A 90-day moratorium, which puts a halt on commercial property applications, was unanimously approved by the Aledo city council Thursday night following some modifications.

The council first discussed the moratorium at its June meeting and held a required public hearing and the first reading of the ordinance on July 7. Two people spoke out against the approval of the moratorium and one asked for clarity and the council approved the first reading.

The moratorium will allow the city to update its commercial zoning classifications.

“We have approximately six properties that basically have what I would term vested rights with either permits in process or applications submitted,” City Planning Consultant Betty Chew said. “The first one would be in the north part of the [Farm-to-Market Road 1187] corridor off Bailey Ranch Road, which is Aledo ISD’s project. Then we have the assisted living and memory care center on Bailey Ranch Road, which we are fairly close to permitting. We also have the Baylor Scott and White Rehab, ETX Bell (Taco Bell), and on the south end of 1187 we have [two projects], which are already in the process of being permitted.”

Aledo City Administrator Bill Funderburk said they have requested that the downtown district be excluded from the moratorium because the requirements in that area were updated more recently than the commercial areas and already have restrictions.

Further discussion was had between the city council and staff, and modifications were made before the final motion.

“All commercial is in the moratorium plus 1,000 feet of industrial that touches Bailey Ranch Road. Then we would do the commercial coming down 1187 to the downtown area and leave the downtown area out of the moratorium completely,” Funderburk said. “Then pick up 1187 on the south end of the downtown district coming down and then turning and going to Brookhollow [Drive]. Then we would take in the 1,000 feet along 1187 that’s [zoned] industrial.”

The council unanimously approved the moratorium ordinance with the modifications.

Kimley-Horn and Associates, a planning and design engineering consulting firm, will be working with the city during the 90-day moratorium to update the commercial zoning classifications, Chew said.

“There will be a preference survey that will be online for two weeks. We would love to have the participation of the residents, the businesses and all of our developers,” Chew said. “The more people you can encourage to fill out the survey, the better information Kimley-Horn and staff will receive, and it will allow us more expeditiously and hopefully in a better fashion, to include changes to the commercial zoning district to implement what the city’s vision is for these areas and for all commercial property to be developed in the city of Aledo.”

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, staff felt the best way to capture public input was the online survey versus holding in-person meetings.

“[The survey] will be brought back to the city council and we need that done within the next two weeks. That’s what the agreement with Kimley-Horn is — they will gather as much information in the next two weeks and get it back to the city council because we want to move as fast as possible,” Funderburk said. “Our goal is to have this moratorium completed within 90 days. If there’s some reason, we can come back and do an extension for another 90 days, but we see a need to do this as fast as possible.”

The survey will have qualifying questions in order to differentiate between residents in city limits, those outside city limits, business owners and developers and will be available on the city’s website: aledo-texas.com

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