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Denton considers zoning request from DATCU

Profile image for By Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe / Staff Writer
By Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe / Staff Writer

Denton’s Planning and Zoning Commission is expected to consider a request from DATCU to build its new corporate headquarters at Teasley Lane and Pennsylvania Drive for a second time later this month.

DATCU is purchasing the St. Mark Catholic Church property as the parish expands on a larger parcel in far southwestern Denton. But DATCU’s move has met with opposition from many residents who live in a small neighborhood just to the south. Many came to speak against the company’s request during a public hearing July 24.

Although he was out of the country for the first public hearing, B. Lamar Ball Jr. is among those neighbors who are airing concerns about the traffic the workers in the new offices will bring.

“I do not understand the city’s lack of interest in the traffic flows,” Ball said.

He lives on Pennsylvania Drive and finds that the morning rush already makes it difficult to exit his neighborhood, which is flanked at the intersection by Southmont Baptist Church and St. Mark.

Some of the problem, Ball believes, comes from the traffic choke at Interstate 35E and Lillian Miller Parkway. Locals coming from the south use Teasley, a major arterial, to avoid that intersection and make their way to the center of town.

Ball isn’t bothered by the traffic backups on Pennsylvania that come with weekend worship services. But he is concerned about the possibility that those traffic backups would move to the weekdays, both in the morning and on the return home in the evening. He plans to attend the next public hearing, which is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 28.

During the commission’s first public hearing on the matter, which is video-archived on the city’s website, Larry Reichhart, a consultant for DATCU on the project, said they were in talks with Southmont Baptist Church to build a right-turn lane on Pennsylvania that could help traffic exiting the neighborhood and onto Teasley.

If the church can dedicate the right of way, DATCU would pay for the new turn lane, Reichhart said.

Neither representatives from DATCU nor the church returned calls for comment Friday.

The commission voted to delay consideration of a zoning change and permit request for DATCU until Aug. 28, in order to give the company and the neighborhood more time to address concerns.

PEGGY HEINKEL-WOLFE can be reached at 940-566-6881 and via Twitter at @phwolfeDRC.