Bandera City Council approved changes to the fee schedule for residential construction permits as required by state legislation, endorsed revisions to the city’s sign ordinance and approved a final appointment to the board of the Bandera Economic Development Corp. at its Thursday, June 6, meeting.
The revisions to the fees the city charges to permit home construction, expansion and renovation projects align with requirements of a law the state Legislature passed this session. The fees will no longer be based on the valuation of the home improvement and instead will be determined by the square footage of the work being done.
The new fee will be calculated by multiplying the square footage of the new home or home addition by 60 cents, a figure that was recommended after studying what it costs the city to provide the inspections and looking at the fees adopted by cities that already had changed their schedules.
The new schedule also includes a $192 charge for an electrician, plumber or licensed tradesman that is involved in the home upgrades.
It was unclear if the new fees will result in higher or lower charges for permits on new and expanded homes, but officials hoped it would allow the city to charge a fee more in line with the actual work being done.
Council also agreed to name Rhonda Carrell, one of the owners and operators of Country Sweets Bakery in Bandera, to the board of the EDC. Her post is for a person who may live in the county but who owns a business in the city.
The EDC had recommended Sid Gibson, who owns and operates two restaurants in Bandera with his son, to the opening at its meeting on May 8, but Gibson’s name did not come up for nomination at council.
Carrell said in applying for the opening that she appreciated the assistance her bakery received from the EDC when it approved an economic incentive package with Country Sweets and she wanted to do her part to help local businesses succeed.
Councilwoman Lynn Palmer, who recommended Carrell for the post, said she felt the new board member would be “a free thinker” and an asset for the EDC.
Council at its May 23 meeting approved the reappointment of current EDC Board Member Laura Devenport and the appointment of former councilwoman and former EDC Board Member Toni Kunz to the economic development board.
Both of those appointees also had won the recommendation of the EDC board when it voted in May.
Changes to the city’s sign ordinance were approved by council after months of study but they won’t go into effect until the alterations are publicized to the community by an ad in the paper, which should happen this week.
Mayor Suzanne Schauman said one of the changes will lower the maximum height of signs back to 15 feet from 25 feet that had been set in the prior ordinance. The changes also prohibit pennant signs in the city and temporary sail, teardrop, feather or bow banner signs because they had fallen into disfavor with council members, the mayor said.
She said the revisions also should make it simpler to apply for a sign permit and will make the codes more user friendly, but Schauman acknowledged that the changes may not be popular with everyone.
Also at last week’s council meeting, council members could not agree on proposed changes to the city logo, which has been under review for months. Schauman said she might seek input from a professional marketing firm on what the best option might be for a logo and does not plan to let the issue die.