News

City, land owner spar over ‘master plan’

By KEN ESTEN COOKE Reporter Publisher

It’s “back to the drawing board” for a solution between a local land owner, whose plans to sell property run contrary to an “inner loop” on the city’s master plan.

Despite no work proceeding on an inner loop, Alan Noack is trying to work out an agreement with the city where he won’t have to cede land to the city for an up to 120-foot right of way.

Maps for the loop, drawn up by Hogan Corp. Engineers in 2002, show the inner loop running north of and parallel to Skyles Street in Linwood Acres subdivision.

Even though TxDOT has put its US 79 loop on hold indefinitely, landowner plans to sell property must still jive with the town master plan, which was adopted by the council in 2003.

“After the sale of four lots to Skyles Street residents and meeting with the city manager, I was referred to a city master plan that I was never aware of,” Noack told the council on Monday. “The plans the city has shows the road going through the middle of houses on the north side of Skyles.”

Noack said there was never any surveying done for the city’s master plan, and no property description, other than the map drawn by Hogan Corp.

“When TxDOT widens a road, they purchase land from the landowner,” Noack said. “This master plan says for the landowner to donate with no compensation.

Noack pleaded his case, asking for some type of agreement, either a variance or short-form subdivision for the lots already sold.

“I’m caught in the middle, because I’m a landowner, but not a developer,” he said. “I’m not trying to skirt the laws, but I thought these sales were approved by the former city manager (T. Flemming).”

Mayor John Shoemake said for Noack and City Manager Kelvin Knauf to continue trying to work out an agreement. Last month, the council gave Knauf 60 days to come up with an agreeable solution.

Street projects

The council will re-bid two street projects after the two it received were not competitive.

A third bid will also seek to address the culvert drainage problem on Beverly Drive.

Grayson Cox, of KSA Engineers, said bidding the contracts separately, instead of one big package, could help bring costs down.

Much of the conversation centered around the Beverly Drive culvert which floods frequently during heav y rains. Councilman Allan Miller said it should be a top priority, but its fixed price of $178,000 doesn’t match what the city has available, about $90,000.

Shoemake said four tributaries that run through the city go through there, causing problems. Even a low-water crossing would be costly if engineered correctly. The city also can’t use street repair funds for drainage work.

Auditor

City auditor George Chester Draper III said the city “has done a good job” of managing finances, making progress toward its fundbalance goal and balancing its utility system so that revenues top expenditures.

The council also:

• Approved purchase of design configurations for “de-watering boxes” at the city sewer plant. The project should help the city with capacity problems on its sewer plant drying beds during wet weather periods. The boxes will be paid for with Texas Water Development Board funds.

• Approved submission of a grant for $99,724 to the Post Oak Savannah Groundwater Conservation District. Funds would cover the second half of a leak-detection study, equipment for water leak test, replacing 250 service lines that have blue polymer, and replacing the oldest section of water line in town along Cameron Avenue, from Burleson to Wilcox.

• Gave second reading to new and updated building, plumbing, electrical, gas, energy conservation and property maintenance codes. (See Legal Notices in Classified section.)

• Approved bid from Brien Water Wells for repair work on water well at airport.

• Named Jay Rubio to the Building Standards Commission to replace Walter Hurd.


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2010-04-15 digital edition



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