Church gets OK, grocer denied

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Pearland City Council granted an initial request by a church seeking to operate in the former Goodwill store in a west Pearland shopping center.

A conditional use permit received approval Monday on first reading for Sovereign Grace Church to operate in the center zoned as Neighborhood Services district.

During a recent public hearing city staff recommended the permit be granted, but a representative of the center’s ownership asked the council to deny the permit because of distance requirements regarding churches and the potential sale of alcohol.

City staff said Monday such concerns have been resolved.

“There were some questions about the effect on the balance of the strip center,” City Manager Clay Pearson said. “(Approval) would not preclude restaurants and other kinds of liquor sales because of the distance, and we are recommending approval to get that building back into use.”

The first reading passed 6-1. Final approval will appear on the future council agenda.

A grocer wanting to set up shop in an industrial area wasn’t as fortunate.

Council rejected the first reading of a conditional use permit to put a grocery and general retail stores on about 2 acres at the 3200 block of Main Street, south of Swenson Road on the west side of Main Street.

The proposed store is 10,000 square feet, with two more leased spaces, landscaping and drainage pond on the site. City staff again recommended against the request, stating, “The city has limited industrial zoned land, which should be (used) for industrial developments.”

Council voted 5-1 to reject the motion, with Councilman Trent Perez voting to approve.

The property owner was not present.

Story by Nicole Jones