New Braunfels Logo
Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Bookmark and Share
File #: 22-934    Name:
Type: Ordinance Status: Passed
File created: 7/26/2022 In control: City Council
On agenda: 8/8/2022 Final action: 8/8/2022
Title: Public hearing and first reading of an ordinance regarding the proposed rezoning to apply a Special Use Permit in "R-2" Single-family and Two-family District to allow a resort property with related development standards on approximately 19.96 acres out of the Ingram Acres Subdivision, Lot 2B addressed at 1251 Sleepy Hollow Lane.
Attachments: 1. City Maps, 2. Application with Proposal, 3. TIA Determination Letter & Form, 4. Subject Property Photos, 5. Notification Map, List, & Responses, 6. PC Draft Minutes, 7. Draft Ordinance, 8. Floodway Standard Exhibit

PRESENTER: Presenter

Christopher J.  Looney, AICP, Planning and Development Services Director

Body

SUBJECT: Title

Public hearing and first reading of an ordinance regarding the proposed rezoning to apply a Special Use Permit in “R-2” Single-family and Two-family District to allow a resort property with related development standards on approximately 19.96 acres out of the Ingram Acres Subdivision, Lot 2B addressed at 1251 Sleepy Hollow Lane.

Header

DEPARTMENT: Planning and Development Services

                     

COUNCIL DISTRICTS IMPACTED: Council District 4

 

BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

Case #:                                          SUP22-217

 

Applicant:                     TJ Grossi

                     Schumann Consulting

                                          236 Summer Hill

                                          New Braunfels, TX 78130

                                          tj@schumannconsulting.org

 

Owner:                                          Zero Rivers

                                          1071 Fieldstone Drive

                                          New Braunfels, TX 78130

                                          toobintx@aol.com

 

Staff Contact:                     Laure Middleton

                                          (830) 221-4054                     LMiddleton@nbtexas.org

 

The City Council held a public hearing on July 25, 2022 and voted to postpone the first reading of this item to the August 8, 2022 City Council meeting at the applicant’s request, with the suggestion the applicant consider the addition of a site plan, and the stipulation that this is the final postponement (7-0-0).

 

On Tuesday, August 2, 2022, the applicant provided City staff their proposal as an alternative to staff’s recommendation (see attachment labeled “Floodway Standard Exhibit”). The applicant indicated they would propose:

Floodway Development Standard:

                     No vertical structures to be constructed within 150 feet of the northeast residentially zoned properties.

                     No vertical structures to be constructed within 100 feet of Sleepy Hollow right-of-way.

Since the applicant’s alternative proposal was received by staff the day before agenda posting/packet distribution, as of packet press time City staff was still evaluating the applicant’s proposal.

 

The subject property is located east of Gruene Road on the west side of Sleepy Hollow Lane between Ewelling Lane to the south and the Guadalupe River to the north. Approximately 80% of the 19.96 acre tract is located within the Guadalupe River floodway (approximately 12.26 acres) and 1% annual chance floodplain (approximately 3.75 acres). The site is currently unimproved.

 

The applicant is requesting approval of a zoning change to apply a Type 1 Special Use Permit (SUP) to allow the development of a resort property with cottages, cabins, condos, RVs, commercial parking, and supporting structures including but not limited to a bathhouse, maintenance building, and amenities. The zoning ordinance allows for Type 1 and Type 2 SUPs where a Type 1 is without a site plan regulating land use only, and a Type 2 is with a detailed site plan. (Section 144-5.17)

 

Resort property means a compound of buildings and facilities located together that provides lodging, entertainment and a relaxing environment to people on vacation. This includes 24-hour security and 24-hour front desk personnel. The units are required to comply with all commercial building code standards. Resort properties are exempted from the Short Term Rental requirements, but must still submit Hotel Occupancy Tax, where applicable.  (Ch 144-5.7)

 

Activities typically associated with resort developments include:

                     Vacationers

                     RV travelers

                     Seasonal living for 6 months or less (snowbirds, seasonal/temporary workers)

                     Corporate retreats and meetings

                     Family reunions

                     Celebrations of significant life events - milestone birthdays, graduations, weddings, retirement, etc.

                     Rental of individual units for less than 30 days

 

Surrounding Zoning and Land Use:

North - R-1 and R-2 / Single-family neighborhood

South -M-1r17 and R-2/ Commercial center and single-family residence

East - Across Sleepy Hollow Ln, R-2 / single-family and Undeveloped

West - R-2 and C-4B / Undeveloped

 

Access and Transportation

A traffic impact analysis (TIA) determination form submitted for this project indicated trip generation for 50 occupied campsite/cabins would be under 100 peak hour trips.  An updated TIA determination form and indicated required analysis reflecting all proposed uses will be required prior to platting or permitting. 

 

The subject property fronts Sleepy Hollow Lane, a local residential street that serves residential properties and has a pavement width of approximately 17 feet. It is considered inadequate by City standards as it is less than 24 feet wide and does not meet the minimum pavement requirements for a local residential street, which is 30 feet. The minimum pavement width for local streets that serve commercial development is 40 feet. The applicant’s proposal indicates that, if approved, their access to Sleepy Hollow Lane will be for emergency access only. To guarantee such an arrangement, a permanent access easement agreement is necessary to ensure the primary access to Gruene Road across the adjacent properties. The City must be a release authority on this agreement to ensure it remains in perpetuity.

 

Environmental

The subject property is located in close proximity to the Guadalupe River, known as a flash flood area where there is a history of little advance warning of rising water. This flood prone area makes most of the property environmentally vulnerable for permanent residential or commercial structures. While RV placement is prohibited in the floodway, RVs in the floodplain must be “road ready” and utility improvements within the floodplain must meet minimum flood protection measures. A floodplain development permit is applicable and will be required for this proposed commercial development (if approved) if any structures are to be located within either the floodway or 1% annual chance floodplain.

 

Floodway Development

Chapter 58-27 defines floodway: Regulatory floodway means the channel of a river or other watercourse and the adjacent land areas that must be reserved in order to discharge the base flood without cumulatively increasing the water surface elevation more than a designated height.

 

Any development in the FEMA designated Floodway is subject to a flood study showing the proposed structures will not create a rise in floodwaters and will not create any adverse impacts upstream or downstream. All utilities, mechanical equipment, and permanent structures must be elevated to 2 feet above Base Flood Elevation (BFE). Permanent structures must be anchored and designed by an engineer to be able to withstand the hydrostatic forces of adverse flood events.

 

Paving for parking is not required to be elevated but must be reviewed through floodplain development permits and require No Rise and No Adverse Impact certification. Landscape installation also is required to be No Rise and No Adverse Impact certified. In speaking with the City’s Engineering Division in the Transportation & Capital Improvements Department, this is not a guaranteed outcome and is dependent upon the flood study. Therefore, the proposed standard of “heavy vegetation buffer” between the abutting residential properties is uncertain and cannot be guaranteed.

 

RVs are prohibited from being situated within the floodway (2018 IBC Sec. G601.1).

 

As part of the subdivision platting process, the City’s Subdivision Platting Ordinance requires FEMA designated Floodway to be located within a drainage easement that excludes development. However, platting the subject property is not required.

 

Floodplain Development

Any development in the FEMA designated 1% annual chance floodplain is required to be reviewed through a floodplain development permit. Permanent structures in the floodplain are required to be elevated 2 feet above BFE and anchored to withstand the hydrostatic forces of adverse flood events. Utilities and mechanical equipment are also required to be elevated 2 feet above BFE. Temporary uses (less than 6 months) in the floodplain, including RVs, do not require floodplain development permits, however RV pad site development requires a floodplain development permit. 

 

RV parks in the community that are in floodplains and near floodways incorporate and adopt formal emergency evacuation plans.

 

Residential Buffer

The zoning ordinance requires a commercially developed property to install and maintain a 6-8 foot tall residential buffer wall and shade trees every 25 feet. The wall must be constructed of brick, stone, cast stone, rock, marble, granite, split-face concrete block, poured-in place concrete, or precast concrete, and not fiber cement. The ordinance allows an administrative process for the abutting residential properties to authorize relief from the residential buffer wall requirement.

 

However, due to the floodway designation on much of the property that abuts the residential neighborhood, these residential buffer requirements may not be feasible. A flood study is needed to make that determination.

 

The residential buffering requirements of the zoning ordinance also prohibit outdoor audio or speakers, and require an increased setback of at least 20 feet plus one foot for each foot of building height over 20 feet.

 

Lighting

The zoning ordinance requires limited lighting, and fixtures operated so as “not to produce an obnoxious and intense glare or direct illumination across the bounding property line, and shall not be of such intensity as to create a nuisance or detract from the use or enjoyment of adjacent property.” Chapter 144-5.3 provides standards for outdoor lighting illuminating parking spaces, driveways, maneuvering areas, or buildings and setback or shielding requirements. 

 

Noise Regulations

Decibel limits for non-residential properties is defined in Chapter 82-9(c)(2)b of the City’s Code of Ordinances. The maximum permissible decibel level for any type of sound emitted from that property is up to 85 decibels between 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., and up to 75 decibels at all other times. These are the same standards as required by the code for Residential districts.

 

Impacts of noise on hearing health are described on the CDC.gov website. For reference city traffic (inside a car) is described as around 85 decibels. Normal Conversation is described as around 60 decibels.

 

ISSUE:

The applicant’s proposal with this SUP request is to allow a Resort Property with Cottages, Cabins, Condos, RV’s, commercial parking, and supporting structures including but not limited to bathhouse, maintenance building, and amenities. In addition to the City’s minimum ordinance standards, the applicant proposes some development standards to address the scale, character and impact of the use:

1)                     Quiet hours between 10pm-6am,

2)                     Heavy vegetation buffer abutting adjacent residential lots, and

3)                     Access to Sleepy Hollow Lane for emergency use only.

 

Future Land Use Plan:

The property lies within the New Braunfels Sub Area near an existing Tourist Center, and near a future Market Center. It is in close proximity to the Guadalupe River Recreational Corridor and within a short walk or bicycle ride to Gruene.

 

Depending on the development standards adopted, this project could offer a novel option for vacationers, both local and visiting, in close proximity to many tourist attractions. With certain development standards to minimize negative impact on the abutting neighborhood and downstream property owners, the proposal could be in harmony with following actions from Envision New Braunfels:

Action 1.6:  Incentivize infill development and redevelopment to take advantage of existing infrastructure.

Action 1.14 Ensure regulations do not unintentionally inhibit the provision of a variety of flexible and innovative lodging options and attractions.

Action 3.21 Enhance local recreational venues.

Action 4.3 Ensure adequate facilities in number and in size for local citizen use, and to attract outside markets for tournaments and conventions.

 

FISCAL IMPACT:

If approved, this resort property would be subject to Hotel Occupancy Taxes (HOT).

Recommendation

RECOMMENDATION:

Development in close proximity to a river must proceed carefully. During floods, materials often float downstream damaging properties and improvements, and with the potential to hurt people. Appropriate standards can serve as safeguards, although none can ensure 100% safety as flood waters are unpredictable. Staff recommends approval with the following conditions intended to provide some safeguards as well as to ensure consistency with the Comprehensive Plan:

1.                     In addition to the standards for non-residential uses in the R-2, Two-Family Residential District, all non-residential development standards including but not limited to tree protection, residential buffering, and architectural design standards shall apply.

2.                     No campfires or open fires unless permitted by the City of New Braunfels Fire Department.

3.                     Outdoor large group activities shall be prohibited between the hours of 11 pm and 9 am.

4.                     Structures located within 150 feet of adjacent residentially used properties shall face away from such properties.

5.                     A building setback of 50 feet from Sleepy Hollow Lane shall be maintained between the residential and commercial uses. (Staff would typically require the residential buffer wall adjacent to Sleepy Hollow Lane; however, the floodway may prevent its construction, and the additional setback will help minimize conflict with adjacent residential uses.)

6.                     Primary access shall be to Gruene Road and a recorded private access easement agreement shall be required which includes the City of New Braunfels as a required party to approve its release (to ensure the perpetuity of this primary access).

7.                     Access to Sleepy Hollow Lane is restricted to secondary emergency access only.

8.                     A drainage easement encompassing the floodway shall be designated prior to the issuance of a building permit. The following note shall be included in the SUP:  No structures, walls, or other obstructions of any kind shall be placed within the limits of the drainage easements. No landscaping, fences, or other type of modifications which alter the cross sections of the drainage easements or decrease the hydraulic capacity of the easement, as approved, shall be allowed without the approval of the city engineer. The City of New Braunfels shall have the right of ingress and egress over grantor’s adjacent property to remove any obstructions placed within the limits of said drainage easements and to make any modifications or improvements within said drainage easements.

The Planning Commission held a public hearing on July 5, 2022 and recommended approval (8-0-1) with Commissioner Miedema abstaining, recommended to accept Conditions 1-7 (9-0), and recommended that staff work with TCI to clarify (the original) condition 8 to include language for drainage easement requirements (since clarified with TCI) and discuss the condition with the developer (meeting held with developer on July 22, 2022) (9-0).

 

Mailed notification pursuant to state statute:

Public hearing notices were mailed to 31 owners of property within 200 feet of the subject property. To date, thirteen responses have been received in opposition from property owners 10, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 25, 28, and 29; and four in favor from property owners 2, 5, 6, and 9 and one in favor from outside of the notification area. Opposition represents more than 20% of the notification area. Pursuant to state statute, a ¾ majority of City Council (6 votes) will be required to approve the applicant’s request unless that opposition changes.

 

Resource Links:

Chapter 144, Section 3.3-2 "R-2" Single and Two-family District of the City’s Code of Ordinances:

<https://library.municode.com/tx/new_braunfels/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=PTIICOOR_CH144ZO_ARTIIIZODI_S144-3.3ZODIREPRZOPRJU221987>

 

Chapter 144, Section 5.3 Landscaping, tree preservation, public trees, screening, fences, buffering and lighting of the City’s Code of Ordinances:

<https://library.municode.com/tx/new_braunfels/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=PTIICOOR_CH144ZO_ARTVDEST_S144-5.3LATRPRPUTRSCFEBULI>

 

Chapter 144, Section 5.22. - Non-residential and multifamily design standards.

<https://library.municode.com/tx/new_braunfels/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=PTIICOOR_CH144ZO_ARTVDEST_S144-5.22NSIMUDEST>

 

Chapter 144, Section 3.6 Special Use Permits of the City’s Code of Ordinances:

<https://library.municode.com/tx/new_braunfels/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=PTIICOOR_CH144ZO_ARTIIIZODI_S144-3.6SPUSPE>

 

Chapter 82, Section 9 Noise Regulations of the City’s Code of Ordinances:

<https://library.municode.com/tx/new_braunfels/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=PTIICOOR_CH82OFMIPR_ARTIINGE_S82-9NORE>

 

Chapter 58, Section 30 Provisions for flood hazard reduction of the City’s Code of Ordinances:

<https://library.municode.com/tx/new_braunfels/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=PTIICOOR_CH58FL_ARTIIFLDAPR_S58-30PRFLHARE>

 

Chapter 62, Article IV. - Mobile Homes, House Cars And Tourist Courts of the City’s Code of Ordinances: <https://library.municode.com/tx/new_braunfels/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=PTIICOOR_CH62HESA_ARTIVMOHOHOCATOCO>

Staff has identified the following development standards that would help address conflicts with the goals and action items of Envision New Braunfels and the abutting neighborhood while ensuring downstream properties and citizens are safe from materials moving downstream during a flood:

1.                     Primary access shall be to Gruene Road and a recorded private access easement agreement shall be required which includes the city as a required party to approve its release to ensure the perpetuity of this primary access.

2.                     Access to Sleepy Hollow Lane is restricted to secondary emergency access only.

3.                     Designate a drainage easement encompassing the floodway prior to the issuance of a building permit. The following note shall be included in the SUP: No structures, walls, or other obstructions of any kind shall be placed within the limits of the drainage easements shown on this plat. No landscaping, fences, or other type of modifications which alter the cross sections of the drainage easements or decrease the hydraulic capacity of the easement, as approved, shall be allowed without the approval of the city engineer. The City of New Braunfels shall have the right of ingress and egress over grantor’s adjacent property to remove any obstructions placed within the limits of said drainage easements and to make any modifications or improvements within said drainage easements.

These standards are reiterated below as part of staff’s recommendation.