Monday, February 27, 2012

Councilman Bob Hoskins - Unified Land Development Code

Good Evening Bert, I hope this has been a great weekend for you and your family. My wife and I recently enjoyed visiting with our Daughter who is attending UT at Austin and then we ran over to San Antonio to visit with our Son and his family. So its been a busy week for us.

Unified Land Development Code

I wanted to send you some thoughts on the Unified Land Development Code that the Baytown City Council passed this past Thursday. The Council voted to approve the ordinance that will repeal the Chapter 130 "Zoning" of the Baytown Code of Ordinances and adopted the new Zoning Regulations to be included in the Unified Land Development Code (ULDC). This has been in the works for over two years by a comprehensive committee of Citizens and Community leaders. They had an overwhelming task put before them and the outcome with this ULDC will set a higher standard for the profile and aesthetics of our City. Not only does this ULDC address future buildings (commercial and/or residential) but it also designates what will be built in and around our neighborhoods.

I encourage all Citizens to go to the City of Baytown web site and read through the ULDC so everyone will know what has changed. The document is somewhat long but has many categories of reference for Citizens, builders and commercial/industry. This I feel will contribute overwhelmingly to improving our City. When I ran for City Council, there were a number of people that informed me that they wanted the City of Baytown to improve the way the City looks and this ULDC is a step in the right direction. It has built in protection for the Citizens and their homes by including buffer zones in areas where there is a close balance with commercial and residential. It also lays out certain rules that everyone will have to play by and will not play favoritism to some and ignore others. Everyone will be on the same playing field in future development in the City.

I commend the Planning & Zoning Committee for their work. This is one of those items that will start paying dividends in the future and will make our community look great.

City of Baytown Recycle Program

In recent City events, portions of District 5 had the opportunity to be the test cell for the City of Baytown Recycle Program. The goal of the program is to decrease the many tons of garbage that is going to our landfill. One way to curb that is to start a recycling program. This has been widely successfull and especially in District 5. In some areas, the City has provided residents with a 96 gallon container for our recycle material. My family and I have been utilizing the program and have found that we certainly have more recycle material than garbage. This was very surprising. When we only had the blue containers, we were limited with how much we could recycle. Now with this large container we have more than enough capacity for a weeks worth of recycle materials. The City also determined that with this recycle program, there no longer is a need for twice a week garbage pick up. I tend to agree. Our home seldom has a full garbage can for garbage pick up and that is in a 30 gallon container.

The important issue is the fact that there is less tons of garbage that is going to our landfill. That makes the program very rewarding and is better for the environment. I have heard from several people both pro and con to the program. But most of the issues are pro - for the program and once a week garbage pick up. There were some strong cons to the program such as the health conditions caused by leaving garbage in a container for 6.5 days. I recenly had my Son and his family visit during Thanksgiving and when I had to take a soiled diaper out to the garbage can, I realized what some of the Citizens concerns were and why they want to maintain the twice a week garbage pick up. Therefore I am still on the fence with this issue.

As you send out information to your "Baytown Bert" readers, I certainly would be interested to hear from them and how they feel about the recycle program and the once a week garbage pick up. Thank you, Councilman Robert C. Hoskins

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