Breckenridge Texan

City to consider changes to zoning, parking, panhandling laws

November 06
12:49 2018

The City of Breckenridge will hold a hearing tonight during the regular City Commission meeting to consider amending the city’s zoning ordinance to include the definition of townhouses. The meeting will also include consideration of two amendments restricting peddling/canvassing in certain areas of town and prohibiting the parking of vehicles in yards.

The meeting will be open to the public, and members of the community may sign-in at the door and address the commissioners during the public comments section of the meeting. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. tonight, Tuesday, Nov. 6, in the City Commission Chamber, 105 N. Rose Ave.

Townhouses

The public hearing will not address any specific zoning request, according to Breckenridge City Manager Andy McCuistion. “Right now, this doesn’t have to do with any particular piece of property; it has to do with adding the definition of townhouses (to the current ordinance),” he said

The current ordinance does not include the definition of townhouses. “Now, they’re adding a definition to the ordinance that will allow townhouses to be built in town now, because it will be defined now,” McCuistion said. “It’s defining where it can go. It can go in R-1, if you go through a specific-use process to get that changed to R-1B. The (Planning and Zoning Commission) has to approve that. You have to notify the neighbors within 200 feet of the property, go through that process, have a public hearing and all of that.”

If the amendment to the ordinance is approved tonight, anyone wanting to build townhouses in residential areas will have to go through a specific-use process to get it approved. Any decision made at the City Commission meeting tonight will not automatically allow townhouses to be built in residential areas, McCuistion said. The city attorney meeting will be at tonight’s meeting to better explain everything, he said.

“This meeting will not be dealing with the specific property that is under consideration for townhouses,” McCuistion said. “That issue will be addressed at a P&Z hearing on Nov. 20.”

The Breckenridge Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 20 in the City Commission Chambers at 105 N. Rose Ave. to consider a request by the Breckenridge Economic Development to change the 600 block of West Wheeler Street from a single-family dwelling district to one that allows townhouses. The hearing will be open to the public.

Panhandlers and solicitors

The city commissioners also will consider an amendment to the ordinance that concerns “peddlers, itinerant vendors, solicitors and canvassers.” According to the proposal, the changes to the ordinance are intended to protect public safety and prevent traffic hazards without infringing on citizens’ constitutional rights.

The proposed ordinance changes will make it illegal for any canvasser, itinerant vendor, peddler or solicitor, including panhandlers, to operate at any intersection which is controlled by a traffic signal light, along U.S. Highway 180 and U.S. Highway 183 within the city limits, in any congested area or in the median or traffic island of any street or roadway.

The ordinance amendment also will prohibit aggressive panhandling, panhandling near banks or ATMs, and around schools during certain hours.

Parking ordinance

Additionally, the City Commission will consider a proposal to change the city ordinance dealing with parking. The proposed changes will make it illegal to park a motor vehicle on an unimproved (unpaved) yard, including front, side and/or back yards of residences. Parking may be allowed in rear yards if the area is completely concealed from view from all public streets by a fence, wall and/or shrub/trees at least six feet high.

Story by Tony Pilkington and Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan

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