A washateria will be built in Rosenberg, but coming to this conclusion was no easy feat.

At the last regular Rosenberg City Council meeting, council members reversed a decision made by the planning commission regarding a special exception request for a rear setback located at 3308 Avenue I.

This request was to reduce the rear setback adjacent to residential property from 30 feet to 20 feet.

At this location, there is an existing parking lot on the northern half of the property. Between the parking lot and the residential property to the south is approximately 100 feet of depth. The 30-foot setback/building line, if upheld, would leave about 70 feet of buildable area.

The proposed setback, on the other hand, would be similar to that of the redeveloped Rudy’s adjacent to the east, which is estimated to be 20 feet.

The applicant has proposed to install an eight-foot fence along the southern property line to screen the use from the existing residential.

“Everything here is cost to benefit,” Mayor Bill Benton explained. “I’m a standards guy. I like to maintain our standards. When I leave this position, I want folks to say the city looks better than when I got here. So we have to measure everything on our minds.

“Right now it’s a vacant lot and there’s one old rent house there now. To me, the rent house is kind of an eye sore.

“All in all, I would say this would be an improvement over what is there now. That’s my view.”

Council members Isaac Davila, Susan Euton, Marc Morales and Tim Anders were against the special request. Eventually, however, Morales and Anders switched sides.

Davila stated he was not in favor of changing the ordinance and opposed to altering the 30-foot setback for this proposed development.

“I agree with Isaac,” Euton said. “The planning commission unanimously denied this. The property next door wrote a letter in complaint about this. I think it should meet the 30-foot rule because of the nature of this business.”

Council member Kevin Raines said the council should give the developers a chance. There is a $1.75 million value on the building, after all.

“I’m also in favor of granting the variance,” council member Jacob Balderas said. “I think they are trying to make an effort... One way or another, they’re going to figure out a way to stick it in there, They invested a lot of money in this project.”

Besides Euton and Davila, the rest of council agreed.

After 40 minutes of discussion and a failed motion by Davila to deny the special request, Euton made a motion to approve the variance.

The motion was seconded by Morales. Euton and Davila voted against it, but it passed 5-2.

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