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Argyle project needs flexibility

We encourage Argyle town leaders and residents to keep open minds as they continue discussions about a zoning change that would support a new grocery store and other commercial development.

The project has the potential to bring many benefits to the area — not only the convenience of improved shopping options but also additional jobs and a boost to the economy — and we’d hate to see it derailed by a lack of flexibility on either side.

Dozens of Argyle residents stormed out of a Planning and Zoning Commission meeting Tuesday after commission members voted 6-1 in favor of the zoning change.

The residents made it clear the town could benefit from a new grocery store, but said they’re concerned about the store’s proposed location at Country Club Drive and U.S. Highway 377. During a public hearing, at least half of those who spoke were opposed to the location.

Paul Walker, Planning and Zoning Commission chairman, said he believed the zoning change falls in line with what town leaders envision for the community.

“The time is right to select a development that will benefit the community in this way,” he said.

Residents’ concerns centered on the proposed development being located across the street from Hilltop Elementary School, creating a safety concern and adding to what some said is already a “traffic nightmare.”

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 DEMA Management Partners and is located behind the existing retail center, The Shops of Argyle.

Brookshire’s officials estimate the store will create about 60 to 80 jobs.

Planning and zoning officials said a traffic issue exists in Argyle and that residents raised valid concerns. However, they said, it is all part of the pains that come with a growing town.

Some of those concerned about the plan said the town had done a poor job of informing parents about the proposed zoning change, and one resident said that once more parents learn of the change, the town is “going to have a fight on its hands.”

The proposed zoning change will now go before Town Council members, who are scheduled to consider the commission’s recommendation on Jan. 28.

That date is rapidly approaching, but we believe officials have ample time to review their plans and adequately address residents’ concerns before proceeding. Such controversies can be healthy for communities — if all involved are willing to work together for the common good.

Surely, officials and residents of Argyle can come to a meeting of the minds before this project and its potential benefits are put at risk.