Public hearings set after councilman expresses concern for Port Arthur park and ride facility

Published 12:20 am Thursday, November 30, 2023

Port Arthur Councilman Harold Doucet wants to make sure fellow councilmembers know how a zoning change could impact residents in District 4.

As a resolution calling for a public hearing to consider a zoning change came up in this week’s meeting, he took the time to express his thoughts.

The property in question is zoned high density residential, formerly called multiple family, and could be changed to light commercial.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

It is located south of West Port Arthur Road between Shirley Street and 58th Street, which includes a portion of Leander, Violet, Gardenia, Camellia, Cox and Daisy Streets and a portion of Willow Drive.

The purpose, according to information from the city, is to allow for development of a Park and Ride Facility.

A “parking lot or structure for passenger motor vehicles” is prohibited in residentially zoned districts within the city limits,” according to the city.

The request for the zoning change came originated Nov. 9 from Kenneth Stewart, owner of BDS Constructors LLC, doing business as MK Constructors.

Doucet said the people living in these residential areas could be disturbed by the noise if a Park and Ride Facility is constructed.

Then there are people who buy or own some of the properties in the residential zone, who see a chance to make money.

“I just want council to be aware that’s a residential area, and we need to start looking at individuals wanting to do business in a residential area,” Doucet said. “If you want to do business, go buy a commercial property, because commercial property costs more than residential property.”

After more discussion this week, Mayor Thurman Bartie reminded the council that the agenda item was just a resolution calling for a public hearing to consider the zoning change and any comments regarding the issue can be reserved for that time.

Council voted in favor of calling for the public hearing in a 6 to 1 vote, with Doucet casting the negative vote.

The planning and zoning commission is conducting a public hearing Monday regarding the approximate 21 acres of land, and another public hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. Dec. 19 at city hall, according to information from the city.