Mesquite council grants deferment to apartment owners

A public hearing was held at the Aug. 5 Mesquite City Council meeting to consider a request from Peachtree Apartments to substitute an opaque metal fence for a required long-span precast masonry screening wall on the north, south and east property lines of property located at 1402 S. Peachtree Road.

This item was postponed at the July 1 meeting.

Jeff Armstrong, director of planning and development services, said they are required to have a screening wall along the northeast and south sides of the property because of the single-family residential zoning around it.

In the previous meeting the council asked the applicant to provide some estimates for construction. The applicants submitted three estimates, $66,500 for a proposed wooden fence, and two estimates for a screen wall, one for $133,500 and another for $145,214.

“Any screen wall that would meet our requirement would have to be reviewed for compliance with our engineering standards,” Armstrong said.

Minh Huynh, served as translator for the applicants. Huynh said the applicants wanted to clarify that they agreed to build a new structure and get rid of the metal structure, but the estimate that was sent to the city was actually $160,000 for the concrete barrier with additional cost to remove trees surrounding the property.

“The rent at this apartments – for two-bedroom apartments, half of them are $550 the other half are $650 with air conditioning and water paid for. They haven’t increased the rent,” Huynh said for the applicants. “In 2001, when they first came the rent was $450, and they’ve only increased it some and they added central air to a lot the units … so they’re constantly trying to improve their property.”

The applicants said they make about $40,000 a month. Out of that they pay a full-time maintenance man with a salary of about $3,000 a month and a part-timer about $1,500 a month. They also pay $7,000 a month for water, $8,000 prorated for property tax, and insurance is $50,000 a year.

“Both husband and wife work six days a week, from Monday through Saturday there,” Huynh said.

The $160,000, which they think may be closer to $200,000, would make a significant impact in their income and in trying to keep the rent low, he said.

It was also noted that if they have to remove trees around the property they would need permission from each of the property owners to do so.

The applicants wanted the council to approve the wooden fence because the maintenance for it is considerably less than a concrete structure and would allow them to keep the rent low.

“They want to keep the rent at $550 and $650, they have not raised the rent and it’s really important to them; it’s affordable housing,” Huynh said.

The council voted to grant a two-year deferment for installation of the required long-span precast masonry screen wall.

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