Breckenridge Texan

Hearing set for tonight on townhouse zoning request

Hearing set for tonight on townhouse zoning request
November 20
10:44 2018

The City of Breckenridge Planning and Zoning Commission will have a public hearing tonight, Tuesday, Nov. 20, to discuss rezoning the property at 600 W. Wheeler St. to allow townhouses to be built at that location. The hearing is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in the City Commission Chambers, 105 N. Rose Ave.

An earlier hearing was held by the Planning and Zoning Board on Oct. 9, but a decision was postponed at that meeting because the there was no definition of what a townhouse was in the City’s zoning ordinance. Before the Planning and Zoning Board could move forward, City Commissioners first needed to amend the zoning ordinance and officially define what a townhouse is in the code.

City Manager Andy McCuistion said the definition of a townhouse had been omitted when they redid the zoning ordinance several years ago.

Definition and ordinance change approved by commissioners

Breckenridge City Attorney Eileen Hayman discusses the city ordinance on townhouses at the Breckenridge City Commission meeting on Nov. 6. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

At their regular meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 6, Breckenridge City Commissioners approved Ordinance 18-21 that amended the city’s zoning ordinance, adding a definition for townhouse and adding townhouses as a permissible use in the town dwelling district (R-1-B) and as a permissible use with a specific use permit in a the single-family dwelling district (R-1 and R-1-A). Breckenridge City Attorney Eileen Hayman attended the meeting to explain the proposed ordinance and answer questions at the meeting.

The definition for a townhouse that was approved by commissioners was: “Townhouse: A structure which is one of a series of dwelling units designed for single-family occupancy, which are connected or immediately adjacent to each other.”

By passing the ordinance change, commissioners cleared the way for townhouses to be built in R-1 single-family dwelling districts. However, someone wanting to build townhouses in an R-1 district must first go through a process that requires obtaining a specific use permit, notifying neighbors within 200 feet of the property and holding a public hearing with the Planning and Zoning Board.

Background of this zoning change request

The Breckenridge Economic Development Corporation owns the property and wants to allow townhouses to be built on the property to help with development in the city. Currently, the property is vacant except for two baseball backstops used for practice.

City commissioners Rob Durham, David Wimberley and Russell Blue discuss city townhouse ordinance with citizens who attended the Nov. 6 commission meeting. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Several residents who live near the West Wheeler property are opposed to allowing the townhouses to be built at the location. They attended the Oct. 9 Planning and Zoning Board hearing and Nov. 6 city commission hearing and meeting to voice their opposition.

During the city commission meeting, several people showed up to speak publicly in opposition to the zoning change for the property street West Wheeler. However, Mayor Bob Sims told the audience that city commissioners were only going to vote on the definition of what a townhouse was and were not taking any action on any particular property that was being considered for rezoning to allow townhouses.

Sims told those at the meeting that public comments would be limited to discussion of the ordinance. He said public comments on the West Wheeler property would be heard at the Nov. 20 Planning and Zoning Board meeting.

McCuistion said regardless of whether or not the Planning and Zoning Board recommends allowing townhouses to be built on the West Wheeler property, the next step will be by the city commissioners. He said once the Planning and Zoning Commission makes their recommendation, the zoning request will then move forward for action by city commissioners.

Whether it’s approved or disapproved by the planning and zoning board, it will go to city commissioners who have the final say on whether or not the property will be rezoned to allow townhouses, McCuistion said.

Breckenridge citizens were on hand at the City Commission’s Nov. 6 meeting as the commissioners made changes to the city ordinance regarding townhouses. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Story by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan

Cutline, top photo: It was a packed house at the Nov. 6 Breckenridge City Commissioners meeting, where the city code was changed to add a definition of “townhouse” to the section on zoning. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

 

 

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