Requests for a Woodside Lane plat, rezoning on Weaver Drive and three 380 agreements that will allow for construction of multiple new single and multifamily housing units received the approval of Sulphur Springs City Council this week.
Woodside Lane Plat Request
Tate Price asked the city to allow the 1.93-acre property on the north side of Woodside Lane, just east of 1680 Woodside Lane and directly west of the commercial business center (Woodbridge Square), to be replatted, dividing it into seven lots on which duplexes will be built. The new units would be built just east of the current duplexes on Woodside Lane. The request came to the council with the recommendation of the Planning & Zoning Commission, the Zoning Board of Adjustments and city staff.
Exceptions are needed for lot dimension for the new duplexes as well as a reduced setback on a new proposed roadway for the Woodside Lane property. Due to the uniqueness of Woodbridge Crossing as a whole, most of it required variances. This area had been reserved outside the original plat for Woodbridge addition, according to Tory Neiwiadomski, assistant city manger/community development director.
Price proposed a new street instead of a private drive to run through the middle of the designed duplex area, a requirement for the subdivision of the property. Price also proposed calling the new street Beachwood Court. In fact, the exceptions would not be required if the project were simply constructed on the lot in its current state. However, a subdivision requires the road and setback exceptions.
The property is zoned multifamily, but the proposed plan calls for development of the property into seven duplexes, which would be two-family rather than apartment units. The engineered plans were reviewed and deemed satisfactory by the city engineer. A community facilities contract will be required for sewer, water and street improvements, Niewiadomski told the council during their regular August meeting Tuesday evening, August 3, 2021.
Price reported an architect is working on the duplex plans, but specs for each unit had yet to be completed. They are awaiting approval of the city before move forward any further with the project.
City staff recommended approving the Woodside Lane plat request. Variances have already been granted by the ZBA. The city manager or designee would need to be authorized to execute a community facilities contract. Drainage will be privately maintained.
“I think Tate has got a good reputation, and everything they’ve done, they have done with quality. I believe this is going to blend in with everything out at Woodbridge already. As far as the variances and everything’s involved, the folks that get these places just have a little less mowing to do in their back yard,” Place 5 Councilman Gary Spraggins said when making the motion to approve the replat and authorize the city manager to execute a community facilities contract.
The motion was approved by the City Council, with Place 1 Councilman Jay Julian recusing himself from voting.
Weaver Drive Zoning Ordinance
Paulino Reyes asked the city to rezone Lot 3R-3, Block 55, at 125 Weaver Drive from heavy industrial to multifamily to better accommodate residential development on the lot. Reyes’ request to rezone the 1.89-acre property, the third of three lots at the address, was approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission on July 19 at the recommendation of city staff.
Zoning in the surrounding properties is a mix of light industrial and heavy commercial to the south, heavy industrial to the north, west and east; and residential to the south and eas. There’s a museum to the north and a church to the west of the property, the Niewiadomski noted.
According to city staff, changing the zoning to multifamily would be appropriate and fit the the land use plan of residential Zoning along properties on Weaver Drive.
Place 6 Councilman Doug Moore asked if rezoning the property to multifamily would create problems in the future, if for instance, someone tried to use the adjoining lots for heavy industrial development that close to multifamily zoning.
Mayor Johns Sellers noted aside from having a fire station housed at the location prior to construction of the Intermodal facility on Texas Street in the early 2000s, a cotton gin sat on the property at the corner of Weaver Drive and Jackson Street, making it heavy industrial.
Moore asked what it would take to make the entire property at 125 Weaver Drive a multifamily zone.
Tory Niewiadomski, assistant city manager/community development director, said city staff could reach out to area property owners to gauge response.
Moore noted they have not, to this point, indicated they are opposed to having homes next to heavy industrial in that area.
Spraggins recommended, if the property owners and city agree, to take the steps necessary to rezone the entire section multifamily.
Niewiadomski noted that if the council waits to rezone the enitre area, that could slow down any potential projects the applicant is considering while the city goes through the rezoning process.
The City Council granted on first reading Ordinance No. 2782 rezoning Lot 3R-3, Block 55, Town, at 125 Weaver Drive from heavy industrial to multifamily. A public hearing for the final reading of the proposed zoning ordinance is scheduled during the 7 p.m. City Council meeting on Sept. 7, 2021.
The City Council also approved Resolution No. 1250 granting a 380 agreement for construction of a a single-family dwelling at 115/119 Nicholson Street, Resolution No. 1251 for another home at 116 Middle Street and Resolution No. 1252 for a house at 122 Randolph Street.
Sulphur Springs city Manager Marc Maxwell asked the City Council if anyone would have a problem with the requests for 380 agreements being placed within the consent agenda, along with minutes from previous meetings, on future City Council meeting agendas.
Niewiadomski noted that most applicants only request standard incentives, such as reimbursement of tap fees and building permits, when applying for 380 agreement under the infill housing policy.
Spraggins and Sellers asked what could be done if there is something unusual or different about the request, such as a substantial city tax lien, demolition or other issue.
Maxwell explained that if, at any time, a council member wishes to remove an item from the consent agenda, all that councilman needs to do is ask the mayor to remove it for discussion and action. Then, after action on the consent agenda, the City Council could address that particular 380 agreement.
City Attorney Jim McLeroy added that the mayor would note the item was being removed from the consent agenda, then, assign it a place elsewhere on the agenda, For instance, it could be dedicated as item 12A, 5B or 11.
Although the matter was not on the agenda for approval, several council members indicated they’d have no objection to standard 380 agreements in the future being listed as part of the consent agenda.
Councilman Julian asked if city staff had received any feedback regarding the state jet ski championship held on Coleman Lake July 24-25, 2021, and if it was the biggest event held to date at that location.
Maxwell said he believes the Jettribe hosted event is the largest held on the lake thus far. He said going into the event he was a bit concerned there might be noise complaints lodged about the event from residents of the surrounding neighborhood, but was happy to report he was not aware of a single one.
Julian noted the park was immaculate, down to the aquatic grass. He commended whoever put in the work maintaining and making it ready, made it a spectacular place.
Sellers added that the event did generate a lot of traffic through that neighborhood, but many of the residents attended the event.
“They seemed to really enjoy being able to walk over there. It was really cool to see some of the stuff that was performed on that lake,” Sellers said.