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Tomball council disputes businesses’ rezoning requests in residential areas

December 20, 2018

The Tomball City Council discussed possible consequences of requests by businesses to rezone properties from residential to mixed use.

Council denied one rezoning request and approved two others during their meeting on Monday, Dec. 17.

Rezoning denied

The council voted against a rezoning request from W.D. Hill from Magnolia.

Hill requested the council rezone a property from a single family-6 designation to Old Town and mixed use.

According to the rezoning request, Hill was seeking to turn the property at 710 Kane Street from a residence, into an office and studio.

Harry Byrd, who owns a neighboring property, told the council that he was against the request because the street was too narrow to accommodate visitors.

“Kane Street is not wide enough for car parking, so you wouldn’t be able to if you want to extend the mixed use area. Now, you can’t park on Kane Street. It’s a lot of congestion there,” he said.

Council member Derek Townsend said he would vote against the request to prevent businesses from encroaching on residential areas.

Council member Lori Quinn Klein said she didn’t want to see a business in a primarily residential area.

“I’m going to be voting no because I don’t see that this is a good use of that property right now,” she said.

The council voted unanimously against the request.

Physician’s office

A rezoning request from a single family-6 to Old Town and mixed use by Ahmad Aslam to expand a medical office at 308 Holderrieth Road was approved.

“We’re planning to build an office there for five of our employees there,” he told the council.

The city’s zoning defines single family-6 zones as residential areas with lots that have a minimum of 6,000 square feet.

Old Town and mixed use zoning would accommodate retail, commercial and single family or multiple-family residences.

“It’s not commercial that’s being requested at this time, but this area has changed over the last several years to Old Town and mixed use. Mixed use is a lot less intense than commercial,” said Craig Meyers, community development director.

Townsend and Klein voted against the rezoning request.

Townsend said the neighborhood had too many businesses in a residential area and was against Aslam’s cardiologist practice’s expanding.

“I’m going to be voting against this because I think that … when we tell our citizenry that the almighty dollar is more important than them and their residence, we’re doing them a disservice. Period,” Townsend said.

Both members were outvoted as members John Ford, Mark Stoll and Chad Degges approved the measure.

Mini warehouse project

The council approved a conditional use permit for a small storage warehouses and offices to be built on an abandoned animal rescue building at 419 E. Hufsmith Road.

Lance Langenhoven from Spring who petitioned the council for the permit, said he wasn’t aware he needed to apply for a second permit after his first permit was approved in January for small warehouses.

While he originally thought to add more warehouses, he updated the plan to include small offices instead.

“These are not industrial warehouses, they’re really small. It’s typically under 1,000 square feet. The ones I’m proposing are 640 square feet each,” Langenhoven told the council.

Langenhoven said the proposed small offices could be used by start-ups or small companies.

The council unanimously approved the request.

mayra.cruz@chron.com

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