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City Council denies zoning change for commercial intensive district

Mustang City Councilmembers deliberate a zoning change proposal on Feb. 6. (Photo by Jacob Sturm)

By Jacob Sturm

Mustang’s City Council denied a developer’s request for a change to the zoning of a property
that would have made way for a duplex planned unit development on Feb. 6.

The decision came after a public hearing on the property where the applicant’s appointed
representative emphasized the plans for the property, and where the City Councilmembers
asked questions of City Staff before coming to their conclusion.

Mustang Mayor Brian Grider posed questions about concrete walls being included near
property on the opposite side of the railroad tracks from the development area located behind
the Atwoods near State Highway 4.

Councilman James Waugh also voiced his concerns with the development becoming a duplex
community instead of the preferred storage unit area.

“I’m concerned we’re giving up a lot of commercial space right there,” Waugh said. “And if this
was a possibility, especially with Highway 4 going in there to 89 th , that big interchange would
make that so much easier for all that area to really become a place for commercial, and make it
easy in and out. I think we’re giving up a lot of tax money, by putting duplexes here, that we
can’t get back.”

Waugh also said the city doesn’t have much commercial space as it is, and stated that the
commercial space they have should be really important to the city for services, water, fire,
police and more. He said he wanted to protect that from his perspective.

The applicant’s representative mentioned that mini-storages, as of currently, do not generate
sales tax revenue. He argued duplex homes would generate more sales tax revenue than a
mini-storage facility.

Grider disputed that point, saying there have been discussions of sales tax revenue for mini-
storages changing as part of the reworking of the tax structure at the state level as a way to
help cities make up the money to compensate for the grocery sales tax being removed.

“While I agree with you on the fact of people there having a good opportunity to generate sales
tax, a commercial business would as well,” Grider said. “… Storage units, while not ideal right
now because they don’t generate sales tax, storage units are always a permanent fixture.
Homes don’t go down that often. Homes are pretty permanent. That’s just kind of my concerns
is just letting go of potential sales tax.”

Concessions on the potential duplex plan was communicated at the Planning Commission
meeting according to the applicant representative.

Councilman James Wald also voiced concerns to the applicant about duplexes being owned by
different owners before they eventually become an “eyesore” for the community. The
applicant also reiterated that one company will come in and buy the acres in other projects the
company is currently working with. He did concede that historically, Wald’s concerns have been
the way duplexes are done.

Wald also said his reservation on the subject included its location. He said part of the issue was
that the duplex property would work better in the back of a neighborhood/community where it
wasn’t on the frontage of the highway, and indicated he personally liked a storage facility more
than duplexes at the current location discussed Feb. 6.

The item was then put to vote and failed to get enough support to pass.

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