The Commerce Journal

April 18, 2013

Technicality forces council to postpone vote

By Joseph Hamrick
The Commerce Journal

COMMERCE — A deal that could have brought 10 duplexes to Charity Road and Washington Street, and potentially added nearly $2 million to the Commerce’s tax roll, was postponed due to a technicality in the Texas Local Government Code.

Because the Commerce Planning and Zoning Commission was unable to meet last month, the commisssion met an hour before the April 16 Commerce City Council Meeting, which was not sufficient time for the council to vote on the resolution authorizing a conditional use application located in the Sullivan Addition for use as a duplex within an R-10 zone.

An R-10 zone is for single-family dwellings only, unless a conditional use application is approved by the city.

The area is not in a flood plane, but residents in the area opposed to the addition said the area constantly floods and that adding more duplexes will increase the flooding.

Bobby Bearden, a Commerce citizen, said he is opposed to the duplexes because of the understanding that the area would always be for single-family houses.

“We bought our houses on R-10 Codes for single-family houses,” he said. “Any changes to that are an error.”

Steve Wilson, director of community development for Commerce, said if duplexes were to be put in, the storm drains would be underground, which would alleviate the flooding, he said.

According to Councilmember John Sands, with Covidien leaving soon, the council should look into ways to increase its tax base.

“We would be remiss as a council if we did not look at it,” he said, adding that he lives within a block of the proposed duplexes. “Putting $2 million on the tax roll will help.”

Councilmember Sue Davis agreed with Sands, and added that more time is needed to look into an agreement.

“We need to look into some agreements on this that could be binding for us and for him,” she said. “I understand the opposition.”

The council chose to table the vote until another time.