Council plods through zoning; police chief reports on traffic stops

By BRUCE ALSOBROOK | News-Telegram Managing Editor

Mar. 7, 2007 - Sulphur Springs City Council members took another step forward in the process of rezoning some 1,270 acres of land annexed into the city limits last year.

Ten ordinances were methodically passed on the second and final readings Tuesday night during the March council meeting to rezone parcels of property in the annexation area. Of the 10 properties, all but one were either alongside County Road 1103 or Arbala Road. Eight of the properties were zoned for single family residences. The other property, located south of Interstate 30 and on the east side of CR 1103, was zoned for heavy commercial use.

The other property, located north of Sewell Lane and east of Shannon Road, was also zoned for single family.

Two other properties, one north of Main Street, the other east of Shannon Road and north of Bill Bradford Road, were pulled from Tuesday's agenda because of errors in the public notice published prior to the meeting.

Council members then set about the task of first readings for ordinances addressing zoning a dozen other properties in the annexation area. (Ordinances require two readings and favorable votes before being approved.)

Most of those properties were along Rockdale Road, Vaughn Drive and Majors road; all were zoned for single family use.

One property, located between Vaughn Drive and State Highway 19, was on the original agenda to be zoned for light commercial use, but was changed to single family, apparently in part due to some issues regarding notification of a property owner.

Most of the property is suited for single family residential use, but another section lies along the future route of the State Highway 11 extension and will ultimately be best served as a commercial area.

City administrators said that section can later be rezoned for commercial use when development begins.

In other business, Sulphur Springs Police Chief Jim Bayuk presented an annual report regarding traffic stops and arrests.

The report stems from laws enacted about four years ago addressing racial profiling — using a person's race, as the determining factor in a traffic stop or investigation.

In 2006, a total of 9,022 traffic or pedestrian stops were made — 7,324 were Caucasians, 1,142 African Americans, 548 Hispanics, and eight of other races.

In about half of those cases (4,547), a citation was issued. In another 3,878 cases, no action was taken.

For Caucasians and African Americans, the odds of getting a citation after being stopped were fairly close — 50 percent for Caucasians, 45 percent for African Americans. Hispanics were more likely to receive a ticket — of the 548 stops, 351 resulted in a citation, or 64 percent of the time.

There were 497 searches conducted by police in 2006 as a result of the stops.

Of those, 367 were searches of Caucasians; 91 were African Americans, and 39 were Hispanics.

In most searches conducted, police had permission — they received consent to search in 378 of 497 cases.

The incidence of searches were slightly higher for African Americans (8 percent) and Hispanics (7 percent) than Caucasians (5 percent).

In all, officers arrested 100 people as a result of the traffic and pedestrian stops last year.

The ratio of stops to arrests was higher for Hispanics than African Americans or Caucasians. Caucasians were arrested in 0.94 percent of stops, African Americans in 1.57 percent. Hispanics were arrested in 2.37 percent of stops.

Bayuk added one tidbit to his report to the council: "Not one time did I work a report on racial profiling."By BRUCE ALSOBROOK | News-Telegram Managing Editor

Sulphur Springs City Council members took another step forward in the process of rezoning some 1,270 acres of land annexed into the city limits last year.

Ten ordinances were methodically passed on the second and final readings Tuesday night during the March council meeting to rezone parcels of property in the annexation area. Of the 10 properties, all but one were either alongside County Road 1103 or Arbala Road. Eight of the properties were zoned for single family residences. The other property, located south of Interstate 30 and on the east side of CR 1103, was zoned for heavy commercial use.

The other property, located north of Sewell Lane and east of Shannon Road, was also zoned for single family.

Two other properties, one north of Main Street, the other east of Shannon Road and north of Bill Bradford Road, were pulled from Tuesday's agenda because of errors in the public notice published prior to the meeting.

Council members then set about the task of first readings for ordinances addressing zoning a dozen other properties in the annexation area. (Ordinances require two readings and favorable votes before being approved.)

Most of those properties were along Rockdale Road, Vaughn Drive and Majors road; all were zoned for single family use.

One property, located between Vaughn Drive and State Highway 19, was on the original agenda to be zoned for light commercial use, but was changed to single family, apparently in part due to some issues regarding notification of a property owner.

Most of the property is suited for single family residential use, but another section lies along the future route of the State Highway 11 extension and will ultimately be best served as a commercial area.

City administrators said that section can later be rezoned for commercial use when development begins.

In other business, Sulphur Springs Police Chief Jim Bayuk presented an annual report regarding traffic stops and arrests.

The report stems from laws enacted about four years ago addressing racial profiling — using a person's race, as the determining factor in a traffic stop or investigation.

In 2006, a total of 9,022 traffic or pedestrian stops were made — 7,324 were Caucasians, 1,142 African Americans, 548 Hispanics, and eight of other races.

In about half of those cases (4,547), a citation was issued. In another 3,878 cases, no action was taken.

For Caucasians and African Americans, the odds of getting a citation after being stopped were fairly close — 50 percent for Caucasians, 45 percent for African Americans. Hispanics were more likely to receive a ticket — of the 548 stops, 351 resulted in a citation, or 64 percent of the time.

There were 497 searches conducted by police in 2006 as a result of the stops.

Of those, 367 were searches of Caucasians; 91 were African Americans, and 39 were Hispanics.

In most searches conducted, police had permission — they received consent to search in 378 of 497 cases.

The incidence of searches were slightly higher for African Americans (8 percent) and Hispanics (7 percent) than Caucasians (5 percent).

In all, officers arrested 100 people as a result of the traffic and pedestrian stops last year.

The ratio of stops to arrests was higher for Hispanics than African Americans or Caucasians. Caucasians were arrested in 0.94 percent of stops, African Americans in 1.57 percent. Hispanics were arrested in 2.37 percent of stops.

Bayuk added one tidbit to his report to the council: "Not one time did I work a report on racial profiling."

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