Jourdanton Council grants variances on lots, sign specs

Before the regular meeting of the Jourdanton City Council, there was a Board of Adjustments meeting to consider two requests for variance permits. The first was on 1208 Plum Street, where the applicants, Julio and Angelica Hernandez were asking for lot size variance in order to move in a manufactured home. City Manager Dan Nick advised the council that the Planning and Zoning Committee had voted against this, since it was not in a mobile home park. Comments from the floor were positive, with Patsy Tymrak-Daughtrey pointing out that there is already a mobile home in that immediate area. Councilman Raul Morales verified that the lot had already been purchased. The City Attorney advised that there were three variances that needed to be voted on separately. Morales moved to approve the variance for the lot size; Johnetta “Johnnie” Goetzel seconded. Motion was approved unanimously with Kendall Schorsch and Karen Pesek also voting in favor. The second motion to approve the variance of the lot width and the third to approve the variance in the street frontage also passed unanimously.

The next item, dealing with the installation of a carport at 809 Poplar Street had to be tabled because the address should have read 809 Plum on the agenda.

Mayor Susan Netardus called a Public Hearing at 6:16 p.m. This was on the special use permit for 1208 Plum Street. Tymrak- Daughtrey was the only one to speak and she reiterated her earlier statement. The meeting was closed at 6:19 p.m. and the regular meeting was called to order. Robert “Doc” Williams was the only member not in attendance.

The consent agenda which included the minutes from the previous meeting and payment of the monthly bills was approved unanimously. The Department reports were accepted as presented.

The floor was opened for citizens’ comments. The first up was Tymrak- Daughtrey who spoke against item nine, allowing a sign size variance. The ordinance was for the beautification and uniformity throughout the city and the one requested was an unacceptable size and should be changed to something more esthetically pleasing. She also addressed item 14, which was to offer recognition to those employees who have worked for the city for a certain length of time. She said there was already a program in place, but it hadn’t been followed. She did agree it was good for morale.

Chester Gonzales addressed the council next, complimenting them on the lighting of the water tower and how well they worked together. He reminded council that in October, the Mayor had formed a street committee, of which he was part, and he asked that it continue. By doing so, hopefully the streets and community would be improved.

The final vote came on the special use permit for 1208 Plum Street. Pesek moved to approve the permit and Goetzel seconded. Motion passed unanimously.

Sharon LaGrange spoke for her husband, Edward LaGrange, since he was unable to attend the meeting. The discussion was on the request for a variance on the sign ordinance to allow them to put up a sign of 50 feet, eight inchesand 113.4 square feet. It will be placed at 608 Main Street, between the American Legion and the Store. Ordinance has height limit at 25 feet. There was a long discussion regarding this request. Morales said that he had a problem with such an overage. LaGrange said they needed that height to get over the brush and power lines. A compromise was reached with allowing the height to be 35 feet, and to allow the 113 square feet. Motion passed unanimously.

Nick offered a quick update on the Sports Complex, saying that dirt work had begun and fields 1 and 2 were pretty well set out. It appears that they will meet the July completion deadline. Police Chief Eric Kaiser said that it is in Atascosa County’s jurisdiction, but he had been told they were not opposed to the city annexing the area.

He also addressed the naming of the complex. He’d put the question out on Facebook and received many different suggestions, but by far the winner seems to be something along the lines of Jourdanton Sports or something similar. It was suggested that the suggestions be collected until the third Monday next month and brought back to the council for the decision.

A discussion of what to name the street that enters the Complex followed. Most agreed that it would be kept generic, such as Complex Drive, Champion Drive or Memorial Drive. Again, suggestions are requested.

The next discussion was on how to proceed with abandoning and releasing a segment of the alleyway on block 184. Tommy Tymrak was told to get an appraisal on the property last month and had returned with it this month. He was asked if there was a survey of the alley, but he said he was not told to get one. The City Attorney recommended a survey in case the property was to be sold down the line. At least, he said, the area should be replatted. Jim Andrus advised that there would be plat of record and they could get the field notes from that and a surveyor can complete whatever is needed from that information. The attorney said that state law requires a plat for subdivisions. Goetzel’s concern was for any utilities that might be under there. She was assured there were none. The attorney again suggested that Tymrak at least get the alleyway platted into one of his properties to meet the requirements. Council voted to proceed with abandonment on the alleyway. Netardus asked for the resolution to be drawn up for next month.

Pesek discussed her suggestion for a program to recognize employees who have worked for the city for every five years from the fifth one. She suggested that whatever they do, they award at the annual Christmas party. A unanimous vote approved the development of some sort of recognition program for the employees.

The Council retired into executive session at 7:27 p.m. to discuss hiring of a new city manager and meeting with the attorney. They reconvened at 9:07 p.m. There have been close to 30 applicants and the council chose to take more time to review them. Schorsch moved and Goetzel seconded the motion to extend the Chief’s contract from May 1, 2015 to April 30, 2019, with salary and allowances to be updated.

Schorsch reminded everyone that early voting started that day. Little League is starting, with drafts already done. Netardus announced the Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Barbecue and Auction on March 6. Presale tickets are available. She also added that St. Mathews’ will be having a fish fry from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. every Friday through Lent.

Councilmembers also had items to be placed on the next agenda: Street Committee; revisiting the condition of the bathrooms in the park and to get the correct language on the agenda for the carport addition that was passed over tonight.

Meeting adjourned at 9:16 p.m.

The next meeting will be held Monday, March 21 at 6 p.m.

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