Fairview’s Planning and Zoning Commission Focuses on Important Issues Quietly
The routine business of planning for designed growth takes place quietly and with little fanfare. Fairview, like all cities in Texas, relies upon its resident-volunteers to staff key boards and commissions like the Planning & Zoning Commission that is responsible for approving the architectural and landscaping plans for all construction before it can begin.
A typical commission meeting is gaveled to order at 7:00 pm on a tranquil Thursday evening in Fairview’s Town Council Chambers. Commission Chairman Sim Israeloff, a former mayor of Fairview, and three of the seven members of the Commission are present; Pat Friend, Ricardo Doi and John Cox. They constitute a quorum so the business of the commission can take place. Only two items requiring action appear on the agenda.
First is a request for approval of a final plat for a two-lot single family subdivision on the north side of Meandering Way, east of Highway 5. The request had been considered at an earlier meeting so with little additional discussion the request is unanimously approved.
The final item on the evening’s agenda is a public hearing to consider a request for the approval of major warrants to accommodate the development of a 3,500+/- square foot retail building at the Fairview Town Center. The space is intended for occupancy by Sleep Number, the mattress retailer. Tim Smith of Lincoln Property Management, the landlord of the mall, is present to answer any questions commissioners might raise. The first inquiry is about the financial solvency of the proposed tenant. Smith explains that it is the parent company of Sleep Number that is in some financial disarray, but that Sleep Number is in no danger. But, he adds, “We always design our retail space so that it might be suitable for a subsequent tenant. As you know, there is a great deal of turnover in the retail industry”. Questions then turn to several design elements including two proposed display windows, a brick facing and the placement of a dumpster pad. Commission members are intent on preserving the overall design elements of the rest of the Fairview retail center. The discussion lasts thirty more minutes before the commission requests that Lincoln Property Management return with color renditions of the proposed structure that would help to clarify several issues and that Lincoln Property Management address the final footprint of the retail facility at a subsequent public hearing.
While the issues reviewed by the Planning and Zoning Commission may seem rather routine, some might say a bit boring, the goal of the commission is to protect the integrity of planned growth and development in a community whose residents are proud and determined to keep things as orderly and country as possible.