The formerly quiet residential area of Call Field near McNeil is the new hot bed of growth for Wichita Falls.
The city council will consider Tuesday an ordinance to aid that growth even further by rezoning a small portion of residential land into limited commercial use for parking at a possible new Buffalo Wild Wings location.
City staff were approached in March to consider rezoning 4001-4005 Gossett for general commercial use. These properties sit near Call Field and back up to a parking lot of the revitalized Faith Village Shopping Center. The city’s planning and zoning committee did not recommend they make such a large leap from residential to general commercial, so they recommended light commercial use for a smaller impact to surrounding residents.
Of the three properties that back up to the parking lot, two properties, 4001 and 4003 Gossett, are already zoned for light commercial use. Light commercial as defined by the city is, “…land use characterized by its low traffic generation, low utility demand, small building footprint, small lot area, and is generally compatible to surrounding land uses.” The ordinance under consideration for Tuesday would make the final area at 4005 Gossett available for light commercial use. All three of these properties at 4001, 4003, and 4005 Gossett are owned by the same individual.
The initiator of the request is HBC Interests who wants to use the lots for both required and additional parking for a Buffalo Wild Wings at 3801 Call Field.
P&Z notified 18 nearby property owners and received five responses opposed to the idea, four in favor, and no undecided votes.
In September 2001, the city zoned the lots at 4001 and 4003 into one lot. The lot was then rezoned for limited commercial. Another request was made in 2007, to rezone 4001, 4003, and 4005 Gossett to general commercial. Again, staff disapproved of the modification. The idea was the limited commercial zone provides a needed buffer between the more congested general commercial area and residential area.
This area of the city was originally developed as the White Acres subdivision in 1955. It included the neighborhood of Gossett, Featherson, Boren and Blanton. The homes now in the 4000 block of Gossett were built in the 1950s. The other side of Call Field has seen immense changes in the past few years, moving from a warehouse district to booming retail and restaurant development.
Some residents in the area expressed concerns at a planning and zoning meeting that the encroachment of commercial development on their neighborhood will increase traffic, noise, and could have a negative impact on property value. City staff said this proposal will not create additional traffic through Gossett, only allowing for parking space at the designated locations.
The applicant provided a site plan that shows screening of wood or brick fence along Gossett frontage area to separate the parking lot from the residential area. There would also be sidewalk and landscaping facing the residential areas across the street.
If approved the rezoning does not require the applicant to continue with their project, but city staff say it is a “likely” development.
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