P&Z OKs 2 new eateries

Restaurants on FM 663, 14th Street get green light following discussions

Bill Spinks
Midlothian Mirror
Midlothian City Hall.

Two new restaurants in town gave the Midlothian Planning and Zoning Commission plenty to chew on, as commissioners discussed each at length and approved each unanimously during their monthly meeting on March 16.

Commissioners approved a specific-use permit for a restaurant at 3261 FM 663, after discussing what type of pavement to be used for a drive area in the rear of the building.

The SUP includes a patio in the rear. Conditions were added that the dumpster area be screened and a 12-foot-wide paved drive aisle be added to the rear parking area when the patio is built.

The city requires that concrete be used in the construction of the drive aisle, but commissioner Mike Rodgers objected to forcing the tenants to pay the high costs of concrete on a property they don’t own.

A motion to require concrete pavement on the drive failed by a 4-2 vote. A second motion, to allow for use of an approved alternative paving material, passed 6-0.

Also unanimously approved was an amended planned development district to allow a taphouse restaurant directly to the east of 14th Street, between East Main Street and Highlander Road. The restaurant will be associated with an existing entertainment venue that is tied to an adjacent nursery. The amendment allows for a food truck court that would be occupied for a maximum of 48 hours at a time during special events.

One resident and one representative of an independent living facility across 14th Street spoke before the commission and brought up concerns about noise and traffic in the area. But several other residents in the area who were notified of the change submitted written responses in favor.

Applicant Justin Crocker, who also owns Earthtones Greenery and the existing entertainment venue on the site, said his restaurant will be family-friendly and an informational meeting will be held for neighbors who weren’t notified about the development in the coming days. Crocker said his nursery has outgrown the site and will be moving to a new location on U.S. Highway 287.

City planning director Trenton Robertson also said the city has a noise ordinance that would apply to the restaurant and venue.

All seven members of the commission took part in the meeting, which was held in the Council Chambers at Midlothian City Hall. Two commissioners, Jerry Caves and Angela Stephens, participated by telephone.

Other items

• On the consent agenda was a final plat of Hawkins Run Meadows Phase 2, consisting of 25.123 acres south of Hawkins Run Road. Also approved were the minutes from the special March 4 meeting.

• A preliminary plat of a 40.75-acre property on West Highland Road between North Mockingbird Lane and Springer Road was approved. The tract will include 33 residential lots.

• Also approved was a preliminary plat of the 125.456-acre La Paz Ranch Estates Phase 3 south of McAlpin Road and northeast of FM 875. One condition was added, that a second point of ingress and egress be provided.

• A specific-use permit for outside storage and display relating to two lots in the 800 block of Dividend Road in the Eastgate Industrial Park was granted. The area is presently zoned Medium Industrial. The 8-foot security fence around the property does not meet city zoning regulations, but the SUP will allow the fence to remain and provides for landscaping to beautify the property.

• Two temporary residential subdivision signs were approved after public hearings for each: one on Walnut Grove Road near the entrance to The Grove subdivision, and one facing McAlpin Road near the entrance of the Dove Creek subdivision.

• Commissioners changed the zoning of two lots in the 1500 block of North 9th Street from Single Family-4 to a planned development for medium density/duplex residential uses.

• Robertson reminded the commission that special training for commissioners will be held Thursday, April 15 at 6 p.m.