Zoning Change Could Help Forgotten Midland Neighborhood 9/25/13
CBS 7 News
September 25, 2013
MIDLAND-The windowpane neighborhood in Midland got its name when the city annexed a boxed-shaped portion of the county four years ago.
Hopes were high for improvements, but since that time residents say not enough has been done and city officials want to see more development, but a big change could be on the way.
Imagine living in a dilapidated manufactured home and being told you can't do anything about it, all because of zoning restrictions.
"The zoning regulations are just too harsh for this area, said Resident Max Cuellar.
From brand new brick and mortar homes to aging manufactured housing--the working-class neighborhood just next to the I-20 and Rankin Hwy. Wal-Mart has a little bit of everything.
"I don't complain about the community, its very quiet and neighbors are nice but some of these structures look like they are going to fall apart, said Resident Margie Carrasco.
Current 1F3 zoning prohibits residents from replacing the modular homes-placed there when it was county land. Now they must abide by city code, allowing only for site-built homes in certain areas.
"There really is a sense of harshness that traps citizens, who cant afford to build a stick home but want to upgrade, said City Council Member John Love.
The city says as many as 28 homes have been placed out of compliance with the zoning codes, but now they are considering changing the area to a Planned District Housing Development(PDHD)--allowing residents to place new or less than ten year old modular homes on lots.
"This will encourage some development because now you can build a stick built home next to a much nicer looking modular home, said Love.
So why not make the change before?
"It was placed on the back burner for sometime, but I'm glad it's been brought back to the forefront, said John Love, who noted that former Council Member Vicky Hailey also played a big role in pushing for the zoning changes.
The Midland Planning and Zoning Committee is expected to take a look at the possible zoning changes next week.