Rezoning proposal for package store gets unanimous denial

When you buy a piece of property, you don’t have a crystal ball to tell you that you might one day decide to build a store on it, or a bar, or maybe even a daycare. So while the zoning in the area might be fine when you purchase the property, what happens if you want to use the property later for something else and it is not zoned for your purpose? You have to submit a proposal to have your property rezoned, and it is not easy. Zoning issues can be complex. There are zoning laws that must be followed. Your best bet is to have a good attorney who knows the zoning laws and can represent you in hearings before the government agency if necessary.

A convenience store owner in Longview is currently facing some zoning issues. He had decided that he would like to change his zoning from general retail to heavy commercial. He wants to change his convenience store to a package store.

His zoning proposal has been denied by the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission. The denial was unanimous because rezoning just his property would be considered “spot zoning,” meaning that it would be the only property in the zoning area that is zoned different. Texas law states that “a zoning decision that merely provides for individual benefit without a relationship to public benefit cannot be legally supported.”

Other opposition to his request comes from a church and a resident in the neighborhood who do not want heavy commercial zoning in the area. Heavy commercial zoning will allow nightclubs, liquor stores and other less reputable businesses in. Currently, the convenience store owner’s property contains gas pumps and a Subway restaurant. He feels a package store would benefit the public so they wouldn’t have so far to travel for their liquor.

The property owner might have some other options available to argue his case, such as the possibility of rezoning the entire area instead of just his property. He may also argue the point that a former City Council member was just unanimously approved for rezoning his 2.5 acres of agricultural land to heavy commercial zoning.

Source:News-Journal, “Longview Planning and Zoning rejects gas station rezoning” Richard Yeakley, Dec. 18, 2013