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The city should begin to act on the many ideas HUBA has put forth to start to return prosperity to South and Central Haltom City. --Joe Palmer, HUBA
HALTOM CITY, TX, April 26, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Joe Palmer, Haltom United Business Alliance's Communications Director, says he knows why HUBA's membership is growing. "Local business owners are seeing that HUBA is actually acting on their behalf in pushing for the changes needed to make Haltom City more business friendly," Palmer said.
"All the businesspeople I talk to want to see the city be more business friendly so that it can attract more small businesses, the key to revitalizing the beleaguered corridors in South and Central Haltom City," Palmer added. He continued, "Even the business that are doing well see the decline in Haltom City over the last 20 years, and they know it's not sustainable. Also, you would be surprised how much they talk among themselves, and they talk to others who have tried to open a business and been turned away because of something that seemed insignificant, or who have just said no to the red tape. Most go to Fort Worth, which has very straightforward zoning and use rules and does not require public hearings for even the simplest of businesses, like a dry cleaner."
Haltom United Business Alliance formed in early 2021 and has been working on ideas to make the city more business friendly for more than a year. Ron Sturgeon a founding member, said, "We put out a list of ideas for the city to expand the business community more than a year ago, but Haltom City Council has never considered even one of the items on our list."
"The city has basically dismissed the business community," said Sturgeon. "Many members of City Council have said they don't value the input of business owners who don't live in the city," he added. HUBA believes that this is a huge disconnect and that business owners and property owners within the city should have a seat at the table as planning is done to help the city grow and recover from decades of decline and mismanagement.
"The council members make a lot of noise about how they are working to bring more businesses, but there hasn't been a single item on a council agenda or public hearing on anything that could help bring business in the last year, except approval for a 30-year Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ), which their own consultant stated could not be spent on any private investment," Sturgeon said. He added, "It's clear they don't recognize the gravity of the issue, even though they've recently lost a major grocery and drug store, and without seeing the need, they haven't put together a plan for revitalizing the central and southern parts of town."
According to census records, Haltom City has fallen from the middle of the pack to the bottom 25th percentile for population growth among Tarrant County's 41 cities. "With an abundance of boarded up buildings, it's easy to see why prospective residents pass Haltom City by," Palmer said. Palmer believes reversing the trend in population growth will require a revitalization plan that includes attracting new small businesses to the southern and central parts of Haltom City.
"The city should begin to act on the many ideas HUBA has put forth to start to return prosperity to South and Central Haltom City," said Palmer. Mansfield recently changed all their zoning moving to a form-based code instead of a use-based code for their downtown area and got 4 new projects and are now moving to expand the zone and the changes. You can read more about their successes here.
"What's really crazy is that these ideas aren't new, other cities have had the same results, which happen quickly, and cost the city nothing to implement. Haltom city wants to wait for a 30 years TIRZ to fix everything, which is just isn't going to happen," Palmer said.
"The change to form-based code was one of the first things HUBA recommended long ago, and you would think it would have been at least considered because it's free and relatively risk free, and lets the city really control what goes where, but makes that process much less bureaucratic," Palmer added.
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
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, and bring more restaurants including breweries and 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, its 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.
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