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A shop like the one Alishia wants to open can get a certificate of occupancy in a matter of days in Fort Worth, no site plan, no rounds of public hearings, no months of waiting. --Ron Sturgeon, HUBA
HALTOM CITY, TX, July 21, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Alishia Tischler badly wants to do what so many of her family members going back generations have done: own a business in Haltom City. Alishia currently owns a mobile mechanic service that repairs vehicles for customers.
Alishia wants to open a mechanic shop in Haltom City. As she says in a Facebook post, she wants to open "an honest shop that doesn't break your bank account to fix your car." She already has the mechanic lined up to do the work.
It sounds appealing and like a service many drivers in Haltom City would welcome. However, last June, Haltom City Council voted to restrict new auto shops to the industrial and heavy industrial zones of the city and to only allow them there after their prospective owners have endured several rounds of public hearings to find out what the conditions will be for their permit.
Members of Haltom City Council were convinced, in the words of Councilperson Tiffany Chandler, it was "too easy" to open an auto shop and the city had too many of them. At the time, Haltom United Business Alliance argued against the restrictions, putting forth the position that the free market should determine how many auto repair shops Haltom City had and that these businesses were not industrial and belonged in the commercial zones in the city.
Council approved the restrictions by a 6-1 vote, with only former Councilperson Charlie Roberts arguing against them.
"There is no place in Haltom City where you can just open an auto repair shop. Period. Hard stop," said Haltom United Business Alliance Founder Ron Sturgeon. "They are not allowed under any circumstances in any of the commercial zones of the city," he added.
"It is sad because Haltom City used to be an automotive mecca; it was the city's brand," said Sturgeon.
The city council has denied new automotive businesses a conditional use permit before and after their new ordinance. "I don't think they've approved one for an automotive business since the new restrictions were put into place," said Sturgeon. "This is consistent with public statements by members of council that they do not want any more of these businesses in Haltom City," added Sturgeon
"A shop like the one Alishia wants to open can get a certificate of occupancy in a matter of days in Fort Worth, no site plan, no rounds of public hearings, no months of waiting," stated Sturgeon.
"This current Haltom City Council and prior councils have gradually run off many automotive businesses and are trying to run out the rest, even though Haltom City's people need these services and need the jobs auto uses provide," said Sturgeon.
"If Alishia wants to open in Haltom City, HUBA can help. HUBA offers free assistance to entrepreneurs who must complete conditional use permitting to open in the city," said Palmer.
"It isn't just automotive shops, opening a dry cleaner requires a conditional use permit in some commercial zones in Haltom City," said Palmer. HUBA has proposed a set of changes to the city's use matrix to make opening many kinds of businesses easier in Haltom City so that entrepreneurs like Alishia can open businesses in the community they live in.
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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