Public hearings held at August city meeting

Two public hearings were held during Tuesday’s City Commission meeting, one of which was a hearing on substandard structures located within the city. Making the presentation were Kirk Harris, city services director, and Danny Alderson with the Code Enforcement Department.Chapter 7, Article 6 of the city’s Code of Ordinances outlines the criteria that must be met for continued use and occupancy, such as technical, weather, fire, structural, health and safety measures. The houses were described, in part, as a danger to people should they step on or near the property, a harbor for vermin and an urban nuisance.Each house was shown to the commissioners, given an overview, and then a timeframe was given for the owners to either demolish the house and clean the area. Once the deadline passes and no action is taken, the city would take the responsibility of demolition and clearing the land.Houses that were given 30 days to complete the task were the accessory structure on 211 Bell and 811 Alamo. The latter residence was originally given a 90 day period, but since the owner informed the city that they would take no action on the house, the timeline was shortened.The structures that were given 60 days for demolition and clean up were 305 Hailey, 1003 Robert Lee, 1206 Lubbock and 1412 Mulberry. Houses that were given a 90-day deadline were 207 Mitchell and 504 Hill.Regarding the house on Hill Street, the owners intended to demolish it and on July 11 were given 90 days to do so. However, a citizen spoke on behalf of the house, in which he stated that work on the area was taking place and would be completed within the 90-day time frame.The final house, located on 517 Neff, was given a 120-day period. The owners had previously contacted the code office as the house was part of an ongoing settlement, but on July 19, no changes were made.With the public hearing closed, a motion was made to follow city staff’s recommendations, which was approved.The other public hearing held was in regard to a request made by the Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission to re-zone a tract of land from a “R” residential district to an “H” business district. The 5.524 acres of land are located at the southwest corner of the intersection of West Bradford Lane and Lamar Street. Harris briefly informed the commission that the land was actually classified as part “R” and part “H”, but the P&Z requested that it fully be changed to an “H” business district.No opposition was heard by the city, and no public input was given. Thus, the hearing was closed, and approval was given toward the request.