Video explains how and why the campaign to revitalize Haltom City was started.
HALTOM CITY, TX, December 01, 2023 /24-7PressRelease/ — In one of several videos created by the Make Haltom City Thrive Again (MHCTA) campaign, entrepreneur Ron Sturgeon is asked how the campaign to revitalize the city came about.
According to Sturgeon, a property he owned on Denton Highway had been sitting vacant for a couple of years when he decided it would be the ideal spot for a budget-friendly event center. Having been involved in the planning and zoning approval process in a number of cities through the years, Ron was confident that the event center would be approved without a hitch. One of the unique features was allowing food trucks in an effort to cut catering costs.
However, after getting through initial planning and zoning with no opposition and reaching the “consent agenda” stage (usually approval is just a formality), he was hit with a list of unreasonable requirements issued by one councilperson who didn’t like the use. One requirement was to have a police officer on site for every single event, whether it be a wedding celebration, a holiday gathering, a birthday party or Quinceanera, or a company meeting. Another was to require that any food truck used for catering find a place to dispose of their trash outside of city limits. The item had been through three public hearings, with speakers in favor of it, and none against it. The council person did not like food trucks, so that became the issue.
It ultimately took nine months to get the city’s approval to move the project forward, and another nine months for renovations and business start-up. At that point, Ron recognized that all the “rigmarole” involved in Haltom City’s approval process was an obstacle to growth since most people don’t have the time or the money to engage in such a lengthy process. “If Haltom City hopes to revitalize its declining south and central areas, the city council must find a way to make things more palatable to developers and small business owners who are willing to invest in these neighborhoods,” he says.
Sturgeon, who is an advocate for small business, often speaks to brokers and small business owners in the Tarrant County area. Over the past several years, he has too often heard that Haltom City’s policies are problematic. Said one business colleague in a recent Facebook post: “I’ve tried to rent buildings in Haltom City. It’s very difficult to work with the city.” Said another recent Facebook poster, a real estate agent, “I can’t tell you how many leases and buyers I’ve had to steer away from Haltom City over unnecessary city requirements not imposed by North Richland Hills or even Fort Worth.”
The unfriendly attitude towards business has left the main corridor, Denton Highway, from Belknap to Loop 820 with nearly a 30% vacancy rate. The city’s self-appointed employee and spokesperson, Jayson Steele, touts the growth the city has seen in the north, but hasn’t proposed anything for the declining older central and south portions of the city.
As part of his advocacy, Sturgeon founded the Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) and co-authored the book Keeping the Lights on Downtown in America’s Small Cities. He is willing to send a free autographed copy to any Haltom City resident or business owner who requests one at [email protected].
“My heart aches for these small businesses that are going up there to that counter and being turned away from trying to be entrepreneurs and live their dream.” A portable snow cone stand was recently turned down because it was regulated as a restaurant, and a day care was sent away because they lacked the 7th of 7 required parking places. Ron is hoping that others will recognize the need for change in Haltom City and join him in his effort to Make Haltom City Thrive Again.
About Haltom City
Haltom City is a diverse, majority working-class city located between Dallas and Fort Worth in Tarrant County, TX. Haltom City is minutes from both the DFW Airport and Downtown Fort Worth with direct access to major highways including I-820 and SH-121. Due to an outdated and restrictive use matrix that discourages new business and deters growth, several areas of Haltom City have seen a decline in small businesses which provided goods and services and were a significant source of jobs, including the once-thriving automotive industry. However, Haltom City can reverse this trend and should prioritize development of inner-city land and vacant buildings, particularly in the major corridors close to the city’s center. The city is financially healthy with a capable manager and staff who would like to see diverse business development occur and need the support of the City Council to make it happen.
About Haltom United Business Alliance
Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) wants to give members of Haltom City’s business community an advocate and to keep those businesses informed about issues that affect them. They want to make sure Haltom City is business friendly and nurtures small business growth, including automotive businesses in the industrial districts, and bring more restaurants including breweries and eventually a major grocery store to the city. New businesses and growth in existing businesses will create a stronger tax base which will allow the city to pay its first responders wages that are competitive with surrounding cities while improving Haltom City’s facilities and infrastructure. HUBA believes that the southern and central parts of the city need a revitalization plan, to prevent further degradation in those areas, and wants that to happen before the inner-city experiences increased crime and more blight. As retail and office uses are in decline, it’s more critical than ever to attract new businesses. They believe that such a plan requires a strong relationship and support of the business community. Anyone who owns a business in Haltom City is eligible to join HUBA. Dues are $20 annually or $50 for a lifetime membership, and membership is 100% confidential. To join, contact Joe Palmer at (682) 310-0591 or by email at [email protected]. Visit the group’s Facebook at Haltom United Business Alliance.
About Make Haltom City Thrive Again
Make Haltom City Thrive Again is a movement to return prosperity to the older parts of South and Central Haltom City by luring the small businesses that have left over the past decades back to Haltom City. A vibrant business community not only allows for greater employment and choice of goods and services, but also can ease the tax burden on residents. The movement is led by local entrepreneur and business owner Ron Sturgeon. For more on Sturgeon’s ideas and background, check out his book, Keeping the Lights on Downtown in America’s Small Cities and watch the videos on his Facebook page. Ron is also the founder of the Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) which represents existing business interests in Haltom City and promotes growth of diverse businesses. HUBA is not a political action committee and does not endorse candidates. If/when Ron endorses candidates, he will do so on his own via the Make Haltom City Thrive Again organization.
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