Point Comfort Planning Council Reviews Exemption Request | Local News

POINT COMFORT – A new Point Comfort Planning and Zoning Commission tabled its first decision to collect further information at its first meeting on Tuesday, November 16.

Point Comfort City Council has appointed Clint Machicek, Larry Robinson, Jessica Walker, Allison Smith and Josh Grissom to serve on the council.

The first order of business was to elect the officers, according to city attorney Carly Wall.

Grissom moved that Robinson be named president, himself vice-president, and Smith as secretary, seconded by Walker and carried unanimously.

“Unfortunately he wore it,” Robinson said jokingly.

At this point, Robinson took control of the meeting and opened the public hearing on a request by Formosa Plastics Inc. to change the existing zoning of 102 Bell Street from Residential-1 to Business-1.

“I want to thank everyone for being here and for taking the time to engage in civic engagement,” said Robinson.

He clarified that Formosa was looking for a waiver, not a rezoning. Wall said she took the agenda item in general terms that might be restricted.

Colton Kilgore, Formosa’s in-house legal counsel, explained the request to use 102 Bell St. as an information service center.

“To clarify this, Formosa wants variation in use, not rezoning. A use waiver is basically an authorization to use the property in a way that is not in accordance with current zoning, ”he said.

The property would not be staffed 24 hours a day and parking would be at the Formosa Training and Development Center, which adjoins the house on Bell Street.

“It’s not a situation where they would be there late at night with the lights on and the noise of vehicles,” Kilgore said.

Kilgore said all complaints will be handled by one person and will be dealt with promptly. He noted that the company owned several properties and had a reputation for maintaining them.

The only question residents and Commissioners wanted answered was why not set up the Information Services Center in the training center, formerly Point Comfort Elementary School.

Michael Mang was the first to speak at the public hearing and said he was opposed to granting the request.

He noted that the company owned the old school and wanted to know why to use a single family residence rather than the school for the project. He also reported that a tree fell on a fence at one of Formosa’s properties and was left untreated.

“We have already heard their promises,” said Mang.

City Councilor Kellie Hynes said she didn’t believe a business should occupy a residence.

“I agree with Michel. It looks like there should be plenty of room in the school you bought, ”she said.

“You own the heart of the community,” said Cary Kneupper. He noted that the house was built in the 1950s and is not ADA compliant. “Something else is about to happen, and we need to stop it. “

After the close of the public hearing, during which the commission could not respond, the first statement was from Robinson: “I would like to know why the school is not being used”.

Kilgore responded by saying that the old school was not equipped for an information service center and was being used as a training and development center.

Smith asked why they hadn’t considered building a metal building on the grounds of the center. Kilgore said it would be more expensive to get a new building permit and that getting a waiver was the easiest solution. Additionally, he said a portable building is not comparable in terms of space, and for morale reasons it is better to go in a brick building than a temporary building.

Machicek asked if all the original wings from the old school were used in the training center.

Kilgore replied that to his knowledge they were, but he would have to check to make sure.

“I guess it’s used to store paperwork. It’s a lot in those two wings to store paperwork, ”Machicek said.

Wall explained that a waiver would end if the property was sold and if it was a violation, it could be revoked.

Machicek asked if the commissioners could get a tour of the old school to see if it was really being used to full capacity before making a decision.

Jack Wu, Formosa’s vice president of business and development, said he contacted Kilgore to arrange for someone to do so. “This is my quick response,” he said.

Wu said he had no information as he attended the meeting to understand the feelings of the community on the request.

Machicek suggested that he, Robinson, and Grissom participate in the walkthrough, which was agreed upon when it was put in place.

One of the main concerns was to set a precedent if the request was approved.

Grissom said there was a difference between a single family home and a billion dollar company putting in a home business; the family also resides there.

“There are companies leaving their homes, and that’s our biggest concern; setting a precedent, ”said Grissom.


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