A city ordinance up for renewal at Monday’s council meeting was amended to allow residents affected by Harvey to keep RVs, trailers and mobile homes provided by FEMA on their property until February 2019.
The original ordinance was put in place after Harvey to override a city policy prohibiting these kinds of temporary shelters on homeowners’ lots in the city. Until the council amended it, it allowed RVs and some trailers, but it did not allow what FEMA calls mobile housing units, or MHU’s. The new policy will allow any of the FEMA-approved temporary housing options.
City staff said five families had requested permits under the old ordinance, but because it was due to expire, the families were told they had to wait until council renewed the ordinance.
In other council business:
- A contract with DCMC Partners for disaster recovery and related services was doubled to $400,000 from $200,000. Of the original contract, about $156,000 had been spent, with about 80 percent of that eligible for disaster reimbursements. According to documents presented to council, DCMC has been coordinating debris removal calculations and documentation and is helping the city to develop a FEMA-compliant flood mitigation program. As a result, the city estimates more than $3 million in recovery- and mitigation-related costs can be reimbursed.
- Council approved an $84,472 change order on the Delores Fenwick Nature Center project to add fire sprinklers outdoor pavilion area. City staff said the fire protection system should have been part of the original plan but was dropped through a miscommunication.
- The council discussed changes to the Unified Development Code that would affect how property improvements trigger compliance with city code. Under the current policy, projects that add more than 500 square feet require the owner to bring the entire structure up to code. An alternative proposed for discussion was to change the criteria to a percentage of square feet. Council member Trent Perez said he preferred a method that used a percentage of property value, to make it consistent with other permit regulations. City staff are in the process of developing a proposed change based on the discussion.