Kerrville City Council was presented with an update on COVID-19 and dealt mostly with zoning matters in their May 12 meeting.

City’s response

to COVID-19

Kerrville Fire Chief Dannie Smith said the San Antonio Food Bank is returning to the Mustard Seed Ministry at Light on the Hill on Tuesday, May 26, to distribute more food to area residents between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.

City Manager Mark McDaniel reported the city staff is trying to track the local Payroll Protection Plan loans awarded, saying they think they number about 600 but for an unknown total amount.

He said one source said the PPP loans averaged $36,000 and there is money left, so more applications are encouraged. In another program, some reimbursement may be possible to the city and county for expenses related to the virus fight, possibly $55 per capita based on population in the city and the county.

He said the Tecas Governor’s last order allows swimming pools to open, with local government approval; and the city is trying to hire and train lifeguards now. Asked by council how the city would make up the approximate $60,000 savings if the pool remains closed, McDaniel said they will get “a little bit of revenue in from that operation.”

Smith said more than 1/2 million tests for COVID have been administered in Texas, with 2,555 done by the Texas military. In Kerrville there have been 1,108 tests given, a total of 223 of them by the Texas military.

As of Monday, May 11, a 10th virus case was confirmed, due to traveling; and the county had five people recovered, five active and zero deaths. The May 3-9 screening by Peterson Health had totaled 153 tests and two confirmed cases.

Smith said Kerrville/Kerr County still is required to stay at 50 percent occupancy at restaurants based on the governor’s rules. Kerrville remains at 1 to 2 percent confirmed cases in the last testing period.

Smith reported getting more personal protection equipment and delivering it to doctors and dentists.

He said the state now requires 100-percent testing of nursing home staffs and residents, but questions remain on “what that will look like and how it will be done.”

Responding to a council question, Smith described the complicated process to actually do “contact tracing,” particularly if someone has traveled outside Kerr County.

Construction contract

Council approved a construction contract with Wagner Materials & Construction for the 2020 Base Repair project in the amount of $128,000. This came after a change order removed $240,000 from the original contract amount of $368,000.

Two bids were received for this work; and the other bid was for $564,000.

George Baroody said in a phone-in comment that this change was a “misconception” because the city “retroactively re-graded” their pavement maintenance numbers and raised the “condition” grade by two points, leading to the cost reduction.

Deputy City Manager E.A. Hoppe said the city was very clear about its changes; and some street work is now done “in-house” as opposed to hiring contractors. He also said the city’s “Pavement Condition Index” is more complex now to cover conditions on all city-maintained streets.

Zoning matters

Council spent most of this meeting on zoning and property matters.

The first was an appeal of a recent denial by the Planning & Zoning Commission, to change the zoning and classification of about 3.8 acres west of and adjacent to Loop 534 and north of its intersection with Cypress Creek Road. The request was to change it from R-1 Single Family Residential to R-3 Multifamily Residential.

Drew Paxton of city staff said P&Z denied this, citing drainage, heights and setbacks, saying it was a difficult property due to its location and topography.

Council questioned if screening would be required between development on this property and nearby commercial sites. Paxton said yes; and agreed notification letters had been sent.

Only the applicant’s real estate broker spoke in the public hearing, offering information if needed, and said the intent is to simplify the zoning code to fit the city’s 2050 Plan.

Council approved this request 5-0.

Another item concerned creating a planned development district for “retail trade I and building construction –specialist development” of about 1.9 acres at 3001 Memorial Blvd. This property sits between Memorial and Riverside Drive, and the agenda said the owner already subdivided it into three lots.

And another item requested changing a PDD on about three acres at the southwest corner of Memorial Blvd. and Loop 534, to a general commercial district (C-3). This was the former site of an old small motel/apartments, now demolished; and the property has boundaries with single-family homes on the adjoining streets.

Council approved both of these requests.

Another ordinance/zoning question concerned an almost-4-acre lot at the corner of Harper Road and Lois Street. The owner applied for a change in zoning district to remove its classification as single-family residential, and place it in the residential transition zone.

Paxton said the owner, who has single-family home on the property at 1104 Lois St., has room to subdivide his 4 acres. Council questioned what type of other buildings might be built – other dwellings, a strip center, office buildings resembling homes?

Paxton said the plans “are not set in stone” and possibly the owner is considering a real estate office. Council questioned changes on that corner since the home is on the center of the property, and other buildings shouldn’t be nearer either street in front of the house.

Council voted to approve this request.

The final property question concerned repealing a PDD for about 7.5 acres between Meeker Road and Beech Street; and changing it to “Medium density residential.” The owner/developer plans to complete an unfinished housing area, including the already-platted streets. Council asked if these would be “affordable housing” and Paxton said yes, probably 30-35 single-family and between 1,200 and 1,600 square feet each.

Council also approved this request.

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