Owners of motel ask council to help make zone change

Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 9:44 AM CDT
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LAREDO, TX. (KGNS) - The owners of a motel built in the 1940′s have had a difficult time trying to sell it.

Out of sheer desperation, they went before City Council to ask for help; however, councilmembers had some concerns of their own.

If you have driven down San Bernardo, you might have seen a vintage sign, fading after decades of welcoming visitors.

The Evelyn Motor Inn sign once shined bright with lights and was once a hotspot for tourists coming into the Gateway City but no it’s abandoned.

The owners, Antonio and Graciela Gonzales are trying to sell the property to a bus company but the Evelyn Motor Inn is categorized as a B-3 and B-1 zone. The owners would like to change it to a B-4 to allow a bus station to be built.

They want to change the zone because they say it will complement the businesses in the area.

The City of Laredo Planning and Zoning Director Orlando Navarro says every property owner has the right to request a zone change; however, City Council has the final say.

Mr. and Mrs. Gonzales went to city council and made it clear that they could not care for this hotel anymore because of their age.

During the council meeting Mr. Gonzalez stated, “”We have had it for so long at our age we cannot invest money into it. We lost our daughter three years ago and she left three children behind nine and twins they are seven. This money we are getting is not for us it’s for their education. "

The Gonzales have owned the hotel for 20 years but now the hotel is in limbo.

A conditional use permit would allow a bus terminal to be built without making a zone change but ultimately that is not what the owners opted to do.

Bus owner representative says the proposed bus terminal is supposed to benefit businesses around the area.

During the public comments Valentin Ruiz who lives in the area says he doesn’t want a bus terminal there.

Ruiz says, “It can open the door to business that could use odorless chemicals that could cause cancer to the residents in this district.”

Councilmember for the district Alyssa Cigarroa says she collected signatures from people living in the area and they are against the zone change.

Despite their pleas, the council voted not to change the zoning of the old motel because many residents in the area where against it.

Since their application has been denied the owners can resubmit for a zone change in six months.

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