Change zoning to grow Italy

Did you know that Houston does not have zoning. One study by US News and World report said the only difference they could see when they studied cities with zoning and without was it was more expensive to own and/or build in the zoned cities. It is about freedom. If a property is zoned for a park it will not sell for very much in most cities. If it is zoned for homes the value is determined by the buyers of homes. If it is commercial its value will be determined by what the business owner figures it is worth. Rarely will any business want to move into a neighborhood. But there may be a doctor who would like to be closer to his patients. Or a coffee shop might like to have a small neighborhood unit. Can you see the value?

The main roads in and out of our towns are obvious choices for commercial real estate. Highway 77 south out of Italy is an obvious choice for commerce. It is not a good place for a nice quiet neighborhood — at least not facing the highway. Consider that just about a quarter of a mile south of the old city limits there is an intersection all drawn up and planned for the 34 bypass of Italy to cross 77. This will be even more compelling for business to locate along 77. This bypass will come. The opportunity for business will increase. Why not — with this zoning change — zone all of south 77 commercial and leave off the silly “get a special use permit” amendment.

The lack of commercial zoning is already sending businesses away from Italy. Buyers do not want to go with hat in hand to a P&Z meeting and beg for a “special use permit”. When Italy or Milford figures out that friendly zoning and administrations will promote business, that town is going to grow. The 34 bypass will come and the intersection with 77 and I-35 will get business. It is simply a matter of time. But Milford has an equally good location at their intersection with I-35. And they have water and sewer nearby. They suffer some from the same problems in getting organized but one of the towns will figure it out.

My loyalty goes with Italy. We need to drop the barriers to businesses coming to Italy. They need to have the freedom to bring the kind of business they want to Italy. Obviously the commercial zone designation precludes the nasties. The school system here has about 60 kids less than they did 18 years ago when we moved here. That is terribly tough on a school to be losing students. Each year they have to decide who does not get a job or where to cut funding. Growing towns have a vibrancy that non-growing towns lack. Ellis county is filling up and moving south. Look at Waxahachie and see how it is grown. The next jump will be to Italy or Milford.

Please zone some spaces for new businesses, larger businesses, employing businesses to acquire and set up shop in Italy. And do it without the “special use permit”. As a business man I would not buy such a parcel for my business. Over time business changes, you can find yourself outside of the limits of a special use permit just to adjust to business conditions. The “special use” restriction is beyond evil.

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by Concerned Citizen on Thursday, January 22, 2009 at 2:51 p.m.

Get rid of the special use permit.

by Concerned Citizen on Thursday, January 22, 2009 at 3:15 p.m.

One of the men who proposed this has his house for sale. He will be
leaving (probably to Missouri), and we will be stuck with this stifling, growth prohibiting nonsense.