The Denison Planning and Zoning Commission has called for a public hearing to discuss the best use of land along the major gateway corridors into the city. The request was made by council following concerns of proposed developments along some of the city’s key entryways in recent months.
By calling for the public hearing, which occurred during a P&Z meeting Tuesday, Doss said staff can begin research and drafting documents about the topic ahead of the future meeting. Austin Avenue, Eisenhower Parkway, U.S. Highway 69, Spur 503 and State Highway 91 are among the key entryways that will be discussed.
“All of these are, for the lack of a better term, some of our older corridors that have been developed for a while,” Denison Planning and Zoning Manager Steven Doss said.
Doss said the topic was raised by city staff and the council recently following work on a new comprehensive plan for the city, which will outline future, preferred land use. Additionally, Doss said, there have been a number of requests, specifically for used car lots and related businesses, that have come before the commission and city council in recent weeks.
A request conditional use permit for a used car lot in the 4100 block seemed to spur the conversation of preferred land use in the commission earlier this year.
Doss said additional concerns were raised when B&B Automotive and Transmission brought plans to build a new automotive shop along U.S. Hwy. 75 before the city. These plans have since been approved by the council.
Doss said the discussions would highlight any desired requirements for developments along corridors, including building standards and landscaping requirements. Some uses could also be restricted away from major corridors, but, he said, there would need to be checks and balances on what is best for the city and best for businesses along a major thoroughfare.
Up to this point the city has been individually negotiating with developers, but setting a specific standard would create more consistency for future development.
Later in Tuesday’s meeting, the commission received a request from Stephen Parenteau for conditional use permits to allow for a new automotive repair, muffler shop and used car lot at 2631 S. Woodlawn Blvd. The site was previously used as a used car lot for many years, city staff said. A sign on the property advertised it as Perry’s Used Cars.
Stephen Parenteau said he plans to build add a 2,000-square-foot shop to the existing structure. Parenteau said he would not be opposed to adding additional landscaping to the lot.
Among those who spoke in approval of the request was Donald Brewer, who owns adjacent property. Brewer voiced frustration that it would require significantly less work with the city if Parenteau were to open his shop just across the street. Doss said through these conversations the city hopes to resolve and make zoning and requirements consistent along the corridor.
Noting the conversation on corridors earlier in the meeting, Commissioner Matt Looney asked how soon it would take a new ordinance to be drafted and if the request could be held until that time.
“I would caution to commission from being cautious here,” P&Z Chairman Charles Shearer said. “We need to base our decision today … on the way the ordinance is written today.”
When put to a vote, the item was unanimously passed by the commission, forwarding it to the city council for final approval.