City council ratifies preservation ordinance
Sunday, 22 July 2012 by Matthew Girard
After hours of tweaking, perparation and hard work, the Belton City Council ratified and adopted the 2012 Historic Preservation Ordinance at Tuesday's regulary scheduled meeting at the Harris Community Center.
The most recent ordinance repeals the 2009 ordinance and places a 180-day moratorium on demolition permits within the six former Belton Historic Districts.
After passing the revised ordinance at its last meeting in June, the council ratified the 2012 ordinance with the inclusion of a few changes. The changes included the city being able to designate "historic landmarks" without the owner's consent, the council being able to add an extension of 60 days if the demolition of a property is denied by both the Heritage Preservation Board and the City Council and a "Silver Bullet" clause that gives the council the right to prohibit the demolition of a landmark structure with six affirmative votes.
The ratification passed unanimously 6-0 as was the ordinance providing for the 180-day moratorium while staff conducts research to define the historic districts. The only exception to the 180-day moratorium was a house located at 1015 N. Beal St., which is slated as a THDCA replacement home and is included in the Leon Heights Historic District.
The council also passed a resolution authorizing the submission of a grant application to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department for the Nolan Creek Recreation Improvement Project. The grant is for $50,000 and would provide water access for recreation and kayaking, improvement of water quality and the removal of obstructions along Nolan Creek.
In other business, the council passed a motion (4-2) to implement a $5 per-player cost recovery fee for future sports league agreements.
Despite objections by Belton Youth Baseball Association President Wade Miller and Belton Youth Softball Assocation President Mike Thompson, the council passed the motion to help the Parks and Recreation Department recoup some of the expenses of maintaining the fields used by the associations.
The $5 fee will be included for all Fall 2012 sports.