Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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March 10, 2014

Council reviews ordinance changes

Corsicana — The Corsicana City Council continued its discussions during a Monday work session on proposed changes to the city’s ordinances regulating several areas — among them, banners, satellite dishes, fencing in front yards, bamboo growth, windows in the downtown district and specific use permits for manufactured homes.

Council made no changes Monday, but will likely take action on a final draft of proposed changes at the March 24 council meeting.

Changes in the city’s sign ordinance regulating banners reviewed by council members and city staff Monday included allowing special event banners to be used several times each year, the promotion of specific products and services, keeping banners in good condition and out of right-of-ways, not obscuring the view of motorists.

Responding to complaints, the city is suggesting strengthening the rules regulating the placement of residential satellite dishes, requiring them to be placed on the rear half of the roof or lot of a structure if a free-standing dish, with variances to be considered on a case-by-case basis if placement would create signal reception issues. The new rules call for inactive satellite dishes to be removed. Council members discussed — but reached no consensus — on how existing residential dishes would be treated under the proposed changes. Having them “grandfathered” is an option, said City Manager Connie Standridge.

Most fencing along the front property lines would be limited to four feet in height under proposed changes, except for wrought-iron fences that allowed for clear vision through at least 50 percent of the fencing. Those would be allowed to be up to eight feet tall.

New wording in the existing city rules regulating tall grass and weeds would apply specifically to bamboo, specifying growth greater than eight inches in height would be allowed to cover up to 20 percent of a lot, but not allowed to encroach on neighboring properties or rights-of-way. The growth must also not obstruct vision at street intersections. Growth on portions of property over 200 feet from any occupied property or over 50 feet from any public street would be exempt from the rules.

Changes to the structure maintenance regulations for windows and doors in the downtown business district would call for windows and doors to be made of weather-resistant materials and maintained in a state of good repair; be cut to fit within the window or door opening and be property secured; and be painted black or to match the exterior of the building.

The council also heard a proposal to clarify the language of rules that allow for property that has an expired specific use permit for a manufactured home to be allowed to reapply for the permit.

Standridge asked council members to forward any additional questions or suggestions for consideration in the final drafts of the proposed changes, which she said would likely be brought to the March 24 council agenda.

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