Brenham Planning and Zoning Commissioners heard the status of a series of projects being researched by city staff Monday.
At their first in-person meeting since June, commissioners heard from Development Services Director Stephanie Doland, who provided brief updates on projects in the Commission’s plan of work in the coming year. The projects were initially brought before the Commission at a workshop meeting in June.
One of the topics discussed at Monday’s meeting was a Market Street corridor planning study, which would address the expected increase in traffic due to the upcoming changes to the cloverleaf interchange on Highway 290. Doland anticipates this process could be lengthy, following some new word on grant opportunities.
According to Doland, the Department of Agriculture recently announced a new grant opportunity through the Community Development Block grant program, called a Rural Economic Development (RED) grant. The new grant would offer jurisdictions the opportunity to apply for grant funding for both project planning and implementation. Doland said the city will work with Brenham Economic Development Director Susan Cates to apply for grant funding once the grant program releases, but it is awaiting more information on the program itself before proceeding with the project.
Commissioners also heard Doland’s recommendation to put off work on a sidewalk ordinance, citing funding concerns. In June, staffers discussed potentially requiring sidewalks at the time of development, in relation to an upcoming road widening and reconstruction project for Chappell Hill Road. Doland said this item will remain a priority in the city’s comprehensive plan, but will not be pursued for now.
Doland also provided an update on the newly created Historic Preservation Ordinance Committee, which held its first meeting October 22nd. City staff anticipate the committee will meet monthly for the next 6-12 months to prepare and recommend adoption of an ordinance, which would authorize the city to protect and preserve places and areas of historical importance and significance.
Commissioners also heard updates on several proposed ordinance text amendments, including designating RV parks as an allowed use; revising definitions and standards pertaining to public, institutional, and philanthropic uses; clarifying mixed-use definition and development; and buffer-yard standards. Doland said the primary cost to complete these processes would be time from city staff to research, hold workshops, draft an ordinance amendment, and implement it. The RV park text amendment could be completed and adopted in 4-6 months, while the others could take 6-9 months to complete.
Commissioners also approved a request to correct an error to the city’s official zoning map. The error related to the zoning distinction for a planned development district on 52.4 acres of land south and west of Dixie Road, which is planned to be developed with new single-family homes by Stylecraft Builders.
The adopted ordinance that assigns zoning for the vacant land contains six sections, which outline development standards for the Lakes of Vintage Farms planned development. However, one section of the ordinance should not have been included, and staff removed the section in question, which pertains to subdivision standards for the proposed Liberty Village subdivision.