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Cedar Park Planning Ordinance Meeting Agenda
Update to Masonry Ordinance
January 26 and February 7, 2012
Emily Barron, senior planner with the City of Cedar Park, contacted me in December regarding a proposed increase the staff was directed by City Council to create. She emailed me the proposed ordinance and with Meg’s help, I sent her back some changes which she incorporated into the document. I put together packets of information for all of the staff, Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council along with DVDs. She and the other staff were not interested in me giving a presentation to Planning and Zoning and really didn’t want or need me to speak on behalf of TMC and the masonry ordinance.
I was first informed that they hadn’t had any pushback or discussions with the HBA in the Greater Austin and there was no discussion with the Hardie guys. Harry Savio was at first meeting and spoke on behalf of Hardie and represented himself as with James Hardie. During the February 7th meeting he was back but represented himself as the Exec VP of the Greater Austin HBA. I was also told before that I couldn’t speak at this last meeting so I didn’t prepare anything. Unfortunately, this was not the case, the commissioners allowed for comment and Harry Savio and Mason Binder, with James Hardie, spoke at the meeting. But each time I ask about speaking the staff is hesitant to allow me at the podium. I did speak at the first hearing and also fielded any questions that Rawls Howard, director, was not able to answer. Staff and Council are not backing down on this fight for an increase to the 75%, which is how the community is currently being built by developers (75-100%, without an ordinance). There was no further discussion about the increase to 100% for commercial, P&Z is completely fine with the increase; currently the city is between 25-75% depending on the area and type of development.
Rawls made it very clear to the commission and everyone in the room that changing the current masonry definition which reads as follows, “Masonry construction: Unless otherwise provided for in this chapter, exterior wall construction materials are fired brick, concrete brick, natural and manufactured stone, granite, marble, conventional stucco, brick veneers, and stone veneers for all structures, with the product set in grout. Other exterior construction materials for nonresidential structures are tilt wall concrete panels, and split-faced CMU. Exterior insulation and finish systems (“EIFS”, or synthetic stucco), and cementatious concrete siding (e.g. Hardiplank) are not accepted as meeting the requirement for masonry construction for purposes of this chapter.” To include “cementatious concrete siding” is completely out of the question and not even up for discussion. The concern was increasing the actual masonry component from 50% to 75% therefore giving Hardi 25% of the wall share in Cedar Park. Rawls stood his ground and P&Z was fine with not changing the masonry definition and still not allowing it as a masonry material.
The next meeting will either be February 21 or March 6, depends on whether or not the planning director must go out of town or not. I have spoken to Rawls since the meeting on Tuesday and he is still confident that the residential component will be increased to 75% in the City of Cedar Park. I will keep TMC informed of any changes and will prepare a presentation/speech to give at the next meeting.