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City addresses 'substantard' structures
(07/13/17)

by Dolores Hamilton
Public hearings were on the city council agenda Monday night to determine if structures on six properties are “Substandard Structures” as defined in the city’s Code of Ordinances and should be abated.
The mobile home at 206 S. Jackson is 420 square feet and does not comply with the minimum 720 sq. ft. required in the city’s zoning ordinance. The owner appeared before the city’s Board of Adjustment to ask for a variance, but the request was denied.
The owner told the council he wants to build an extension to be in compliance as soon as he is able to.
The council agreed that the mobile home and property were well-kept, it was just “mathematically substandard.” They gave the owner 60 days to get a building permit and report back to the council on progress.
The wooden-frame residential structure and a utility building at 700 E. Alameda are in the regulatory floodway. The owner was out of town, but told City Manager Jerry Flemming that he wasn’t aware the property was in the floodway and had intentions of fixing it up. Flemming told him it is difficult to fix things up in the floodway because of federal regulations.
Council found the structures to be substandard and gave the owner 45 days to abate them.
In the public hearing for the strip mall at 606 East Highway it was leaned that the property had changed owners in 2016.
The new owner was at the meeting and told the council that he had re-roofed the entire building, hauled off all of the trash left behind by the previous owner, and boarded it up so no one can get inside.
When asked about a time-frame to finish the work, the owner, who is a self-employed roofing contractor, said the summer months are his busiest time. He said the whole structure needs to be redone from the inside out, and would like another year to get it going.
Members of the council agreed that the property has been an eyesore on one of the main corridors into the city for many years. The council voted to give the owner 60 days to get a permit and come back to the council with a plan of action.
The public hearing on the wooden storage shed at 812 S. Park was cancelled because the shed had been abated.
The wooden residential structure at 100 E. Diamond was found to be a substandard structure and the owner was given 45 days to begin work on it.
The final hearing was for a residential structure at 706 E. Bank St. Council found that work had already been done at this location and voted to drop the issue.
In other business, a request by Jackie Gholson, with the Highland Cemetery Association, to turn the cemetery’s second water meter back on was approved.
The meter had been turned off during the drought because of water leaks. Gholson said workers at the cemetery would check for water leaks and if found make repairs.
Mayor Pro tem Sherrie Williams attended the Texas Municipal League Legislative Update in Austin, and reported to the council on legislation recently passed and some that is still being considered.