Work on Stockyards Zoning Changes Now Underway

Zoning changes required after redevelopment deal approved

On Thursday, the city of Fort Worth held a public meeting to discuss zoning changes in the Historic Stockyards. 

Earlier in June, the city council approved an economic development plan worth $26 million over 25 years, for a planned $175 million redevelopment of several areas of the Stockyards.
The plan drew a lot of concern and a passionate hearing at council, as many stakeholders were concerned about the speed the project was being pushed through the council and what the redevelopment would actually end up looking like.
Thursday night's meeting at the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame is the first of several planned meetings to address the so-called "safeguards" council added to the project, to ensure whatever is built will match the current historic Western theme the Stockyards is known for.
"I think it's a national treasure, regardless if you're from Fort Worth or Texas or anywhere," said Concho Minick, president of Billy Bob's Texas. "I think it's important for people to be involved."
Minick addressed his concerns before the June council meeting. He didn't speak against the project, but rather at the pace it was pushed through to council and how it was structured. 
"It's just pro-Stockyards, it's not anti-developer," Minick said.
The concern is over whether this particular project, or any other one in the future, will keep to the historic theme that has made the Stockyards the heart of Fort Worth tourism.
"It's really just doing the right thing in the Stockyards regardless of who's involved," he said.
As part of the approval from the council, it was decided zoning changes would be implemented to make sure that does indeed happen.
Thursday's public meeting worked to address and shape some of those changes, among them so-called "form based codes." The codes have been used elsewhere in the city, like the Camp Bowie District where they regulate the kinds of businesses that can operate on certain blocks and limits signage.
The zoning changes are something Minick and others are glad the council required, but now they want to see what they'll actually become.
"It will take a lot of heavy lifting by stakeholders here and the public and a lot of people for the right outcome," Minick said.
And while there's been difference of opinion on this project, both the city and Minick can agree on this.
"The most important thing now is for everybody who's interested, regardless if they're stakeholders here or anywhere, to come and be involved," he said.
Zoning changes could come before the council as early as July 15. However, the form-based codes could take months to develop. 
No one from the city was available on Thursday, however, Mayor Betsy Price outlined the project on your city website blog earlier this month.
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