City mulls ‘family friendly’ image in zoning discussion

Special to the PRESS

With the recent review of Form Based Code and zoning on the Island, the SPI Development Standards Review Task Force (DSRTF) met Tuesday morning to discuss the Schedule of Uses for types of development to be allowed on Padre Boulevard and in the Entertainment District. Digging deeper into the larger picture, they considered zoning options that would positively affect the image that the City is creating for the future.

Development Director Dr. Sungman Kim presented the board with options and recommendations regarding zoning for tobacco shops, tattoo and piercing businesses, and residential homes. Task Force members had an in depth discussion about tobacco shops but originally had some misconceptions about the definition of “tobacco shops” and what was actually being discussed. Chairman Gar Treharne initially felt that tobacco shops should be allowed in any district and that the competition of the free market would limit the number of shops that develop. He also expressed concern about hindering business development. Task Force member Gary Olle disagreed saying, “Well in this case, we’re talking about tobacco and cigarettes, and it’s obvious that that is a big health concern all over the United States not just South Padre Island. So, by allowing it just to be everywhere and anywhere, you’re just contributing to the problem.” Dr. Kim argued that public health, safety and welfare are three definite categories for reviewing zoning issues.

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