Change puts brakes on auto uses

In News by Reporter News

In what Mayor Tom Reid called a “move in the right direction,” Pearland City Council on Monday narrowly approved the first reading of a measure addressing new auto-related businesses and pawn shops within the city.

The change to the city’s Unified Development Code will require a city approval for auto-related businesses or pawn shops in areas zoned general business or commercial.

Requiring a conditional use permit for these types of businesses was originally a proposal limited to the Pearland Parkway corridor, as a means to create a “signature entrance” to the city and prevent what some call “gasoline alley,” but staff and the Planning and Zoning Commission later recommended it throughout the city.

“The biggest concern is that a lot of GB and GC are near single family homes,” Pearland Director of Community Development Lata Krishnarao said.

The issue drew much discussion among the council.

“You want to make sure you don’t prohibit a landowner from developing,” Councilman Greg Hill said. “We’re not looking to prohibit the right for an automobile related use; we’re just requiring a CUP (conditional use permit).”

Councilman Tony Carbone disagreed.

“I don’t think affecting property across the whole city is necessarily the right way to go,” he said.

Recently installed Councilman Derrick Reed said the action will help Pearland stand apart in the future.

“We can choose to look like a beautiful city, or we can look like – I hope no one takes this the wrong way – Pasadena or Houston,” Councilman Reed said.

The amendments to the city’s Unified Development Code passed 3-2, with Carbone and Councilman Keith Ordeneaux voting against.

A second reading of the measure at a future council meeting is required before it becomes final.

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