Fort Worth Camera wins Zoning Commission approval to move store to Montgomery Street

Fort Worth Camera won Zoning Commission approval Wednesday of its plan to build a new 10,000-square-foot home on Montgomery Street.

The commission voted to allow the two-story building at the southwest corner of Montgomery Street and Crestline Road, with retail camera shop, photo gallery, art gallery, museum, and offices as permissible uses. Fort Worth Camera, whose Crestmont Management Co. LLC is under contract to buy the site, intends to occupy the entire building, moving from its location off of the West Seventh Street corridor.

Neighborhood representatives, led by homeowners who neighbor the site, agreed at the Zoning Commission’s March meeting to the limited list of uses. Fort Worth Camera’s development consultant, Townsite Co. of Fort Worth, sought to add computers, electronics and technology to the list, arguing that technological advances make it likely the shop will move more into those items.

“We just want to make sure we know what you can sell in a camera store,” Mary Nell Poole, a partner in Townsite, told zoning commissioners.

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The neighborhood representatives opposed that. Dana Burghdoff, the city’s deputy planning director, told zoning commissioners that the staff could allow those secondary uses without specific wording in the rezoning motion. Adding computers, electronics and technology would represent a standalone permissible use, she said.

Neighborhood representatives opposed the rezoning because the retailer and its development consultant haven’t produced a site plan yet. The Zoning Commission required Fort Worth Camera to generate a site plan and have it approved separately.

“We believe a site plan is imperative,” Layne McConnell, a neighborhood homeowner who spoke against the case at the March hearing, told commissioners Wednesday. The commission in May continued the case for 30 days.

Crestmont plans to close on the purchase of the site May 8. The City Council will next consider the case.