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Sherman P&Z tables Tractor Supply request

Michael Hutchins
Herald Democrat
The Sherman Planning and Zoning Commission tabled a request by Tractor Supply Co. related to fencing around its outdoor storage and displays

Sherman's Tractor Supply Co. will need to find a new solution for its outdoor storage needs.

The Sherman Planning and Zoning Commission tabled a request this week that would have allowed the company to build a chain-link fence to surround its outdoor storage. Concerns raised by the commission centered on the appearance at one if the city's prominent intersections and debate between screening visibility.

During the same meeting, the city approved a request to allow for outdoor displays and storage and plans to have an outdoor greenhouse and canopy.  All of the request relate to a proposed overhaul and update to the store's fenced sidelot, which will be improved to have drive-thru service, among other features.

In order to move forward with this,  representatives for the store said they would need to move some items outside of the fenced garden center and into the parking lot for display. The store already uses a portion of the parking lot for this use, but city staff noted during the meeting that this is out of compliance with city code.

Current code requires that outdoor displays be screened using masonry on wooden fencing.

As a part of this change, representatives said they wish to fence in the display area using chain-link fencing. This would give the store two outdoor fenced areas.

P&Z Chairman Clay Mahone said he was concerned with the precedent P&Z could create by allowing the store to have two similar spaces, including one that is not attached to the building.  Other, similar retailers have used a variety of methods to secure outdoor displays, including some that have wrought iron fencing. 

In a separate item, the P&Z required Lowe's to file for a Specific Use Permit to allow for its outdoor displays and storage.

Other members of the commission expressed concern over the chain-link fencing itself. Given the store's location at the corner of U.S. Highways 75 and 82,  commissioners said they were concerned about the look and the message it would present.

Alternatives and other options were proposed by the commission that would allow for more screening. These options included a cloth mesh attached to the fence or  slats that would be woven through the fence to block view.

Brad Quine, representing the landlord said he was opposed to this option as it could block the view of other tenants from the U.S. 82 service road.

"I would agree with you — this is Main and Main in Sherman, Texas and our opportunity as a landlord with a solid fence on the side of 82 .... I am afraid it would block some of the visibility for Aldi and Harbor Freight," he said.

Following the discussion, the commission move to table the request for alternative fencing to give the applicant time to consider alternative options.