$13 million housing development proposed

The Pleasanton City Council heard a presentation from Donald Pace of Siltek Group of Florida at its Nov. 3 meeting, on another proposed housing development. The $13 million development includes 80 singlefamily homes and amenities such as a clubhouse, pavilion, swimming pool and basketball court.

He explained how the tax credit system works. First, one has to find a piece of land. Secondly, there is a pre-application and then a final application. If you have enough points, you go forward. Building development is next, taking about 16 months. Then you have to lease that development. Pace said they have a third-party leasing company that does that. The program is based on points they acquire for different things.

The homes have two bathrooms and range from two-four bedrooms. The target resident is a blue-collar worker, someone who makes 30-60 percent of the median income. For at least the first 30 years, the homes will stay in the affordable housing program. They require a criminal background check and drug background check. To reside there you must be employed, be a U.S. citizen and not have a criminal record.

The site they are looking at now is on Oakhaven. He spoke more about the points program and said a big issue is that they want the city to get involved. For every rural development, $1,000 per unit is required from the city. So the city of Pleasanton’s contribution would be $ 80,000. Terms of the loan would be for three years at an interest rate at or below the applicable federal rate, at the time of the commitment letter.

The rent on these houses is very low, he added. Rent for a two bedroom home at 30 percent of the median income is $234; at 60 percent it is $577. A three bedroom, two bath home at 30 percent is $261; at 60 percent it is $ 656. A four bedroom at 30 percent is $ 658; at 60 percent it is $708. The rent changes each year, but it is set by HUD.

At the end of the 15 years, those residents have a chance to purchase the home.

Those homes are being built for $170,000, but the cost to the buyer in 15 years is $ 85,000.

Saenz asked about the actual location. Pace said it is in a flood plain, which is something they have a problem with. Pace said that is something they want to overcome. He said that Roxie Adler is still looking for other land. Adler said they are having a difficult time finding a projected site, because of the oil boom.

Israel asked about the Brownstones presentation they heard about from another developer earlier in the year. She asked if it is possible to have two competing at the same time. Pace said it is. He also said he did not want to tell the city what to do, but his program offers single family homes. This teaches people how to live in a home they can purchase in the future.

Another feature is if the resident meets certain requirements (paying on time, etc), after a few years they can apply their rent toward a down payment. Some of council asked where a person could see similar facilities and he said in Donna, Texas. Jackson asked about retired seniors living there and Pace said that is what the two bedroom, two bath homes are for, and that they normally do not have many seniors come in.

As far as when Pace needs an answer from the city, he said he would not need the letters before January. No action was taken, as it was not an action item.

Other business

Councilmembers voted 5-2 to go out for proposals on the reconsideration of Texas Public Partners’ proposed scope of work. Also included in the motion is to suspend any work done by Texas Public Partners. Voting against were Mayor Clinton J. Powell and Councilmember Janet M. Jackson (Dist. 3). Voting in favor were Councilmembers Jimmy Magel (Dist. 1), Abraham Saenz ( Dist. 2), J.R. Gallegos (Dist. 4), Roger G. Garza (Dist. 5) and Jeanne B. Israel (Dist. 6).

Garza, who made the motion, felt the city should go out for bids and get more clarification on what the company would be doing for the city. Jackson suggested that the city hold off on hiring someone with this type of expertise until there is a new city manager. Mayor Powell commented that he felt they were prolonging the issue. Gallegos said some of council keeps bringing up how they are missing out and he wanted to know how so. Powell gave some examples, such as permitting. Rakowitz spoke a little more on the 90-day deliverable and Powell said he wanted to stick to the motion.

Rakowitz then clarified that on professional services, legal and engineering, the city is not allowed to go out for bids. You can do proposals, but you cannot just get bids. He acknowledged that yes, some could do it for cheaper but, “I’m not going to build you a house with no roof. You need the complete package.”

Rakowitz added they have already proceeded with the project. They started reviewing all city documents and began a research process of similar cities. Resident Sue Samsel asked about the deliverable and any restrictions there might be. Rakowitz said the deliverable is the property of the city. Some more discussion ensued before council voted on the item.

Council also voted unanimously to table action regarding clarification of the city attorney’s role in Texas Public Partners’ proposed scope of work. Garza said he put the item on the agenda because he felt they should go out for bids. He said when surveyor and engineer Walt Rakowitz spoke to council he said that City Attorney Bobby Maldonado would be involved from the beginning. Garza said he understood that Maldonado had not been notified of anything and that others were offering lower costs. Rakowitz said the lawyers on their team had a meeting scheduled with Maldonado next week and that Maldonado was currently in Arizona. Maldonado is indeed crucial to the legal side of it, said Rakowitz.

Israel then asked Rakowitz if he was sure a meeting was already set-up. Rakowitz said a call was scheduled on Monday, to set up a meeting for that week. Israel said she spoke with Maldonado and she did not understand that to be the case, so she was asking for clarification. Rakowitz said he was told one of his men had spoken to Maldonado who was in Arizona and they decided to just call Monday to figure it out.

The council voted unanimously to direct council to set procedures for developing a new playground, with input from all of council, and include input from the primary and elementary school children. Patsy Troell asked if the existing playground would be removed. Powell said it would have to come down because of the condition it is in and it has served its lifespan of 25 years. Troell also asked council to not use metal on the new playground. Powell said they were looking at better ideas, such as plastic and fiberglass.

A request by Yvonne Padilla for use of an area of the Atascosa River Park for a workout group was approved unanimously. Padilla explained that she recently organized a physical fitness program called Boot Camp that people can attend three times a week for an hour at the River Park. Cost is $99 for six weeks. She purchases liability insurance in case a participant is injured.

Padilla spoke with both City Manager Kathy Coronado and Councilmember Jackson and said she wanted to come before council out of respect. She noticed that one of the items on the agenda was about a new playground and found it exciting that the park was being improved. She said her participants enjoy being able to have their children play on the playground, while they participate in the program. Councilmember Magel said he was a little puzzled for allowing a business at the park. He questioned who would be next. Councilmember Jackson commented that was true, but it was a public park and the program promoted healthiness among the participants and their children. While there are currently no ordinances in conflict, Israel suggested the council revisit the issue in the future.

During the City Manager’s Report, City Manager Kathy Coronado reported on the sidewalk in front of city hall. Concrete was scheduled to go in the following day. The next step would be the irrigation system. She expected to wait until spring to plant and landscape. Coronado also reported that City Attorney Bobby Maldonado was not able to be at that evening’s meeting. So at an upcoming meeting, he is scheduled to give an update on the review of outstanding warrants in Pleasanton Municipal Court and give recommendations. Another issue is an update on the pending drainage issues in the 800 block of N. Bryant. These will more than likely be closed session items, said Coronado.

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