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CITY NEW BRIEFS: AUGUST 2009

Month

P&Z Commission Recommends Fence Changes
Posted: Thursday, August 6, 2009

At their regular meeting, Wednesday, August 5, the Shoreacres Planning & Zoning Commission approved recommendations to modify the City’s zoning regulations related to fences and the height of buildings. Those recommendations will be presented to City Council on Monday, August 10.

Under the proposed changes taller fences would be allowed, eight foot instead of six foot. Solid fences would not be allowed to extend past the front of structures towards the street, but open style (25% opaque, but not chain link or wire) fences would be allowed to extend out to the front property line. Presently fences are not allowed closer than 30-feet to the front property line. Barbed-wire and electric fences would be restricted. Dangerous fences would be prohibited. Another change would require fence posts, supports and runners be on the back side of fences that face streets, parks or waterways. The proposed change would also prohibit fencing vacant lots. 

A clarification of the maximum building height has been proposed. Currently buildings are limited to 28-feet measured from the Base Flood Elevation to the mid-point of the highest roof (excluding a number of extensions, such as chimneys). The P&Z recommendation is to set the maximum building height at 40-feet measured from the Minimum Base Flood Elevation to the highest point including extensions, such as chimneys. 

[complete text of recommended zoning changes]

Should City Council wish to consider adopting these zoning changes a public hearing will be scheduled and notice published and provided to all city property owners.  

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Special Post-Ike Permit Programs End September 1
Posted: Thursday, August 6, 2009

Effective September 1, 2009, all building permit fees will return to their pre-Ike amount. This includes fence and roof permits. Fence permits will require drawings and approval prior to issuance.

Fast Track building permits will not be issued after August 31, 2009. Normal building remodeling permits and inspections will be required effective September 1, 2009.

Outstanding Fast Track permits will remain valid and eligible for inspection for a period of one-year from date of issue. Thereafter those permits will have expired and any additional work or inspection will require a new building / remodeling permit and the payment of standard fees. There is no credit for expired permits.

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City Defines Flood Surge Hazard Area
and Restricts Use of Fill Dirt

Posted: Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The City of Shoreacres has amended its Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance to address special flood surge hazards at the east end of the City approaching Galveston Bay. [Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance 2007-04] The significant hazard associated with tidal surges and hurricane wave wash was convincingly demonstrated by Hurricane Ike. [slides] In response the City has adopted new regulations to control the use of fill dirt in future construction in the east most portion of the city. [Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance (amendment) 2009-46]

A thirteen street area east of Sunrise Drive to the shoreline of Galveston Bay has been designated a flood surge hazard area. This area of Shoreacres was inundated by waters from Hurricane Ike tidal surge and hurricane wave wash on September 13, 2008. [Map]

Located within the areas of flood surge hazard are areas designated by FEMA as Coastal High Hazard Areas (Zones V1-30, VE, and/or V) and special flood hazard areas (Zone AE).

In addition to meeting all previously existing provisions of the Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance, the following seven new provisions also apply:

(1) All new construction and substantial improvements in Coastal High Hazard Areas (Zones V1-30, VE, and/or V) shall be elevated on pilings and columns so that the bottom of the lowest horizontal structural member of the lowest floor (excluding the pilings or columns) is elevated to or above the base flood level plus one foot free-board.

(2) All new construction and substantial improvements in special flood hazard areas (Zone AE) shall be elevated on pilings and columns so that the lowest floor is elevated to or above the base flood elevation plus one foot free-board.

(3) The pile column foundation and the structure attached thereto are anchored to resist floatation, collapse, and lateral movement due to the effects of wind and water loads.

(4) New construction and substantial improvements have the space below the lowest floor free of obstruction or enclosed with non-supporting breakaway walls, or open lattice work.

(5) A registered professional engineer or architect must develop or review the structural design, specifications, and plans and certify that the designs and methods of construction to be used meet accepted standards of practice for meeting the provisions of CFR 60.3(e)(4)(ii) and breakaway walls (§60.3(e)(7)).

(6) Prohibit the use of fill for structural support of buildings.

(7) Prohibit the use of fill to raise the grade of any lot above the minimum required to achieve proper drainage.

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New Ordinance Helps Protect Waterways

Posted: Tuesday, August 25, 2009

On August 10, 2009, the City of Shoreacres adopted a strict new City Code section intended to help protect our waterways from pollution and other material that might obstruct the flow of storm water. 

Sec. 22-122.  Deposit of waste material into waterway prohibited.

It shall be unlawful for any person to cast, throw, dump, unload, discharge or in any manner place or cause to be placed, any junk, garbage, trash, rubbish, litter of any nature, oil, petroleum, any petroleum-based product, any other noxious substance, wastewater, dirt, debris or other waste material into any waterway, bay, bayou, pond, stream, storm water ditch, storm water culvert, storm water inlet or parcel of land located within the city limits that drains to any waterway, bay, bayou, pond, stream, or storm water system. [Ordinance 2009-45]

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Please Check Your House Numbers

Posted: Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Did you know that each house is required to have legible address numbers that can be seen from the street?

The City of Shoreacres Fire Code provides that all homes must have address numbers no less than four-inches tall and plainly visible from the street fronting the property. [Fire Code § 505.1]

Proper identification of homes in our community is important for city services, utilities, and emergency services.

Even vacant and damaged houses need proper address numbers.

Please check the address marking at your house. Numbers need to have good contrast with the background to be easily legible.

Your assistance will be greatly appreciated.

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