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Mayor Pro-Tem Barron's Latest Update (5/12/22)

5/12/2022

Hello, Neighbors,

     Here is a report on what happened at City Council on Tuesday night. Wayne Gosnell gave us an update on gateway signs announcing Blanco's Night Sky designation. Very exciting! The Mayor announced that Council members will be donating their stipends to a scholarship for a Blanco Senior. It will be $600 and decided in a drawing by the top 15% of students. Good luck Blanco graduates! Mayor Pro-Tem Sauceda was recognized for his long service to the city and returning Councilors Devine and Smith along with newly elected Councilor Thrailkill were sworn in. City Administrator, Warren Escovy gave an update on street repairs. He again explained that the pothole filling is just a stop-gap step until we can get a full, multi-year plan for streets along with water and sewer lines. This will hopefully be ready soon so it can be part of our budget process which starts in a couple of months. We have an auditor, Yipppeeee! We continue to work to reconcile ALL of our financials, and now with the audit starting, we will know much more very soon.
 
     All consent items were approved. A development agreement between the city and 42 on 32 was also approved. The development agreement provides for a fee to be assessed on each of the RV hook-ups in addition to a volumetric charge based upon the amount of water used. The agreement also stipulates that NO CITY WATER is to be used for any water park features or amenities. 
 
     The Short-Term Rental Ordinance was adopted by a 3-2 vote. As I stated before, businesses already operating will continue to operate. There will be a 60-day moratorium on any NEW permits. During this time the staff will focus on getting existing businesses permitted and mapped. Each applicant for a new permit will go through the same process as any other special use permit. If we find that we missed something in the ordinance or there are any unforeseen consequences, we can always amend the ordinance to address those. Council members with input from various citizens and the city attorney have spent over 10 weeks and held three hearings on the ordinance. It might turn out not to be perfect, but we feel it is an important first step. If we find we didn't get something right, we can fix it. An old adage of public policy is "don't sacrifice the good in pursuit of the perfect". Thanks to everyone who came out to express their views.
 
     A request to rezone property at 1917 Main and then issue a special use permit for the construction of storage units was denied. This was the recommendation of Planning and Zoning. A special use permit to convert the property at 618 Live Oak (the former Live Oak Nursing Facility) into a multifamily dwelling consisting of 15 apartments was granted. Council also approved a 10-foot setback at the property located at 1725 S. Hwy 281. The normal setback is 20 feet. The request is to allow for the construction of a storage building. Also approved was a variance for a 10-foot high fence around the new BISD tennis courts.
 
     Discussions began regarding the consideration for the future adoption of a Water Quality Ordinance. The purpose of the ordinance is to protect sensitive areas from polluted runoff and provide better drainage management. Provisions include considerations of the amount and location of impervious cover. There will be more discussion and modifications to the ordinance. It is in your packet so please feel free to take a look. Right now it is probably longer and more detailed than necessary so people much smarter than I will be making recommended changes. 
 
     Please note that Thursday (today) at 2:00 there will be an information session on Hotel Occupancy Taxes at the Courthouse. At 2:00 on Monday, May 16 the Capital Improvement and Asset Management Committee meets at the Byars Building, and at 4:00 on Thursday, May 12, the 281 Corridor Overlay Steering Committee meets also at the Byars Building. You are welcome to attend any of these to learn more about what is happening in your town.
Thanks for being involved in your city's government.
 
Connie

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