and with a letter. If it’s a rental property, we also inform the property owner and management company.

If the violation happens again on another game day, we may issue a citation or court summons for the property owner and resident.  If you have any questions about this or any other city ordinance, call Code Enforcement at 979-764-6363.

Northgate Parking

The Northgate District provides safe and affordable parking options, including the Northgate Parking Garage, which is just a short walk to Kyle Field. The special game day rate is $25. If you park in the garage, you don’t have to worry about parking in the wrong place or being towed.

We also have limited parking available on certain Northgate streets and in the surface parking lot. The game day rate for both options is $3.50 an hour and is applicable from 6 a.m. Saturday until 3 a.m. Sunday.

For more information about the Northgate Parking Garage, including the availability of parking spaces, call 979-764-6313.

 

For general questions about parking or Code Enforcement, please feel free to contact me at 979-764-6363 or jcaler@cstx.gov.

Game Day Information

Here are some maps and other information that we hope will move you around town as quickly as possible on Aggie game days:

Gig ‘em, Aggies!

 


0000018EPAbout the Blogger

Code Enforcement Supervisor Julie Caler has been with the City of College Station for almost two decades.


 

If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!

 

 


What to do when Ofo becomes an oh no

 

By Aubrey Nettles, Special Projects Coordinator

If you spend much time in College Station these days – especially near the Texas A&M campus – you’ve probably seen a bunch of yellow bikes.

Last spring, Texas A&M partnered with Ofo Bike Share Systems to offer the yellow bikes as an alternative mode of travel on and around campus. Naturally, it didn’t take long for users to venture beyond campus to city streets and neighborhoods.

As the popularity of the dockless bike share program grew, it became clear users needed appropriate guidance on responsible off-campus bike use. Riders are supposed the park the bikes in racks within a geo-fenced area, which includes the campus and a small radius beyond campus.

Unfortunately, the bikes have turned up in a multitude of unintended locations such as grassy areas, sidewalks, roadways – even treetops. Many of the complaints focus on the aesthetic impact of yellow bikes left around town, but they’ve also caused safety concerns.

College Station’s ordinance requires that the program operators must remove bikes reported to be parked incorrectly or left outside the geo-fenced area within two hours from 6 a.m.-6 p.m. or within 12 hours at other times. If they don’t, the company is charged a $125 relocation fee or issued a citation. City code enforcement officers will help enforce the ordinance.

Users can also lose their bike privileges for misuse.

Where to park your yellow bike

Users must park dockless bikes in an upright position in the geo-fence zone that encompasses the area in and around campus.

Dockless Bike Geo-Fence

The bikes should never be parked where they can create a hazard or otherwise impede vehicles or pedestrians.

How to report misplaced bikes

  • Report the issue using the subject line “Dockless Bike Share” on the city’s SeeClickFix code enforcement app. Make sure the location is as accurate as possible.
  • Call Code Enforcement at 979-764-6363. They will send a message to Ofo and the area’s code enforcement officer.
  • Send an email to codeenforcement@cstx.gov.

You can find additional reporting information affixed to the bikes.

As always, bicyclists are encouraged to wear a helmet, obey traffic laws, and yield to pedestrians.

Enjoy your ride!

 


About the Author

Aubrey Nettles is in her fourth year as special projects coordinator in the City Manager’s Office. She previously served as executive assistant to the Fort Bend County Commission and was a management analyst for Harris County. A native of Smithville, Aubrey earned a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Houston in 2012 and a bachelor’s degree in communications from Texas A&M in 2010.  


 

Photo Credit: OFO Uh-ohs of College Station Facebook Page

If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!

 

 


4 ways to fight illegal dumping and keep our city clean

By Debbie Stickles, Engineering Programs Specialist

You’ve seen the eyesores.

The piles of garbage, tires, paint cans, and appliances that someone carelessly dumped by the side of the road or in an open field. The practice is illegal, but it still happens far too often, despite the threat of substantial fines and even jail time.

Many of the dumped items are not just a blight on the landscape — they can be hazardous, too.

Illegal dumping is the disposal of a large quantity of rubbish or large items on either public or private property. Due to the low visibility created by high brush lines, local streams typically take the brunt of the mess. A few discarded shopping carts or a heap of tires can pollute waterways, increase flood hazards, and destroy wildlife habitats.

Here are four ways you can help us be friendlier to our environment and keep our community clean:

1. Household Hazardous Waste Collection.

When it comes to recycling or disposing of medications, computers, televisions, gasoline, oils pesticides, herbicides, antifreeze, paint, batteries and more, Brazos Valley residents should take advantage of free Household Hazardous Waste Collection events every spring and fall. The next one is Saturday, Oct. 21 from 7 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Texas A&M University Services Building located on Harvey Road east of Veterans Parks & Athletic Complex.

2. Recycling and solid waste programs.

The City of College Station’s single-stream recycling program allows you to place your recyclables in one container. The only item you need to bag in clear plastic is shredded paper. Visit cstx.gov/recycle to learn about the city’s solid waste and recycling programs.

Other resources may include private companies which can recycle or dispose of certain types of waste such as tires or construction materials. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality offers a list of statewide resources for recycling or special waste disposal.

3. Clean-up events and stewardship organizations.

The City of College Station offers several volunteer programs to get you directly involved in helping our environment:

  • Adopt-A-Street enhances the appearance of our community by beautifying and maintaining a street or section of a street.
  • Adopt-A-Greenway helps residents and businesses play an active role in cleaning up and beautifying our open spaces, creeks and multi-use paths/trails. The City of College Station partners with Keep Brazos Beautiful to coordinate the program.
  • Only Rain down the Drain Campaign encourages individuals or groups to place decals on neighborhood storm drain inlets that read “Don’t Dump. Drains to River.

4. If you see it, report it!

If you come across illegally dumped materials or see someone dumping illegally, report it by contacting Code Enforcement at 979-764-6363 or codeenforcement@cstx.gov, or use the popular SeeClickFix mobile app.

 


About the Blogger

Debbie Stickles is starting her third year as the city’s engineering program specialist. She previously worked as an engineering specialist in the Railroad Commission of Texas’ Oil & Gas Division from 2014-15.  A native of Carrizo Springs, Debbie received a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering from Texas A&M-Kingsville in 2013.


 

Photo Copyright: antpkr / 123RF Stock Photo

If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!


Game day parking doesn’t have to be a hassle

By Julie Caler, Code Enforcement Supervisor

For football fans, following your favorite team for a road game can be tricky. With tens of thousands of fans descending on a relatively small area, finding a place to park can be daunting.

That’s certainly the case in College Station.

Visitors understandably want to park as close to Kyle Field as possible, and that creates challenges for our guests and residents, especially in the Southside neighborhood. Making sure everyone abides by our city parking ordinances is a major test for city staff, too.

The laws are designed to ensure that our streets and neighborhoods are safe, which means emergency vehicles can respond if needed, and cars are kept off the grass to prevent fires, broken meters, broken gas lines, or other problems. The College Station Police Department, Code Enforcement, and the Northgate District staff work together to provide a safe environment for you on game day.

Street Parking

Many of the streets in the Southside area were developed years ago and are exceptionally narrow. Police officers will be looking for vehicles parked facing traffic, blocking a fire hydrant, parking too close to a traffic control device such as stop sign, blocking intersections, and parking in a no parking zone, to name a few. You also can’t directly block a driveway, but that doesn’t mean you can’t park across the street.

Some of these are violations of state law, and a few are towable offenses. If you are parked illegally in certain areas, your vehicle will likely be towed. If you discover your vehicle has been towed, call the Police Department’s non-emergency number at 979-764-3600.

Yard Parking

Code Enforcement Staff will be actively looking for vehicles parking in yards. We discourage residents from illegally selling parking spots on their property. If we find a vehicle parked in the yard, we issue a warning to the resident in person and with a letter. If it’s a rental property, we also inform the property owner and management company.

If the violation happens again on another game day, we may issue a citation or court summons for the property owner and resident.  If you have any questions about this or any other city ordinance, call Code Enforcement at 979-764-6363.

Northgate Parking

The Northgate District provides numerous safe and affordable parking options, including the Northgate Parking Garage, which is just a short walk to Kyle Field. The special game day rate is $25. If you park in the garage, you don’t have to worry about parking in the wrong place or being towed.

We also have limited parking available on certain Northgate streets and in the surface parking lot. The game day rate for both options is $3.50 an hour and is applicable from 6 a.m. Saturday until 3 a.m. Sunday.

For more information about the Northgate Parking Garage, including the availability of parking spaces, call 979-764-6313.

For general questions about parking or Code Enforcement, please feel free to contact me at 979-764-6363 or jcaler@cstx.gov.

Game Day Information

IMG_4223Here are some maps and other information that we hope will move you around town as quickly as possible on Aggie game days:

Gig ‘em, Aggies!

 


0000018EPAbout the Author

Code Enforcement Supervisor Julie Caler has been with the City of College Station for 18 years.


 

If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!

 


Podcast: Couch on the roof, goat in the driveway — the world of Code Supervisor Julie Caler

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

College Station Code Enforcement Supervisor Julie Caler makes her first appearance on the podcast and explains how she and her crew work to keep the city looking good. Sometimes, that means dealing with some odd or difficult situations.

In this episode, we cover topics ranging from parking and trash violations to hoarders and goats.

Total run time: 24:30
00:00 — Show open.
00:45 — What exactly do you and your staff do?
02:07 — Code used to be proactive, then reactive — now what are you?
03:53 — Most-common code issues in College Station?
04:45 — Why no parking in the grass?
06:25 — Most-egregious issues related to trash?
08:25 — How much of a problem is parking in yards?
09:23 — What are your Texas A&M home football game days like?
10:28 — Open storage is…fun? Bedroom suites on the roof??
13:00 — What about issues in back yards?
14:25 — Boats, trailers and RVs.
14:52 — Weeds and grass.
16:33 — Dealing with hoarders.
20:50 — Goats?
22:30 — Jay gives Julie a pop-quiz.
23:25 — Show close.

 

Podcast Archive

 


About the Blogger

Jay Socol (@jaysocol) is in his eighth year as College Station’s public communications director. A 1991 graduate of Texas A&M. Jay has also been communications director for the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, public information officer for the City of Bryan, and news director at several Bryan-College Station area radio stations. A native of Breckenridge, he also serves as president of the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers.


 

If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!

 


Are address numbers required on homes, businesses?

img_6690

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.


 

If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!

 


4 ways to help curbside collections work to perfection

img_0355

By Julie Caler, Code Enforcement Supervisor

Let’s talk trash!  More specifically, how and when to dispose of it to avoid costly code violations.

1. Bag your trash.

How you dispose of your trash makes a difference. It may be easier to toss the items in the city-provided container, but that isn’t the way to go.  If you don’t bag your trash, it can fly all over your neighborhood when the garbage truck picks it up.

2. Use the right container.

Household trash NEVER goes in the blue recycling containers. That’s been a huge problem in recent months as residents grow accustomed to our Single-Stream Recycling program.

3. Know the collection schedule.

Many new residents don’t know when their trash, recyclables or bulky items are scheduled to be collected. To find out, call Public Works at 979-764-3690 or go to the Sanitation website. For the collection schedule, enter your street name and it will show your garbage day. If you go to the Single-Stream Recycling website, you can find your recycling week by clicking on the Collection Roster and looking for your street.

If you miss a collection day, call Public Works and ask to be put on the missed list. The Sanitation Division may not get to your container that day, but they will issue a work order to ensure your trash or bulky items get picked up.

You also should avoid placing bulky items out more than 48 hours before your scheduled collection.

4. Bring in your containers. 

Now that you know your collection day, you’ll need to remember to bring in your container in after it’s been collected. It may seem easier to leave the container at the curb so you won’t have to put it out every week, but that’s a code violation.

Some homeowners associations have deed restrictions requiring you to screen your container, but the city doesn’t. We don’t enforce deed restrictions, either, so please keep the container next to your house.

MyWaste App

The MyWaste app puts the sanitation schedule and other information at your fingertips. You can even set an alert to remind you of your trash day. Click here or go to your favorite app store to download.

It’s the responsibility of the Code Enforcement Division to work with you to help make College Station a healthy, safe and aesthetically pleasing place to live.  Please contact us at 979-764-6363 or codeenforcement@cstx.gov if you have questions.

 


0000018EPAbout the Author

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


 

If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!

 


Game day parking doesn’t have to be a hassle

GamedayParking

By Julie Caler, Code Enforcement Supervisor

For football fans, following your favorite team for a road game can be tricky. With tens of thousands of fans descending on a relatively small area, finding a place to park can be daunting.

That’s certainly the case in College Station.

Visitors understandably want to park as close to Kyle Field as possible, and that creates challenges for our guests and residents, especially in the Southside neighborhood. Making sure everyone abides by our city parking ordinances is a major test for city staff, too.

The laws are designed to ensure that our streets and neighborhoods are safe, which means emergency vehicles can respond if needed, and cars are kept off the grass to prevent fires, broken meters, broken gas lines, or other problems. The College Station Police Department, Code Enforcement, and the Northgate District staff work together to provide a safe environment for you on game day.

Street Parking

Many of the streets in the Southside area were developed years ago and are exceptionally narrow. Police officers will be looking for vehicles parked facing traffic, blocking a fire hydrant, parking too close to a traffic control device such as stop sign, blocking intersections, and parking in a no parking zone, to name a few. You also can’t directly block a driveway, but that doesn’t mean you can’t park across the street.

Some of these are violations of state law, and a few are towable offenses. If you are parked illegally in certain areas, your vehicle will likely be towed. If you discover your vehicle has been towed, call the Police Department’s non-emergency number at 979-764-3600.

Yard Parking

Code Enforcement Staff will be actively looking for vehicles parking in yards. We discourage residents from illegally selling parking spots on their property. If we find a vehicle parked in the yard, we issue a warning to the resident in person and with a letter. If it’s a rental property, we also inform the property owner and management company.

If the violation happens again on another game day, we may issue a citation or court summons for the property owner and resident.  If you have any questions about this or any other city ordinance, call Code Enforcement at 979-764-6363.

Northgate Parking

The Northgate District provides numerous safe and affordable parking options, including the Northgate Parking Garage, which is just a short walk to Kyle Field. The special game day rate is $25. If you park in the garage, you don’t have to worry about parking in the wrong place or being towed.

We also have limited parking available on certain Northgate streets and in the surface parking lot. The game day rate for both options is $3.50 an hour and is applicable from 6 a.m. Saturday until 3 a.m. Sunday.

For more information about the Northgate Parking Garage, including the availability of parking spaces, call 979-764-6313.

For general questions about parking or Code Enforcement, please feel free to contact me at 979-764-6363 or jcaler@cstx.gov.

Game Day Information

IMG_4223Here are some maps and other information that we hope will move you around town as quickly as possible on Aggie game days:

Gig ‘em, Aggies!

 


0000018EPAbout the Author

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


 

If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!

 


Reporting issues to city as easy as See-Click-Fix

pothole1

By Julie Caler, Code Enforcement Supervisor

“There’s an app for that!”

Just because that statement has become trite doesn’t mean it’s not accurate. Most of us are constantly looking for the next great app to enrich and add convenience to our lives.

SeeClickFix is not a new app, but it has proven to be one of the most useful. And it’s free.

SCFThe City of College Station has used the app since 2011 as a handy way for citizens to report potholes, broken street lights or code enforcement issues. The result has been more than 4,700 resolved problems.

SeeClickFix allows anyone with internet access to report on issues that concern them. You can access the program with desktop computers or mobile devices, including smartphones. It’s easy to use, and it creates a higher level of accountability for city staff through better communication.

When you enter an issue into the system, we are notified by email and route the message to the appropriate department or division. We even let outside agencies such as the Texas Department of Transportation know if the reported issue is within their areas of responsibility.

When an update is available, we post it on SeeClickFix and you receive a notification.

The most frequent reported issues are overgrown weeds and grass, followed by large accumulations of trash, overflowing trash containers, potholes, and broken street lights or signs. Other common issues include malfunctioning water fountains in parks, property maintenance issues, junk motor vehicles, and parking in yards.

How to sign up

Create a user name and password, log on, and you’re ready to report a problem and make your community a better place. When you submit an issue, provide as much information as you can, such as an address or the identification number on a street light pole. You can even include a photo.

If you don’t have access to a computer or mobile device, you can report issues by calling 979-764-6363. We’ll enter the problem into SeeClickFix for you so we can accurately count the numbers and types of reported cases.

SeeClickFix has proven to be a valuable tool for our citizens and has helped make the city more efficient and effective at resolving everyday issues. For more information, contact Code Enforcement at 979-764-6363 or codeenforcement@cstx.gov.


0000018EPAbout the Author

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


 

If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!

 


Why gorilla art is permissible but rooftop beds aren’t

By Julie Caler, Code Enforcement Supervisor

Outdoor living areas have become increasingly popular, especially as do-it-yourself projects. Lots of people enjoy larger and more functional backyard patios that are out of public view.

But the latest trend is to turn front yards and carports into outdoor living rooms complete with big-screen TVs, sectional couches, and coffee tables.

We even see an occasional bed on a roof.

bed on roof

(more…)


Moving out? Consider the options for your unwanted stuff

rolloff4

By Julie Caler, Code Enforcement Supervisor

The end of each semester means many Texas A&M and Blinn students are graduating and preparing to move out of their apartments and houses. As part of the process, they discover they no longer need much of what they’ve accumulated through their college years.

For the City of College Station’s Code Enforcement Division, that can lead to problems.

Many apartment complexes don’t always order the large rectangular trash containers in time to accommodate the high volume of discarded items. When this happens, the tenant sometimes resorts to finding inappropriate places to dump their unwanted items, including commercial dumpsters behind businesses.

You may not realize that constitutes theft of service or illegal dumping, which are violations of city ordinance. After all, someone else is paying for service at that location. If we can track down the culprit, we’ll issue a costly citation that graduates certainly don’t need to deal with right now.

We’ve discovered that many of the discarded items could be recycled or reused. With that in mind, here’s a solution you may not have considered: Instead of illegally dumping your reusable stuff in someone else’s bin, how about donating it to your favorite charity?

Here’s a short list of local organizations that will accept household items, including furniture and food:

Brazos Valley Council on Alcohol and Substance Abuse
Accepts most household items.
405 West 28th St., Bryan (979-823-5300)

Brazos Valley Food Bank
Food donations may be dropped off weekdays from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
1514 Shiloh Ave., Bryan (979-779-3663)

Grace Bible Church’s The Big Giveaway
Accepts household items and furniture.
701 Anderson St., College Station (979-695-2000, ext. 111)

A&M Church of Christ’s iHouse Market
Accepts household items and furniture.
Contact ihouseaggieland@gmail.com to arrange pick-up or drop-off.

Project Unity
Accepts household items and furniture.
1400 Beck St., Bryan (979-774-6788)

Twin City Mission
Call 979-822-7511 to schedule pick-up of large items.
Drop-off Locations:
>> Second Chance 1, 803 Wellborn Road, College Station
>> Second Chance 2, 3808 Old College, Bryan
>> Alice’s Attic, 424 North Main, Bryan (979-822-2979)
Accepts household items and furniture.

St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church
Accepts household items and furniture.
Contact ddkingau@gmail.com or 979-739-5582 to arrange drop-off or pick-up.

If you live in a residential single-family neighborhood, you can either put your items on the curb on your designated bulk day or take them to the Twin Oaks Landfill, which offers a free dumping service with your utility bill.

If you live in an apartment, you should dispose of your items in the roll-off bin provided by your complex. You also have the option to take them to the landfill.

Because of the additional volume of discarded items, it may take our hard-working sanitation workers longer than normal to complete their collection routes. We appreciate your patience!

For questions about Code Enforcement, call 979-764-6363 or visit us at cstx.gov/codeenforcement. For questions about sanitation services, call 979-764-3690.

 


0000018EPAbout the Author

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

Previous blogs by Julie Caler


 

If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!

 


Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (Sept. 10)

By Colin Killian, Communications Manager

gavel[1]Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Sept. 10. It’s not the official minutes.

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

6:06 p.m.

The workshop has started.

6:46 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: (more…)


Podcast: The guy who keeps Northgate clean and friendly

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

Former tech geek Gus Roman has spent much of his professional career trying to improve user experiences for others. Now, he’s applying that focus to College Station’s Northgate Entertainment District and on the city’s code enforcement strategies.

Gus describes those two worlds in refreshing ways in this podcast. (more…)


Our Top 5 Blog Posts from 2014

Top 5 Blog Posts of 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

Do you have any idea how difficult it is convincing you to abandon your news, sports and entertainment sources long enough to read about our exciting world of city government?

It’s plenty tough, believe me. In 2014, as with previous years, we tried to present you with useful, reliable information through this blog. It seemed to have worked: There were more than 57,000 views to 120 blog posts. Which ones were the most popular?

Glad you asked. Based on number of views, here are the top five posts that earned your interest and attention.

No. 5
10 game day parking citations you can easily avoid (more…)


3 common misconceptions about code enforcement

By Julie Caler, Code Enforcement Supervisor

When it comes to code enforcement, misconceptions are bountiful. It’s time to take a closer look at some of the myths that surround our services and to clarify the role of the city’s Code Enforcement Division.

First, let’s attempt to separate myth from reality by addressing three of the most common misconceptions:

Myth No. 1: Code Enforcement tickets violations immediately.

code3Reality: Our goal is to educate the resident, property owner and any person associated with a property. The process begins with a door tag, or in the case of trash can being left out after collection day, a can tag.

(more…)