Residents and investors clash over possible zoning change

By  | 

LAREDO, TX (KGNS) - A book store in a historic area could be a nice relaxing place for customers to enjoy a hot cup of joe or even wine, but due to a possible zoning change, those plans could be put on hold indefinitely.

Planning director James Kirby Snideman says some of the reasons the proposed business is looking for a zoning change is because of the parking issues.

Phoenix Book Store owners Margarita Govea and Jose Roberto Cantu Jr. say under the current zoning, they are not allowed to open the full use of their building because of parking restrictions.

Both Govea and Cantu say they bought the house last year and have since invested in thousands of dollars to offer a family-friendly establishment for the community.

However, George Santana, president of the St. Peter’s Historic Neighborhood Association brought close to 60 signatures of residents who opposed the zoning change.

Santana says residents are upset and worried about the future of possibly jeopardizing the peaceful, historic neighborhood.

He says although they want to open a coffee shop, if they decide to move away or sell, that zone is going to stay the same as a business, and whomever, comes can do whatever they please.

During Monday’s City Council meeting, investors and supporters of their own stressed they are helping fix the issues regarding abandoned homes.

The homeowners also mentioned they are welcoming the business but not the zoning change.

City Council ultimately directed staff to conduct meetings between the residents and investors to come up with a plan that would be agreed upon by both parties, before making a decision.