HUNTSVILLE — The Planning and Zoning Commission voted in favor of splitting Huntsville Fire Station No.2 and the Military Reserve Building into separate lots, but there was concern among P&Z members on the properties sharing access to Sam Houston Avenue, depending on what becomes of the abandoned military building.
City Council approved a $650,000 bid to Maalouf Properties for the land, which is currently being pursued by Sam Houston State University to acquire either by purchase or condemnation through the Texas State University System.
P&Z members questioned whether commercial traffic from a bar or night club would jeopardize firefighters’ ability to answer calls.
“You look at the very north end of the fire department, whenever they have to answer a call going south, they come out of the station and they come down to the shared access easement,” P&Z member and Walker County Emergency Management Assistant David Anderson said. “(The city) owns the parking lot there. To me, it depends on what kind of business is going to go in there. If you have a club going in there, where are they going to park and how much is that going to confine the fire department having to go out of that north entrance?”
Community and Economic Development Director Aron Kulhavy said any potential business that would neighbor the fire station would have to provide on-site parking, and that parking is prohibited in the shared access agreement.
The recommendation by P&Z will be presented to City Council on Tuesday and require two readings before it can be approved.
TSUS Board of Regents were supposed to consider on Thursday using eminent domain to condemn the property occupied by the military building if purchasing from Maalouf Properties was not an option, but university system administrators said the item was pulled because the proper metes and bounds survey had not been conducted.
P&Z recommends no change to sign regulations
After hearing citizen input regarding a proposed change in the Huntsville Development Code regulations restricting height of business signs along Interstate 45, the Planning and Zoning Commission voted unanimously to recommend City Council maintain the existing code.
The group was in agreement that expanding the existing 500-foot boundary from Interstate 45 to 750 feet, and increasing the 42 1/2-foot standard for height to 55 feet would compromise the aesthetics of Huntsville.