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Sulphur Springs City Council To Consider Requests For Infill Housing Program, Final Plat For Duplex Complex At Jan. 5 Meeting

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The Jan. 5 Sulphur Springs City Council agenda contains five action items pertaining to potential housing construction projects. If all five are approved the city could see as many as 81 new housing units constructed in the near future.

Three people have requested 380 agreements for infill housing incentives to construct single family dwellings within the next 3 years on identified lots within the city. 

In August 2020, City Council amended the city’s 380 policy, adding economic incentives for specific housing infill development. Essentially, builders would utilize existing infrastructure to provide affordable housing using existing infrastructure, and would be eligible for a refund of some fees such as permitting fees, water and sewer tap fees, delinquent taxes owed to the city and liens on the property. The city also under the amended 380 terms could participate in demolition costs associated with clearing a lot to redevelop a single family house on it, or other incentives deemed necessary to carry out the intent of the program.

Those granted the agreements pay the fees up front, and upon completion of the single family home, the city would reimburse them. That could be as much as $3,000 to $5,000 in reimbursed construction fees per project, according to Sulphur Springs Community Development Director Tory Niewiadomski.

The program was created to extend the tax base utilizing the existing infrastructure for new construction. The program is only for buildings constructed on lots located on city-maintained streets. Existing lots on streets that are not developed or city-maintained would not be eligible.

“Program incentives are pretty straight forward and can be found on the city website on the Community Development page in the tab set aside for infill housing policy. It spells out the expectations of application,” Niewiadomski said.

The program benefits the community in that it provides additional single family housing, which local realtors have indicated to city officials have indicated are in short supply, and puts the property back on the tax roll. The city would recuperate the fees in taxes in 2-3 years, according to Niewiadomski.

After approving the program in August, the City Council then approved properties on Putman and Beckam Streets right after adopting the program.  approved two resolutions authorizing eligible 380 agreements for property located at 943 Putman St. and 206 West Beckham St.

“Since the program has been adopted. we’ve had a lot of inquiries. I think we are finally starting to see some of it come to fruition,” Niewiadomski said.

On Tuesday night, Jan. 5, Sulphur Springs City Council will be asked to consider three resolutions approving 380 agreements to construct homes at 306 South Moore Street, 222 Craig Street and 832 Alabama Street.

Sulphur Springs City Council will also be asked during the Jan. 5, meeting to consider a community facilities contract with Joe Ardis for property located at the corner of College and Lundy, just across from the old Houston School property, which could begin the process to allow for construction of some housing units on the property.

The final action item on the Jan. 5 City Council agenda asks the city officials to consider approving a final plat request. The Planning and Zoning Commission last month. reviewed the request and is recommending approval of the final plat for Dority Addition, which would allow 10.84 acres at the corner of Fisher and Spence Street to be divided into 35 lots on which residential duplexes would be located.

The project in October was rezoned from heavy commercial to single family attached zoning, on which duplexes can be placed. The engineered plans have been reviewed by the city engineer and are substantially acceptable provided they include: drainage easements for lots 12-25 and 27-35 (along Twin Oaks Street, a new street to run the length of the complex); requires maintenance responsibility for a detention pond area to Lot 35; increases the front building setback line from 25 feet to 36 feet for lots 12-35 for the off-street parking; and on-street parking is prohibited on Twin Oaks Street.

The agenda also includes a School Choice Week proclamation, the consent agenda and a manager’s report which includes updates on capital improvement projects, wastewater treatment plant operations, accidents and claims for the last month. The Finance Director also typically presents a financial update as well.

The Sulphur Springs City Council meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Jan. 5. Council members will attend via Zoom video conferencing due to COVID-19. The meeting will be livestreamed on the City of Sulphur Springs Meetings YouTube channel, which can be accessed by clicking here.

Time will be designated during the streamed meeting for community members to call in via a phone number provided before each item is voted on during the meeting if community members wish to speak on any of the agenda items. They also may call in to speak during the visitors and public forum listed at the end of the meeting.

Author: Faith Huffman

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