HUBA believes conditional use permit requirements are inhibiting startups; further study could reveal how many new businesses open in Haltom City when a CUP is required.
HALTOM CITY, TX, September 07, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ — In May of 2021, a third party completed a study of the projects touted as in progress or completed on Haltom City’s economic development pages to determine what kind of permitting each project required. Specifically, the study addressed how much of Haltom City’s development was taking place under conditional use permitting.
The study concluded: “Of the 19 completed or planned or currently under construction projects that we analyzed . . . we found only one, a completed project, Life Storage on Western Center Boulevard that … may have required a conditional use permit.”
Because getting a conditional use permit requires completing a lengthy application and putting together a detailed site plan, as well as several rounds of public hearings over a period of months, just to find out what the conditions for the permit will be, HUBA believes few businesses complete the process.
“As they debate the city’s table of uses, it really is important for Haltom City Council members to understand how much the requirement for a conditional use permit inhibits small businesses from starting here,” said Haltom United Business Alliance Communications Director Joe Palmer.
“For the major projects on the development page, we know CUPs represent about five percent, roughly one in 20, of the projects, but we don’t know whether that percentage holds for all the businesses started over six months or a year in Haltom City,” said HUBA Founder Ron Sturgeon who states that larger businesses are adept, and have the money and time to complete the process, hiring professionals and consultants. This simply isn’t true for small businesses, he contends. A good example is the snow cone stand that they recently refused a CUP for, as it didn’t fit clearly as a restaurant or food truck. Palmer adds, “do the citizens of Haltom City really need to be protected from a snow cone stand? I think not.”
“A year ago, we presented the city with a third-party study that recommended the city do a further study of all the small businesses that opened in Haltom City over a six-month period to see how many required conditional use permits,” said Palmer.
“We think that most of the businesses that start in Haltom City that don’t make the economic development page are smaller and therefore even less likely to have the time, money and expertise needed to get a CUP,” stated Palmer. “A larger study could tell us if that’s true,” added Palmer. He also believes an annual study of how many businesses there are in the city could help the city benchmark against itself and measure its progress to attract more small businesses. they could limit the study to just the beleaguered areas they designated as blighted for their 30-year Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ). The business community is interested in seeing plans that will revitalize the corridors now, not in 30 years, attracting private investment, and the TIRZ can only be spent on public projects.
“We would like to see the city do a study and share the results with Haltom City Council and the general public so people will know how much conditional use permitting inhibits small businesses from opening in Haltom City,” noted Palmer.
About Haltom City
Haltom City is a medium-sized city between Dallas and Fort Worth in Tarrant County, TX. The city is diverse and majority working class, with a growing population that is approximately 10% Asian-American and 45% Hispanic. Haltom City benefits from being only minutes from both DFW Airport and Downtown Fort Worth, with direct access to major highways including I-820 and SH-121. Small businesses that have historically provided products, services, and jobs to residents included a once thriving automotive industry. The city has seen a decline in small businesses, especially automotive businesses. The city is healthy financially, with median household income growing around 8% in the past year. Haltom City has an opportunity for continued growth through undeveloped land and many vacant buildings, especially in major corridors close to the city’s center. The city has good staff and a city manager who is interested in seeing more businesses come to Haltom City, but they can only do as directed by City Council.
About Haltom United Business Alliance
The Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) represents existing business interests in Haltom City and strives to promote growth of diverse businesses as well. Founder Ron Sturgeon recently co-authored and published a new book — Keeping the Lights on Downtown in America’s Small Cities — which offers key strategies for revitalizing America’s inner-city areas. All Haltom City business owners are eligible to join. Dues are $20 annually or $50 for a lifetime membership, and membership is 100% confidential. For more information, contact Joe Palmer by phone at (682) 310-0591 or email HUBAgrp@gmail.com or visit the HUBA Facebook Page.
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