A proposed high-end subdivision located just outside of Sealy that initially received a lot of skepticism from members of the Sealy City Council is now receiving their support.
Bullinger Creek, formerly known at Red Oak Estates, is a 113-acre development that will have 87 homes situated on lots ranging from one to 1.25 acres in size. When first presented to council last summer, members were unhappy that the developer wanted to use septic tanks rather than city sewer and there were concerns about the drainage plans. Having met with developers in workshops and subsequent meetings, the council is moving forward with the project and last Tuesday approved two variances to the development ordinances. The actions are necessary because the developers plan to annex Bullinger Creek, located on Sens Road south of Frazer, into the city.
The first variance allows the development to have paved street widths of 24 feet rather than 28. The roads will have two feet of soft shoulders leading to drainage ditches. The variance was approved because there will not be any curb, gutter or sidewalks. The second variance was to allow a trail system in lieu of sidewalks to connect the community.
A third item related to the project was to allow negotiations for the right to provide water service to the development. Currently, the right to provide water at the site is with the Austin County Water Supply Corporation. Since the developers plan to annex the subdivision and have asked for the city to provide water, the city will negotiate a Certificate of Convenience and Necessity (CCN) with the Austin County Water Supply Corporation.
Concerned about trash and the unsightly view of numerous semi-trucks parked in the parking lot of the strip shopping center on South Meyer Street, City Manager Lloyd Merrell proposed an ordinance to council that would prohibit the big rigs from parking in the lot.
“That’s not the kind of sight I want to see,” Merrell said.
Councilmember Larry Koy said he was concerned about the impact on the hotels and restaurants in the area if the truckers could no longer park there. Councilmember Chris Noack said he would like to find a space to designate for truck parking.
“If that’s considered private property, who’s going to fine them?” asked Councilmember Sandra Vrablec.
City Attorney Tim Kirwin answered her, saying it would be a code enforcement issue.
Councilmember Jennifer Sullivan wanted to know if there were any agreements between the property owners and the trucking companies and asked for the item to be tabled to determine that.
Councilmember Dee Anne Lerma pointed out that the Sealy EDC is attracting more and more industry to town all the time and noted the truckers coming in to support those businesses need places to park.
“Telling private property owners what they can and can’t do is troubling,” she said.
The council asked Merrell to find out if the property owners have any agreements with the trucking companies to allow them to park their rigs there and to bring the information back to them at the next meeting.
Parking lot dispute
In the city’s 3-year-old quest to get the Sealy ISD to pave the gravel parking lot at the football stadium, the council finally had a face-to-face meeting with district officials who promised another plan to finally get the lot paved. The council discussed having the city attorney issue a default notice to the school district since the lot has been in violation of an agreement to get it paved for more than a year. Bryan Hallmark, the new superintended of Sealy ISD, and project manager Mike Zapalac discussed the parking lot with the council. Zapalac explained that the funds for a new parking lot at Sealy Elementary School were part of a bond program and could not be used at the stadium. Hallmark assured the council that he needed time to meet with his board first but was confident he could provide the council a reasonable timeline for getting the lot paved.
After breaking into an executive session to meet with the city attorney, the council agreed to hold off on the letter until next month after Hallmark has his next board meeting.
In other action, the council: