From neighborhood disputes to a new science building at Highland Park High School, University Park city council members had a light but engaging agenda at their Jan. 15 business meeting.
Goodbye Natatorium, Hello Science Building – The council unanimously approved a request to amend a planned development district that would allow Highland Park ISD to demolish an existing natatorium and student entry. The demolition is part of the district’s 2016 bond program and paves the way for a three-story science building and a new entrance facing Westchester Drive. You can view the full site plan by clicking here.
Make it Match – University Park council member Taylor Armstrong wants to make sure some recently approved repairs to City Hall keep in tune with the buildings current structure. The council unanimously approved spending just over $62,000 at the meeting to repair fascia boards near the roof and the building’s copper gutters.
This would be the first major repair to these areas since the building was remodeled in 2005. “This building has some pretty nice detailing, and I’d hate to see that go away with this change,” Armstrong told city staff. Elizabeth Anderson, the city’s purchasing manager, said she would look into the councilman’s concerns.
“A Harrowing Experience” – Two residents in the 3700 block of Granada Avenue were none-too-pleased with a home in their neighborhood being used as an Airbnb rental. The duo approached council members during public comments to plant the idea of revisiting the city’s lack of an ordinance dealing with such issues.
“We don’t know who our neighbor is anymore,” a homeowner told the council, expressing concerns with traffic, guests parking in front of homes and driveways. “It makes for a harrowing experience.”
My concern, he continued is, “is this a person who is supposed to be there? Do I call the police? Do I defend my property?” Steve Mace, the city’s communication director, told us that over the years the concern about Airbnb rental properties in University Park had been raised, but no actions to create an ordinance have been made. Instead, Mace said the council had urged residents to be active with the local police department with concerns that can be addressed through current ordinances, such as parking, noise, and trash.