Residents speak against proposed zoning ordinance changes

Scott J. Anderson
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

The Gonzales City Council will take a final vote on four proposed amendments to the Code of Ordinance regarding the way the city approves development agreements when it meets again Sept. 28.

The council heard feedback from several residents who opposed the changes at its meeting Monday night. Citizen were concerned that the proposed changes would remove public hearings and the city council from the approval process.

“We elected you to do this job,” Brenda Robert told the council. “Not an administrator, and not a mayor.”

Chief Administrative Officer and City Clerk Scot Byrd said the city attorney has approved the proposed changes. He added that the city council would remain a key component of the process if the changes are implemented.

“These amendments will not cut the council out of decision-making process,” Byrd said. “They are the soul authority for approving a preliminary plat. If there isn’t a preliminary plat, there is no development.”

Byrd said the proposed amendments will clarify code that was revised in 2016. He said almost no municipality requires city council approval for development agreements.

Drainage issues and traffic were the primary concerns among the residents who opposed the changes to the zoning ordinances.

“It’s getting to a point where certain residents in the city of Gonzales are tired of fighting water,” said Alsie Dunbar. “It does not take a big rain anymore for some residents to get a large amount of water to cause concern.”

Councilman Tyler Turner said he will write an amendment to ordinance regarding preliminary plats. The amendment would require drainage and traffic studies to be conducted and presented with the preliminary plat at a public hearing before the council votes on the preliminary plat.

Turner said he would like to see “a developer or anybody comes with a preliminary plat they also have the drainage and traffic study at the same time. That way we know everything that’s going on.”

One of the ordinances introduced Monday night deals with regulations for Traditional Neighborhood Districts. The amendment would allow for doctors offices, veterinarians, indoor entertainment and overnight accommodations (hotels) in those districts.

Many of the residents in attendance Monday night also attended a public hearing by the Zoning commission Sept. 8 to express their concerns as well.

In other action Monday night:

The city council approved the final plat for Heritage Crossing showing the subdivision of Tract B-2-2-A-1-A into Tracts F, F-1, G, G-1, H and J, being Heritage Crossing Phase 1A on a map by Collin Gravois, P.L.S. from CSRS dated Sept. 4.

Council members approved a request by Johnny Benjamin for Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center for a special event permit to use Jambalaya Park Amphitheater for “Live Well Ascension,” a community health screening event from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17.

Councilmen approved three special event permit requests by Jeanne St. Germain, manager of Tanger Outlet Center. The permits are for three separate events:

  • A “Tanger Pink Campaign Kick-Off Day / Electric Car Show” scheduled for 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3.
  • The Hwy 621 Farmers Market 7 a.m. to noon Saturdays from Oc t. 10 through Nov. 14.
  • A Black Friday Food Truck Event from 5 to 10 a.m. and 2 to 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 27.