City Council denies new storage facility

Property near Walmart Supercenter remains in commercial retail zone

Bill Spinks
Midlothian Mirror
This 6.32-acre property along U.S. Highway 67 received approval for a zoning change and specific-use permit for a storage facility and office space during the March 4 meeting of the Midlothian Planning and Zoning Commission. The property is located on the southeast side of the highway between the Walmart Supercenter and Tractor Supply Co.

A proposed storage facility along U.S. Highway 67 was turned down by the Midlothian City Council last Tuesday night, March 23.

The council denied a rezoning for a planned development and a specific-use permit for a 6.32-acre property on the east side of U.S. 67, between the Walmart Supercenter and Tractor Supply Co. The property is zoned Community Retail, which forbids storage buildings. The development plan included a leasing office as well as a 6,300-square-foot retail office building with up to seven suites that would have been built first.

The city Planning and Zoning Commission had approved the SUP by a 4-1 vote at its March 4 meeting, with the condition that 41 parking spots be provided.

City planning director Trenton Robertson said staff recommended to deny the request because the storage facility is not consistent with the “regional module” in the city’s comprehensive plan.

Rachel Parham of the Parham Group, which is the entity planning to develop and manage the site, said Midlothian has a high demand for self-storage units and her company pledges to be a part of the community.

Parham said the self-storage building wouldn’t be visible from the highway, and said a high number of parking spaces was unnecessary because the storage facility would almost never have a high number of visitors at the same time.

The property is backed by a very steep slope and requires extensive earthwork, which in the past has made development of the parcel cost-prohibitive. Additionally, access is limited because of the presence of a one-way frontage road.

In other developmental actions, the council approved an SUP for a concept brunch restaurant at 3261 FM 663, allowing a variance to not require a dumpster enclosure at this time.

The applicant proposed a 1,100-square-foot patio in the rear of the building, but the Planning and Zoning Commission added the conditions that the dumpster area be enclosed and that a 12-foot-wide, 109-foot-long driveway be added at the time the patio is installed. The council voted 6-0, with councilmember Ted Miller recusing, to approve the SUP without the patio for now.

All councilmembers were present.

Other items

• Each councilmember gave a report on the activities of the various boards and commissions assigned to them as liaisons.

• The consent agenda included approval of previous minutes, interlocal cooperative purchasing agreements with the municipalities of Flower Mound and The Colony, a resolution authorizing the Bridges Inclusion Rally on June 26, and an agreement to continue to participate in the Oncor Cities Steering Committee.

• Councilmembers approved three items relating to the Redden Farms development.  An ordinance accepting and approving a service and assessment plan and assessment rolls for the Redden Farms Public Improvement District was approved. The issuance and sale of bonds were approved for each of two projects relating to the Redden Farms PID.

• A cost-sharing agreement with Midlothian ISD for roadway and water line improvements along Hawkins Run Road near Elementary School No. 8 was approved. The new school is projected to open in August 2022. The MISD board of trustees approved its own end of the agreement during its March 22 meeting.

• The city agreed to enter into negotiations with Waste Connections to renew a contract to provide municipal solid waste and recycling services. City finance director Ann Honza said Waste Connections provided the bid proposal that scored the highest.

• An agreement with Day Services, LLC for the improvement of water and sanitary sewer lines was approved. The total amount of the agreement is about $956,000, which will be paid for using the city utility fund.

• Kyle Kinateder, Midlothian Economic Development president and CEO, gave an update on the Midlothian Higher Education Center and MED’s efforts to promote the center.

• A purchase and sale agreement with Provident Realty Advisor, Inc. for approximately $4.9 million was approved for approximately 58 acres of land located within the Midlothian Business Park, which will complete all lot sales within the park. Kinateder said Provident plans to build two speculative 150,000-square-foot facilities on the site.

• A license agreement with Parks of Somercrest, Ltd. for the removal of soil from city-owned property located on Ledgestone Lane near Dieterich Middle School was approved. The exchange of 16,000 cubic yards of soil includes the planting of 20 hardwood trees and a mile-long natural-surface trail adjoining the school property. The surrounding property is not being named a park at the moment to keep the use of the land flexible, assistant city manager Clyde Melick said.

• Following an executive session, the council took no action.