Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Lewisville City Council rejects CVS request to sell alcohol
The city doesn't want students celebrating happy hour.
LEWISVILLE The Lewisville City Council denied a variance request from CVS Pharmacy to sell alcoholic beverages due to its proximity to a school.
During the September 17 city council meeting, Councilmen John Gorena, TJ Gilmore, and Neil Ferguson voted against the variance request. Councilman Rudy Durham voted in favor of granting the request.
CVS Pharmacy, located at 1116 W. Main St., applied for the variance after the Lewisville city staff determined that it did not meet the city regulations that require the site to be 300 feet from a public school measured property line to property line. The city's ordinance was patterned after the TABC section regarding distances.
In other council business, the city council decided to eliminate the private residential sewer line maintenance/cleaning. Previously, twice a year, the city would clean out the sewer system on the resident's side when they were called out. However, the council discussed the program at the last retreat and learned that the city staff had concerns about the program.
The city staff was concerned about damage to private property, competition with the private sector, open ended liability (the city loses sovereign immunity for damages when using motorized equipment), and the inability to keep up with routine cleaning of city lines as required by the TCEQ.
"This program took crews off other projects, and it's always a risk when the city goes on to private property," said James Kunke, community relations and tourism director. "Accidents could happen while we're on private property. In addition, it has taken a toll on our funding. The instruction we received is to eliminate the free service."
Kunke said the decision would go into effect by the end of the year.
Finally, the city council directed the city staff to move forward with an ordinance making the single-family rental inspection program mandatory. The mandatory program will most likely go into effect in October. The city currently has a voluntary program.
The current program began in July 2008. There is no charge for the voluntary program. The current program states that the city will come out to a property to inspect it only at a change of tenant or complaint from tenant.
During the inspection, city officials inspect the property, identify needed improvements, and give the property owner 10-30 days to resolve the issues. If repairs are not made, citations may be issued. If the city fails to complete the initial inspection within three working days from the receipt of request or within two working days from the receipt of request for re-inspection, the unit can be occupied. Once the rental unit has passed two inspections within two calendar years, no applications for a Certificate of Occupancy are required for the succeeding five years.
The city staff proposed the following amendments to the program: to require an annual registration of all single-family rental properties and to add a $50 fee up-front to single-family rental (credit water bill upon compliance of initial inspection if conducted within 10 working days). In addition, the city staff suggested adjusting the five-year waiver to the following: If the rental unit passes two inspections, with two tenant changes, within a two-year period, it qualifies for five-year self inspection upon subsequent tenant change-out. The staff also proposed eliminating the three working day restriction.
"This voluntary program has been well received," Kunke said. "It keeps properties in good shape, and tenants like it because it offers them an outlet."
Kunke said the goals of the program are to protect the health, safety, and welfare of residents and help maintain the integrity of neighborhoods.
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