Save Historic Hico
PETITION to the CITY OF HICO, TEXAS
July 13, 2020
The purpose of this petition is to voice opposition to the proposed expansion of Grace Bible Fellowship to accommodate 500 members. We oppose the impact the proposed location for expansion would have on our community.
While we support the growth of Grace Bible Fellowship, we have concerns about the expansion and the issues it would present for both the City of Hico and Grace Bible Fellowship.
CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE CITY:
1. Demolition of Historical Buildings-The expansion currently under review would involve the demolition of historical buildings located in the 100 Block of N. Railroad Street, including the gas station at the corner of Elm St. and N. Railroad Street. Tourism is generated through interest in our old stone buildings. They provide economic vitality to our businesses and should be preserved.
2. Tax Revenue for the City-We believe our downtown area along the 100 block of N. Pecan Street, the 100 block of S. Pecan Street, the 100 block of N. Elm Street, the 100 block North and South 1st Street, and the 100 block of N. Railroad Street should be reserved for future commerce that contributes to the tax base for schools, infrastructure, and City services. Churches are tax exempt.
3. Parking-There are approximately 125 current parking spaces downtown, along the city blocks referenced above. The standard for a 500-member church is 125 parking spaces, thus encroaching on the already insufficient downtown parking. The land requirement for 125 parking spaces is 1.5 acres.
CONSIDERATIONS FOR GRACE BIBLE FELLOWSHIP:
1. Parking-There is insufficient parking for downtown businesses and certainly no parking provision for any future growth of the congregation.
2. Remediation of Underground Storage Tanks-The gas station location may have underground storage tanks to be mitigated, involving costly removal.
3. Future Growth-Once the congregation grows to beyond 500 members, there would be no surrounding property available for expansion.