City SUPs - one down & one to go
By Judith Pannebaker
After much ado, the City of Bandera finally got the first Special Use Permit (SUP) under its belt during a Thursday, May14, meeting - but not without a modicum of controversy.
The definition of a SUP may be found in Article 10-II-4C Special Use Permits of the Zoning Ordinance No. 246-R-1.
The process regarding the city’s application for a SUP at the Bandera City Yard, located at Cypress and 3rd streets, and storage areas, located along Cypress between 3rd and 4th streets, began at 5 pm and included meetings of the City of Bandera Planning and Zoning Commission and city council, as well as a public hearing at which no citizens commented verbally.
The city had purchased the lots under discussion for its public works department after the 1987 flood, but current operations are not compliant with residential zoning. Accordingly, approving the requested SUP would “make our yard legal,” said Mayor Horst Pallaske and “(bring) the property into conformance,” said Councilman Robert Koimn.
Koimn, however, took exception to what he - and others - perceived as individuals being held to higher standards when applying for an SUP than the city itself. He referred to the protracted maneuvers that Steve Ball has had to go through regarding his SUP application for the Mansion at Bandera.
“It’s bad precedent to rezone this area as an SUP with just a two-page document,” Koimn said. “It looks like we’re requiring (citizens) to perform to a different level. As part of the application, the city did not have to submit elevations and floor plans.”
Public Works Director Mike Cardenas explained no construction would take place at the yard nor would the drainage pattern change. “It’ll be the same it’s been for the last 50 years,” he said.
“Every SUP is different,” Pallaske said.
“Not according to the ordinance,” insisted city resident Virgil Mulanax. “It lists what needs to be submitted.”
“The city did not conform to the requirement of the ordinance,” Koimn continued. “I’m in favor of making the city do what everyone else does. We must be consistent. There are specific items in the ordinance the applicant is required to address.”
According to Cardenas, the area was used in its present capacity prior to the city’s incorporation. “It should be grandfathered in,” he said.
Discussions then turned to possibly fencing and landscaping the yard prior to approving the city’s application for an SUP. The camouflage would industrial look of the area located in a zoned residential neighborhood.
Cardenas agreed to citizens’ requests that a tank, pipes and other equipment be moved from the south side of Cypress Street to the maintenance year. However, the piles of sand, dirt and gravel will be allowed to remain in perpetuity.
Fencing the south side area would cost $1,253, which could be included in the budget for fiscal year 2009-2010. However, it was readily agreed that present council could not commit future councils to spend funds for “landscaping” the city yard with hedges outside the fence.
In the end, councilmen approved the city’s application for an SUP without the recommendation of fencing and landscaping by 4-1. Koimn cast the only “nay” vote.
In a related matter, during a planning and zoning meeting on April 28, after even much more ado, commissioners finally approved Ball’s application for an SUP for 1007 Hackberry Street. City council will set a public hearing on the matter at a later date.