Short-Sighted Decision to Consider Stand a Food Truck Creates Sufficient Delays that Stand is Likely to Never Open
HALTOM CITY, TX, March 16, 2021 /24-7PressRelease/ — Haltom United Business Alliance was formed to help make it easier for new businesses to come to Haltom City to provide goods and services that local people want, by presenting alternative ideas to those provided by the council and city staff an alternative perspective, which is consistent with what many in the city want brings collaborative and diversified decisions.
In last week’s council meeting, an entrepreneur sought approval from Haltom City Council to open a snow cone stand in the city. The Council and staff chose to view the stand as a food truck, and since no food trucks are allowed in the city, except at the new Tarrant Events Center, staff was charged with writing an ordinance regulating food trucks, and the applicant was denied their business opening.
“Rather than finding a way to say yes to the new business and the jobs it would create, members of city council decided that, before they could take other action, the city needed a new set of ordinances to cover food trucks,” said HUBA Executive Director Drew Weakley, owner of a pawn shop in Haltom City.
“They instructed city staff to write a new food truck ordinance, a process I estimate will take between 3 and 6 months,” said Weakley. “The members of city council might not realize that snow cones are a seasonal business, and the delay will deprive the owner of the chance to operate in the summer, typically the most profitable time of year,” said Weakley.
“Because current Haltom City Council members lack much business experience, they probably do not realize that no one is going to put plans for a new venture on hold and wait half a year to see what kind of rules they will have to operate under,” said Weakley.
“Instead, they’ll just find another location in a city with leaders who have the vision to welcome a new business that will create new jobs and add to the business tax base, or they won’t open at all,” said Weakley. “Had they wanted to, Haltom City Council members could have found a way to say yes, perhaps, by considering the snow cone stand a restaurant, not a food truck,” said Weakley.
“At HUBA, we want more small business in Haltom City, and we want to see the local government rethink some of the policies and decisions that stop new businesses from coming here and that make some of Haltom City’s existing businesses consider leaving,” said Weakley.
According to Weakley, HUBA would like food trucks welcomed in Haltom City, more restaurants, a major grocery store, a lifting of restrictions on packaged liquor sales and a review of zoning ordinances and the table of uses. HUBA would also like to see a plan for revitalizing NE 28th Street, which has been decimated by past ordinances making all the automotive businesses legal non-conforming. How these goals can be accomplished is not clear with the current Haltom City Council, because at least three of the members have stated they don’t want any new businesses that compete with the existing ones, according to statements they have made that appear in the transcripts of recent City Council meetings.
“A lot of the barriers for new businesses are in Haltom City’s zoning ordinance and its table of accepted uses,” said Weakley. “Both need to be reviewed so that the city welcomes new businesses and treats existing businesses, particularly auto-related ones, that have been contributing to the tax base for years, fairly,” said Weakley.
“When they were running for office, all of the members of Haltom City Council talked about promoting economic opportunity for Haltom City,” said Weakley. “There is a lot more that they could do, including recognizing the value of new businesses to the community and finding ways to say yes to the entrepreneurs who want to come to Haltom City and hire people and sell things local people want,” said Weakley.
Haltom City has been losing businesses and jobs unnecessarily for decades. A local real estate agent cited a retail business selling automotive accessories that wanted to be in Haltom city, but landed in North Richland Hills after they were denied a Certificate of Occupancy without extensive public hearings.
Haltom City seems to be growing on the north side, but the southern and central parts of the city, where there are large Hispanic and Asian populations have not kept up. In those sections of Haltom City, there are many vacant commercial properties that could be rented to small businesses, including automotive-related small business. “The blue-collar people who live in south and central Haltom City would like more businesses providing services and job opportunities close to where they live,” said HUBA Member Ron Sturgeon.
“Having a Hispanic or Asian business owner on Haltom City Council, having a little more diversity in the thinking of members, might result in decisions that really reflect what most people in those parts of Haltom City want,” said Sturgeon.
About Haltom United Business Alliance
Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) want 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 nurture small business growth, including automotive businesses and bring more restaurants, breweries and 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. Anyone who owns a business in Haltom City is eligible to join. Dues are $20 annually or $50 for a lifetime membership, and membership is 100% confidential. To join, contact Drew Weakley at (682) 310-0591 or by email at [email protected]. Visit the group’s Facebook at Haltom United Business Alliance.
About Haltom City
Haltom City is a medium-sized city between Dallas and Fort Worth in Tarrant County, TX. The city is diverse and majority working class, with a growing population that is approximately 10% Asian-American and 45% Hispanic. Haltom City benefits from being only minutes from both DFW Airport and Downtown Fort Worth, with direct access to major highways including I-820 and SH-121. Small businesses that have historically provided products, services, and jobs to residents included a once thriving automotive industry. The city has seen a decline in small businesses, especially automotive businesses. The city is healthy financially, with median household income growing around 8% in the past year. Haltom City has opportunity for continued growth through undeveloped land and many vacant buildings, especially in major corridors close to the city’s center.
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