Following a lengthy executive session, members of the Waxahachie City Council unanimously approved a staff request to hold a public hearing with possible action to be taken on the special use permit held by Oak Cliff Metals.
The action the council will be considering at its next scheduled meeting will be to revoke or revise the special use permit held by Oak Cliff Metals for their recycling facility on Interstate 35E. The announcement came during Monday night’s regularly scheduled meeting.
The staff recommendation was brought to the council because five fires have occurred at the facility since it opened in 2011, with the most recent being Feb. 14.
“Five fires in five years is a lot of fires for the same business,” City Manager Paul Stevens said.
Stevens said the fires are generated from a metal shredding process.
“The problem we have is there are no fire hydrants in the area and with the size of the fires, our trucks have to leave the scene to go refill at the nearest hydrants,” Stevens said. “There has to be a way for them to process their metals without the fires happening.”
The owners of the metal business will be sent a registered letter notifying them of the hearing.
“We will be looking to either totally revoking their special use permit or make significant revisions to it,” Mayor Pro-Tem Mark Singleton said.
An agenda item for the council’s consideration of approving a preliminary plat of Homestead Estates brought several residents living in the Old Italy Road and Willowcrest Drive area with concerns over the development.
The plan, submitted by Tony Sanders, proposes 29 home sites in the 33-acre tract. Concerns including storm water drainage and increased traffic safety were brought to the council for their consideration.
“With concrete foundations displacing dirt, where will the extra water from the retention ponds go? We already have water standing in our yards after a heavy rain. Will we see more?” a resident asked.
The width of Willowcrest Drive was also brought up, with some saying the road is too narrow for two cars to pass and adding 29 homes will make the area unsafe.
Both Stevens and Singleton told the concerned residents the retention ponds will ease the rain water runoff and will not cause any more flooding than there is now.
“The ponds will collect the runoff and slowly release it so there will be a control on how much water is released. They have met every requirement of the city and there are no reasons why we can deny their request at this time,” Singleton said calling for a motion.
The request passed unanimously.
A request for a zoning amendment by Liberty Multifamily, LLC. was tabled until the next meeting. The request for a high density development to be located in the 800 block of Martin Luther King Blvd. was previously denied by Planning and Zoning.
City Attorney Steve Chapman told the group they were welcome to make their presentation, however with the mayor absent, there were not enough eligible council members present for an override vote. Singleton told the group another public hearing will be rescheduled to hear the plans.
Waxahachie Police Chief Wade Goolsby brought two grant request to the council for approval.
The first request was to address communications problems with neighboring cities.
“The problem is we moved up to the 800 megahertz range and the neighboring departments did not,” Goolsby said.
The chief’s proposal is the install VHF radios in all the patrol cars in addition to the city’s frequency. The cost will total $35,000 dollars.
The second request is to upgrade the department’s firing range.
“Our current target system is a very basic system and it is old and inoperable. When it is operable, it has limited functionality,” Goolsby said.
His request for an enhanced range that will meet the department’s current training needs is totaled at $21,600.
The funding for these two items will come from grants through the U.S. Department of Justice Edward Byrne Memorial Justice assistance program.
Both request were unanimously approved.