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Woodlands DSC taking applications for new members; Boniface to resign from committee

November 1, 2018 GMT

The Woodlands Township Development Standards Committee will have a new look at the committee’s first meeting of 2019, as two positions on the seven member committee are up for re-appointment and one member of the committee recently announced he is resigning from the group that hears and rules on design and other issues in the community.

Walter Lisiewski, the chairman of the DSC, said the terms of two members of the committee — himself and the newest member, Arthur Bredehoft — end on Dec. 31 and that the township is accepting applications for those two seats.

In addition to Lisiewski’s and Bredehoft’s seats, a third seat will be open after another member of the committee — township board member Brian Boniface — announced this week that he is resigning from the committee for unstated reasons. Boniface is currently seeking re-election to the township’s board in the Nov. 6 election, facing off against opponent Treva Taglieri for the Position 2 seat.

“I intend to step down and give our residents a chance to serve,” Boniface said in an email to The Villager.

Boniface has only been on the committee less than a year, having been appointed to the position in December 2017 and joining the committee in early 2018. Boniface and fellow township board member John Anthony Brown had joined the committee together after two other members’ terms expired and were not renewed by the board.

Boniface and Brown’s appointments to the committee were a result of the township’s board of directors unease with former DSC Chairperson Deborah Sargeant and another member, Chris Florack.

Sargeant and Florack had been criticized throughout 2017 by both residents and township board members over claims the duo mishandled a controversial dispute between St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church and residents in the nearby neighborhood of Laurelhurst. The dispute, which continued into June 2018 before being resolved, involved arguments over the church’s expansion efforts and the alleged improper chopping down of trees in a forest buffer area.

During previous meetings, township board Chairman Gordy Bunch had expressed his thanks for the work of Boniface and Brown, in addition to the leadership of newly appointed chairman, Lisiewski, in helping to finally bring the St. Anthony situation to an amicable resolution. Boniface and Brown were also considered very helpful in the committee’s handling of the infamous “monster house” on Longspur Drive, which had generated its own controvery in 2017 and 2018 after nearly four years of contentious disputes over construction of the unusually large home.

Lisiewski said that he was planning to apply for his seat on the committe, and said that he had also been informed by Bredehoft that he would also apply to renew his appointment to the committee.

“Arthur and myself, our terms end on Dec. 31,” Lisiewski said in a telephone interview. “Neither of us plan to resign, it is just the end of our terms. We both plan to apply again for the committee.”

Members of the DSC generally meet twice a month to discuss external development and design issues within the township’s boundaries, resolving disputes between neighbors and issuing rulings on improvements such as repainting a home, removal of trees and even signs and exterior elements of local businesses. The committee does not issue occupancy permits or deal with internal inspections related to electricity and plumbing. Another primary duty of the DSC is enforcement of the township’s convenants, as well as resolving appeals made to the lower-level Residential Design Review committees.

Anyone who may want to apply for one of the three open seats on the committee can submit an application to The Woodlands Township offices, located at 2801 Technology Forest Boulevard. Applications cna also be submitted online at www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/covenants. Applicants must reside in The Woodlands, and are required to prove their background or experience in fields such as engineering, contractual issues and law, architecture, building code enforcement and other areas of construction and development.

Applications are due no later than 5 p.m., Monday Nov. 12, 2018. For more information, applicants can visit the township website or telephone 281-210-3800. Members of the committee serve two-year terms and are not pair or compensated in any manner for the work.