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Houston City Council amends several city codes

By Angie Rodenburg

Fri, May 16th, 2014
Posted in All Government

The Houston City Council held a meeting on May 12. Before the regularly scheduled meeting a public hearing was held to discuss a draft of ordinances that will amend city code in several areas. Changes were made to several ordinances including trees, fences, weeds, firearms/weapons, zoning definitions, R-1 District Lot regulations, and non-conforming use.

The draft was approved by the council; however, a few minor changes will be made before the ordinances are finalized. Chris Peterson, Houston’s city administrator, will have a Summary Publication document at next month’s city council meeting for the council’s final approval before the ordinances are published. A final version of the City Code Revisions is available at

During the regularly scheduled meeting, the Council approved a Conditional Use Permit to Dorothy Moldenhauer and the Cross Roads Cafe that will allow the Cafe to provide a seasonal outdoor eating area. The approval was given with the condition that the dining area will be located in a controlled area by a continuous barrier.

One topic in the evening that had a lot of discussion was the access road to the bandshell. At last month’s meeting the Lions Club presented the council with a proposal to have a road made leading to the bandshell that would enable musicians with heavy equipment to load and unload more easily. The Lions Club preference was to make a 10-foot concrete path on the East side of the bandshell; however, the council was not sure that was the best option. The council’s original preference was to make a path rather than a road thinking that a smaller path would be more aesthetically pleasing. The Lions Club did not feel that a path would be an adequate solution to the problem. Many different ideas were voiced as to what would be the best solution to the bandshell access problem, but the most popular idea was to see if the DNR would allow the road to stem off of the trail. The council and Lions Club will discuss further after talking with the DNR.

Audrey Alfson represented the Houston Community Garden in making a request to have a 40-foot irrigation well dug near the garden. The irrigation well would provide easy water access for the garden, which would be especially valuable in the hot summer months. The community garden group has already raised $2,000 of the $5,000 needed for the project. Grants have also been written that will hopefully help to cover the cost of the well. The Council approved the continuance of the project.

At the meeting a policy was also made for the renting and borrowing of city tables. The council decided that they will no longer allow city tables to be rented or borrowed. Instead, the tables and chairs will be reserved for those who have rented city facilities. The tables have seen a lot of wear and tear from being transported and this new policy will cut down on damage to the tables.

The next Houston City Council meeting will be held on Monday, June 9 at 6 p.m. at Houston City Hall.

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