Waxahachie City Council gives 3 property owners 60-day notice
By Bill Spinks
Most of Monday night’s meeting of the Waxahachie City Council centered around new construction — specifically decisions on housing developments, new businesses, annexations and road projects.
But the council also took time to discuss and take action on the other side of the coin — three dilapidated properties in the city that violate housing standards.
The council voted unanimously to approve separate actions on properties that have been deemed substandard — at 10 Yinger St., 214 Dunlap St., and 908 Wyatt St. The owners of each property will have 60 days to repair, remove or demolish the structures.
Assistant City Manager Tommy Ludwig told the council that all three properties had been determined to be substandard in December 2019, but that because the required recipients were not mailed public hearing notices, a new public hearing for each of the properties was required.
As of Monday, the property at 908 Wyatt is under new ownership and repairs have begun, but the other two houses remain in poor condition.
City director of housing and community services Jose Martinez explained the process for disposition of substandard properties. At the end of the 60-day period, if no progress toward repair is made, city staff is authorized to demolish the property. All three properties had structural hazards, faulty weather protection and inadequate sanitation, and are considered nuisances to the community.
Fredonia Anderson, owner of the property at 214 Dunlap, spoke to the council by phone and said she was willing to do whatever needed to be done to get it up to code, and will contact city staff.
Ludwig added that the city is willing to work with the property owners beyond the 60-day deadline if progress toward repairs is shown.
Because of social distancing guidelines amid the COVID-19 pandemic, councilmembers Melissa Olson, Kevin Strength and Chuck Beatty participated in Monday night’s meeting by teleconference. Mayor David Hill and Mayor Pro Tem Mary Lou Shipley participated in the council chambers at City Hall.
Road projects OK’d
During Monday’s meeting, the City Council also approved a pair of bids for separate corridor rehabilitation projects.
A bid of just more than $1 million was awarded to JK Construction for rebuilding Kaufman Street from Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to the Union Pacific Railroad right of way; and a bid of about $1.5 million was awarded to Circle H Contractors to reconstruct a segment of Cumberland Road. Both projects will replace the existing roadway with concrete and will add sidewalks and streetlights.
The Cumberland project includes parking to serve Belle-Vue and Brown-Singleton Park. It also includes the replacement of sewer lines in an easement along the rear of lots located north of Cumberland.
The contract time for both base bids is 210 calendar days, with an additional 30 days for the added items on Cumberland.
Both projects are intended to be funded through current operation and maintenance funds, but the council agreed in both cases on reimbursement resolutions to give the city’s finance department flexibility with funding options.
• A plan for a 120-townhome development in eastern Waxahachie was denied unanimously after council members objected to the location of multi-family housing in that area. The 24.76-acre property at the intersection of Peters and Graham streets, which is owned by Waxahachie ISD, would have dedicated eight acres to the city for future use and one acre to Friendship Missionary Baptist Church.
• A voluntary annexation, zoning and development agreement for a proposed 98.7-acre, 236-lot development along the west side of Broadhead Road at Youngblood Road was approved. The owner of the property is Dirk Nowitzki, the recently retired Dallas Mavericks basketball superstar. City planning director Shon Brooks said some of the planned lots will need a waiver because they exceed the 80-foot limit for the Single Family-3 zoning that was approved.
• A package of agreements was OK’d for a 110-acre, 86-lot development located just southeast of Lake Waxahachie to be known as Lakeway Estates. The council approved a voluntary annexation for part of the tract that lies outside of city limits, a zoning as Single Family-1, a development agreement, a plat and a fee waiver for parks and roadway impact.
• The council approved a planned development and an accompanying development agreement for a new location for Hope Clinic on the southeast corner of Farley and Coleman streets. The new clinic will be a 26,000-square-foot structure on 7.5 acres. The new building will allow Hope Clinic to re-consolidate its administrative offices and health services.
• Councilmembers agreed to a specific use permit and development agreement for a medical facility on the north side of U.S. Highway 287 at RVG Plaza, and added a waiver to allow for no sidewalks along Solon Road and Chenault Drive. Toby Rogers of Wier and Associates, representing the applicant, said drainage along Solon Road makes it too tight to add a sidewalk and landscaping, and Chenault is essentially a private drive with no sidewalks.