Infill Housing Development Policy To Be Expanded To Include Duplexes and Quadplexes
A majority of items on Sulphur Springs City Council’s regular December meeting agenda had to do with property and construction projects, including six of seven requests for infill housing program agreements, a plat request to change a 9.31-acre property into 39 single family lots, expansion of the 380 policy, an agricultural land lease, and appointment of a representative to the appraisal board.
The City Council approved a plat request from Ramachandra Yennam for 9.31 acres of land at the end of Live Oak, Cadi Lane and Marianne Circle to be turned into 39 single family lots which meet the minimum dimensional requirements of 6,000 square feet with 50 foot of frontage, 90 foot depth. Lots would range from 6,000 to 23,244 square feet. Part of the development includes replatting of four lots, which were never developed with improved streets and other infrastructure, Sulphur Springs Assistant City Manager/Community Development Director Tory Niewiadomski reported during Tuesday night’s regular December City Council meeting.
The proposal Woodcreek Addition was reviewed by city engineer reviewed the plan and determined drainage and utilities are acceptable as proposed.
The Planning and Zoning Commission on Nov. 15 approved the project. Lot 4, an irregular shaped lot in a cul de sac, was granted a special setback of 10 feet instead of the regular 25 feet setback along Live Oak Street.
As proposed, the project would include two storm water detention ponds to ensure there is no increased post development runoff over what currently exists. Off site drainage was discussed but is considered more of a maintenance issue at the P&Z meeting, Niewiadomski reported.
Side walks too were discussed but the city does not at this time have any requirement mandate sidewalks in the city ordinances.
The residential development would include extending Marianne Circle and Live Oak, and a new street proposed as Rams Drive. The development would connect the two streets together. Streets are to be 28-feet concrete with laydown curb, and the development will have 6-inch water and sewer mains. The property in question is zoned single family residential.
The city manager was given authority to execute a community facilities contract for public utilities.
Yennam indicated he is waiting on financial guaranties for the community facilities contract before the project can move forward. The developer is working on attaining that and would like to get started onit quickly, Niewiadomski said.
“Thank you for investing in the city and making a development. If we ever need new housing, things are coming up that we need to be sure we have housing for in the future,” Precinct 3 Councilman Oscar Aguilar told Yennam.
Niewiadomski reported the infill housing development program has really taken off. Approximately 35 applications have been approved for the 380 program, which reimburses certain city fees to approved individuals or businesses that construct a single family residential dwelling on identified properties located within the city limits on identified properties on existing city streets. where they can utilize existing infrastructure.
Applicants who receive a 380 agreement with the City of Sulphur Springs, upon satisfactory completion of their project within 3 years, are eligible to have reimbursed the permitting fees, utility tap fees, and delinquent city taxes and liens reimbursed; and demolition costs associated with clearing a lot for redevelopment.
Some of the projects are completed, others are still in progress and some are in the planning stage. At the Dec. 7 meeting alone, the City Council approved as part of the consent agenda resolutions granting six of seven requests for 380 agreements. Approved were those at:
- 307 West Beckham Street,
- 309 West Beckham Street,
- 311 West Beckham Street,
- 312 West Beckham Street,
- Parcel #R391 at Fuller Street and Como Street, and
- 207 Calvert Street.
Place 1 City Councilman Jay Julian made the motion to approve the consent agenda as presented, with the exception of Resolution No. 1280, which requested a 380 Agreement for 623 Putman Street. The motion was approved as presented.
Niewiadomski also asked the City Council Tuesday night to consider expanding the city’s 380 policy. He said the city’s infill housing policy currently only offers the reimbursements and demolition assistance to developers who have single family residences constructed on one of the identified properties. He said he’d also had a number of inquiries from developers interested in constructing duplexes and quadplexes on identified properties as well.
The assistant city manager for community development asked the City Council to approve Resolution # 1274, which would extend the reimbursement incentives beyond single family to duplexes and quadplexes. Doing so would open up additional revenue by putting those new dwellings on the tax rolls. The City Council approved the resolution.
“I do think this has been a tremendous program for us and I feel like this will open up even more avenues for development,” Sulphur Springs Mayor John Sellers said at the Dec. 7 City Council meeting.
More information about the city’s infill housing development (380) program, including properties identified in 2020 as eligible for the program, may be viewed by clicking here.
The city accepted bids for a 1,007 agricultural land least for Thermo Property Site A. Currently, a cattle company is leasing 959 acres of the property for agricultural purposes. is being leased. That lease expires at the end of the month.
The city received seven bids for the agricultural lease. Jonah Massey submitted the high bid of $62,434 per year, to start Jan. 1 and continue through Dec. 31, 2022. The lease would generate $44,213, Assistant City Manager/Finance Director Lesa Smith told the City Council. The city manager was authorized to sign the agricultural lease of 1,007 acres in the city-owned former Thermo mine property.
Place 1 Councilman Jay Julian said he spoke with both the chief appraiser and introduced himself to Koby Long. He said he believes Long to be “an outstanding nominee” to serve on Hopkins County Appraisal District Board of Directors, and recommended he be appointed to serve on the board. The motion, seconded by Mayor Sellers, received unanimous approval of the City Council.