At press time, the City Plan Commission was considering whether to authorize a hearing to determine zoning for land at the north corner of East Grand and Casa Loma avenues.

The site, which backs up to single-family homes in the Gastonwood-Coronado neighborhood, is zoned “CR” for community retail uses. Neighbors question whether existing CR zoning would permit operation of a drive-in restaurant, which is the rumored use.

An important issue is whether drive-in restaurants should be an allowed use in CR zoning districts, whether such uses should not be allowed, or whether Special Use Permits should be required. (Issuance of a Special Use Permit provides for public input.)

Changing the existing CR zoning regulations to allow drive-ins citywide on similarly zoned tracts would likely take months, while considering zoning only for this tract would likely take much less time. We’ll keep you updated on the issue.

INSIDE OUT FOR STORAGE: The Zoning Ordinance Advisory Committee (“ZOAC”) is considering a draft ordinance to regulate sales and storage outside retail establishments.

You may have seen, for example, numerous establishments along South Buckner Boulevard with couches and other items displayed outside. The ordinance would restrict outside sales, while allowing for occasional and limited “sidewalk sales,” items stored beneath structures, and items normally stored outside for sale.

Expect some discussion and possible modification as the ordinance moves through the City process.

OUTDOOR SEATING, PART II: On Dec. 5, the Plan Commission is scheduled to hear an application for CR zoning at Garland Road and Winstead for what appears to be a planned convenience store. Also scheduled for hearing Dec. 5 is a draft outdoor seating ordinance (discussed in last month’s column). So far, surprisingly little has been heard on this issue, but release of a draft ordinance is likely to spur more activity.

DANCE THE RIGHT AWAY: Proposed amendments to the City’s Dance Hall Licensing Ordinance has been scheduled for hearing at the Dec. 9 Zoning Ordinance Advisory Committee meeting. Although the amendments were not available at press time, at least some are expected to deal with what is seen by many as evasion of the City’s sexually-oriented business licensing regulations.

In some areas of the City, establishments have proliferated that probably should fall under the sexually-oriented business regulations. Instead, through the dancers’ judicious use of “pasties,” they have been classified as “dance halls,” thereby falling under less stringent requirements.

Contact City planner Ray Couch, 670-4133, for information.

GASTON PD SET FOR VOTE: The newly seated City Council will consider an ordinance Dec. 11 establishing a Gaston Avenue Planned Development District. Contact Jim Prince of the planning staff, 670-3406, for information, especially concerning whether the ordinance has been altered since its adoption by the Plan Commission and Council earlier this year.

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