Mission’s city council has given the go ahead for three new subdivisions and as many new businesses. A local restaurant will be allowed to sell alcoholic beverages for the first time. And the council voted to join other cities in opposition to a proposed American Electric Power rate hike.
On Monday the city council gave preliminary plat approval to three new subdivisions that, if all goes as planned, will add 89 new homes to the area.
The largest of the projects is the Monte Cristo subdivision where developer, Daniel Acevedo, plans to build 47 single family residences on 9.5 acres of land located approximately a quarter mile from Griffin Parkway (FM 495) along the west side of Inspiration Road.
The other two projects are located just outside the city limits but within its “extra territorial jurisdiction” which among other things means they likely will one day be annexed by the city. That fact raised concerns from councilman Dr. Armando O’Caña, who expressed concern to city planning director, Jaime Acevedo, that the new development would follow city guidelines for sidewalks. Acevedo said because the building permits were issued by Hidalgo County he did not have plans for the development nor does the city have the authority to enforce its zoning laws on developer Diana L. Izaguirre.
The first project, named “Eduardo’s Subdivision No. 15,” will place 24 single family homes on 6.64 acres of land located a quarter mile north of 3 Mile Road between Trosper Road and Los Ebanos Road with access via Maria Bonita Drive and La Silla Drive.
The second project is also in the city’s EJT. Named “Eduardo’s Subdivision No. 16,” plans call for 18 single family homes to be built on 4.5 acres of land located along the west side of Trosper Road approximately a half mile north of 3 Mile Road
The council also agreed to rezone about a half acre of land located approximately a quarter mile north of Expressway 83 on the west side of Glasscock Road from general business to residential town homes. Acevedo told the council developer Mario Rodriguez plans to build town houses on the site but he did not mention how many nor was the number contained in planning documents.
In other business, the council approved the rezoning of 5.6 acres of land originally zoned neighborhood commercial to general commercial for construction of a Gold’s Gym. The gym will be located on the west side of Shary Road approximately a quarter mile north of Griffin Parkway. At an April 12 Planning & Zoning Commission meeting developer Esteban Garcia said the plan also calls for adjacent retail spaces to compliment the gym, according to planning documents.
The council also granted a conditional use permit for a new restaurant to be located at the northeast corner of Mayberry Road and First Street. The Drunken Chicken restaurant will be located in a commercial building at 104 N. Mayberry Road that currently houses a convenience store, flower shop and barber shop, according to city planning documents. The restaurant will have 20 seats and serve barbecue chicken. Plans call for the restaurant to operate Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 8 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and will be closed Mondays.
And the council gave approval for the Whistling Duck Restaurant to operate out of a vacant commercial space located at 1603 E. Griffin Parkway. According to planning documents the owner plans to open a bar and grill similar to the University Draft House in Edinburg. Some area residents had opposed the restaurant during the Planning & Zoning commission’s April 12 hearing because it served alcohol. Though the commission recommended against the restaurant the city council unanimously approved a one-year conditional use permit.
The council’s vote was not unanimous when it came to granting a conditional use permit for a drive through window at Raising Canes Restaurant on which ground has not been broken. The restaurant’s engineer, Carlos Garza, said he was requesting on behalf of the restaurant chain the council grant a lifetime permit for the window in lieu of a traditional one-year conditional use permit.
Given the restaurant’s $1.2 million investment the chain owners felt the lifetime permit was warranted Garza said. But Mayor Norberto “Beto” Salinas objected to the request saying he didn’t want to set a precedent of granting lifetime use permits for new businesses. He said he might consider it after the restaurant completed a traditional one-year permit. However both councilmembers O’Caña and Jessica Ortega-Ochoa said they saw no reason to oppose the request causing a heated exchange between the mayor and O’Caña who argued their points simultaneously talking over each other. In the end, the council outvoted the mayor approving the lifetime permit 4-1.
The council also approved the sale of alcoholic beverages at Renee’s of Sharyland restaurant. It will be the first time the restaurant has served alcohol since opening in 2000, according to planning department documents.
The council also voted to join a group of cities that are customers of American Electric Power opposed to the utility’s planned rate hike of $1.09 per 1,000 kilowatt-hours. According to a March 31, 2017 letter to Mayor Salinas from Lee Jones, the utility’s Community Affairs and Customer Services Manager, the utility has asked the Public Utility Commission for the rate hike which, if approved, would go into effect on September 1. Jones said the rate hike would effect about 37,000 commercial and residential customers in Mission and the surrounding area. He said the average customer uses about 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month.
The council gave the city’s Public Works Department approval to seek bids on a rehabilitation project on the Madero water tower located near Conway Avenue and Military Highway. The project, which would repair an aging vertical water pipe is estimated to cost $300,000.
The council also approved a budget amendment allocating $350,000 for repair and maintenance of the city’s Center for Education and Economic Development and for the purchase of materials to create a computer lab for CEED clientele.
And the council gave the Mission Fire Department approval to seek an unspecified amount of grant money from Wal-Mart to purchase a drone aircraft to assist in emergency response situations.