MIDLOTHIAN

After listening to disapproving remarks during the public hearings, the Midlothian City Council elected to deny two resolutions on speed hump removals and regulating exchange kiosks in the city.

Shortly after the meeting was called to order, Place 5 Council Member Justin Coffman motioned to move an action removing all five speed humps on Creek Bend Drive to the public hearings. Staff previously recommended removal of the speed humps due to improving emergency response time to residents in Creek Bend Estates.

Five residents spoke during the public hearing on this agenda item. All five of them were in opposition to removing the speed humps.

Resident T.J. Henley was the first speaker to voice his concerns about removing the speed humps. While he agreed there are some concerns on how the speed humps affect service response time, Henley checked with the fire department and said the department has received no damages or complaints since 1995.

“There’s not been any damage to any vehicles,” Henley said. “Nobody has complained about a lack of response time. That is such a small neighborhood I doubt there is any significant response time degradation.”

Resident Paula Baucum concurred, saying that these same concerns were raised by the previous city council 24 years ago and they came to a decision nonetheless.

“It was debated,” Baucum iterated. “It was passed and discussed through the city, staff, police and fire department whether this was a safety issue to have the speed bumps. The positives outweigh the negatives in having a community and neighborhood that stays safe; safe for the pedestrians, safe for our pets and safe for our children.”

Mayor Bill Houston said he would ask the city engineer to conduct a study and make a recommendation on the property. But after listening to public comments, the council unanimously denied removal of the speed humps.

Food Pantry & Book Exchange Kiosks

The council also considered an amendment to the zoning ordinance to add a new use classifying food pantries and book exchange kiosks. The amendment was issued after receiving a request to install a food pantry kiosks within a single-family residence’s front yard, and it was determined this definition was not in the city’s zoning use chart.

After listening to two public comments over the issue, Place 1 Council Member Wayne Sibley questioned why the council would punish people trying to do good things in the community by regulating these kiosks.

“If someone is going to put them out there, we’re not going to deny them,” Sibley said.

City manager Chris Dick said if the kiosks impacted the quality of life in the area, the council could revisit the issue.

“Or if someone puts a hamburger in a little library,” Joe Gorfida joked.

City staff and the Planning and Zoning commission also recommended denial of the proposed amendment. The council unanimously voted to deny regulation.

Additionally, the council has elected the ad valorem tax rate remain the same at .708244 cents per $100 valuation for FY2018-19 and has scheduled two public hearings for its upcoming council meetings on Aug. 28 and Sept. 4.

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David Dunn, @DavidDunnInTX

469-517-1456