The Denton City Council remanded a request for a zoning change back to the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission after DATCU withdrew its application to build its new corporate headquarters where St. Mark Catholic Church now stands.
Instead, the commission will be asked to consider a new request for the same zoning change from St. Mark’s itself. The church has outgrown its sanctuary on Teasley Lane and has been trying for several years to sell the property so that it can build a larger sanctuary in far southwest Denton.
In an interview after the City Council’s regular meeting Tuesday night, DATCU president Dale Kimble said the credit union told the city verbally and in writing that it was withdrawing its application for the Teasley parcel, so he was surprised the matter was on the agenda.
Currently, the credit union is considering a parcel of land in Corinth that, should the contract go through as anticipated, could save its members more than $1 million over building new corporate headquarters at the Denton location, Kimble said.
Corinth officials have confirmed that a move to that city could come with economic incentives.
DATCU had planned to move its corporate headquarters from downtown Denton to the parcel along Teasley Lane. But after two contentious meetings this summer where residents from an upscale neighborhood behind St. Mark’s protested the move, the Planning and Zoning Commission denied the zoning change DATCU and St. Mark’s needed to make the deal happen.
DATCU officials were surprised and disappointed by the resistance from the neighborhood, Kimble said. But the board of directors revisited the matter as a business decision, rather than a matter of the heart.
“We have a fiduciary responsibility to our members,” Kimble said.
Begun in Denton in 1936 as a credit union for teachers, DATCU now has assets of about $700 million and 10 branches in the region. Its administrative employees are spread out over several buildings downtown that are not good candidates for redevelopment because of their proximity to the downtown flood plain.
From the dais Tuesday night, several council members said they hoped that DATCU’s corporate headquarters would stay in Denton. Kimble said he appreciated the council’s kind words and underscored that the credit union’s commitment to serve its Denton members and the community at large wouldn’t change, he said.
“Denton will always be our first child,” Kimble said. “We’ll take care of it.”
PEGGY HEINKEL-WOLFE can be reached at 940-566-6881 and via Twitter at @phwolfeDRC.
IN OTHER ACTION
During its regular meeting Tuesday, the Denton City Council also:
Awarded a $12.15 million engineering services contract to Freese and Nichols for Denton Municipal Electric transmission and substation construction projects.
Awarded a construction contract for an elevated water storage tank to Landmark Structures for $5 million.
Approved a lease agreement at the landfill with Master Recycling of Texas for the production of ethanol and other bulk liquids.
Awarded hotel occupancy tax grants to the Denton Air Fair ($10,240), Denton Convention and Visitors Bureau ($783,100), Denton Black Chamber of Commerce ($16,580), Denton Community Theatre ($23,010), Denton Dog Days ($14,590), Denton Festival Foundation ($82,820), Greater Denton Arts Council ($117,780), Denton Holiday Festival Association ($7,640), Denton Main Street Association ($23,010), Music Theatre of Denton ($5,000), North Texas State Fair Association ($73,620), Susan G. Komen for the Cure Advocacy Alliance North Texas Affiliate ($10,000), Tejas Storytelling Association ($50,610), Texas Filmmakers Corp. ($7,500), and the Denton County Office of History and Culture ($108,570).
Approved an economic development partnership agreement with the Denton Chamber of Commerce for $227,467.
Approved the purchase of 4.69 acres and an additional 0.58 acres in easements for the widening of South Bonnie Brae Street for $200,000.
Abandoned electric utility easements at 325 W. Hickory St. and 207 N. Loop 288, a sanitary sewer easement in the 5600 block of East McKinney Street, public utility easements at North Elm Street and Loop 288, and a temporary drainage easement in the 2600 block of Scripture Street.
Accepted an additional grant from the Texas Department of Transportation to prepare a master plan for Denton Enterprise Airport for $114,241 and for a routine airport maintenance matching grant up to $50,000.