RED OAK — As Ryan Smola spoke to the Red Oak City Council, he laid out his plan to keep his family not under just one roof, but two. The Red Oak resident approached the council in hopes of providing a home for his parents as well for himself and teenage son, that might not exactly fit the city's current code.
Though the decision was not easy and required much discussion, the board approved the motion.
Smola purchased the property on Pratt Road that had an existing dwelling and two outbuildings. He planned to provide a residence for his parents in the house and convert one of the outbuildings into a home for himself and his teenage son.
The Planning and Zoning Commission initially had four elements of the request to consider:
The proposed dwelling unit is approximately 135 feet from Pratt Rd, is it visible to Pratt Rd?
The proposed dwelling matches in color to the red barn next to it. Would any deviation on the north side elevation — for example, the addition of stone — would make the dwelling unit stand out even more?
Is the proposed unit is appropriate for the surrounding neighborhood? Is the north side visible from the street and faces a private drive?
The commission agreed to allow the accessory building to be used as a dwelling with the conditions of the wall that fronts the current driveway be constructed of a mixture of masonry and siding to match the existing house.
Presenting the proposed zoning change to the council, Red Oak City Manager Todd Fuller advised the board, stating, “The building does not match the criteria in the zoning ordinance for an accessory dwelling unit.”
He went on to say that to meet city standards, the walls would need a brick masonry covering with the front and side walls being 100 percent brick veneer to meet code.
Smola, while addressing the council, explained that since the beginning of this project the family has faced multiple crises including health problems with both parents. He then said the contractor he hired stated the current foundation would not support the added weight of the brick.
"With recent financial problems we have faced, complying with the brick requirement will make this project hard to complete," he added.
Also commenting to the council was his mother, Jane Smola.
“This is all about aesthetics. You cannot see the building from the street," Smola. "All we want to do is improve our property and have our family together.”
Emil Smola, the father of Ryan Smola, added, “We bought this property a couple of months ago. We’ve done a lot of improvements on it. My son and my grandson need their own place to love.”
Red Oak Mayor Alan Hugley then delivered his assessment to the council.
“This case fits accessory dwelling requirements. The other thing is we have to decide whether it sets a president," Hughley said. "P&Z initially said this to be more rural. It is not a small thing to change.”
Adding their opinions, councilman Gordon Toney said “We have a P&Z for a reason. I think we should follow their recommendation and allow the building with their masonry recommendation.”
Before calling for a motion, Hugley directed his comment towards the council saying, “The only question we have before us is to allow the masonry exception.”
Reading the motion, Red Oak City Attorney Robert Hager made the motion to accept the application for the auxiliary dwelling with a wainscot and board siding.
The motion passed unanimously.
A recommendation by Stuart Williams of Kimley Horn Associates to create a Capital Improvements Advisory Committee was unanimously approved by the council.
As approved the council, the committee will be comprised of the members of the Planning and Zoning Commission. The board will serve in an advisory capacity only.
They will discuss and bring recommendations back to the council on water and sewer improvements, land use and impact fees that developers pay to cover the cost infrastructure.
The committee shall provide committee reports to the city council that includes comments and recommendations regarding land use assumptions, capital improvements plans, and impact fees. Each of these reports has a set schedule that must be met.
According to Williams, the committee will meet twice to bring their recommendations to the council. Once the recommendations are made, a public hearing will be scheduled.
The timeline set for the process has the presentation to the council with recommendations for Land Use Assumptions, Capital Improvement Plans, and Impact fees under Local Government codes.
The first public hearing on Land Use Assumptions and Capital Improvement Plans are set for Jan. 29, 2018.
A separate public hearing for the impact fee approval will be scheduled the week of March 19, 2018.
Other actions approved by the council:
A zoning change for a planned development to allow a single family dwelling to be constructed on 13.5 acres off Country Ridge Lane. A zoning request changing a tract of land located at the intersection of Ovilla Road and Bluebonnet Road to allow for a commercial shopping center.