The City Planning Commission has agreed to a plan that would convert residentially-zoned lots in the 2100 block of Northwest Arlington to commercial use.
The recommendation, which would need approval from the City Council before being implemented, would give lots at 2122 and 2124 NW Arlington C-1 Local Commercial District zoning, the most restrictive of commercial zoning categories. It would match the zoning already held by two lots between those two and North Sheridan Road, as well as lots to the north and south.
City planner Kameron Good said the tracts are north of Arby’s at North Sheridan Road and West Gore Boulevard, on the east side of the vacant site also behind that restaurant.
The proposal made by applicant Mike McKee doesn’t contain a specific use; Good said the proposal is for a “blind site plan,” meaning one with no specific use. Because of the tract’s proximity to a stable residential neighborhood, any specific commercial use would require a binding site plan, so that proposed use would have to come back to the commission and council for approval.
“This is just to rezone it to make it (all four tracts) all commercial,” Good said, adding that not only would a binding site plan be necessary, builders also would follow requirements to build an opaque fence and plant vegetative screening.
Commissioner Deborah Jones, a former city planner, objected to the proposal, saying it is “speculative zoning” intended to enhance the land value. Jones said the adjacent empty tract was to have been the site of a new Braum’s and that proposal — since dropped — prompted strong opposition from nearby residents.
“We had a substantial protest over that,” she said.
Jones said the commission also should be mindful of plans the City Council made months ago for a corridor analysis of Lawton’s arterials, to help show potential development.
“We ought to wait until we know more,” she said.
Commissioner John Jones, a local developer and real estate agent, said the property really isn’t deep enough for commercial development, predicting building enough parking “will be a problem.”