• October 31, 2014

Going commercial: Cove’s west edge planned for development

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Posted: Thursday, April 17, 2014 4:30 am

COPPERAS COVE — A section of land just west of the city limits, a 300-foot stretch past Primrose Drive along Farm-to-Market 1113, could be the home of future retail stores despite concerns that commercial development could clash with nearby residential developments.

Council members agreed, 4 to 2, to amend the city’s 2007 Comprehensive Plan so commercial development could be zoned in the area, which is in the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction and was previously deemed a low-density residential area.

A developer plans to put a small general store in the area, said Chris Stewart, the city’s planning services consultant.

That store — a 9,100-square-foot national merchandise store on 2.4 acres — would

pay sales tax to the city once annexed. According to city documents, developers were interested in the location because it would be the only nearby store for residents to shop.

“This property is located to the west of the Meadows subdivision on a major

highway coming into Copperas Cove,” said Jack Smith, who lives in the area. “The future land use now doesn’t have any place set aside for retail.”

The closest retail development is a 7-Eleven convenience store 1.3 miles away.

Azeita Taylor, president of planning and zoning, was one of two members of the planning and zoning board who voted against the amendment before the issue was presented to the council.

“Our problem was not that we didn’t think retail or commercial should go out there,” she said. “However, we wanted a little bit more control.”

Taylor said between the Meadows subdivision and the new development, there is about 100 feet of vacant property.

The two dissenting planning and zoning members preferred changing the area’s comprehensive plan to medium- to highdensity residential and allowing conditional commercial development, Taylor said.

“The other portion of the property is going to stay residential,” she said, referring to an adjacent area of land, “because it is restricted, you can not put commercial on that property — period.”

A medium- to high-density residential zoning designation would allow for fourplexes or an apartment complex, Stewart said, and would send the message that the city wanted more control over the developments.

In response, Smith said the land is technically outside the city limits and the company can build with or without the city’s approval. “The bureaucracy is getting out of hand guys, we want to encourage residential to business development and to me this sounds like a no-brainer,” Councilman Jim Schmitz said, speaking of the commercial designation.

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