Bryan Planning & Zoning Commission unanimously votes against Bryan ISD zoning request

KBTX News 3 at Ten(Recurring)
Published: Sep. 15, 2022 at 11:06 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) -After 11 months of working with city leaders, The Bryan Independent School District’s request to zone property on Harvey Mitchell Parkway and Leonard Road for a transportation and maintenance complex was denied.

Bryan ISD closed on the 95-acre property recently owned by Blinn College in June.

The district’s first request for zoning was denied in August. School leaders went before the board again in early September but the planning and zoning commission needed more time for its decision.

Thursday’s second denial by the planning and zoning commission came as a surprise to school officials since plans were recommended by the city of Bryan planning and development department.

Planning and zoning commissioners ultimately unanimously voted to deny the school’s request citing traffic concerns, revenue generation, and aesthetics of the proposed building.

“We’re looking at this through the scope of a council person on planning and zoning. As such I don’t see this as an acceptable place to put this facility,” said Planning and zoning commission member Marca Ewers. “At the end of the day no matter how many ways you try to mitigate all of the consequences, how much brick you put on it, how much you try to dress it up, it’s a bus barn and a bus barn does not belong in one of our fastest growing areas in the city of Bryan.”

Several community members voiced their concerns at Thursday’s meeting.

“It’s going to create a lot of traffic going down Leonard road because it is a direct shot to Downtown Bryan,” said Kyle Schumann.

“What kind of revenue is the city going to get by the bus barn being built there,” said Raul Santana.

Planning and zoning commissioners said at the end of the day the decision boiled down to doing what’s best for the entire city. Commissioners also noted that their position is different from the city of Bryan because, as a board, their responsibility is to be subjective while the city’s responsibility is to look objectively at requests that are made.

“By taking this off of the tax rolls in its current position there on the corner it’s detrimental to the city and the school district,” said Bryan Planning and Zoning Commission Chairperson Leo Gonzalez. " I highly believe that we need to work something else out and I’m also not in support of this.”

Bryan ISD leaders are expected to take their zoning request straight to the city council in October. School officials were scheduled to go before the Bryan City Council Tuesday but that didn’t happen. Shortly before that meeting was scheduled to take place Bryan ISD withdrew its request saying it was mutually agreed by the district and city leaders to do so.

Bryan ISD Superintendent Ginger Carrabine released the statement below.

The meeting can be watched in its entirety in the player below.