City optimistic they can avoid eminent domain

by / 0 Comments / 122 View / October 4, 2016

By Lindsay Starr Platt

Belton City Council met for a regular meeting Monday night at Harris Community Center. Mayor Pro Tem David K. Leigh had planned to participate in the meeting remotely via video conference from Tel Aviv, Israel and was unable to do so due to time zone differences. Assistant City Manager Gene Ellis attended the meeting in lieu of City Manager Sam Listi.
Council considered a resolution to authorize the City Manager to acquire the necessary property rights through negotiation or eminent domain proceedings from property owners for the IH 35 Wastewater Project.
“I am very optimistic we can avoid this,” said – Angellia Points, P.E., Director of Internal Services/City Engineer. “I think to even start the process of eminent domain it would have to come through council.”
Council approved a zoning change for a proposed used car lot at 280 Goodway Drive and 380 West Amity Road. The change will be from Light Industrial to Commercial-2 Zoning District.
Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen on the southeast corner of Interstate 35 and East Central Avenue and on the north side of Spring Street was approved for a zoning change. The approved change will allow for a front yard setback from 60 feet to 25 feet by changing from Commercial Highway to Retail Zoning District. The approved plans will also change one the driveways to an exit only to prevent drivers trying to cross a median enter the property.
The motion was carried for a zoning change from Retail to Planned Development Retail Zoning District for a proposed meat market located on the northwest corner of Flat Street and Birdwell Street. The zoning change was requested by Ronnie Schoepf to allow for setback changes to both front and side yards. Schoepf plans to use the same stone and masonry as used at other properties to include Schoepf’s Old Time Pit BBQ located next to the proposed meat market.
“We are really excited about this property, it is going to be more than just a meat market. In reality, this is going to be something to be really proud of,” said Ronnie Schoepf.
Council approved a zoning change from Agricultural to Planned Development Commercial Highway for a proposed equestrian center at the Bell County Expo Center complex.
“We are excited about this addition to the expo center that we all benefit from. All of Bell County and especially Belton,” said Judge Jon Burrows.
“This is going to bring men, women and kids into town for the weekend. When they are in town it will bring people into our hotels and shops. I am almost more excited about this than I am my own project,” said Schoepf.
All items on the Consent Agenda were approved unanimously by members of the council. Also approved were the minutes of September 19 Special City Council Meeting.
Items on the consent agenda included the appointment of Stevie Spradley to the Belton Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors; authorization for the City Manager to execute a contract for services with Langerman Foster Engineering Company, authorization to purchase vehicles for the Engineering Department and the Parks Department; considerations for an ordinance to authorize an assignment to pay for police officers performing tactical, crisis negotiations, and advanced accident investigation extra duties.
FY2016 Budget was discussed and council approved an ordinance to amend the FY 2016 budget.
“We are three business days from closing this out,” said Brandon Bozan, Director of Finance, City of Belton.
Council also approved a resolution to authorize the City Manager to transfer any unencumbered appropriation balance, or portion thereof, from one office, department or agency to another.
Motion was carried for an ordinance to authorize the Mayor to execute a tax abatement agreement with Tirzah located at 115 N. East Street. Tirzah is located in the existing Downtown Belton Development District.