Commercial development addressed at meetings

In News by Reporter News

Commercial development in Friendswood – both suspected and proposed – may be addressed at the upcoming Friendswood City Council meeting March 2.

An agenda for Monday’s meeting will be posted by the weekend at www.ci.friendswood.tx.us. In addition, public comment periods are also scheduled for resident input, though the council cannot act or engage in dialogue on non-agenda items.

At its last meeting Feb. 2, the City Council opted to take no action on the first reading of an ordinance approving a rezoning for a project known as “Friendswood Town Center.”

The developer seeks a zoning of Planned Unit Development/Mixed Use for the 135-acre site.

Meanwhile, a Facebook page titled “Friendswood/Walmart Dilemma” has emerged on social media, sharing an online petition to keep a Walmart development from a site on FM 528. A plan for the site described has not submitted for approval, though the site was rezoned last summer for commercial shopping center use, according to staff.

“At this time, no application has been submitted to the city for any development at this location,” city spokesman Nick Haby stated. “Any application for commercial development at this or any site would first need approval from the Planning and Zoning Commission.”

Those meetings, he said, are also open to the public, and P&Z agendas are posted in advance at the city’s website.

Opinions remain mixed among city leaders and residents regarding commercial development. Many, including the CEDC, emphasize the importance of drawing commercial development to the city since these properties relieve the tax burden of residents. The CEDC has requested the city implement guidelines regulating the “down-zoning” of properties, particularly those along FM 528, from commercial to residential.

There are also residents who don’t care for noise, crime and traffic they say come hand-in-hand with large retail development, and those who say they enjoy Friendswood largely the way it is.

Councilman John Scott recently questioned the notion of “commercializing every single piece of property we can for the purpose of raising revenue.”

“I don’t think League City or Pearland has anything that I’m envious of,” Scott said during a Feb. 2 meeting discussion.

Friendswood City Council meets on the first Monday of each month at City Hall, 910 S. Friendswood Dr. beginning at 4:30 p.m. Public comment periods are scheduled, with sign-up available before each session.

Planning and Zoning regularly meets on the first and third Thursdays of the month at 7 p.m., also at City Hall.

For agendas and other information, visit www.ci.friendswood.tx.us.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email