The organization wanting to locate a warehouse in the residential neighborhood is Life Message. As far as I know, Life Message is a very well known and respected charity that aids a number of families. It would appear that Life Message's lease is about to expire and a church has offered land for them to build their own building. Now......we have two charitable organizations promoting the building of a warehouse in the middle of a residential area. It would appear that one would have to be heartless to oppose such good intentions and missions.
But, there is a bad part of the story.
Let's suppose that Fred and Ethyl wanted to put their sheet metal parts storage operation on the same land in the same residential area. I would imagine that P&Z and City Council would both become apoplectic. First and foremost, such a zoning gets about as far from Rowlett 2020 as one could get. City Council and P&Z, if they found the zoning change favorable, would be saying to all of Rowlett citizenry, "Rowlett 2020 is meant to be binding for you lowly and unworthy taxpayers. It is not meant for we of Officialdom." Council would be violating their own Rowlett 2020 rules......which not many like, anyway.
However, politics aside, there are the practical and economic rationales to consider.
If Life Messages built their new facility in an industrial park, probably no hew and cry would be heard. In fact, there would probably be public support. The proposed building would probably be suitable in any industrial park. However, it means a pretty spartan building. That would be a building that would be built with a pretty spartan budget, as would be expected from any charitable organization. Life Messages is a non profit organization.
Altho such a building would not bring much attention in an industrial area, if you plop it down in a residential area, it would immediately become an eyesore. Would it effect immediate residential property values of close by properties? Well, my 50 years of real estate finance experience says that it will. It would be a bizarre fit in the neighborhood.
Is there a compromise? Maybe.......but unlikely.
The only way to soften the blow to the neighborhood is to "spiff up" the building. It can be done, but it is very expensive. One would have to make the facility blend into the neighborhood with superb landscaping and expensive masonry coverage, and lots of architectural design features to soften the stark spartan appearance of most distribution centers. All this costs lots of money, and it's highly unlikely that Life Messages has much. They would probably need a benefactor. They would probably need a benefactor to get a construction loan, anyway.
I think a considerable amount of vetting is due this project before it goes much further. Has anyone seen any plans? What about a financing plan? Is there heavy truck traffic?
It's my understanding that Michael Gallups, an ex-city councilman, is an employee of Life Messages. It is further my understanding that Michael might have taken down the Facebook string in which some adverse discussion was underway. If true, I really don't like that very much. That may be an even bigger story.
Someone needs to look up where Rowlett 2020 allows warehouses..........even ones supported by well meaning and charitable organizations. Of course, they would pay no taxes and Rowlett's tax base would take a hit from reduced values of residential property nearby.
The above are some pretty hard facts. It would be better for all if a wealthy benefactor would donate the money to buy land in a suitable area, and underwrite the construction loan. I certainly wish Life Messages well. I'm sure most of you do.