The Van Alstyne City Council met to hear several public hearings on April 11. The first public hearing regarded wording amendments to the city’s zoning ordinances, necessary because of a special use permit. Christy Bryant is the new owner of the now-closed hardware store in downtown, shown as 212 W. Marshall, and she is remodeling it into three sections, one for use as an eatery, a second section for a special event room and the third for a possible office rental space. Mayor Larry Cooper asked Planning & Zoning chairman Jim Atchison, in attendance, what the P&Z’s recommendation was, and Atchison said they need to add a definition for parking and a few little things.


Bryant said she is restoring every piece of the 2,500 square foot building and bringing it back to life. It is her 17th restoration project, she said, but this time she will be a tenant herself. The incoming restaurant, named 1873 Market, will offer a place where the public can relax and enjoy downtown, she said.


There was also a public hearing on Bryant’s request for a special use permit. This and the earlier proposal for rewording on the applicable ordinances were tabled until the executive session, when the council could get information from the city attorney.


After they returned from the lengthy executive session, the Council approved the proposed ordinance rewording and that negated the need for a special use permit, and allows Bryant to move ahead with her projects.


Marguerite Ballard spoke of her concern about some duplexes proposed to be built on W.A. Denton Drive, her concern being about adequate parking. The builder presented the council with prototype duplex photos and insured them he would have adequate parking for each duplex portion. This construction was approved later in the meeting as well.


Regular agenda


The Council and the public were enthusiastic about two proclamations approved; one requested by the Grayson County Crisis Center to declare April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month and the second requested by Grayson County motorcyclists to proclaim May as Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month. There were members of at least five Grayson County motorcycle clubs present. The Van Alstyne school district Superintendent John Spies, who declared himself a short-termer since he is retiring soon, gave the Council an update on the three objectives of the May 6 school bond election.


“We are trying to accomplish three things,” Spies said. “One is the build of a new elementary and make it available for use in 2018; two is to refurbish the current elementary school, now 19 years old; and three to purchase property within the city limits to set the next high school. Normally, a district our size doesn’t plan that far ahead, and we’d like to get fire and police protection, and purchase property near our current middle school and high school.”


The school board is requesting votes to approve $24 million.


Early voting, Spies said, runs from April 24-May 2, and the election is on May 6.


Consent agenda


Before the Council excused itself into executive session to discuss with the city attorney personnel staffing, dilapidated structures, and sale and/or purchase of property, plus the tabled question mentioned previously here, it unanimously approved items in the consent agenda. They took no further action, once they returned from executive to open session.


• Approval of a site plan for addition of a second drive-through ordering lane at McDonald’s;


• Minutes of March 7 ZBA and Special Called meetings;


• Assignment and assumption lease for property at 601 Martin Duke Road to LNMN Holdings, LLC;


• Approval request by Larry Nickell to sublease the 601 Martin Duke Road to Jesse Holt;


• Approval of ordinance to establish the office of Municipal Court Judge;


• Payment of $126,476.21 to CCS Water Specialists Inc. for repairs to Well No. 5;


• Approval of contracting for a Sewer Grinder Pump project for $87,000 with Fryer Construction Inc.


At Councilor Jaska’s request, the last item in the Consent Agenda was removed for separate vote. That was to reappoint Deja James, Vicky Cupit, Rodney Williams and Jaska to the Van Alstyne Library Board. That was approved with three votes, with Jaska abstaining.