New P&Z commissioners take their seats facing changes
The Dripping Springs Planning and Zoning Commission sat down with two new members at their last meeting.
Commissioners Roger Newman and Christian Bourguignon joined standing members John McIntosh, Evelyn Strong, Martin Garza, Vice Chair James Martin, and Chair Mim James at their regular July 23 public meeting. The new commissioners replaced outgoing members, Kim Hubbard and Michael Lavengo, who were recognized with notable appreciation for their service.
New member Christian Bourguignon has been a resident of Driftwood since 2011, and as owner and director of operations of Burgundy Builders, LLC, brings significant development experience to the table. An Eagle Scout, he serves as Asst. Scoutmaster of Dripping Springs BSA Troop 290.
A second appointment to the panel, Roger Newman, has been a Dripping Springs resident since 2016. A retired Director of Vocational Education State of Missouri Correctional System, he has built homes and practiced knowledgeable conservation measures with family farms.
The P&Z Commission has traditionally met publicly on the 4th Tuesday of each month at 6:30pm in City Hall chambers, but things are about to change this September, according to Assistant City Attorney Laura Mueller.
During the P&Z July meeting, Mueller explained that the Texas State Legislature recently passed a bill (HB 3167) which amended the Local Government Code. This bill expands plat deadlines to include site plans and site development permits, and tightens deadlines on cities for plan & plat review. It also changes how denials are documented, and makes modifications to the notification requirements for replats.
Because of the tightened deadlines for plan and plat reviews, Mueller counseled that there will probably be a need for an additional P&Z meeting per month.
“Also, public zoning notices will no longer be provided by the City, because of the lack of time to meet the required deadlines,” Mueller said.
P&Z Chair Mim James expressed his concern about communicating to the public that it is a state legislative mandate change that necessitates dropping public notice. “Applicants will also carry the burden of getting their applications letter-perfect to streamline the process,” he said.
City Planning Director Jason Lutz said on his report, “This state bill amendment will affect the City’s Site Development, Subdivision, and Parkland Dedication Ordinances.”
City Ordinances are now being revised and rewritten by Mueller, in order to comply with the state bill, which goes into effect this September. The required amendments to the City’s Codes will be brought forth for P&Z and City Council consideration in the coming month.