HUBA Executive Director Drew Weakley eager to see workable plan from city for area decimated by 2003 zoning ordinance overhaul
HALTOM CITY, TX, May 06, 2021 /24-7PressRelease/ — If the main thoroughfares in Haltom City were ever entered in a beauty contest, NE 28th Street would be dead last, according to Haltom United Business Alliance Executive Director Drew Weakley.
“It’s a run-down piece of road with a lot of small car lots and other commercial properties on small lots,” said Weakley. “The members of Haltom United Business Alliance would like to see a plan from Haltom City Council to help improve and redevelop the area,” said Weakley.
According to Weakley, many of the small car lots have become run down because their owners are caught in a Catch 22. “Almost 20 years ago, Haltom City started an effort to push the small car dealers out along NE 28th Street, and part of that effort involved making the use of the lots legal, non-conforming,” said Weakley.
“Once the lots were given that designation, it became almost impossible for the operators of these small lots to get the permits from the city to make improvements because the use as a car lot was not consistent with the city’s land use plan,” said Weakley.
“The other major obstacle to redevelopment of the area is the small size of many of the lots,” said Weakley. “Even when a business closes along NE 28th, it is hard for a developer to come in and build something new because the city has setback and landscaping requirements and the lots are so small that once you meet those, there isn’t enough land left to build much,” said HUBA Member Ron Sturgeon, a local real estate developer.
“We would like to see a plan that fixes the zoning problem for the car dealers that are in business along NE 28th and creates a path for them to get permits to make improvements to their properties,” said Weakley.
“We would also like to see some reforms as part of the city’s redevelopment plan that would allow lots to be combined so that they can be redeveloped, rather than remaining perpetually vacant,” said Weakley. “I firmly believe that NE 28th Street can be a lot better than it is, and I and other HUBA members are keenly interested in what Haltom City Council members propose for this part of Haltom City,” said Weakley.
Sturgeon added, “Northeast 28th street wasn’t always like this. When I opened my business there at 4416 NE 28th Street almost 50 years ago, across from Underwood’s BBQ, it was a bustling thoroughfare with lots of tidy small businesses.” According to Sturgeon, in 2003, the council decided they wanted all the automotive businesses gone, so they passed a significant zoning ordinance change that basically made them all legal non-conforming and numbered their days in business.
“I told everyone then that the street was going to be run down in ten years, with the businesses gone because the city had no plan for redevelopment when they pushed the auto-related businesses out,” added Sturgeon.
Since becoming HUBA Executive Director in February, Drew Weakley, owner of All Star Pawn in Haltom City, has been listening to HUBA members and to people who live and work in Haltom City. “I have been talking to a lot of people in Haltom City and they are interested in knowing what the city is going to do about NE 28th Street,” said Weakley.
To be added to HUBA’s email list, or to discuss the ideas that you have for redeveloping the 28th Street area, contact Weakley at [email protected] or (682) 310-0591. Follow HUBA on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Haltom-United-Business-Alliance-HUBA.
About Haltom United Business Alliance
Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) wants to give members of Haltom City’s business community an advocate and to keep those businesses informed about issues that affect them. They want to make sure Haltom City is business friendly and nurture small business growth, including automotive businesses, and bring more restaurants including breweries and a major grocery store to the city. New businesses and growth in existing businesses will create a stronger tax base which will allow the city to pay its first responders wages that are competitive with surrounding cities while improving Haltom City’s facilities and infrastructure. Anyone who owns a business in Haltom City is eligible to join. Dues are $20 annually or $50 for a lifetime membership, and membership is 100% confidential. To join, contact Drew Weakley at (682) 310-0591 or by email at [email protected]. Visit the group’s Facebook at Haltom United Business Alliance.
About Haltom City
Haltom City is a medium-sized city between Dallas and Fort Worth in Tarrant County, TX. The city is diverse and majority working class, with a growing population that is approximately 10% Asian-American and 45% Hispanic. Haltom City benefits from being only minutes from both DFW Airport and Downtown Fort Worth, with direct access to major highways including I-820 and SH-121. Small businesses that have historically provided products, services, and jobs to residents included a once thriving automotive industry. The city has seen a decline in small businesses, especially automotive businesses. The city is healthy financially, with median household income growing around 8% in the past year. Haltom City has opportunity for continued growth through undeveloped land and many vacant buildings, especially in major corridors close to the city’s center. The city has good staff and a city manager who is interested in seeing more businesses, but they can only do as directed by the council.
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