The Rockport City Council held a joint public hearing with the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) Tuesday, March 10 regarding the rezoning request for property located at 1740 W. Corpus Christi Street, from R-1 (1st Single Family Dwelling District) to B-1 (General Business District). The property is at the northwest corner of the Highway 35 Bypass and Corpus Christi Street intersection.
Owners James and Jill Farnsworth want to build a general contractor shop on the property.
Five people spoke in opposition to the rezoning request, primarily citing increased traffic issues at an already dangerous intersection, increased crime, and the devaluing of their homesteads.
“It’s a bad intersection and if you put commercial there it’s going to make the intersection worse,” said Gary Mizener. “Last Thursday there was another accident.”
Floyd Clark said nothing has changed since the last time there was a request to rezone the property.
“Until they do something (about the intersection where the State Highway 35 Bypass, Corpus Christi Street, and the Bypass entrance ramp almost merge), where you can’t shoot straight across (there should be no commercial at that location),” he said.
Clark said his family bought their home in the neighborhood and it’s a big investment.
“I’m looking to save what we invested under the rules that were in place (when we bought it),” he said.
“You (city) annexed us. We look for you to protect us,” he said.
He also noted there is no control once property is zoned B-1.
Kay Clark said she is concerned about children’s safety in the neighborhood with increased traffic, as well as increased crime.
“I know the city needs to grow, but this is the wrong place,” she said.
Brenda Mizener said her major concern is the safety of her children.
Matt Farnsworth said his family has lived in the area since 1973, and already has a wood shop near that location.
He said the property was subdivided into three half-acre lots.
“Everybody is worried about Corpus Christi Street,” he said. “I can’t do anything about that.”
In regard to traffic on that street, he said, “The city bought the property (on the other side of the Bypass) to put in a park (softball complex).”
Addressing concerns with B-1 zoning, and businesses that could be located there if rezoned, Farnsworth said, “If I wanted to put in a night club, I’d have to get your permission.”
Another man said he owns “quite a bit of property” in the area, and said the city’s property on the other side of the Bypass is completely different due to the traffic situation on the west side of the Bypass.
It was noted by one individual that he owns a business, as well, and understands the Farnsworth’s desire to build on their property, but this location, next to an established neighborhood, is not the ideal place for such development.
The P&Z will address the request and decide its recommendation to the council at its meeting Monday, March 16 at the Rockport Service Center. It starts at 5:30 p.m.