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"Tis our true policy to steer clear of permanent
alliances with any portion of the foreign world.."
George Washington (1796)
"Commerce with all nations, alliance with none, should
be our motto."
Thomas Jefferson (1799)
"The ongoing migration of persons to the United States
in violation of our laws is a serious national problem
detrimental to the interests of the United States." -
Ronald Reagan, 1981
never grows old, and honor rejoices the heart of age. It
does so because honor is, finally, about defending those
noble and worthy things that deserve defending, even if
it comes at a high cost. In our time, that may mean
social disapproval, public scorn, hardship, persecution,
or as always, even death itself. The question remains:
What is worth defending? What is worth dying for? What
is worth living for?" -
William J. Bennett in a
lecture to the U. S. Naval Academy, Nov 24, 1997
11-01-2007: Lewisville Garage Ordinance
The Lewisville Council is talking about restricting people from
converting garages to a living area. Basically they will deny a
permit unless a home owner can build another garage before converting the existing garage.
This will only be done with properties that have room on the property.
It will not affect those who already received a permit to convert their
garage in the past. I have heard pros and cons to restricting what
a home owner can do to their property. You still need a permit to
add on to the home.
I SUPPORT an ordinance of this type for the following reasons:
- In order to build a house in Lewisville it must have at least a
one car garage. The person who built it is the home owner until
they sell it. For a home owner to move in and the next day
convert the garage defeats the purpose of the ordinance in the first
moved into my neighborhood knowing that all the houses have a standard.
I believe that this standard should be kept the same. Removing a garage
is like removing one of the two bathrooms in a home to make it a storage
closet. In both cases it lowers the value of the house which affects the
others in the neighborhood.
- The building code ordinances to build homes in a neighborhood seem to
serve a purpose to protect other homeowners property values and keep the
neighborhood looking uniform. I can see the benefits of this
- The home was designed to be a set number of rooms with a
garage. A homeowner has to get a permit to add another room if
they need another room or sell to buy a larger home. Likewise, if
a family was living in an apartment and they needed another room, they
would rent a larger apartment.
- The neighborhood should be built to the minimum specifications as it was
intended to be. I assume that adding on to a structure has to be
approved with a permit which I hope would include the exterior look,
etc... In some neighborhoods, I have seen houses add a second floor – if
the neighborhood will absorb the look.
- I understand the
concept that a person owns a house but they really do not as we seem to
pay taxes on it forever. The only
thing an owner has is a higher level of privacy. Besides, if the City
wanted to build a stadium for a sports team, then the home owners will
be evicted like Arlington and the new Cowboys Stadium. Another example,
if you are Jed Clampitt of The Beverly Hillbillies fame, you cannot
shoot a gun on your property. If the crude was bubbling out of the
ground, it belongs to the company that owns the mineral rights of your
property. As home owners, you might not own the mineral rights.
do not think my neighbor has the right to burn their house down either.
Nor do they have a right to demolish it. Allow the roof to cave in.
Allow goats to be raised in their backyard (yes, this was next door -
they had a BBQ and no more goat).
- Though parking is
an issue in some areas of the City, it is not the main reason to have a
garage. Most people use their garage for storage anyway. I
personally do not care if they use the garage as a storage area, work
area, or a place to park the cars. I think that when they move out, it
should still be a garage as it was originally intended to be.
I do not want the outside changed. I also want Single Family
Dwellings to be just that. I did not move into a neighborhood that was
going to have houses packed full of people (families). I might as well have bought
a condo or moved into the budget suites apartments.
That's the way I see it - John Gorena
11-05-2007: Council dumps garage ordinance Vote 3-2.
There was some discussion and I was quite surprised that the supporters were
councilmen Greg Tierny and Dean Uekert. These two were actually very logical
about the reasoning to have the ordinance. They kind of had some
of the same reasons that I have said above. All agreed that there is a
problem with people converting their garages but did not really know the
answer to the problem. They also seem to be stating the reason is
parking and emergency vehicles not being able to go down some streets
because of the parking.
Note: I was elected to Lewisville
Council in June of 2009
04-04-2011: Council Considers
recommendation from Neighborhood Preservation Committee:
- ITEM 11. Consideration of an Ordinance Amending the
Lewisville City Code Chapter 6, Land Development Regulations by
Prohibiting the Conversion, Enclosure or Alteration of a Garage
for Non-Parking Use in Single Family Dwellings.
- This item was tabled until the next meeting on 04-18-2011
04-18-2011: Council Bans Garage
Conversions. The following is from the Minutes of the
Tabled Item: Consideration of an Ordinance Amending the Lewisville
City Code Chapter 6, Land Development Regulations by Prohibiting the
Conversion, Enclosure or Alteration of a Garage for Non-Parking Use in
Single Family Dwellings, as Requested by Councilman David Thornhill
(Agenda Item H-11)
This item was tabled at the April 4, 2011 City Council
meeting. Currently the Lewisville City Code does not specifically
prohibit conversion, enclosure or alteration of any garage for any
purpose. Due to increasing traffic loads and inadequate off-street
parking, the Neighborhood Preservation Committee reviewed and discussed
this item as a part of their study and has recommended this item for
approval. Staff presented the Neighborhood Preservation Committee’s
final report at this year’s City Council Retreat. Although the complete
final report is not being considered at this time, Councilman Thornhill
requested this item be brought to Council for consideration.
The City staff’s recommendation was that the City
Council approve the proposed ordinance as set forth in the caption
Councilman Thornhill advised that he had requested this
item be placed on the agenda following the receipt of the Neighborhood
Revitalization Committee’s recommendations regarding enclosed garages as
he wanted it to come before the City Council for a vote.
Mayor Ueckert advised of this item coming before the
City Council three or four years ago and that it had not passed at that
time. Discussion was held that the City requires any home built in
Lewisville to have a one car garage. Mayor Ueckert expressed his concern
that it is required when built and then once someone closes on the house
then they can turn around and enclose the garage and make an additional
room. He stated that he was in favor of this and was glad that the
committee had gone over this topic extensively. He further stated that
he felt it would help in alleviating some of the situations in the City
where people are parking in their yards. Mayor Ueckert clarified with
Director of Community Development Eric Ferris that someone could
enclosed their garage if they had enough room to build an additional
garage on their property.
Councilman Watts indicated that was not in favor of
this change and that if he wanted to enclose his garage on his own
property then that was his right. He stated that if he was not in
support of this change for himself, he was not going to approve for the
Councilman Gorena advised that he agreed with Mayor
Ueckert and found it illogical to require the house to be built with a
garage and then once an owner moved in they can make changes to the
Mayor Pro Tem Durham advised that he was still against
this item. He stated that as far as market value, an enclosed garage
might decrease the value of the home and that it did not add value
unless an additional garage was added.
Eric Ferris, Director of Community Development, was present to respond
to any questions posed by the City Council.
City Attorney Lizbeth Plaster read the ordinance
caption into the record as follows: “An Ordinance of the City
Council of the City of Lewisville, Texas, Amending the Lewisville City
Code, Chapter 6, Land Development Regulations; by Prohibiting the
Conversion, Enclosure, or Alteration of a Garage for Non-Parking use in
Single-Family Attached or Detached Dwellings; Providing a Repealer;
Providing for Severability; Providing for a Penalty; Providing an
- MOTION: Upon a motion made by
Councilman Thornhill and seconded by Councilman Gorena, the Council
voted three (3) “ayes” and two (2) “nays,” with Councilman Watts and
Mayor Pro Tem Durham casting the negative votes , (due to the tie
vote Mayor Ueckert was required to vote on this item) to approve and
adopt an ordinance as previously captioned. The motion carried.
Dean Ueckert, Mayor - Aye
Greg Tierney (absent) - NOTE: Lewisville Councilman Tierney
had resigned in February of due to a DWI arrest. You
can Google it. I will not comment any further about this here.
David Thornhill - Aye
Lathan Watts - Nay
John Gorena - Aye
Rudy Durham - Nay