The Brenham City Council on Thursday approved a set of amendments to the city’s impact fee ordinance that are meant to clarify language before the ordinance goes into effect on July 1st.

City of Brenham Development Services Director
Stephanie Doland walks the city council through a
set of proposed amendments to the city's impact
fee ordinance during a meeting on Thursday.

The impact fees, which were adopted by the council in February, will be levied on developers to allow the city to generate revenue or make up costs of capital improvements or facility expansions for new development. 

One of the primary amendments, explained by Development Services Director Stephanie Doland, applies the 1-year grandfathering period for platted properties to all subdivision plats that have been submitted and are pending approval from city staff, Planning and Zoning Commissioners or city councilmembers.

Other approved amendments include ensuring that no impact fees are charged for services only utilized to provide fire protection, for residential irrigation meters which are a sub-meter to the main meter, or for development on properties that are determined to be a legal lot of record.  Irrigation meters that are 1.5 inches or greater will be assessed an impact fee for water.  Accessory dwelling units (ADUs) will only be assessed an impact fee if the existing tap meter is increased in size to handle additional capacity, which Doland noted would be unlikely, as a 1-inch meter has normally been enough in the past. 

The revisions also allow for credits to be granted to properties needing to relocate because of the Highway 290 – Highway 36 cloverleaf reconstruction project led by TxDOT.

Councilmember Dr. Paul LaRoche III asked if the city would ever be able to actually impose impact fees, given the grandfathering and the legal lots of record.  Doland replied that the impact fee ordinance is a starting point for sharing costs associated with new construction.  She said it ultimately depends on a subdivision developer’s timeline in relation to the ordinance’s effective date for if any of the developer’s lots are grandfathered.

Speaking further on the subdivision developers, Doland mentioned they continue to show interest in vacant properties despite the incoming impact fees.

Mayor Pro Tem Clint Kolby said he feels the amendments are “reasonable exceptions” to the impact fee policy, and that some of them still have an expiration date.

Also on Thursday, the council:

  • Approved the allocation of $26,000 in additional funds to purchase a fire truck for the Brenham Fire Department from Siddons Martin Emergency Group.  The additional amount, above the $880,358 originally approved in January 2022, can be covered by accumulated interest earnings from 2022 bond proceeds.  Former Interim Fire Chief Rhea Cooper said the truck is expected to arrive next Friday, and a push-in ceremony for the new engine will be held at a later date.
  • Approved the purchase of a Chevrolet Silverado 2500 for the city’s Gas Department from Lake Country Chevrolet through The Interlocal Purchasing System (TIPS) in the amount of $65,501.  Maintenance Supervisor Stephen Draehn said the vehicle will replace a 2015 model truck that, given it is still in good condition, will likely be passed down to another department.
  • Approved an amendment to the city’s professional services agreement with Strand Associates, Inc. for the Community Development Block Grant pertaining to Hogg Branch Creek.  City staff decided earlier this year to halt the Hogg Branch Creek project, so this item was to clear out the professional services agreement with Strand Engineering and reflect that services are no longer needed.
  • Approved two professional services agreements with Strand Associates.  One agreement is for engineering services related to Highway 105 lift station improvements in an amount not to exceed $345,000.  The other agreement is for engineering services for Fiscal Year 2024 water main and sanitary sewer replacements up to $270,000. 
  • Met in executive session to consult with the city attorney on matters concerning the Brenham Municipal Airport and about Commonwealth Development, Inc. v. City of Brenham, Texas; Fair Housing Care No. 06-22-3294-8.  The latter item involved the proposed tax-credit housing development on Pecan Street that was rejected by the city council in February 2021.  No action was scheduled to be taken.

Click here to view the agenda packet for Thursday's meeting.

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