BUSINESS: Haltom City Releases Unwelcome Mats For Auto Businesses

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Daniel Webster, dWeb.News Publisher

HALTOM CITY, TX, November 16, 2021 /24-7PressRelease/ — Haltom City’s official economic development web page touts the new businesses in the city. This page featured a new auto shop in Haltom City’s Industrial District, as well as several national auto parts chain shops.

However, since the city passed an amendment to the use table that barred new auto shops and tire stores from opening anywhere in Haltom City commercially zoned areas and made the approximately 200 auto repair shops presently operating in the city legal non-conforming, the city has removed the repair shop and parts stores from its page.

“The message was clear,” stated Haltom United Business Alliance Communications director Joe Palmer. Palmer stated that Council is asking Haltom City residents find a garage/tire shop in North Richland Hills or Fort Worth where such uses are still allowed and where the city does not limit the number of shops or garages.

Haltom United Business Alliance consists of local business owners who believe free markets are the best way for a city to have the right number of businesses.

Market competition attracts quality businesses, rewards efficiency and drives down prices for customers. It discourages too many businesses of the same type too close together unless there is a market for them,” stated Palmer. “Whether it’s coffee shops, restaurants or Wal-Marts, the market helps to determine the right number of businesses in an area. It is simple. If there are not enough customers, businesses won’t come. The funny thing about entrepreneurs, is that they can usually decide if there’s too much competition before opening.

Palmer said that few current members of Haltom City Council are experienced in running a business and therefore have difficulty understanding why Haltom City has so much empty commercial space. “The current council basically stated that auto shops or tire shops are the worst type of business a city can have. They restricted new businesses to areas with M1 or M2 zoning, and required that they obtain a conditional permit. This is a lengthy and expensive process, and it takes many months before they even open.

“Some of the members of Haltom City Council have lost touch with the many blue collar people who live here,” said HUBA Member and longtime business owner Ron Sturgeon
“These folks are keeping their cars longer than people in areas like Southlake and Highland Park, and so they naturally are going to need parts stores and repair shops in their city,” said Sturgeon. Sturgeon stated that these businesses are important to them as a source for goods and services. They also provide job opportunities.

“The business no-fly zone in Haltom City that devastated car businesses along Northeast 28th Street in 2003 has been extended to hurt even more types of businesses,” Palmer said. Palmer said that although the original architects of this system are dead, the empty lots, vacant buildings and run-down businesses they created are still part of daily life for those who drive along that stretch. “To add insult to injury, the city is discussing revitalization plans for the city, but has excluded NE28th Street, the run-down corridor their policies created. “

“Nearly a year ago, someone tried renting part of the only retail space that I own in Haltom City. Sturgeon stated that the goal of the large chain was to open a shop selling car stereos and accessories for trucks, trailer hitches, as well as similar products. They chose my site due to its high traffic and ample parking. City staff were forced to reject the use of the site based on Haltom City’s restrictive and outdated use matrix. Sturgeon noted that the store was opened in North Richland Hills after Haltom City refused to allow it.

“Do Haltom City residents really have to be protected against auto accessory shops?” Sturgeon asked.

Palmer said that even opening a dry cleaner within any of the city’s commercial areas requires rounds of public hearings, months and months of waiting for a conditional permit.

HUBA believes the city should thoroughly review the use matrix in order to give Haltom City a competitive edge over other nearby cities. This is especially important for the older buildings in South Haltom and Central Haltom, where vacancy rates tend to be high. A group of local business owners presented a new matrix to the council, but it was rejected.

“The World has Changed; Reactions to the pandemic have accelerated business failures. People shop differently, fewer people visit an office, and retail that was once a staple in Haltom’s main corridors won’t come back.” stated Palmer. “In all of that, HUBA struggles with a Haltom City Council which has virtually no business experience. It is determined to expand disastrous policy at a moment when it should be reversing.” said Palmer.

About Haltom United Business Alliance
Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) wants to make sure Haltom City is business friendly and to nurture small business growth, including automotive businesses. HUBA also wants to see more restaurants, including breweries, and a major grocery shop come to Haltom City. HUBA’s goal is to strengthen the Haltom City business tax base so that residents of Haltom do not have to pay more tax. HUBA also aims to reduce regulations and bureaucracy that hinder new business formation or hinder the growth of small businesses in Haltom City. HUBA is in favor of at least two Haltom City Council members who have owned small businesses. HUBA would also like to see more representation from the Hispanic community of Haltom City. HUBA doesn’t endorse candidates but believes that voters are better served by having a wide range of qualified candidates. Joe Palmer can help you discuss your vision for Haltom City. Joe Palmer can assist you in registering for the Haltom City Council. Anyone can join HUBA if they own a business located in Haltom City. Dues are $20 annually or $50 for a lifetime membership, and membership is 100% confidential. To join, contact Joe at (682) 310-0591 or by email at [email protected]. Visit Haltom United Business Alliance’s Facebook page.

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. The city’s economy is dominated by small businesses that provide products, services, jobs, and have been a part of it for many years. There is potential for Haltom City to grow through the development of undeveloped land, vacant buildings, and in particular along major corridors that are close to its center. Although the city has a good staff and a city manger who are interested in seeing more business, they cannot do so unless directed by council.

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