Development on a new trampoline park in Denison took a step forward this week after the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission gave a nod to preliminary plans for the project. The project was one of three proposed retail and commercial developments in Gateway Village that received P&Z approval this week.

Representatives with Urban Air announced plans in November to build a new 30,000-square-foot indoor trampoline park featuring wall-to-wall attractions in Denison’s Gateway Village. This will make Urban Air the second of two entertainment anchors, following HeyDay Entertainment, for proposed retail and commercial development along the intersection of FM 691 and U.S. Highway 75.

The plans were unanimously approved by the commission with three variances to city ordinance, including a requirement for cross access to neighboring parcels.

“We are big believers of cross access,” Covenant Development President Ryan Johnson said during Tuesday’s meeting. “However, with this particular site, it is very difficult to get that access. I’d basically compare this to a ski slope.”

The new attraction will be placed directly across from HeyDay’s location and feature access from Gateway Boulevard and Southbend Drive. However, the location will not have cross access to the north, thus requiring a variance to city code.

Johnson said the site has a significant slope to the north that would make cross access to the adjacent land difficult, expensive and potentially dangerous. In order to provide the cross access, Johnson said a retaining wall might be necessary.

Members of the commission agreed with the request for the variance citing the hardship in providing access and the potential safety implications.

“Having cross access is good in theory, but with this site, it is impractical,” commissioner Brett Evans said.

“I think it is just too steep and could have hazardous repercussions in the future,” P&Z Chair Charles Shearer said in response to Evans.

A second variance was requested for the city’s exterior construction standards. While Denison currently requires 100 percent of the first floor of a structure be masonry, proposed plans for the site only show 40 percent of the first floor is made of brick.

The remainder of the first floor will be constructed of an insulated metal panel that looks and has the texture of stucco. Denison Director of Planning Steven Doss voiced no concerns about the building material and noted that city staff recommended approval of the alternate material.

The final variance related to available parking for the site. Based on the size of the building, the city requires 150 parking spaces, but plans for the site only featured 121 spaces. Johnson said the tenants for the building have indicated that their parking needs typically are smaller than businesses of the same size.

Johnson also noted that much of the space within the building will be occupied by the trampoline equipment and the actual occupency would be smaller than expected for a building of that size.