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Council chambers overflow with zoning protesters

Three controversial zoning requests had the Mission City Hall Council Chambers overflowing with people during the Jan. 22 city council meeting

The first was a request for a conditional use permit for a drive-thru store to be located at 4109 Mile 1 South Road, at the intersection of Bentsen Palm Road. Numerous residents of the adjacent subdivision were present to protest the construction of the proposed business, saying it would bring more traffic to their quiet residential area.

City of Mission logoReynaldo Gonzalez questioned when the designation of that lot had been changed to commercial, as residents had not been notified of the change.

“It was unbelievable that resident who paid taxes in the area were not notified of changes that would possibly adversely affect their property values,” he said.

After discussion, the Council denied the request.

The second controversial request by Olaguer Bauza was the rezoning of more than half an acre located on the Meadow Creek Golf Course near the 18th hole at the intersection of Inspiration Road and Mile 1 South.

Bauza explained they needed money to renovate the golf course so they wanted to change this portion into a commercial strip that would have a donut shop, a Subway and a pizza shop

The money from the sale of the property will help finance the improvements on the golf course and that there would still be 18 holes of golf available as only the end section was being sold.

A petition with 39 percent opposition was presented to the Council.  John Young spoke to the Council saying there was already heavy traffic from the nearby school and residents feared more traffic as a result of the new businesses. A total of 67 letters protesting the change was presented to the council, with some residents questioning if a commercial area could be built in a public golf course, leading City Mayor Norbeto “Beto” Salinas to ask engineer Julio Cerda if the commercial site would be on the golf course. Cerda explained that rezoning of the site was the first step to subdividing the property so that it would no longer be on the golf course. Requests for this rezoning could possibly be requested within the next two weeks. Notification will be posted in the newspaper.  

The third controversial zoning was for a rezoning from R-1 to C-2 for a 0.407-acre site out of Lot 265 John H. Shary Subdivision.  The site is owned by Councilwoman Norie Gonzalez Garza who wants to relocate her business to property she already owns. She abstained from discussing the matter.

The site is currently zoned for low density residential and Garza intends to retain the residential use on the back portion of the property and build a smaller home for herself there.

Residents protested the C-2 zoning in the midst of their residential properties but the council approved the request after discussion.

In other action, Council authorized solicitation of bids for competitive proposals for a tennis center to be located at Birdwell Park. The three existing courts will be refurbished and an additional 13 courts will be added along will modified trail lighting. A pro-shop, concessions and restrooms will be added. The site will also include picnic structures, a covered pavilion over the exiting basketball court, an enlarged walking trail and a parking lot.

Brad Bentsen, Director for Parks and Recreation said the design would meet the standards set by the United States Tennis Association to accommodate USTA tournaments, and accommodations for local and regional tournaments for the Sharyland and Mission School districts.

The project will be paid for with a city contribution of $500,000 and a matching grant of $500,000 from Texas Parks and Wildlife which will be met with a matching grant of $500,000 from Valley Baptist Legacy Foundation.

Authorization was given to accept a contract between All Children’s Nutrition Program and the Boys and Girls Clubs of American for a grant that would provide supper to children involved in the after-school program with permission from their parents.

The Mission Police Department was authorized to receive a grant from the Office of the Governor for $39,381 to purchase rifle resistant bullet proof vests for patrol officer, bridge officers, traffic officers and SWAT officers. There is no cash match required from the city.

At the request of Assistant City Manager Ada Lerma the City of Reynosa was approved to sign a Sister City document with the City of Mission during the Mayor’s Brunch during the Texas Citrus Fiesta.

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