MIDLOTHIAN — Assistant City Manager Kristine Day opened the second of two public hearing for a proposed annexation with a clarification of the area to be annexed. She then took the time to address many questions and concerns that have been brought to the council during the open house and the first public hearing.
“The area is approximately 118 acres or approximately 0.0184 square miles. There are 72 parcels with four being agriculture valuation that will require a development agreement with the owners,” Day said.
The tract of land, approved with Resolution 2017-32 by the city council, consists of just over 0.18-square miles and includes the area of town east of U.S. Highway 287 and the roads of Dividend, Sand, Eastgate and Robinson that are not already in the city limits.
A map used to illustrate the area shows the space to be in a suburban module. The illustration used by Day’s also showed the surrounding areas were annexed into the city limits in 1989 and 1990.
The comprehensive map also highlighted the area to currently be in the suburban module that will allow for residential and commercial development, while industrial plots will not immediately be allowed.
“The staff plans are for a corporate module that will allow industrial, but not heavy industrial and mixed use. Currently, all land uses conform with the exception of one,” Day explained.
According to Day, the timeline for the land use change begins on Aug. 15 when the future land use plan is presented by staff to the Midlothian Planning and Zoning Committee. If approved by Planning and Zoning, the change will go to the city council during its Aug. 22 meeting.
“For zoning, the staff is recommending medium industrial. A baseline survey showed only one non-conforming use and that one would not be able to expand. Fourteen businesses would be required to apply for a special use permit to be able to expand,” Day said.
According to Day, 68 of the 72 parcels of land would require property owners to agree to the annexation, if passed, or an involuntary annexation would become necessary due to state laws.
“Development agreements would require surveys from all property owners in the agreement area, not just a few, and this could become very expensive for the owners,” Day said.
Day then addressed some of the concerns expressed during the previous public hearing.
During the first public hearing, one speaker felt that the state required service plan could not be met.
“Staff has worked with the city attorney and the plan complies with Texas Local Government Code,” Day said.
Drainage was another issue previously brought up and was expressed again during Tuesday’s meeting.
“Staff has talked to the county commissioner and no safety concerns exist for drainage. There are two areas of concern — one needs maintenance due to silting, and one is an undersized culvert on Ramsey, which is a private road. Other areas expressed by the property owners are on private property and public funds cannot be expended to fix those issues,” Day said
Despite the reassurance, Dennis Glade, one of the public speakers, still contested that “there are many drainage problems. The water has no place to go.”
Certificates of occupancy were another concern for the area businesses and property owners, to which Day stated, “All businesses will be issued a certificate of occupancy for their current use after annexation. This will be done without any inspections of the property. New CO’s are required if there are any changes in the business.”
All of the area parking will need no modifications, according to Day, who said, “If a change in classification happens such as an office to a church, then parking changes could be required.”
Retrofitting to meet building codes will not be required unless an expansion is permitted a certificate of occupancy change due to use.
Day advised to council and area residents at the meeting that code enforcement will respond to complaints.
Speaker John Yarbrough asked that to the city abandon the 90-day annexation plan, in lieu of a three-year plan — much like pending three-year annexation plan that began Dec. 9, 2014, and is set for a July 31 open house. This annexation, which is separate from the current 90-day plan under consideration, is to include approximately 3,471 acres, or 5.42 square miles, according to the City of Midlothian website.
“A three-year plan would allow the area businesses time to prepare for changes. I also disagree with the drainage assessment prepared by the city,” Yarbrough said.
Tuesday's meeting was the last of the public hearings for the annexation. A final annexation ordinance will be on the agenda for adoption at the Aug, 22 city council meeting.