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Council continues impact fee discounts

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By LPR Staff
Editor/POST-REGISTER

In an effort to stimulate economic growth, the city council voted on Tuesday night to continue a 70 percent reduction in road impact fees, against the advice of the impact fee committee and City Planner Dan Gibson.
The report submitted by the Impact Fee Advisory Committee recommended that the impact fee reduction be repe

aled and the city begin charging 100 percent of road impact fees to commercial developments.
“Unless collections increase significantly and stay at a much higher average level, we will fall far short of being able to fund even one half of the estimated cost of the… projects with impact fees,” the report said. The impact fees are earmarked for infrastructure improvements, including roadways, sewers and gutters.
Gibson was unable to provide figures as to how much money was collected or waived during the past six months.
“There was no reason to use the provision,” Gibson said, “because we really haven”t had any developments.”
Mayor Ray Sanders indicated that Lockhart is far ahead of the curve where charging a road impact fee is concerned.
“We”re kind of out on a limb by ourselves with the road impact fees,” Sanders said. “We were led to believe that San Marcos, Kyle and New Braunfels were looking toward charging road impact fees, but I don”t know that they have passed them yet.”
Other councilmembers expressed concern for local contractors, who feel the greatest pressure from the impact fees. On average, local contractors build single residences and smaller commercial jobs, but are subject to the same kinds of impact fees as large developers in many cases.
“We did have comments from local builders who have completed jobs in town and said that a full-strength impact fee would have kept them from doing that job,” councilmember Lew White said. “I don”t see, when we”re trying to promote economic development, why we should be raising those fees.”
Apparently, the rest of the council agreed, as the motion to continue discounting the impact fees until Aug. 15, 2005 passed unanimously.
A property owner requested that a tract of land located in the 2100 block of SH 142 (San Antonio Street) be rezoned from Industrial Light to Commercial Heavy Business.
Lawrence Bumb, the property owner, is interested in building a commercial development on the 16.9-acre tract. Although the exact tenants and uses were not confirmed as of Tuesday, Bumb expects that the development might include a convenience store.
A public hearing was held to discuss the possible zoning change.
One adjoining business did object to Bumb”s request, stating in a letter that the change would be “too broad and unnecessary.”
After a short public hearing, the council agreed to grant a variance, but, in an effort to compromise, changed the zoning from Industrial Light to Commercial Medium.
In brief council business:
The council will purchase an aluminum sign for the Chisholm Trail parade float from Super Bee Graphics.
Lockhart”s subdivision regulations will be changed to require developers to file development plats. The changes also redefine the term “subdivision” to some degree.
The council appointed Dave Moore to serve on a committee to work with the Caldwell County Appraisal District in considering a new location for the organization.

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