Dialogue sparks rezoning classification tabling


Dialogue sparked by a rezoning recommendation during Monday’s Amarillo Planning and Zoning Commission meeting resulted in the action being tabled for a solution officials said best suits all parties involved.

Planning and Zoning staff presented a recommendation converting 2.62 acres of property located in the vicinity of E. St. Francis Ave. and Pavillard Dr. from Agricultural District to Light Commercial. Officials said the proposed use of the site would be mini storage.

After discussion involving residents against the recommendation, the rezoning request applicant and commission members, it was decided the request would be tabled and brought back as a Planned Development rezoning classification. During the meeting Planning and Zoning staff also referenced the Texas Department of Transportation is considering the area as a potential interstate expansion site.

The commission said an acreage waiver would be granted to allow for the Planned Development designation, enabling the potential for restricting the area to the mini storage business.

Amarillo resident David Lowe was the first of three residents who opposed the initial rezoning language.

“Tex DOT (Texas Department of Transportation) is going to put something in and there will be no access off St. Francis Ave., so you’re going to have to divert all of the traffic for any type of business onto Pavillard Dr., which is a two-way street that is busy in the morning and afternoon already,” Amarillo resident David Lowe said. “My other concern is there’s a plan for a storage building, but what’s to stop a Love’s Travel Center from being built there after they get this rezoned. Then I’ve got a 24-hour type business at my front door. We only have one access into our neighborhood and that’s off Pavillard, unless you go a mile east and north and come back down.”

Matthew Cox said he had a couple of reasons for speaking against the move.

“There are several things I am against,” he said. “Because of construction on I-40, in town and the traffic on the loop right in front of Pavillard, it’s almost impossible in the morning and late evening to get out into the neighborhood to the loop – east or west,” he said. “Second, most of us moved out there because it’s quiet. I used to live on the east end of town at one time and there were gunshots and a lot of loud music and stuff. Criminals who don’t have our best interest at heart could move their businesses into the neighborhood. I waited a long time to buy my forever house and don’t see anything good coming of this. You’re just going to increase the traffic.”

Melinda Prather said her concerns are her children’s safety and how the potential business would impact the surrounding real estate.

“I have two young children that like to play outside,” she said. “And if there is a business put in there, I can’t let my kids play outside because I have to worry about them being hit by cars. I don’t really think people who would be associated with that type of business bringing a lot of traffic in and out would make our neighborhood less safe. And they are just finishing all of the houses, so putting a business in there would impact all of our property values.”

Karl Christensen owns the property on which the proposed mini storage would be located and said he has no problem with the Planned Development classification. He also said he appreciated the input from those who opposed the rezoning initiative and wanted to place their concerns at ease

“My intent is to some day build mini storage there,” he said. “There would be a solid fence between the property lines north and Fox Terrier. Mini storages don’t create a lot of traffic. We control access hours and there is a security gate.”

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