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Rezoning request heard by West Point City Council

WEST POINT — A rezoning request in the City of West Point drew concerns and criticisms during a meeting of the West Point City Council last week.

The first meeting of 2018 for the council started off with a public hearing over the rezoning of property at 214 Beallwood Dr. in West Point.

The lot is currently listed as Residential 1 for a modest density of occupants, i.e. a single-family home, and the owner would like it changed to Residential 2, i.e. a multiple-family, high density residence.

According to the council, the owner wants to place a manufactured home on the lot. Previously a single-family home was there but due to a state of disrepair, it was demolished and lot cleared. This occurred roughly nine years ago.

The owner made the request and the municipal planning board recommended denying it due to the land use plan calling for the lot to be a suburban neighborhood with single-family residences and the fact that the property is surrounded by Residential 1 homes.

Mayor Steve Tramell asked those in attendance if anyone wanted to speak in favor of the rezoning.

Willie McCarty was the first to speak on the issue. He is a partial owner of the property and noted he would benefit from having multiple homes there.

“This acreage is barely big enough to put a house on it,” he said.

Deedee Williams was the next up in favor of the request. She noted that the was a precedent where the board has approved allowing manufactured homes in the city.

Mayor Tramell remembered the property, saying that decision was on a temporary basis and the building would be gone by the end of the year.

Board members said they would like more information on the issue before making any decisions.

Later on, McCarty asked the board if there was any place in the city where manufactured homes were allowed.

He was told there were areas that had certain requirements that had to be met.

The board also held a hearing on amending the city’s alcohol ordinance from allowing restaurants to serve alcohol only if they had seating for 50 people to 30 people.

There were no public or board comments on this issue initially but Councilmember Dr. Joseph Downs asked if this was a general lessening of the rules or did it concern a specific business. He was told it affected the entire city.

During the public comments portion, Williams again approached the board asking about an interpretation of an election rule preventing city employees from engaging in political activity.

Williams has made previous forays into clearing up the interpretation of the policy.

She specifically wants to know the exact policy, saying there are discrepancies.

The city attorney said he was unaware of any issues.

Williams then requested the attorney meet with her later to discuss the issue and City Manager Ed Moon said he could meet with her without issue.

Following Williams, two citizens spoke to the board about dangers to their neighborhoods.

One said that vehicles have been speeding down Teel Road and she wanted to be proactive before anyone was hurt.

The other spoke about dogs attacking people on Old Wells Road. She specifically asked if there was a lease or fence law that could be enforced or put in place.

No action was taken by the board on any issues.

In other action, the board:

Discussed the Harris County SPLOST Intergovernmental Agreement

Listed off the upcoming 2018 Board and Committee appointments

Set the date and times for 2018 council meetings

Placed Jan. 8 as the date for the swearing in of elected city officers

Recognized the CharterBank Cardinals as champions of the Textile Bowl