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Wilson County News March 13, 2013 | 2,228 views | 2 comments
STOCKDALE -- Residents here are split on growth issues, related to the continued oil and gas exploration in the Eagle Ford shale. Residents opposing a zoning change attended the March 5 Stockdale City Council meeting to voice their concerns. When it came time for the council to vote, council members also were split, ultimately voting against rezoning.
Victor Soefje, who purchased 1.3 acres located at the end of South Eighth Street, has been developing the property since 2004. Attorney David Eveld, speaking on behalf of the Soefje family, outlined the proposed manufactured homes subdivision and Soefje’s investment thus far, including the installation of three pads and utility hookups.
Eveld evaluated the number of manufactured homes in the area, including 19 homes within a four-block area. The Soefjes have reduced their original plat of seven or eight homes to four.
The original plat was approved by a former city manager without authorization, said Mayor Johnny Stahl, since the city’s zoning maps were approved in 2000. The map used by the present staff is dated Jan. 31, 2003.
Speaking against the subdivision was Betty Henry, concerned about the increased traffic on the road, which is used for deliveries and ambulance transport of residents of the Stockdale Nursing Home. Others echoed the same sentiment, while some voiced concerns about noise and nuisance issues. Some even questioned whether the proposed occupants would be families or if the homes would turn into Eagle Ford shale “man camps.”
Council member Becky Adams was in favor of the zoning change and mentioned another rental property of the Soefjes in the Pandora area.
“Concerning crime rates,” Adams said, “you can’t blame employees associated with the Eagle Ford shale oil and gas exploration.”
Council member Sherry D. Lambeck said the city is changing. If the zoning change were denied, the future tenants would go somewhere else to spend their money.
After the debate, Adams and Lambeck voted in favor of rezoning the lots from single-family residential to a multi-family district. Councilmen Scott Soden, Saul Bosquez, and Roger Armstrong voted nay.
The council also revisited an item from its February meeting, voting to invite bids again for the sale and development of a 0.85-acre tract of land once comprising part of Birdsong Peanuts. The council had rejected the two bids received during its Jan. 8 meeting. A stipulation will be included in the bid package that the project must be “beneficial to the city.”
The council also discussed a line of credit for Wilson County Emergency Services District No. 3. See article below for more on this.
In other business, the council tabled a proposal by the Stockdale Chamber of Commerce for improvements to the city’s park and rodeo grounds.
Rick Rutland and Jennifer Dillingham, representing the chamber, outlined capital improvements to the Stockdale City Park and rodeo grounds, including the construction of a concrete ramp to be ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act)-compliant and a new concession stand. The chamber will pay for all construction, but asked the council’s approval before proceeding on the city-owned property.
The chamber members were asked to present specifics of the projects to the council before starting construction.
In attendance: Mayor Johnny Stahl; councilmen Sherry D. Lambeck, Scott Soden, Saul Bosquez, Becky Adams, and Roger Armstrong; City Manager Banks Akin, and City Secretary Thania Santos.