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2008-01-03

P&Z delivers ‘long awaited’ year-end report to council

By Judith Pannebaker

James Hannah, the formerly beleaguered chairman of the Bandera Planning and Zoning Commission, delivered a requested year end report to Bandera City Council during the Thursday, Dec. 20, meeting.

The report described 2007 as “one of assessment” for zoning modifications within the city limits, as well as planned expansion into the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction. “We have dealt with arrangements of land uses, buildings, infrastructure and natural resources to supply the various entities and interests within the city and ETJ with guidelines and recommendations under current city, county and state laws,” Hannah stated in the report.
According to the commission, P&Z has coordinated efforts for a master planning process “now budgeted to move into a phase of professional planning services.” A specially appointed Mayor’s Selection Committee will review and screen nine applications, winnowing them down to three or four for city council to consider for personal interviews.

The report stressed the importance of public participation in a master plan process. A “contracted professional planner,” the report continued, “would strive to design ways for the city to grow with regard to input from Bandera citizens’ protection of values and future desires.” Citizen input would also be solicited regarding “the look” of the town and its surrounding landscape, as well as economic development.

“A key part of Bandera’s master planning process will involve the city’s adopted subdivision guidelines developed by P&Z and city staff,” Hannah added. According to P&Z, the absence of an interlocal agreement between the city and county has stymied implementation of the rules, however. The city does not have regulatory authority within its ETJ. According to the report, “Interviews of city and county officials by a hired planning consultant may yield solutions to technical details necessary for the interlocal agreement to work for both governments.”

In the report, Hannah and the P&Z commission thanked City Administrator Gene Foerster, Public Works Director Mike Cardenas, Engineer Rudy Kline, Municipal Attorney Monte Akers, City Secretary Linda Boshek and former City Secretary Sandra Hoyland for their support and guidance through the “details and legalities of Texas municipal government.” With a bit of tongue in cheek, the report added, “Without them, this year would not have been as much fun.”

After delivering an abbreviated version of the year end report, Hannah offered the council reports of actions taken at the monthly P&Z meetings.

During a city council meeting on Dec. 6, Mayor Pro Tem Monica Halsey had described the Bandera P&Z as “unproductive.” She had alternately - and unsuccessfully as it turned out - attempted to dissolve the commission or remove Hannah and Commissioner Robert Koimn from its ranks. However, Hannah submitted a year’s worth of P&Z minutes, which negated Halsey’s allegations. For an in-depth look at a year of topics discusses and acted upon by P&Z, refer to the article, “Monthly P&Z reports belie charges of unproductivity” on this page.

Members of the Bandera Planning and Zoning Commission in 2007 included Hannah, Koimn, Punky Echart Camp and Cindy Harrington.