City Council Approves Zoning Changes for Development

Lampasas City Council met last night in regular session and went through a public hearing on a zoning change for 13+ acres of land that lies north and east of the Santa Fe Square shopping center where Tractor Supply operates. The property formerly belonged to Sherry McBryde and was sold to local developer/builder Roy Cockrell. The property is zoned Commercial "C" and Cockrell wants to build approximately 20 (1200 to 1400 sq ft) homes on it. That requires a rezoning to Single Family Residential SF-6. The rezoning had been approved by a majority vote (4-2)of the Planning and Zoning Commission, and the Council concurred by a unanimous vote.

In a related matter, Council heard a request from a resident at adjoining Hollywood Drive and CTE, to do something about flooding at her home. Though no action could be taken, since the item wasn't on the agenda, it was clear that the Council wanted the City Manager to look into the matter.

Elaine Kelley appeared before the Council in the "Citizen's Comments" time. She lives along North Avenue and has Bamboo growing in the perimeters of her yard. The City, armed with an ordinance prohibiting having grass over 12" tall, had fined her $600 and then cut down her Bamboo, charging her $1,050 to do so. She had recently appeared before Council complaining that, while Bamboo was technically grass, it was an ornamental grass, like Yucca and many other ornamentals. She said the ordinance was unfairly enforced.

Last night she came again, this time leading off with a statement, accompanied with pictures, that other tall ornamental grasses in town - that weren't being penalized - or chopped down. One of them, was " the City Hall building....under (City Manager)de Graffenried's window. She claimed that there were also such offending ornamental grasses in some of the City Council member's yards. She questioned the fairness of the enforcement in her case, and asked that the Council (1) change the ordinance to except ornamental grasses, (2) refund her money for the fine and cancel the fees, and (3) pay her $250 for the cost of replacing fencing and broken pottery that had been destroyed when the Bamboo was cut down. 

In other less interesting matters the Council approved their budget and tax rate for 2016-17 following the series of required notices and public hearings. The tax rate for the year is to be 39.5218 cents per hundred dollar valuation of your property. It is an effective tax rate increase of .81%.

The Council also approved the roughly $300,000 budget of the Economic Development Corp.(LEDC); a $19,750 expense for paving cart trails at the golf course. (The Hancock Park Golf Association agreed to pay $10,000 of the cost.); a $50,000 matching amount for airport maintenance projects; and $39,535 for a sewer line on Northington and East Ave E.