Fearing the residential character of their historic neighborhood could be altered, the Crestwood Neighborhood Association is fighting a proposed zoning change that would allow commercial offices in the area at Tuesday’s Fort Worth City Council meeting.
Barry Green, a representative of the neighborhood located near Rockwood Park, told zoning commissioners that residents are against “encroachment of commercial zoning in our 100 percent residential neighborhood” at a December Fort Worth Zoning Commission hearing.
He also presented a petition with signatures from more than 500 people opposed to the change.
Still, the zoning commissioners, citing the best use of the land, unanimously recommended approval of the requested change, which would allow a family office building at the corner of North Bailey Avenue and White Settlement Road, an entrance into the neighborhood.
Jim Schell, the attorney representing Chad and Mimi Stephens, owners of the property that currently has a 12-unit apartment complex, said they have made several concessions to the neighborhood in the proposed plans, including: providing extra-wide sidewalks; building a residential-type building; reducing the number of parking spaces to about 20; capping the number of offices in the building to four and limiting the signage for the offices to the address only.
They also created a list of prohibited office uses that are typically higher-traffic businesses, such as car title companies, dentist offices, government agencies, day spas, medical doctors, real estate title companies and credit unions.
“The argument that ... if we allow commercial here, then all of Crestwood is going to go commercial, that is just baloney. That ain’t going to happen,” Schell told zoning commissioners at the Dec. 10 meeting.
Councilman Dennis Shingleton, who represents the district, said he plans to vote against the zoning change and stand with the neighborhood at Tuesday’s meeting.
“But I will tell you that the zoning on this is not to the point where it is so obtrusive that the neighborhood is going to be significantly impaired if it did pass in council,” Shingleton said. “There are worse utilizations of that space.”
Green, however, said the developers did not compromise with the neighborhood. Neighborhood requests included maintaining the apartment complex and scrapping the business office; creating a mixed-use development with some residential; limiting the office building to 6,000 square feet and to do a traffic study.
“What we did was go forward in good faith and attempt to negotiate,” Green said.
“All of those ideas were rejected by the applicant.”
Schell said requests like reducing the size of the office building from the proposed 9,200 square feet to 6,000 square feet or making it a residential project were not “economically viable” and a traffic study was not necessary with such a small building.
“In no way can I see this has any effect on Crestwood at all,” said Schell.
In a report, city staffers say the zoning change is considered compatible with current land use, but is not consistent with the city’s comprehensive plan. To the north and east of the site is multifamily development and single-family is to the west and the south.
Also on Tuesday, the City Council is set to vote on changes to the city’s Minority and Women Business Enterprises that will reduce the time allowed to submit minority and small business enterprise documents from five work days to two.
Caty Hirst, 817-390-7984
If you go
Fort Worth City Council starts at 7 p.m. at 1000 Throckmorton St.