By KEVIN RICH
Special to the PRESS
The South Padre Island Planning and Zoning Committee (P&Z) considered a request for a specific use permit to allow the expansion and operation of an outdoor amusement park during a meeting on Wednesday, May 16. City Council also heard the request during their meeting later that day.
A public hearing on the permit was held at the Planning and Zoning meeting. No one elected to speak for or against the proposal and the hearing was closed. Commissioners then moved on to consideration and discussion of the request. SPI Planning Director Clifford Cross provided background information. He specified that the property located at 1201 Padre Blvd. is currently the site known as Three Flags Over Padre.
Cross explained that the property is currently zoned as Padre Boulevard South which requires the applicant to obtain a specific use permit in order to comply with the City’s Form Based Code. He clarified that although the site currently is used as an outdoor amusement area and is grandfathered in as legally nonconforming under the code, the fact that they are looking to expand operations requires them to seek a specific use permit. “If you’re expanding upon that nonconforming use, then you have to be in compliance with the current code,” said Cross.
Doyle Wells, the permit applicant, cited the need to “fill a market gap in the entertainment of the people that are here visiting the Island.” He emphasized the need for this type of entertainment for children 12 and under.
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