The Denison, Texas, Planning and Zoning Commission on Tuesday approved two conditional-use permits for a mixed-use development project that will include self-storage, a restaurant, a dance hall with lounge, and retail space. Jonathan Earnhart, who owns the property at 4006 Texoma Parkway, plans to offer space in the 31,000-square-foot building to multiple tenants for a variety of uses, according to the source. The suggested businesses might also include a flooring showroom, fitness center and convenience store. The proposal will move to the city council for final approval.
The approved permits are only related to the self-storage units, restaurant, lounge and retail area. "The zoning allows this use with a SUP [specific-use permit]," said Charles Shearer, chairman of the planning and zoning commission. "That puts the city in a good position because it can be revoked in the tenant doesn't live up to [his] side of the agreement."
Expected to open this summer, the complex will contain 800 feet of retail space for the sale of tobacco and other unspecified items, the source reported. The eatery will feature Cajun food, with the dance hall opening at 5 p.m., according to Rachel Taylor, the prospective tenant. The restaurant will allow patrons to bring in their own liquor, but Taylor plans to apply for a liquor license, the source reported.
When commissioner Mary Karam expressed concern about the business’ liquor policy, Taylor noted the restaurant will have security onsite and will contact police if “it gets out of control.”
Jeremy Pilcher, who owns a business near the property, said he supports new business in the area but has concerns about vagrancy and other problems arising from a business that sells alcohol.
Homeowner Terisa Wilson also opposes the development, citing noise and traffic as potential problems, and has reached out to area businesses to support her. She also mentioned the possibility of drunk drivers coming from businesses that sell alcohol.
Shearer countered it wasn’t fair to assume the business would contribute to the problem of drunk driving because those drivers could come from anywhere. Commissioner Jan Simpson added that the locations of many drunk-driving incidents listed in the police logs are vague. "They could have been coming from their friend's house after Monday Night Football," he said.
The commission stipulated the property must have adequate parking before it can receive a Certificate of Occupancy. The parking area has potholes, missing asphalt and lacks striping on parts of the surface, city staff noted.
Earnhart, who has already made some property improvements, asked the commission if he could wait to upgrade the parking area until after the certificate was issued. The bank and Denison Development Alliance are holding funding for the project until the building is occupied, he said. "It is really money that is holding us back on that parking lot," he added, estimating the improvements will cost about $120,000.
Although Shearer was conflicted about the parking-lot stipulation, he said the new business needs more parking. “The more tenants we have, the more parking is necessary; but I don't know what is worse: a vacant building or a substandard parking lot," he said.