Council tackles city zoning issues

Mayor Blackburn, left,  presented a Kerrville Kindness Award to Steve Lynch and Debbie Minter, from the Heart of the Hills Golf Tournament; Bobby Morriss, the pro at Scott Schreiner Golf Course; and Ashlea Boyle, Director of Parks and Recreation, celebrating their recent tournament.

Kerrville City Council members spent most of a two-hour meeting on Aug. 10 getting a presentation on the proposed FY22 city budget. But they also took action on three changes of zoning on property on Park, Riverside and Florence streets.

Short-term rental, Park St.

Council approved a new short-term rental property at 1221 Park St. after discussion of improvements made by the owner, and assurances from city staff that it meets all existing regulations about parking and other matters.

One councilwoman commented favorably on its corner location and asked if owners had talked to their neighbors about their rental plans, as the city got five comments in opposition from neighbors.

Drew Paxton said this came as a recommendation from Planning & Zoning as a Conditional Use Permit, and as such it can be “pulled’ if there are problems in the future.

Commercial zoning,

Florence St., Riverside Dr.

The property at 3210 Riverside Dr. is on the corner of Riverside and Loop 534, and its existing use is single family residential. It sits behind the vacant land at the light at Loop 534 and Hwy. 27 East.

City officials said they have no site plan from the owners so far. One of the few questions from council was whether the property has access from the Loop or from Riverside Drive; and were told it’s from Riverside Drive.

Council also approved this request.

They also approved a change from “residential transition zoning district” to “neighborhood commercial zoning district” for property at 501 Florence St., a site that was previously an optometrist office. Drew Paxton said a business across Junction Highway from this location wants to move to a larger site.

Visitor’s comments

Few citizen speakers signed up at this meeting, but council got more “heat” from one, Rodney Bacon, on the city’s announced plans to use Certificates of Obligation to fund a new Public Safety Complex. He said he first supported that idea, but has changed his heart about the CO’s. He said the condition of the current police station and related matters was not a new problem; and asked why, when this is an urgent need, did they build a sports complex and the River Trail.

He asked council to put the funding question for the Public Safety Complex before the voters, saying the city has had an election every year and asked why didn’t this question get put on the ballot.

He said he still supported a new Public Safety Complex and would help “sell it” to the voters.

He was thanked for his participation and comments.

Bruce Stracke countered with comments about mis-information presented on this at two meetings in a row; and said of the “tools” the city has to use for this project, CO’s are for land acquisition, and that was made clear in workshops. He also said there are five good people here (on city council) and urged them to continue doing a good job.

Kerrville Kindness Award

Blackburn presented a Kerrville Kindness Award to the Heart of the Hills Board of Directors and volunteers for the 75th Annual Heart of the Hills Golf Tournament held recently at the city’s Scott Schreiner Golf Course.

Accepting the certificate were Steve Lynch and Debbie Minter from the Heart of the Hills Tournament committee; Bobby Morriss, the pro at the course golf shop; and Ashlea Boyle, city director of Parks and Recreation.  

Return to social distancing, COVID

The mayor said Peterson Regional Medical Center’s latest numbers on the spike in COVID-19 patients influenced the city’s decision to return to more restrictions, since the hospital reported 55 new cases just the Friday before this meeting.

Of those, eight were in the Intensive Care Unit and six of them were on ventilators.

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