Nearly 18 months ago, Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) recommended that the city relax or eliminate parking minimums in the city’s older corridors.
HALTOM CITY, TX, March 17, 2023 /24-7PressRelease/ — The members of the Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) want to see Haltom City’s older neighborhoods revitalized, particularly in the declining south and central areas of the city.
Over the past 18 months, HUBA has repeatedly urged City Council members to recognize the special challenges faced by the older parts of the city. HUBA has asked city leaders to create overlay districts encompassing the older corridors and to relax or eliminate parking minimums for new business startups in these areas.
A few years ago, Buffalo, New York ditched parking minimums. So did Fayetteville, Arkansaw. In January 2023, California dropped them statewide. Oregon abandoned them in many of its metros. Nashville has proposed doing the same for the city core. Will Haltom City trail the other cities by decades, as it has in most innovations? Joe Palmer, Director of Communications for HUBA, hopes not.
In Baltimore and in many other US cities, businesses are swapping parking for patio space. During Covid, Baltimore restaurants instituted parklets to accommodate outside dining and now the city is looking at making those permanent since they are a much more productive use of the space and have not created parking issues.
Other small cities have acted to scale back or eliminate parking requirements and they are seeing a “surge in activity to transform previously derelict buildings into shops, apartments and restaurants,” according to a story in The Guardian newspaper.
Those projects became viable once parking minimums were not part of the equation.
“The leaders in Haltom City took no action, even though easing parking minimums would cost the city nothing and help bring small businesses back to the areas of Haltom City that need them the most,” said Sturgeon.
The older parts of Haltom City have recently lost Kroger, CVS, Big Lots and Fire Cup Coffee. “The city should be open to new ideas for steps to try to lower the barriers for startups in its beleaguered corridors so that small businesses can be lured back to fill the many vacancies,” says Joe Palmer.
“The only way to bring a grocery store back and to bring the restaurants that many residents want back is to make Haltom City the best city in the area to start many kinds of small businesses. This happens one business at a time,” Sturgeon says. Easing or eliminating parking minimums in hard hit areas is one step in that direction.
Sturgeon has launched a campaign to bring together those who care about the economic future of all of Haltom City, including its older parts. The campaign is focused on the reforms necessary to make Haltom City the most small-business-friendly city in Tarrant County to lure back the businesses and the private investment necessary to make the corridors bustle again.
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 has the opportunity to 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) is a group of business owners dedicated to making Haltom City the most business-friendly city in Tarrant County. HUBA recognizes the contributions of small business owners to community and their unique role in providing jobs, goods and services, and greater choice to the people of Haltom City. HUBA believes innovative strategies are needed to create a strong business tax base to allow residential tax reductions. All Haltom City business owners are eligible to join HUBA. For more information, contact Joe Palmer at (682) 310-0591 or by email at HUBAgrp@gmail.com or visit the group’s Facebook page at Haltom United Business Alliance.
About Make Haltom City Thrive Again
The Make Haltom City Thrive Again is a movement to return prosperity to the older parts of South and Central Haltom City by luring the small businesses that have left over the past decades back to Haltom City. A vibrant business community not only allows for greater employment and choice of goods and services, but also can ease the tax burden on residents. The movement is led by local entrepreneur and business owner Ron Sturgeon. For more on Sturgeon’s 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. HUBA is not a political action committee and does not endorse candidates. If/when Ron endorses candidates, he will do so on his own via the Make Haltom City Thrive Again organization.
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