College Station Rezoning Debate

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Residents in four College Station neighborhoods were feeling victorious Friday. Hundreds showed up at a planning and zoning meeting Thursday night to oppose the rezoning of property on the corner of Rock Prairie and the Highway 6 bypass.

Phil Gibson, President of the Wilshire Homeowners Association, helped rally over 300 people to let College Station's planning and zoning commission know that they didn't want a mega retailing center in their area.

Weingarten Realty out of Houston asked that the property between Rock Prairie and the Silk Stocking Night Club be rezoned for commercial development. Preliminary site plans show a Super Wal-Mart anchoring a shopping center on the corner of Rock Prairie and the Highway 6 bypass.

" The primary concern is the traffic that a development like this would cause. We already have enough problems over here at Rock Prairie and the bypass. That's just going to create what I would call a nightmare in terms of traffic," said Gibson.

Most residents say they're not opposed to development in this area. They just don't want a Super Wal-Mart in their backyard.

" With all the noise, lights, we're just totally against that. We think that if in fact they put something there, it needs to be something other than a Super Wal-Mart or they need to redesign their site plan."

After hearing concerns from numerous residents, the planning and zoning commission decided to deny the request for rezoning.

Brent Mann with Weingarten Realty is disappointed about the decision. He says it's a contradiction of the city's comprehensive plan passed in 2002 which calls for regional retail on the property in question.

" We relied on the city of College Station's comprehensive plan. That's why we've gone out and invested money and purchased land. This was not about the site plan approval, this was not about Wal-Mart, it was simply a request to rezone the property," said Mann.

Now the rezoning decision is up to city council members. They'll discuss it at a meeting on July 20.