News

‘Re-re-zoning’ schedule set for Ackerman, Main

Last October, after a five-month controversy that involved the city council and Planning & Zoning Board (P&Z), a residential section of Ackerman Street was re-zoned commercial to accommodate a business.

On Thursday the P&Z set in motion a three-month process that could result in the properties being “rere zoned” back to their original classification.

P&Z members voted unanimously to set in motion a series of notifications, public hearings, city council actions and newspaper ads which could result in parts of two major thoroughfares reverting to their original residential zoning.

They are: Ackerman Street (FM 487) from San Andres to Laura and Main Street (FM 908) from San Andres to the IOOF Cemetery.

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Those street portions were re-zoned to a “heavy commercial” classification last year, over the objections of several property owners in the area, to accommodate a new antique store.

That store has now gone out of business and two east ward city council members requested Aug. 9 that the P&Z Board re-visit the process.

That request also asks the P&Z to “initiate re-zoning (of the property) from C2 (heavy commercial) to R-1 (residential).”

“They’ve asked us to look at it again,” Lon Williams, P&Z board chairman, said. “This (schedule) is what that will involve.”

City Secretary Terry Blanchard said the first step will be notification of 157 property owners in the affected areas to get their feedback on the proposed change.

Master plan

After gathering public input the P&Z board will make a recommendation to the city council, which will then make the decision.

The council does not have to follow the P&Z board’s recommendation.

Board member Joan Ratliff pointed out the council has asked the board to not only review the two streets in question but also the entire street portion of the city’s master plan.

Controversy

The matter was first brought before the P&Z board in June, 2009.

On a split vote, the board voted not to recommend approval of a zoning change from residential to commercial to accommodate the antique store.

The next week city council members tabled the issue.

The council re-visited the issue in July and asked the P&Z board to consider a change to the C-2 (heavy commercial) designation for Ackerman and several other thoroughfares.

Council members said C-2 was more heavily regulated than a light designation (C-1) and offered more protection against development.

In a September session the P&Z board voted 6-0 not to recommend the C-2 designation.

On Oct. 5, the council, on a 2-1 vote, changed the zoning designation from residential to heavy commercial. SCHEDULE TO RE-VISIT ZONING ISSUES

By Sept. 6—Notification of all land owners within 200 feet (entire city if a comprehensive map is to be adopted).

Sept. 16—Public hearing at P&Z meeting, 2 p.m., City Hall.

Sept. 22—Publish newspaper notice of upcoming city council public hearing.

Oct. 11—Public hearing before city council, 5:30 p.m.; council to act on P&Z recommendation during council meeting, first reading.

Nov. 8—Second reading of zoning ordinance. Nov. 10 and 17—Publish newspaper caption twice as required by city charter.


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