The Sulphur Springs Planning and Zoning Commission was asked Monday to consider a request from Kennedy Commercial-Shannon Rd LLC to rezone approximately 0.78-acre of land at 1439 East Shannon Road, changing that part of the property from heavy industrial to multifamily.
The property is located near the intersection of Cadi Lane and Helm Lane, where the developer plans to construct three duplex-style rental properties. The intent is for the property to be very similar to the units Joe Ardis had constructed on Lundy Street, Sulphur Springs Assistant City Manager/Community Development Director Tory Niewiadomski told the P&Z Commission Monday evening.
Residential development is not permitted in heavy industrial zones. Heavy industrial zoning currently allows for auto wrecking yards, lumber mills, junkyards, factories, and other commercial and rental uses, city staff reported.
The property is surrounded by a variety of zoning types. To the north is a heavy industrial zone, which includes warehousing and offices. To the east is another heavy commercial zone on Helm Lane, where apartments are located. To the south and west is a neighborhood with single family housing which are zoned single family-6.
City staff reported downsizing the zoning to allow for duplexes on the property would be an appropriate transition, given the single family and multifamily housing in the neighborhoods around the property.
Certified letters were sent to 13 surrounding property owners within 200 feet of the proposed zoning change, notifying them of the request and P&Z meeting on Monday, Dec. 19, 2022. The City of Sulphur Springs received five responses to those letters, four that were opposed to the zoning change and one that was undecided because the individual no longer owns property there.
Concerns expressed were for more of a buffer between the single family homes and rental units. The developer of the Woodcreek Subdivision also indicated opposition to the change, as having townhomes or duplexes next door to a new addition would affect existing homes from being sold, Niewiadomski reported at the Monday evening P&Z meeting.
One reply was from a widow who indicated having more multifamily housing at that address would make her feel measurably more unsafe.
Two of the replies were from a Marianne Circle couple who asked the P&Z Commission to protect their 20-plus-year-old home in the nearby neighborhood with more of a boundary. One claimed the new neighborhood has homes that are sitting empty with no interest shown and that “has made a mess of our streets.”
The Woodcreek Subdivision developer noted the duplexes would be right next door to the entrance to the subdivision. He noted he “put in 30K additionally for stubbing out to the proposed for which zoning change is requested,” which he said “is very unfair for me as a developer.” Ram Yennam noted five single family homes have already been built and are unsold. Adding townhomes or duplexes next to the entrance to the development would further impact the ability to sell those homes.
“It’s an improvement in staff’s opinion. If we were talking bigger, I’d say we need more discussion,” Neiwiadomski said Monday night, recommending the request be granted.
Planning and Zoning Commissioner Twila Gill made a motion, which Commissioner Craig English seconded, to send the motion to Sulphur Springs City Council, with a recommendation the zoning change be approved. All four members of the P&Z Commission present at the Dec. 19, 2022, meeting — Pat Chase, Chuck Sickles, English and Gill — voted in favor of the recommendation for approval. The zoning change will require approval of the City Council before it can be enacted.