Church Street Rezoning Request Recommended For Approval By Planning & Zoning Commission

A rezoning request for 1120 Church Street is being recommend to Sulphur Springs City Council for approval, following discussion Monday night, April 18, 2022, by the Planning & Zoning Commission.

The Lacomforas asked the City of Sulphur Springs to allow a 1.54-acres parcel to be rezoned heavy commercial. The property is split-zoned multifamily and heavy commercial.

“What they are trying to do is clean up some split zoning on the property to make it have one designation. It’ll make it easier when they try to develop the property in the future,” Sulphur Springs Assistant City Manager/Community Development Director Tory Niewiadomski told the commission, during a public hearing conducted during the 6 p.m. meeting regarding the proposed zoning change.

A request has been made by the Lacomforas to rezone this split zoned property to heavy commercial.

The rezoning would make the entire property heavy commercial. It is surrounded by heavy commercial property to the north, west and south, with multifamily zoning to the east.

The city sent out notices to area property owners and received three responses, two in favor of rezoning and one undecided.

Kasey Tomasek noted that his property at 1203 North Jackson Street is near the southeast portion of the lot. The back part of the Church Street parcel is a field. He said he is in favor of the heavy commercial designation, but would like to see water abatement to handle drainage, as the field gets pretty boggy behind their adjoining properties after precipitation. He would also like to see a fence installed behind the property, to keep the distinction between multifamily residences – many of which have children – and commercial properties – in this case heavy commercial, if the property is developed.

“When development occurs we do take into consideration when they develop the lot that they’ll have to provide utilities on site as well as drainage as well. In heavy commercial, there is a fencing requirement when it abuts residential, so that’d be required at the time of development,” Niewiadomski said.

“So, is that going to resolve what he just asked, based on what you just said?” P&Z Commissioner Tommy Harrison queried,

“Yes,” Niewiadomski affirmed.

Landon Dodd, who resides at 1207 North Jackson St., told the commission he feels the same as Tomasek regarding the rezoning and development of 1120 Church St. He said he’d like to see overgrown trees and vegetation along the bordering fence line cleaned up, and the right kind of drainage utilized on the Church Street property.

“I’m not sure what is going in exactly. If it’s a retention pond, I know you’re going to have to deal with mosquitoes and things like that. I’d like a fence, which he already stated is taken care of. That’s the way I feel about it,” Dodd said.

Sulphur Springs City Attorney Nate Smith and Assistant City Manager/Community Development Director Tory Niewiadomski

“At this stage, it’s just a rezoning, there’s not a development proposal or anything at this point. That’d be handled through possibly a plat or a development proposal. We’d handle the engineering and fencing requirements talked about at the time of development,” Niewiadomski said.

“What about cleaning up of the fence line he had mentioned?” Harrison asked.

“At this point, without a development, there’s really noting to do at this time until they develop the property,” Niewiadomski noted.

“Good fences make good neighbors,” commented Planning & Zoning Commission Vice President Pat Chase, who lead the meeting in Chuck Sickles’ absence Monday night.

Chase noted the respondent, whose response to the mailout was undecided, questioned what business is being proposed to warrant the zoning change.

“At this point, I wouldn’t say anything specific. There was someone looking at doing mini storage at one time,” Niewiadomski said.

After closing the public hearing, P&Z Commissioner Craig English made a motion to approve the rezoning request as recommended by city staff. Harrison seconded the motion, which was then approved by the P&Z Commission. The request will now be forwarded to Sulphur Springs City Council at a future meeting (the next is scheduled May 3, 2022). It will need to be read and approved twice by the City Council before the request is officially granted.

Author: Faith Huffman

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