Excessive parking requirements are an impediment to small business formation in South and Central Haltom City
HALTOM CITY, TX, May 09, 2023 /24-7PressRelease/ — The Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) has made its position clear. Strategic business growth in the south and central areas of Haltom City is an absolute necessity if the city wishes to revitalize those areas, create a stronger tax base, get older buildings occupied and enhance quality of life for residents, city employees and business owners.
Since its formation, HUBA has made a number of suggestions to the City Council. One such idea is to create overlay districts in the older corridors which reduce or eliminate unnecessary parking mandates. A growing number of cities across the country have done just that and have seen a surge in redevelopment.
According to a recent article in The Guardian newspaper entitled “Shifting Gears: Why US Cities are falling out of love with the parking lot,” cities including “Buffalo, New York, and Fayetteville, Arkansas, scaled back parking minimums a few years ago and have reported a surge in activity to transform previously derelict buildings into shops, apartments and restaurants.”
In Nashville, city planners adopted changes in 2022 so that land once mandated for parking is available for alternative uses including housing in all price ranges. In Anchorage Alaska, the Assembly voted to remove certain parking requirements, a change which, according to Assembly member Kevin Cross, will give contractors “who have an absurdly large parking lot that isn’t being utilized the ability to turn that into green space, turn it into a nice park … and provide additional business opportunities within a community.”
“Haltom City officials seem to be in denial about the older parts of town,” says Ron Sturgeon. “And they are totally opposed to any change, unless its their idea, even if proven in other similar cities.” In the recent election cycle, there were many citizens that spoke out about how they felt disconnected from city hall, and that no one was listening. Many had concerns because, many times, citizens were not allowed to speak at council meetings, even in public hearings, or the hearings were arbitrarily closed early.
HUBA founder Ron Sturgeon, who believes that a detailed concept plan should be adopted by the city, recently launched an initiative called MakeHaltomCityThriveAgain. The initiative is currently advocating for city council members who will dedicate themselves to the issues at hand and will work diligently to make Haltom City “the friendliest city in Tarrant County for small businesses.” According to Sturgeon, creation of an overlay district with relaxed parking minimums for new businesses would likely bring some small businesses back to Haltom City’s beleaguered corridors.
About Haltom City
Haltom City is a diverse, majority working-class city located between Dallas and Fort Worth in Tarrant County, TX. Haltom City is minutes from both the DFW Airport and Downtown Fort Worth with direct access to major highways including I-820 and SH-121. Due to an outdated and restrictive use matrix that discourages new business and deters growth, several areas of Haltom City have seen a decline in small businesses which provided goods and services and were a significant source of jobs, including the once-thriving automotive industry. However, Haltom City can reverse this trend and should prioritize development of inner-city land and vacant buildings, particularly in the major corridors close to the city’s center. The city is financially healthy with a capable manager and staff who would like to see diverse business development occur and need the support of the City Council to make it happen.
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 in the industrial districts, and bring more restaurants including breweries and eventually 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, it’s 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.
About Make Haltom City Thrive Again
The Make Haltom City Thrive Again website offers information and resources about its purpose and goals. For more on Sturgeon’s personal ideas and background, check out his book Keeping the Lights on Downtown in America’s Small Cities and watch the videos on his Facebook page. Ron is also the founder of the Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) which represents existing business interests in Haltom City and promotes growth of diverse businesses as well. HUBA is not a political action committee and does not endorse candidates. If/when Ron endorses candidates, he will do so on his own with the Make Haltom City Thrive Again organization.
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