Bell Helicopter, Christ Chapel rezoning requests up for City Council vote

A. Lee Graham Reporter

The Fort Worth City Council could face homeowner opposition in considering a Bell Helicopter rezoning request at its Tuesday May 7 regular meeting. Pre-council begins at 3 p.m., with the regular meeting starting at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 1000 Throckmorton St. At issue is rezoning 225 noncontiguous acres north and south of Trinity Boulevard and east of Norwood Drive that Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. plans to use for its existing operation, as well as for mining and excavation. If the council approves the company’s request, the property would see mining and excavation added to its permitted uses. The property is zoned for low-intensity mixed use, heavy industrial and planned development uses. Though only two residents spoke against the proposal – with an equal number voicing support for the request – at the April 10, 2013 Zoning Commission meeting, more than 25 homeowners living near the site signed a petition opposing the rezoning request. Meanwhile, approving another rezoning request also up for council action would allow Christ Chapel Bible Church to use several home lots that the Montgomery Street church purchased in recent years for parking. The council delayed making a decision at its April 2 regular meeting amid homeowner opposition to the request. Some of those residents fear that adding parking spaces where homes once stood could destroy the character of their historic Arlington Heights neighborhood. With council approval, the church would be allowed to rezone several lots from two-family residential to planned development, with specific use for church, accessory buildings and parking.