Tag Archives: subdivision ordinance

Special Meeting for Subdivision Ordinance Set for September 22 (Corrected)

[Publisher’s Note: The meeting begins at 5 PM, as shown on the agenda, and not 7 PM, as it appeared in the text of the original article. To repeat, the meeting begins at 5 PM on Sunday, September 22 at the Coupland Fire Station.] 

Last night the City Council held a workshop to review and revise a draft of a subdivision ordinance. One citizen attended the meeting. Jim Huntington signed up for the citizen communication portion of the meeting. He expressed his concern and hope that the City Council would find a good balance between individual property rights and the legitimate concerns of the general community, whether that be in a subdivision ordinance or in a future zoning ordinance.

The City Council spent the rest of the meeting discussion various elements of the draft ordinance, which is based on the City of Bertram’s subdivision ordinance. The draft was the work of the Concerned Citizen’s Committee, a group of citizens that met several times earlier in the year, before the City Council was formally established, to look at subdivision ordinances and regulations from Williamson County, Weir, and Bertram. The group settled on the comprehensive Bertram Ordinance and worked to refine it to reflect local concerns. They then passed it on for consideration by the City Council.

At last night’s meeting, the City Council discussed various elements of the draft ordinance and made revisions. The Council was satisfied that the revised ordinance was appropriate to protect all parties who might be affected by future commercial and residential development, both within Coupland city limits and its extra-territorial jurisdiction. Due to their concern that developers may already be considering property in the Coupland area, the Council set a special meeting for this Sunday (5 PM at the Coupland Fire Station) to consider and potentially adopt this ordinance.

The preamble of the ordinance explains the rationale behind it:

. . . to better provide an attractive living environment, maintain a rural way of life, and to protect the health, safety and welfare of the present and future citizens;

You may review the proposed ordinance by clicking on this link: Coupland Subdivision Ordinance

Special Meeting 9-22-2013


City Council Meeting Highlights – September 12, 2013

The real highlight of this meeting was a custom gavel made and donated by Eldridge Tidwell to Mayor Jack Piper.

L-R: Susan Garry, Barbara Piper, Jack Piper, Karen Marosko, Eldridge Tidwell, Susan Schmidt

L-R: Susan Garry, Barbara Piper, Jack Piper, Karen Marosko, Eldridge Tidwell, Susan Schmidt

The entire City Council was present along with the City Secretary. One citizen attended the meeting.

Prior to the regular meeting, a public hearing was conducted on the proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2014, which begins on October 1. Mayor Piper reviewed the budget (see the story from September 3 for details on the budget). The only question from the public was related to road maintenance. Becky Sutton wanted to know whether or not Williamson County will take over maintenance on Pflugerville-Berkman Road (CR 459). Barbara Piper said that the council has not yet heard back from the county on this matter. There were no other questions or comments from the public. The budget will be formally adopted at the next regular meeting.

After the public hearing was closed, the regular meeting of the City Council began. Here are the highlights:

  • Mayor Piper presented a financial report to the Aldermen.  The beginning bank balance was $1,935.64 on June 26. Income was $1,415.93 (Liquor Tax Allocation). Expenses totaled $583.33 (checks, office supplies & equipment, Texas Municipal League Risk Pool). The ending balance as of August 30 was $2,768.24.
  • Oncor expects to provide the information needed to establish an agreement for franchise fee revenue by October.
  • Mayor Piper provided information on expected sales tax revenue in the event that the sales tax propositions are passed by the voters in November. Based on figures provided by the State Comptroller’s office, average state taxable sales within the City of Coupland during the period of July 2012 – June 2013 were $51,358 per month. This would result in general sales tax revenue of $629 per month ($503 for regular sales tax, $126 for road maintenance tax).
  • During the Citizen Communication portion of the meeting, Becky Sutton asked a general question about how many readings are required for ordinances before they can be adopted. Mayor Piper responded that it depends upon the type of ordinance. He also noted that an extensive ordinance would not have to be read in it’s entirety but would be summarized and copies would be available to the public in advance. Ms. Sutton also asked how much Oncor will pay in franchise fee per meter. Mayor Piper that this figure is not yet known but that it will be in the contract with Oncor.
  • Another citizen, Stewart Dale Spencer (City Secretary and yours truly) read a prepared statement. He advised the City Council that considering his position as City Secretary, the best way for him to express his opinion on City Council matters was during the Citizen Communication portion of the meeting. He spoke about the issue of zoning, reminding the Aldermen that they had all run on a platform of “Keeping Coupland, Coupland.” He noted that Coupland has never had zoning and that he felt that existing state and county laws and regulations were sufficient to ensure the safety and well-being of the general community. Click here to see the full text of his comments.*

The next regular meeting of the City Council will be on September 26. However, Mayor Piper has set a special work session for the Council to review and possibly revise a draft of a subdivision ordinance. This meeting will be on September 18 and will be open to the public.

*[Publisher’s Note: It is admittedly somewhat uncomfortable to be in the position of serving the community as City Secretary while also reporting on City Council activities and decisions and then, as in this story, reporting on my concerns about the same. It’s a small community and many Couplanders serve in multiple functions. It can’t be avoided and, in my opinion, should not result in the loss of anyone’s rights to express their opinions. Nevertheless, I wish to make it clear to our readers that it is the policy of the Coupland Times to clearly separate objective reports upon City Council meetings from opinions and/or concerns that I or others may have about the activities and decisions of the City Council. As City Secretary, I am the servant of the City Council. As private citizen and publisher of the Coupland Times, I am a watchman who stands ready to praise and admonish the City Council as circumstances warrant. This is the essence of a democratic republic and I encourage all Couplanders to attend City Council meetings and be involved in the process of governing this wonderful community. This forum will be equally available to all respectful expressions of personal opinions about city government and other community matters.]