Mont Belvieu is staying ahead of its growth regarding engineering standards in constructing subdivisions, and in doing so amended construction regulations.
While much of the changes were simply housekeeping issues, other changes further strengthened city ordinances.
One such change focuses on how the city wants to see the land use for a new subdivision. City Planner Ken Barnadyn presented several examples of subdivisions to city council Monday night where active pipelines run through neighborhoods, some of which run through backyards, front yards or the middle of homes.
Because of that, city council approved adding language in the ordinance that gives city staff the ability to make suggestions and help regulate where homes can be developed based on pipeline locations.
Although many examples given of homes being built above pipelines were from older subdivisions, Icet Creek Crossing Section 3 also has plans to build homes above underground pipes.
“Section 3 hasn’t come to the city of preliminary approval but with this language in place we can help redesign that, and they would have to adhere to it rather than having this pipeline go through someone’s front yard, backyard, middle of their house,” Barnadyn said. “Because God forbid there would ever be an issue where there’s a pipeline explosion, cause all those people are going to be in a lot of trouble.”
The city also changed the language to the Code of Ordinances that prohibit cul-de-sacs in new neighborhoods, unless permission is given.
“This is really to help with the community connectivity that we have in place,” Barnadyn said. “So many times there’s just one way in and one way out. Well, we want to make sure that this helps push them in the direction. We need better connectivity and this would really make them meet that.”
The city will also now require all utilities running parallel to the front of properties to be located in the designated right of way, which are located between sidewalks and roads.
Council approved the requirement to prevent utility easements from being located in the middle of lawns.
Mont Belvieu held the second and final public hearing for the 2018-2019 tax rate Monday and will now vote to approve it at its Sept. 24 city council meeting.
The city is asking for the property tax of $0.436659 per $100 valuation to stay the same as it is now. It was also the same the previous year.
Property tax is the largest source of revenue for the city, which is budgeted at $16.3 million for the 2018-2019 fiscal year.
For general homestead, a $200,000 home would be minus a $40,000 exemption, and that would leave $160,00 in new taxable income.
For residents 65 and older with a $200,000 home, they would also have a $40,000 exemption, but with additional local exemptions of $150,000, so they would have $10,000 in taxable income. With disability, it is the same except they would have about $25,000 in local exemptions, with $135,000 in taxable income. With the tax rate staying the same at $0.436659, general homesteaders would pay $638.65 in taxes while residents 65 and older would pay $43.67. Those with a disability would pay $589.49.
Council is expected to approve the tax rate at 6 p.m. Sept. 24 at City Hall.