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Council changes impervious cover deal

Tuesday, May 19, 2015 by Jo Clifton

City Council on Thursday approved two changes to an impervious cover transfer agreement for property at 6308 Spicewood Springs Road, meaning the item will have to come back for a third and final reading.

The property, owned by Roy Cavanaugh, is home to Ace Salvage Yard and Ace Discount Glass & Door and abuts Bull Creek. Cavanaugh has been operating his salvage yard at that site for the past 30 years and could continue operating as a grandfathered business that was annexed into the city.

If the agreement is finally approved, Cavanaugh would eliminate the salvage yard in return for impervious cover credits that he can sell to a developer. The approximately 6-acre site includes 2.64 acres in the critical water quality zone outside of the drainage easement.

Council approved the deal on first reading on May 7.

Adjacent homeowners whose homes were built long after Cavanaugh started his business have lobbied the city to make a deal with Cavanaugh to get rid of the salvage yard. Cavanaugh agreed, but wants to replace it with a dog kennel and convenience storage units.

The original agreement gave Cavanaugh until 2023 to begin construction of the kennel and storage units. Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo said she was uncomfortable with the idea of giving Cavanaugh that much time. With no agreement, the site plan would expire in 2016, according to Greg Guernsey, director of the Planning and Development Review Department.

Tovo made a motion to extend the site plan until only 2018. Only Council Member Don Zimmerman had a problem with that limitation and voted against the amendment. Council Member Ora Houston abstained.

Although Cavanaugh continued to argue for access to his business from Yaupon Drive and city transportation staff have said it is safer, neighbors have argued against Yaupon Drive access in favor of an entry and exit on Spicewood Springs Road.

Council Member Sheri Gallo proposed amending the agreement to eliminate the Yaupon Drive access, which her colleagues accepted. It is not clear whether Cavanaugh will agree to that change.

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