Hitchcock city officials today will take up the next chapter in a divisive plan to turn FM 2004 into an industrial corridor when they consider a new request to rezone a section of land.
The request to rezone land along FM 2004 comes as the city faces declining sales tax revenues and officials tout the corridor as a solution to many of the city’s financial problems.
The city in 2015 received about $2.38 million in sales tax revenue from the state comptroller’s office, records show. That number declined to $1.53 million in 2016 and down to $1.19 million this year, records show. That was about a 50 percent decline in two years.
Precipitously declining sales tax revenues and damage from Hurricane Harvey, which badly flooded the city in late August, have led city officials to institute a hiring freeze and halt capital projects.
The plan to turn FM 2004 into an industrial corridor is not without opposition, however.
Many residents opposed to the development don’t believe their voices are being heard. Mayor Dorothy Childress has said that opponents of the plan have spent too much time on social media and reading “fake news.”
Tensions were evident during a public hearing in November about city plans to rezone three parcels along FM 2004 for industrial use as residents opposed a plan to turn the area into an industrial corridor to attract businesses.
Commissioners later approved all three of those zoning changes and officials said those won’t be the last.
Today’s agenda features a public hearing and an action item on a request by Joe Wilburn and Skipper Smith to rezone an area of FM 2004 east of Avenue C, records show.
The request for a zone change to general industrial is the first since commissioners acted on the earlier three in November, records show.