ARGYLE — The Argyle Town Council is set to consider the fate of a controversial new grocery store and development at its meeting set for Tuesday.
The council is set to consider a request for a zoning change for the site, which, if approved, would allow construction of a grocery store that developers want to build across from Hilltop Elementary School.
Brookshire Grocery Co. is proposing a 42,000-square-foot grocery store in the commercial center of Argyle Town Village. The property is being developed by real estate developer DEMA Management Partners and is located behind the existing retail center, The Shops of Argyle.
Argyle residents generally agree that Argyle needs a grocery, but the town is divided on the proposed location. Opponents say it will place students in danger and add to traffic congestion in the area.
Earlier this month, residents packed a meeting of the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission to voice their opposition or support for the measure. The zoning board ultimately decided to send a recommendation for the zoning change to town council members for consideration.
Paul Walker, chairman of the planning and zoning commission, said he recommended making the changes because the zoning change falls in line with what town leaders envision for the community.
He said the traffic concerns and safety concerns are always an issue and come with growth. But he also acknowledged there were many questions the town council will need to answer.
“Everyone makes a really good point and some of the concerns need to be addressed,” he said.
Since the planning and zoning meeting, the Argyle community appears to be split on the issues, based on comments made on social media, various websites and a petition that was created recently by Keep Argyle Safe.
Keep Argyle Safe has received more than 100 signatures on its petition to prevent the sale of beer and wine adjacent to the elementary school, organization officials said.
The petition will be presented to the town council on Tuesday, officials said.
Brookshire’s officials estimate the store will create about 60 to 80 jobs. Developers said if the sale of alcohol is prohibited, that would be a deal-breaker.
They said they’re willing to help ease as many concerns from residents as they can, but they said they’re locked on the proposed location and its potential for growth.
Keep Argyle Safe officials said they are also concerned about the additional traffic a grocery store will bring to the two-lane streets near the school, where traffic congestion is already a challenge.
“The additional traffic a Brookshire’s Grocery store would bring to the heart of Argyle and our elementary school will undermine the safe pedestrian environment of our community,” said Emily Valentino of Keep Argyle Safe. “If this zoning change is approved, the town council will signal to developers that the comprehensive plan is meaningless. We hope to bring these issues to the attention of our fellow citizens and stop the zoning change.”
The Town Council will consider the zoning change at 6 p.m. The meeting will be at Town Hall at 308 Denton St.
JOHN D. HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882 and via Twitter at @JDHarden.