Breckenridge Texan

Citizens turn out for City Commission meeting on YMCA building, in-home day cares

Citizens turn out for City Commission meeting on YMCA building, in-home day cares
May 15
09:48 2019

It was standing room only at last week’s Breckenridge City Commission meeting as several groups of citizens were in attendance for a variety of presentations and topics of discussion. Despite additional chairs being brought in, several of the more than 40 people in attendance stood at the back of the meeting room.

They were there to see the presentation some Breckenridge High School students made about renovating the old YMCA building, as well as to show support for a request to make a change to the city’s housing code.

Saving the YMCA

Four Breckenridge High School students are working on a Texas Midwest Community Network community service project which would renovate the old YMCA building on East Walker Street. McKenly Roberts, Liberty Blades, Axel Puebla and Mia Hughins.

“What this essentially is, it’s a way to get into your community and find something that you want to change, overall, and we chose the YMCA,” Roberts said.

The students presented a slide show detailing the pros and cons of renovating the old YMCA building into a youth activity facility. They would like to see a safe, peaceful environment where local kids can hang out. Some of the features they would like to see offered include a recreational gym, media room, wifi, games, tutoring area, meeting room that could be used by local clubs and organizations, and more.

The first, major goal for the renovation is to get the roof repaired. The estimated cost for that is $60,000 to $70,000, depending on whether or not the project includes also trying to renovate the swimming pool that is in the building.

After the roof is fixed, other parts of the renovation would be either renovating or demolishing the pool, repairing the air conditioning and heating, working on the first floor, adding a courtyard or playground, and ensuring enough parking.

The group has already started fundraising and intends to seek grants to help pay for the renovation project.

City Manager Andy McCuistion said the first step in such a project is to get an engineer to look over the building and assess whether or not it is structurally sound. He introduced Wade Smith, an engineer with an interest in helping with the project.

After the presentation and discussion, the City Commission voted to support the project; however, that support does not include financial support from the City.

In-home Daycare Issue

Commissioner Rob Durham presented to the rest of the commission an issue with the City’s zoning ordinance regarding in-home day care centers and home schools. The Code of Ordinances for the City of Breckenridge prohibits the use of a home as an in-home day care center or home school in any home located in an R-1 district, which includes area of “single-family dwellings.” Limited in-home day care services, defined as providing care for six or fewer people, is allowed in R-2 districts, which include two-family homes.

“Personally, I think we need to look at that and look at abolishing that,” Durham said. “My reasoning behind that is we’re a small community…we don’t have an abundance of day care centers, so we have home-based day care centers. My kids were raised in a home-based child day care center. We have parents that also home-school their children; they have that right. … And, I don’t think it’s right that we include this as part of this ordinance.”

After some discussion between the commissioners, city manager, fire chief and city attorney, Durham explained that he was not talking about a specific homeowner requesting an exception to the ordinance but that he wants to remove the restriction from the law, across the board, so that in-home day cares and home schools would be allowed in any R-1 home in Breckenridge. He also confirmed that he was specifically referring to homes that people live in and take care of other people’s children during the day.

In order for the ordinance to be changed, the issue has to go before the Planning and Zoning Commission, which must approve any changes to the city code. Once the P&Z makes a recommendation, the issue will return to the City Commission, which will vote on whether or not to change the ordinance.

McCuistion discussed with Calvin Chaney, the City of Breckenridge Fire Chief, who oversees the city’s codes enforcement, the need to give some latitude to the specific in-home day care center that prompted the discussion, while the issue is pending.

The City Commission voted to defer the issue to the P&Z Commission and to defer action on any pending issues regarding in-home day cares.

The P&Z will hold a public hearing at 5:30 p.m. Monday, June 3, in the City Commission Chambers, 105 N. Rose Ave., to consider the change to the ordinance to allow home-based child day care and home schooling in all residential districts. The hearing will be open to the public and anyone who wants to address the P&Z Commission will be allowed to do so.

The next day, Tuesday, June 4, the Breckenridge City Commission will hold a public hearing at 5:30 p.m. in the City Commission Chambers to consider the same amendment to the zoning ordinance. That meeting also will be open to the public, and anyone who wants to address the City Commission on the topic will be allowed to do so.

Other City Business

Breckenridge City Commissioner Tom Cyprian is sworn in by City Secretary Heather Robertson-Caraway at the May 2019 meeting. (Photo by Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan)

Also during the City Commission meeting, Commissioner Tom Cyprian was sworn in as Commissioner Place 4. He ran unopposed for the position he was in, as did Commissioner David Wimberley. Because neither candidate for the two open positions was opposed, no election was necessary. Wimberley was not at the meeting and will be sworn in at a later date. Cyprian also was named the Mayor Pro Tem.

During the citizens presentation portion of the meeting, Joe Herring addressed the commission about a drainage problem on Sha Lane. Because the issue was not on the agenda, the commissioners could not take any action, but they listened to Herring’s complaint and said they could put it on the agenda for the next meeting.

The City commissioners also voted to deny Oncor Electric Delivery Company’s request for a rate increase. The city manager suggested the action, based on recommendations from the Oncor Cities Steering Committee.

 

Story by Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan

Cutline, top photo: Breckenridge High School students, from left, Mia Hughins, Alex Puebla, Liberty Blades and McKenly Roberts, gave a presentation at the City Commission meeting about a project to renovate the old YMCA building. (Photo by Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan)

Support The Breckenridge Texan





Announcement