Non-profit hopeful to rezone East Waco area

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WACO, Texas – A Waco non-profit is hoping to rezone a portion of East Waco from a single-family area to an office-limited commercial area in the coming weeks.

“In order to deliver affordability, we’re just trying to make sure that we have the choices that are going to enable us to get a product that people want and can use,” says Megan Henderson, Executive Director of City Center Waco.

Henderson is hoping Waco’s City Council approves her non-profit’s proposal to change the rezoning of an area in East Waco.

The current zone is classified as a single or two-family residential property, a house, or duplex. Henderson says those options are less affordable.

“If you’re limited to just single-family only, that per-unit-cost is going to be higher than if you can get a couple of units that are maybe a little bit closer together,” says Henderson.

She and the City Center Waco employees say they feel this is the right step to take.

“In order to deliver affordability, we’re just trying to make sure that we have the choices that are going to enable us to get a product that people want and can use,” says Henderson.

Henderson adds after having talks with residents, changing the current zone could be beneficial in other ways, as well.

“We’ve also heard from folks in the community, particularly the neighborhood association, a desire to be able to earn money close to home. To have maybe a side-business or a little shop close to where you live. So having the 0-3 zoning would enable us to have some of those live-work units,” says Henderson.

For those who already have a small business in the area, the rezoning approval could open up the possibility for expansion.

“We talked to one lady in particular who has an herb business where she sells medicinal herbs, teas, those kinds of things, supplements. And she’s interested in expanding what she’s allowed to do on the property where she lives,” says Henderson.

Henderson says City Center Waco explored options including rezoning to a commercial area like Elm Avenue, but they concluded the office limited commercial option was best.

“We just really felt like that would be too commercial, too intense, and potentially change the character of the surrounding neighborhood too much. And we’re not looking to do that. We want the things that get built on this property to look like they go with the houses that are nearby,” says Henderson.

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