It took 10 months for a special task force named by the Fort Worth City Council to adopt and recommend design standards and guidelines for redevelopment in the Stockyards. The task force split into factions, and many of its meetings were contentious.
Compared with what the council is about to do, that was a cakewalk.
Council members at their Tuesday night meeting are scheduled to consider and vote on plans to create a “form-based code” and a formal historic zoning district for the Stockyards. It’ll cost taxpayers $300,000 to hire a consultant and another $100,000 to hire a staff member to oversee the project.
In strict terms, once this process is completed nobody who owns any property or structures in the core Stockyards area will be able to tear anything down or build anything up without following strict regulations.
It’s likely that everyone who owns property there now, from the smallest lot to the proposed $175 million Hickman family/Majestic Realty redevelopment plan, will have strong opinions to express during the year or so the process of creating the zoning district and form-based code is expected to take. Other interested groups will chime in, too.
And if it it’s not done well, the millions of dollars involved could lead to lawsuits. Council political hides are at stake in the end result.
The council members must not take this decision lightly.