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Fort Worth council adopts temporary zoning overlay for Stockyards

By Scott Nishimura
snishimura@bizpress.net

Fort Worth City Council members voted Tuesday for a temporary zoning overlay to regulate development in the Historic Stockyards, while the city begins work on a permanent set of codes meant to preserve the district’s flavor as a major proposed redevelopment proceeds.

The council voted 8-1 for the overlay, which covers the district east of North Main Street. The planned development overlay will require developers to submit a site plan for exterior changes and new construction.

Opponents asked the council to reject the overlay and instead aggressively work towards the development and implementation of form-based codes, a type of special-district zoning regulation that can address everything from buildings’ appearance and their relationship to each other, to height, parking, andscaping and lighting.

The temporary zoning overlay is “exactly what is needed,” Gary Brinkley, general manager of Stockyards Station, told the council, speaking for a partnership of Majestic Realty and Fort Worth’s Hickman family that is planning a $175 million redevelopment in the Stockyards.

“It just looks like the council has set itself up as the expert for what goes in the Stockyards,” former Councilman Steve Murrin, who has been publicly skeptical of the development plan and public process, said.

The city’s Zoning Commission voted 4-3 in June to recommend denial of the temporary overlay, sending the case to the councll.

The council approved the overlay on a motion by Sal Espino, who represents the North Side, and said it will afford a greater level of protection while the city works on form-based codes, which will replace the overlay.

Concho Minick, who runs Billy Bob’s Texas, told the council the Majestic-HIckman partnership won’t have any incentive to discuss form-based codes if the council approved the overlay.

“This issue has divided my family, my partners,” Minick, whose parents, the retired longtime Billy Bob’s operators Billy and Pam Minick, are in support of the Majestic-Hickman plan. The Minicks are in partnership in Billy Bob’s with several familiies, including the Hickmans.

“I just ask you to do something to help bring us together,” Minick told the council members.

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