Barbecue Application at Council This Tuesday, August 13, 2019

The barbecue food truck that has been operating illegally for 22 months at Church and 9th Streets comes before city council on Tuesday, August 13. The business, known as Black Box BBQ, will be requesting a Special Use Permit to operate permanently at this location. The Planning and Zoning Commission heard the application last week and voted to recommend denial to city council.

This Tuesday, then, is make or break for this project. I will be going to council to argue against this application, and if you can show up to help support those neighbors who oppose this project please do so. Council session starts at 6 pm and is held in the new Council and Courts Building at 510 W. 9th Street.

This matter is Item U on the agenda, and I can’t really guess when that would come forward – sometimes council has moved an issue to the front of the line, so unfortunately it looks like showing up at 6 pm and sitting through the items in front of ours is the only way to go, unless you can plant a scout in there to call you as it’s coming close.

Here is the agenda for the evening and here is the coversheet for the item. Note that the Staff Report as posted online is the old one dated July 12, and doesn’t account for citizen comments and the proceedings of P&Z. I assume an updated report will come to council, and we should watch carefully to see what’s new in it.

If you’d like more background on this proposal, and the good reasons to oppose it, please keep reading below.


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Here’s a little background on HARC. Feel free to share it and use it in any way that may be helpful.

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post Letter to UDC Advisory Committee March 16, 2019

The UDC Advisory Committee that is tasked with advising city council on the future of HARC met on Wednesday as planned, and because 3 members of the 7-member board were absent decided to continue the hearing this Monday, March 18 at the same time and place: 3:30 pm, in the old library on the corner of Eighth and MLK, at 808 Martin Luther King Jr Street.

The cover sheet for the single-item agenda on Monday is here. The attachments include citizen comments and the result of Outreach Surveys.

Contact info for the Committee is here.

Here is a letter I sent to the Committee on March 16, 2019:

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post First United Methodist Church 2016 Proposal

The First United Methodist Church public meeting is March 10, at 6:30 pm, at the church.

Here are three documents. The neighbors’ own view of the church and its history in the neighborhood, followed by the letter from the church below, and below that the rendering of the project.



Here’s the history of the church’s compact with its neighbors (which it now seeks to break), and a more realistic view of the damage to the neighborhood that the church’s ambition is planning to exact.

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Here’s the letter from the church to the neighbors.

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Here’s the drawing of the project.

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post Tuesday February 9

This Tuesday, February 9, at 6 pm in Council Chambers at 7th & Main, city council will hear the second reading of the two requests for rezoning made by the Union on Eighth event center.

The struggle so far has gone badly, with only Rachael Jonrowe fighting this cause on behalf of the neighborhood (and the greater good of Old Town), on her own. Anna Eby of District 1 disappointed everyone by not giving any explanations for her support of the zoning changes.

Since that first reading, some residents have talked with various council members and presented many of the facts and details to them. There is a hope that, upon a further consideration and a better understanding of the complex zoning issues at stake, a second council member may change his or her mind and join Rachael and the residents in keeping the status quo unchanged.

This hope can be bolstered by your action. Please show up at council to support the residents fighting this proposal. I have an unbreakable engagement that will keep me away, but please attend in solidarity with residents and Rachael, to give your 3 minutes to a speaker, or to speak.


post Item U – Union on Eighth Rezoning – City Council Jan 26, 2016

Item U is the first item for consideration (skip down to the story below this one for the Special Use Permit item – Item V). It’s more nuanced, and more crucial in its damage if approved.

These are the documents following:
  • A summary of this request to remove current zoning restrictions.
  • A backgrounder on the 1992 zoning change from residential to heavily restricted commercial that opened the door to all the current grief.
  • My own one-page excerpt from the Downtown Master Plan, a visual aid I plan to use at council.
  • My arguments to deny this zoning request that I also hope to be able to present to council, probably in a more terse form.


post Item V – Union on Eighth Rezoning – City Council Jan 26, 2016

Item V concerns the Special Use Permit (SUP) and its conditions. The applicant is asking to ease his burden from several of the conditions, while the neighboring residents have a long list of violations and city records that show he hasn’t complied very well with many of the existing conditions.

Look for the following 6 documents below:
  1. Compliance record in table form, compiled in concert with city records.
  2. Code Enforcement’s view of “Owner’s intentional disregard” of conditions.
  3. Violation of SUP condition requiring 2 security officers at events.
  4. Violation of original commitment to install sound-dampening materials in the structure.
  5. Violation of requirement to use the front entrance and not burden the side street.
  6. Violation of city’s repeated request (!) not to park a trailer on the property – please! (This one’s funny)


Older Posts

Documents for Union on 8th Re-Zoning Applications

UDC Amendments at Council January 12, 2016

Tuesday at Council for McIntosh Project

P&Z November 17, 2015 – McIntosh Project

November 3, 2015: P&Z Hearing on McIntosh Project

P&Z to Hear UDC Proposed Changes Feb 3, 2015

UDC Changes to Strip HARC Powers

The Fate of Our Austin Avenue Bridges

Rail District Under Attack Again: City Council June 11, 2013

Tommy Gonzalez: Bad for Georgetown, Texas

Hat Creek at HARC June 28

The Battle of Hat Creek

Hat Creek at Council 6/26 and HARC 6/28