The Amarillo City Council’s recent approval of a property zoning amendment clears the way for a home in a historic area to potentially join surrounding properties in trending toward commercial use.
Officials said the property at 1706 S. Polk St. received a Planned Development rezoning designation in September 1997, setting the standards for the transition of the property from a residence to an oil and gas office.
Planning and Zoning Commission personnel said the property owners, Todd and Melissa Dailey, requested amendments to the Planned Development zoning, which would allow them to market the property for the highest and best use while still maintaining the original intent of preserving the historic character of the neighborhood. A public hearing was conducted during the city council’s last regular meeting July 31, with a 4-0 vote approving the rezoning effort shortly thereafter.
Upon receiving the Planned Development rezoning designation in 1997, officials said there were a series of stipulations, including limiting the office staff at that time to four persons with parking for four, limiting the hours of operation to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, the exterior of the building was to remain residential with minor alterations, the existing landscaping was to remain and no external lighting would be allowed, save for a porch light and no signage would be allowed other than two non-illuminated wooden wall signs referencing the business name.
“This area is unique in Amarillo because it has a number of very historic homes there and yet it’s been feeling the pressure of commercial development for a number of years,” Sherry Bailey, the city’s senior planner, said. “Adaptive Reuse is one of the best things about a transition area when we believe it’s done right and in this case we believe it was done right. All of the historic homes have maintained the integrity of their historic district rating and are still being used as a commercial place of business. It doesn’t matter if it’s an office or a meeting spot. They all function very well within that neighborhood.”
Officials said property owners sought an amendment to the original stipulations established in 1997, requesting the uses for the property be expanded to an Office District 1 use that includes Single Family Residential, because residential is left out of the 1997 use. Other potential uses include an art gallery, community center, daycare center, retail office and related uses.
Other requested modifications included asking the employee limitation be raised to six, in consideration of the existing site has adequate parking, the landscaping restriction would remain but they are asking the wording be changed to extend the type of plan and allow for replacement of dead plants. The operating hours would be expanded to Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the signage requirement being reflective of the Amarillo Downtown Urban Design standards.
“My wife and I love this home,” Todd Dailey said. “We have an emotional connection with the property. We own a number of homes and buildings, but this is probably our favorite in any community. We’ve been looking at things to do with the property and what the market keeps telling us is although the area has all of this historic charm, the area is really is just more commercial now. The Adaptive Reuse structure is something my wife and I are really fond of. It provides a vehicle to use these properties today and maintain and preserve them for the future. We see this as a really good way to preserve this property into the future and make it an asset in the city of Amarillo.”