Denison recently took the first step in making room for a meal prep to home delivery business model. The planning and zoning commission approved a resolution to send to the City Council next month that would make room for a meal delivery service to join area businesses in the city.


Denison City Planner Bill Medina said the city has had a meal prep business looking at Denison and the city needed to update the ordinance to accommodate that type of business.


“For example, you order online or place your order for the whole week and they deliver to you a week’s worth of food and it is ready to eat,” Medina said. “We’re trying to make sure we can work with them.”


City staff couldn’t find the right fit for the business model in the existing zoning ordinance, Medina said. The changes the commission will send to the city council will include adding this type of business to the uses tables under appropriate zoning classifications.


The city’s legal team was still trying to draft the exact wording. One question that remained unanswered was where the use would fall. Medina said it could fit under commercial, central area or local retail and that as a result the language had to be drafted carefully.


The size was limited to 5,000 square feet to prevent a production facility that would belong in a industrial zone from taking advantage of the changes Medina said.


He also said off street parking would be a factor that needed to be addressed.


Denison Development Alliance Tony Kaai said the city is looking to attract a company that prepares meals that are pre-made ready to ship to the home.


“They put it in a box and ship to your house and you cook it and eat it,” Kaai said. “In the zoning you have a master chart that lists all the types of businesses. There wasn’t a specific zone category for that type of business.”


Denison Director of Development and Community Services Kimberly Murray said the city is getting ready to make major updates to the zoning ordinances in the near future and this was an early step towards that end.


“We want to promote small businesses. This will move us one step closer to promoting those businesses,” Murray said. “It is really exciting. We have an ordinance that is getting out of date and we need to update that to reflect the direction the community is wanting to go. It is very exciting. It follows along a lot of the other projects the city is pursuing.”


What types of meals would you have delivered to your home? Let Denison area reporter Richard A. Todd know by sending email to rtodd@heralddemocrat.com. He can also be reached on Facebook and Twitter @RichardAToddHD.