Changes in store for Manvel Rd. corridor

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Pearland City Council on Monday approved the first reading of an ordinance adding Manvel Road to its “corridor overlay district,” a designation with more requirements for developments.

“I think it’s something that is in keeping with the quality of the city we’re working on,” Mayor Tom Reid said regarding the decision. A second reading at a future meeting is required before it becomes final.

Manvel Road, or FM 1128, serves as a major north-south route for the city, staff said.

Landscaping requirements, buffers and facade requirements are the major differences in being a corridor overlay, planning department director Lata Krishnarao explained.

“Manvel also serves as a southern entrance into the city, and we want to make sure we have high quality development along it,” she said.

Existing businesses would not be affected unless they want to expand, with variances as an option. P&Z recommended the move 6-0.

Councilman Keith Ordeneaux said he was torn on this one.

“I’ve never been a huge fan of the corridor overlay district,” he said.

Councilman Tony Carbone said he would prefer businesses in the area be notified first.

The northern part of Manvel Road is mostly commercial, becoming more residential going south, Krishnarao said.

Most of the businesses already meet many requirements of the corridor overlay district.

Carbone and Ordeneaux voted against the measure, which passed 4-2.

Also on Monday, council approved the first reading of an ordinance adding a provision for liquor and package stores, cigar, tobacco and vaping lounges to its unified development code.

“This is in light of the local election that could potentially allow sales of liquor, and currently the sale of liquor is permitted by right in nine zoning districts,” Krishnarao told the council.

Tobacco uses, similarly, are permitted by right in five zoning districts.

Changes would restrict alcohol and tobacco lounge uses to conditional use permits throughout the city. The conditional use permit, or “CUP” process will provide an opportunity for the city council and Planning and Zoning Commission to evaluate each site and determine the appropriateness of the use in relation to surrounding uses.

Part of the ordinance removed from the original ordinance before voting was the addition of lighting standards to protect residents from light sources in non-residential areas that are improperly maintained or placed.

Some on the council feared having stringent and detailed requirements on lighting may deter business development.

A second reading of that ordinance must be approved by council at a future meeting before it becomes final.

Story by Nicole Jones

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