The Mesquite City Council unanimously denied the development of a convenience store off Pioneer Road and McKenzie Road.
Councilman Kenny Green gave the applicant, Costa Mazidji the option to postpone the decision, so he can meet with residents in the neighborhood and reach an understanding with the residents.
The proposed convenience store would provide limited fuel sales, which allows for four pumps with eight total fueling stations in front of the store. While fueling stations are required to be a minimum of 500 feet away from residential zoning, the proposed stations were at the closest 107 feet from the northern residential property line.
“The City Council had made a determination when you passed an ordinance that convenience stores and fueling places can have a negative impact on residential areas, which is why you put a 500-foot separation in there,” Jeff Armstrong, director of planning and development services said. “Because they’re wanting to go much closer than that, staff is suggesting that it may have a negative impact on some of the existing uses in the area.”
The city recieved a total of seven letters of opposition regarding the development of the convenience store. Three came from Mesquite residents within the notification area, two were Mesquite residents outside of the notification area and two were Balch Springs residents who oppose the development of the convenience store.
The development of the property would require traffic improvements on McKenzie Road including a left turn lane and a streetlight signal that would be shared with Balch Springs.
“We couldn’t make them pay for all of that, but they agreed to pay a proportional share of it,” Armstrong said.
Mesquite resident Nancy Riley said it would have been ideal if the Planning and Zoning commission left the lot as low-density residential so a pocket neighborhood or church could improve the quality of life and property value of the surrounding neighborhood.
“Now we are faced with the very real proposal of a strip mall, convenience store, gas station, fast food restaurant or 24-hour business that will dramatically decrease the property value,” she said. “We face the proposition of environmental pollutants like trash, noise, bright lighting and fumes.”
Riley said there is no retail property that can do anything that other properties cannot within a close proximity to the neighborhood. Developing any kind of retail would promote more negative impacts than positive.
Meg Comstock, president of the Pioneer Bluff Homeowner’s association in Balch Springs, also spoke in opposition of the convenience store because of the dangers associated with traffic and noise.
“We have everything we need within a close driving distance,” she said. “We prefer our neighborhood nice, safe and quiet.”
Other residents spoke in opposition due to concerns with drainage and possible trash collection in the nearby creek.
Costa Mazidji, the applicant proposing the convenience store, said he would mitigate the pollution by having someone in charge of cleaning trash out of the creek, and he would develop only a portion, so the natural features and drainage would be respected. He also said he would help pay for traffic improvements to the Pioneer and McKenzie Road intersection.
Councilman Robert Miklos said there are other uses that would be better for the neighborhood than the development of a convenience store. Miklos said he will not support the proposal but does think there is room for Mazidji to work with the neighborhood.