Leon Valley
TX

Ordinance
Ordinance 17-040

Presentation, Discussion and Possible Action to Approve a Request for a Variance to Chapter 10 Subdivision, Division 6. Subdivision Standards, Section 10.02.251 Applicable standards and specifications, (2) Streets, (O) Curbs and sidewalks, by David and Susan Smith, Applicants and Property Owners, to Not Construct a Sidewalk Along the Front Property Boundary of the Property Generally Located at 7477 Linkwood Street

Information

Department:Public WorksSponsors:
Category:Variances

Item Discussion

PURPOSE

 

To consider a request by David and Susan Smith, applicants and property owners, to grant a variance to the sidewalk requirement of the Subdivision Code, so that they do not have to construct a complete sidewalk along the front property boundary of the property located at 7477 Linkwood Street.

 

The property was replatted in 2016 and the requirement for sidewalk construction was deferred until the Building Permit stage. The applicant has constructed a portion of the sidewalk at the front property boundary but does not want to construct the remaining portion, stating that there are two mature Mesquite trees in direct conflict with the sidewalk alignment, and the concrete used for the sidewalk would cause the trees to die. They further state that the reason the circular driveway was constructed at a 12’ width is to accommodate persons wishing to walk on a sidewalk. They further note that the slope in their front yard and in the right of way at the curb is too great to accommodate ADA regulations.

 

Leon Valley City Code, Chapter 10 Subdivision, Division 6. Subdivision Standards, Section 10.02.251 Applicable standards and specifications, (2) Streets, (O) Curbs and sidewalks states:

 

“Curbs and sidewalks shall be installed by the subdivider on both sides of all interior streets, and on the subdivision side of all streets forming part of the boundary of the subdivision. The street frontage on all sides of all lots must be provided with concrete sidewalks of at least four (4) feet in width and four (4) inches in thickness. All sidewalks and driveways shall be designed and constructed in accordance with the requirements of the city and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Utility meter boxes or fire hydrants shall not be incorporated into the sidewalk area.

 

(i)              Sidewalk deferred construction. A developer may petition the city to defer construction of sidewalk along the frontage of lots in residential developments and if approved, sidewalks would be constructed as a building permit requirement (developer remains responsible for construction of the rear sidewalks on lots having double street frontage and over drainageways).

 

(ii)              Sidewalks shall, in general, be placed near the property line. Where the city permits the sidewalk to abut the curb on collector streets, the sidewalk width will be six (6) feet.”

 

The City Engineer and Building Inspector have been to the site and are of the opinion that a sidewalk can be constructed around the trees and parallel to the driveway, in the public right of way, and that it could be constructed to be ADA accessible. The City will not allow a sidewalk to be constructed on private property, nor use a driveway as a sidewalk, as sidewalks become the property of the City. The City cannot force persons to trespass on private property.

 

 

SEE LEON VALLEY

 

Social - Providing ADA accessible sidewalks along all right of ways allows all citizens to walk without having to venture into the street, which is potentially harmful.

 

Economic - Requiring the property owner to construct sidewalks reduces the amount of tax money used for this type of public infrastructure. In addition, requiring the construction of sidewalks enhances the City’s image as a walkable community, which may encourage relocation by businesses and potential residents.

 

Environmental - Encouraging the use of sidewalks reduces dependency on vehicles, which reduces the amount of pollutants in the air from the use of vehicles.

 

FISCAL IMPACT

 

New sidewalk construction is the responsibility of the property owner for a period of one year. After the year, the sidewalks are inspected and, if found to be in good condition, become property of the City and are maintained as such.

Document Comments

RECOMMENDATION

 

It is recommended that the City Council not grant the requested variance to the sidewalk requirements of Chapter 10 Subdivisions.

 

Body

GRANTING A REQUEST FOR A VARIANCE TO LEON VALLEY CODE CHAPTER 10 SUBDIVISIONS, DIVISION 6. SUBDIVISION STANDARDS, SECTION 10.02.251 APPLICABLE STANDARDS AND SPECIFICATIONS, (2) STREETS, (O) CURBS AND SIDEWALKS, ON CERTAIN PROPERTY LOCATED AT 7477 LINKWOOD STREET UPON APPLICATION BY DAVID AND SUSAN SMITH, APPLICANTS AND PROPERTY OWNERS.

 

WHEREAS, Chapter 212 of the Texas Local Government Code authorizes a municipality to regulate subdivision and platting within the municipality and provide for a subdivision ordinance administration, enforcement and amendment; and

 

WHEREAS, the Leon Valley Code of Ordinances (the “Code”) Chapter 10 Subdivisions regulates the administration and enforcement of subdivision and platting regulations within the City; and

 

WHEREAS, the City Council has authority to grant variances to the subdivision regulations of the Code where special circumstances exist and literal enforcement of the Code would result in unnecessary hardship; and

 

WHEREAS, David and Susan Smith, applicants and property owners, have requested a variance to the Subdivision Code not to be required to construct a sidewalk along the front portion of their property, due to the presence and interference of mature trees and a 5% slope; and

 

WHEREAS, the sidewalk variance request will not adversely affect the character of the area, traffic, public health, utilities, safety and general welfare of the residents of the City of Leon Valley; and

 

WHEREAS, it is the desire of the City Council of the City of Leon Valley to grant a variance to the requirement for a sidewalk along the front property boundary on the property located at 7477 Linkwood, upon application by David and Susan Smith, applicants and property owners; NOW, THEREFORE,

 

BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF LEON VALLEY, TEXAS, THAT:

 

Section 1.              A variance to Chapter 10 Subdivisions, Division 6. Subdivision Standards, Section 10.02.251 Applicable standards and specifications, (2)     Streets, (O)     Curbs and sidewalks is hereby granted exempt this property from the requirement to construct a sidewalk along the front property boundary on Lot 36, Block E, CB 4446, Linkwood Addition Subdivision, generally located at 7477 Linkwood Street, and more particularly described in the case file of Subdivision Plat Case File #2016-185.

 

Section 2.               The City staff is hereby authorized to issue said variance when all conditions imposed by the City Council have been addressed and complied with in full.

 

Section 3.  This ordinance is effective immediately upon passage by four (4) affirmative votes; otherwise it is effective on the tenth day after passage hereof.

 

 

PASSED, ADOPTED and APPROVED this the 1st day of August, 2017.

 

Meeting History

Aug 1, 2017 6:00 PM  City Council Regular Meeting

Interim Community Development Director, Melinda Moritz presented the item for consideration of a request by David and Susan Smith, applicants and property owners, to grant a variance to the sidewalk requirement of the Subdivision Code, so that they do not have to construct a complete sidewalk along the front property boundary of the property located at 7477 Linkwood Street. The property was replatted in 2016 and the requirement for sidewalk construction was deferred until the Building Permit stage. The applicant has constructed a portion of the sidewalk at the front property boundary but does not want to construct the remaining portion, stating that there are two mature Mesquite trees in direct conflict with the sidewalk alignment, and the concrete used for the sidewalk would cause the trees to die. They further state that the reason the circular driveway was constructed at a 12’ width is to accommodate persons wishing to walk on a sidewalk. They further note that the slope in their front yard and in the right of way at the curb is too great to accommodate ADA regulations.

Leon Valley City Code, Chapter 10 Subdivision, Division 6. Subdivision Standards, Section 10.02.251 Applicable standards and specifications, (2) Streets, (O) Curbs and sidewalks states: “Curbs and sidewalks shall be installed by the subdivider on both sides of all interior streets, and on the subdivision side of all streets forming part of the boundary of the subdivision. The street frontage on all sides of all lots must be provided with concrete sidewalks of at least four (4) feet in width and four (4) inches in thickness. All sidewalks and driveways shall be designed and constructed in accordance with the requirements of the city and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Utility meter boxes or fire hydrants shall not be incorporated into the sidewalk area. (i) Sidewalk deferred construction. A developer may petition the city to defer construction of sidewalk along the frontage of lots in residential developments and if approved, sidewalks would be constructed as a building permit requirement (developer remains responsible for construction of the rear sidewalks on lots having double street frontage and over drainageways). (ii) Sidewalks shall, in general, be placed near the property line. Where the city permits the sidewalk to abut the curb on collector streets, the sidewalk width will be six (6) feet.”

The City Engineer and Building Inspector have been to the site and are of the opinion that a sidewalk can be constructed around the trees and parallel to the driveway, in the public right of way, and that it could be constructed to be ADA accessible. The City will not allow a sidewalk to be constructed on private property, nor use a driveway as a sidewalk, as sidewalks become the property of the City. The City cannot force persons to trespass on private property. New sidewalk construction is the responsibility of the property owner for a period of one year. After the year, the sidewalks are inspected and, if found to be in good condition, become property of the City and are maintained as such.

Interim Community Development Director, Moritz concluded the presentation saying staff recommends that the City Council not grant the requested variance to the sidewalk requirements of Chapter 10 Subdivisions.

· Olen Yarnell, 7230 Sulky Lane, asked if the sidewalk requirements were known to the property owner prior to this.

A motion was made by Council Member David Jordan and seconded by Council Member Monica Alcocer to deny the variance request to Chapter 10 Subdivision, Division 6. Subdivision Standards, Section 10.02.251 Applicable standards and specifications, (2) Streets, (O) Curbs and sidewalks, by David and Susan Smith, Applicants and Property Owners, to Not Construct a Sidewalk Along the Front Property Boundary of the Property Generally Located at 7477 Linkwood Street.

RESULT:DENIED [UNANIMOUS]
MOVER:David Jordan, Council Place 5
SECONDER:Monica Alcocer, Council Place 3
AYES:Benny Martinez, David Edwards, Belinda Ealy, Monica Alcocer, David Jordan

Discussion