Bankhead Drive

A map of the area in the 3000 block of Bankhead Drive

A public hearing during Tuesday night's Weatherford city council meeting provided several residents with another chance to express their concerns over a potential electric substation that was proposed for an area along Bankhead Drive.

Property owner Lumar Development had originally requested a zoning change for the land, located at 3009 E. Bankhead Drive, from the existing Planned Development that was originally for a multi-family use to C1 General Commercial for an electrical substation by Oncor Electric. 

The city's planning and zoning commission met May 12 to discuss the request following a public hearing, at which numerous residents also spoke.

A neighboring property owner, Leslie Wooten, told the commission she was two days away from closing on the sale of her property when the potential buyers backed out because of the proposal. She added that her property value had dropped by about $50,000 as well.

P&Z Commissioner Joshua Tarbay said his primary concern was the usage, noting that he isn't a fan of anything that helps counties outside of Parker.

"Utilities are based on the needs of surrounding people," he said. "If there's a high use and high demand inside Weatherford, I want to support it — especially in light of the ice storm we had — but I don't know if there's a need for this."

P&Z ultimately voted 6-1 to deny the zoning change, and the topic was brought before city council Tuesday night, at which no action was taken because the application was withdrawn last week. However, city staff confirmed that the owner has re-submitted an application.

Residents Mac Smith and Dan Carney, who own adjacent property and who spoke before the P&Z commission, reiterated their concerns to council Tuesday.

"I've very concerned with what it's going to do with the values out there and you should be concerned with what it's going to do to one of the most prime development areas this city has left along the Bankhead strip," Carney said. "If we allow it, it's going to drive those property values down and it's going to drive desirable tenants away from the area.

"There are other places where they can put this facility up and down that transmission line that doesn't have the impact on what I think is a jewel of an area out there."

Smith said the substation would cause a "mess" and could cause commercial value of the land to plunge, and would help Oncor but not people trying to live in the area or put businesses there.

"I don't see any reason for them to put a substation in a location where Weatherford has utility coverage, too," he said.

Resident Phillip Smith also spoke at the P&Z meeting and again Tuesday night, saying he would prefer that the city restrict C1 zoning further and clarify permitted use.

In other business, the council Tuesday also:

•  Heard from representatives with the Tarrant Area Food Bank, which covers 13 counties including Parker and Palo Pinto, on their progress of serving those in need as well as an update to improvements at their new Weatherford location.

• Approved a conditional use permit with stipulations for TJ Services.

• Recognized the Weatherford Christian Lions baseball team on their most recent state championship.

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