Palestine city council votes yes to controversial rezoning proposal

Palestine city council votes yes to controversial rezoning proposal

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The City of Palestine voted Monday to approve the rezoning of the residential area across from Walmart on Loop 256, into a commercial property.

The proposed businesses looking at the location are Starbucks, Panda Express and a tunnel car wash.

The rezoning proposition was unanimously denied by the planning and zoning committee prior to being brought to city council.

Many community members argued against the rezoning, some citing safety concerns.

“Where I’m coming to you is as a concerned parent in developing a commercial property adjacent to my front yard,” said one resident.

Some were concerned about the trash it would bring to their neighborhood, some were concerned about their property values decreasing.

“If my home sells for less than property value, I want the city to make up for it,” said one resident agreeing with two others who already made the same suggestion. "If it sells for more than property value, I’ll donate the surplus to the city.”

One resident listed multiple other locations he thought the businesses could go and many others encouraged those options.

“Use your conscience," said one resident. "Vote against this!”

Other community members were for the rezoning and urged council members to vote for it, for the city’s growth.

“Let Palestine grow," said one resident. “Don’t be afraid of change.”

Some residents urged a positive vote for the rezoning for the sake of future generations.

“We have young kids that would like to have opportunities like new jobs,” said one resident. “If they’re already taken up by the people that have already been here for 60 and 40 years, what does that tell them to do? That tells them to look elsewhere.”

One resident said they expect the whole neighborhood to eventually become commercial.

“The whole area will eventually become commercial,” said that resident. “We are two little blocks sitting in between commercial on this side, commercial on this side, and commercial all the way across on the loop across from us.”

The meeting saw community members of all ages and backgrounds comment on the rezoning issue and council members thanked them all for being so involved.

Council voted for the rezoning 6 to 1, with the only vote against coming from council member Ann Connor, who represents that district.

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