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City approves more housing, upgrade of emergency coms

Though Mission’s city council has approved another housing project at least  two developers are finding it difficult to pass a pair of proposed commercial projects by the council.


And the council has approved a multi-million dollar upgrade of its aging radio communications system.  The actions, among others, were taken during the council’s meeting Monday in City Hall, including funding for the city’s own street improvement strike force and adding to the fire department’s fleet.

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On June 26 the city council gave final plat approval for plans to build 38 single-family residences with two common areas on the city’s south side. The approval paves the way for the third phase of the Los Cabos Subdivision located at Glasscock Road and San Mateo Parkway near Harry Shimotsu Elementary School and B.L. Gray Junior High School. The homes will sit on an approximately 14-acre site on lots ranging from just under 7,000 square feet to just more than 17,000 square feet, according to city Planning and Zoning documents.


The city council gave its unanimous approval without hesitation. That was not the case when developer, Villa Capital, LLC, asked the city to rezone a 1.25 acre lot in central Mission. The developer had requested to rezone the lot, which abuts a residential neighborhood, from its current C-1, or Commercial 1, zoning, which allows office space, to C-2, which would permit construction of types of commercial properties such as restaurants or other retail businesses, explained the city’s planning director, Jaime Acevedo.


The lot is located on the southwest corner of Shary Road and Fox Run Drive facing Shary Drive. The developer was seeking to also have access to the property from Fox Run Drive, which is an entry way to a residential neighborhood. Resident Miguel DelAngel, of the 2300 block of Fox Run Drive, expressed concern to the council that a business with access from Fox Run Drive could increase traffic flow on the residential street that could endanger the 18 children who live in the neighborhood. 


DelAngel’s sentiments were echoed by other residents such as Fred Kurth, who lives in the same block as DelAngel.


“We just think it would be very invasive into the neighborhood,” Kurth said. “We have a very quiet road and we want to keep it that way.”


The council unanimously denied the rezoning request.


The council decided to postpone until November the request from the owner of the Meadow Creek Golf Course and subdivision to rezone less than an acre of land along the golf course on the southwest corner of 1 Mile South and Inspiration Roads to allow commercial development of the site.


Noting that many of the property owners in the subdivision live out of state in the summer months, Mayor Norberto “Beto” Salinas recommended the council postpone any action on the request until the residents return to the area later in the year. Development of the subdivision has become a point of contention between current residents and owner Olaguer Bauza, who purchased the golf course and its adjoining subdivision about two years ago. Bauza has stated he needs to develop the property to make it profitable and residents for the most part want to keep it as is.


Salinas obtained the council’s consent to take no action on the matter until later in the year.


“I’m going to stand by the people who are not here,” Salinas said, referring to subdivision residents, many of whom are Winter Texans. “We’re going to wait for them in November.”


Also Monday the council voted unanimously to approve spending $2.1 million to purchase a new radio communications system for the city’s police, fire and sanitation departments. The purchase will update the city’s current 21-year-old operating system to a Motorola P-25 digital communications system. The allocation includes the purchase of 100 portable radios. Mission Police Chief Robert Dominguez told the city council the new system will better link the city with other emergency response agencies in the Valley. The purchase, which is actually a lease of the equipment, will be paid out over ten years with the first payment not for two years, Dominguez said.


As for emergency response the council also approved authorization for the city’s fire department to purchase a new fire engine for the department. It also authorized the fire department to apply for a $4,500 grant to the Wal-Mart Corporation for a drone aircraft. Fire Chief Gilbert Sanchez said the department would use the drone to assist responding to emergency calls in some cases.


The city also approved the expenditure of $407,488 to purchase equipment such as an asphalt paver and roller compactor, among other equipment, so the city can create its own street paving crew. City Manager Martin Garza told the mayor and council at a work session earlier this month the city plans to create its own street paving crew in much the same manner it created a five member Parks & Recreation Department work crew to upgrade city parks.

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