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Abilene council to talk carport laws, developing vacant properties

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ABILENE, Texas - Abilene City Council talked about their desire to market properties owned by the city in the past, and will continue the conversation during Thursday night's meeting in executive session.

They'll also discuss the land development code, a code that provides growth management rules and regulations. "We're going to focus on three items. One is carports/patio covers. The other is town homes in the central business district and the third would be the assessment of civil penalties and whether or not the board of buildings standards who assess the civil penalties can reduce the civil penalties too," said City Manager Robert Hanna. Hanna said changing the ordinance language on carports would alleviate a hurdle for nearly 80 percent of applicants. "We make it difficult to get a car port without going through the board of adjustments, by getting a variance," Hanna said. There will also be a public hearing and final reading about starting a hauled liquid waste program in Abilene. In executive session, council will discuss the cotton warehouse on North 1st Street, located across from Frontier Texas. Last year, the city took bids to have the roof demolished, but it never happened. Now the city is in the process of getting an appraisal done on the building. Not too long ago, the city spoke with a nonprofit who wants to repurpose Lincoln Middle School. "You have heard council talk about in open session about the desire to market properties that they think might be marketable," Hanna said. "So, I see the city of Abilene moving in that direction. Not just the cotton warehouse, but many vacant properties we have." City staff has narrowed down their search for a secretary. Out of nearly 40 applicants, they are down to two finalists. Former city secretary Danette Dunlap retired in September after serving the city of Abilene for ten years. The meeting is at 5:30 p.m. Thursday night at city hall.

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