Waxahachie Metropolis Council denies front-facing photo voltaic panels
The issue of a solar panel on the roof in front of a house was the most discussed Monday evening in a very brief meeting of the Waxahachie City Council.
Council members denied a request for specific use of the roof system at 203 Shetland Court 4: 1, with council member Melissa Olson voting to allow the system.
In January 2020, the council passed a regulation allowing solar panels on the sides and back of the roofs, so no SUPs are required for any solar project. The language was retained, however, so no panels were allowed on the forward-facing roofs.
During a public hearing, Parry DuBois, executive director of applicant Kosmos Solar, asked the council to approve the SUP, saying that solar panels facing south, west and east offer the most optimal setup. The house at this location has roof views to the west and east, with the east side facing the cul-de-sac.
According to DuBois, the state of Texas is incentivizing the use of solar panels to take the load off the state’s electricity grid during the summer and preventing homeowners associations from restricting modules. He added that the homeowner would need panels on both the east and west sides to take full advantage of the benefits.
However, public speaker Chris Wright told the council that allowing this system to face the street would set a precedent and would open the door to more panels facing the street.
“The moment you let that person do it, how can you tell everyone else that they can’t do it in the neighborhood they are in?” Asked Wright.
Although the city received three letters of support from neighbors and no opposition, the Planning & Zoning Commission voted 5-0 against the zoning change at its February 25 meeting.
All council members were present.
• The approval agenda consisted of approving previous protocols, filing requests for the St. Jude Car Show on October 2 and 2021 Junk in the Trunk dates, and approving funding from park dedication fees for additional costs related to Chapman Park and Lions Park toilets; and the ratification of the funding recommendations from the TIRZ meeting on February 23.
• A plat for the Buffalo Ridge subdivision was approved, allowing a 10-foot relief instead of a normally required 15-foot relief. The property consists of 55.6 hectares.
• Approval has been made to correct a mistake made a few years ago in the construction of the Garden Valley Apartments at 240 Park Place Boulevard. City officials discovered in December that a final plat had never been completed. However, despite the city’s mistake, the city council ruled that the applicant would still be responsible for the $ 85,200 fee in lieu of the inauguration of parkland and denied a request for dollar relief.
• After a public hearing, the Council approved a resolution amending the guidelines and criteria for economic development. The city has to review and update its economic policy every two years.
• Council members approved the city’s application for a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant for the city’s fire services. Fire Chief Ricky Boyd said the grant would allow the department to hire three new firefighters to fill in the staff for the new # 4 engine at Fire Station 4, which is currently scheduled to go live in 2023.
• An ordinance was passed that established a fee schedule for cemetery land and related cemetery fees in the city cemetery, including new fees for columbarium niches and cover plate engravings. A permanent flat tombstone will be installed after two years of burial at the city’s expense through available cemetery funds if no tombstone has been laid by then.
• A contract with Plumbers Associates, Inc. for professional engineering services has been approved for the Howard Road Water Treatment Plant heavy-duty pumping project for $ 213,000, part of the city’s capital improvement plan and funded by the Water Impact Fee. David Bailey, director of the public utility company, said the pump will increase the water capacity in the system.
• City Administrator Michael Scott said the city council’s mid-year retreat will be on April 13th and a joint meeting of the Waxahachie City Council and ITS Board of Trustees will be on March 22nd.
• Mayor David Hill said Ellis County’s COVID-19 Vaccination Center at Waxahachie Senior Center has had 18,000 vaccinations to date. Hill said the hub will soon be taking second shots of the Moderna vaccine.