Council approves I-10 rezoning

The Baytown City Council approved a proposal to change the zoning of largely vacant land along the north and south side of Interstate 10 east of North Main Street east just past Sjolander Road.

The Planning and Zoning Commission recommended commercial zoning for the area near North Main Street to the property fronting onto Crosby Cedar Bayou Road. Commercial zoning allows most retail and office uses, including shopping centers and big box stores.

Closer to and around the intersection of Interstate 10 and Sjolander Road, Planning and Zoning recommended the business park designation that allows commercial uses and light industrial development.

This land is around the southwest corner of the Chevron Phillips facility, so it would create a transition zone between it and potential residential development.

The southern part of the proposal, along the north side of a possible future extension of Hunt Road, would have been zoned for high-density housing, which is what the current land use plan calls for.

Council member Bob Hoskins asked, “Why do we always have high-density residential put in—are we going to get houses that are six feet apart from each other, are we going to get apartment complexes—we’ve got plenty of that already.”

Mayor Brandon Capetillo said he wanted information about the number of single-family houses compared to the number of multi-family units before moving forward.

City Manager Rick Davis said the proximity to Interstate 10 made it appropriate for higher density housing. “I don’t see low-density housing or large lots being developed right against the highway.”

Council member Laura Alvarado noted that apartment complexes have to come before city council, so they could be considered individually. The construction that would be allowed without city council review would be single-family homes with smaller lot sizes.

Economic development

The council approved spending $10,000 per year for three years for promotion of tourism, conventions and the hotel business by the Economic Alliance Houston Port Region.

This continues the city’s participation with the organization, which helps to represent 12 port-area cities in economic development and advocacy.

Baytown participates in the tourism element of the organization, which promotes the area as the San Jacinto Texas Historic District.

Two of its most visible initiatives are the artwork seen on the sides of oil and chemical tanks around the 146 and 225 corridors highlighting the area’s history, and the gateway project, which provides grants to cities to create gateway monuments, such as the Baytown welcome monuments at the base of the Fred Hartman Bridge an on Interstate 10 near the Spur 330 split.

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