The Denison City Council spent more than an hour Monday discussing two conditional-use permits for a 31,000-square-foot property located at 4006 Texoma Pkwy. Ultimately the council voted to approve a permit to allow for climate-controlled storage units, but took no action on a request related to a night club and restaurant with attached lounge and retail space under the same roof.
This came after the applicant Rachel Taylor voiced intention to not pursue the night club use and instead focus her energy on the other uses after concerns from the council and Mayor Jared Johnson on the direction and focus of the project.
“At least for me, we need a clearer picture of what it will look like,” Johnson said, adding that the project should be fleshed out more before the council decides on the night club use. “I am not sure if we have all the information or if there is more to get at all.”
In addition to the other uses, the site currently has a tattoo parlor as a tenant.
In late March, Taylor approached the Denison Planning and Zoning Commission with plans to open a Cajun and fast food restaurant in the former warehouse. During the weekends, Taylor said she would charge a cover change and use the building as a night club and dance hall with extended hours, music, a lounge and a retail space where alcohol and tobacco, among other items, could be purchased.
P&Z approved the request for conditional use in a unanimous decision.
During Monday’s meeting, Taylor said she plans to acquire a license to serve alcohol in the restaurant, and she would use bring-your-own-beer laws for it until she can acquire the proper paperwork. She noted that patrons would not be able to purchase alcohol at the retail space and bring it to the restaurant under BYOB laws.
Terisa Wilson, who owns a home near the warehouse, spoke against the request, citing concerns about noise, vagrancy and the effect it would have on local law enforcement.
“Nobody wants a bar back in this area because we just cleaned it up,” Wilson said Monday night. “Personally, I don’t see anything good happening after 12 o’clock.”
Members of the council questioned why the request was for a night club when the primary use seemed to be a restaurant, which is allowed by right without the need for a conditional use permit. City Manager Jud Rex said due to the complicated nature of the request, staff used the highest requirement when setting the request.
“When you look at the full scale … they are looking to do more than just a restaurant,” Rex said.
Council member Kris Spiegel said the request seemed more like a bar in nature given its alcohol sales and the potential for dancing and other club activities.
“Today it might be a two-day-a-week story, but tomorrow it could be seven days a week,” he said.
After discussion with council about their concerns with the request, Taylor said she would be alright with dropping the request for the night club and instead focusing on the uses that are accepted by right in the commercial zoning. However, she said she would still like to charge a cover on weekends to enter the premises to dance.
“If you are charging a cover, and having dancing, it is still a dance hall,” Spiegel said.
In a separate request, property owner Jonathan Earnhart asked for a permit to open a storage unit business on the site. When the request went before P&Z, the commission granted approval on the condition that the parking lot be improved prior to a certificate of occupancy being issued.
Earnhart asked for permission for this requirement to be dropped, as he would need time to acquire the $120,000 to improve the parking lot. In order to do that, he would need to get tenants into the property in order to generate the funds. He estimated that it could take two years for this to be completed.
After a brief discussion, the council approved the request under the condition that the parking lot is improved within one year.