A city panel has rejected a request for a counseling center on Pecos Street, with members saying they didn’t want spot zoning.
Alejandro Rivera of New Choices, a nonprofit group, requested permission to establish a home office at 1119 Pecos St., which is a residential area. He stated in his request letter that the property contains an existing structure, which he said would be built out to include an on-site residence.
Rivera expected that there wouldn’t be much traffic as a result of the counseling center, with only two or three cars parked on the property at any one time.
“Our programs involve individual counseling sessions with one client at a time. We do not double-book our clients,” he wrote. “We expect to see one to at most three clients per business day.”
Rivera stated that the programs would include sessions for life skills, parenting, anger and stress management, substance abuse and nutrition.
He said the cross street is Logan Street, which he maintained carried school buses as well as trucks from a concrete and gravel company.
“Our use will not increase the traffic flow in this area,” he stated.
Sixteen residents near the proposed center signed a petition opposing changing the zoning for Rivera’s property from residential to commercial.
A neighbor, Erminio Esquibel of the 1200 block of Pecos, said he favors helping people in the community, calling Rivera’s effort “quite admirable.”
“However, I believe that there are many locations in this town that are more appropriate for a wellness center,” he stated in a March 26 letter to the city.
He contended that a business would have a “huge negative impact” on the neighborhood.
Planning and Zoning sided with the neighbors.
“The people stated that they didn’t want commercial activity in their area. Once you make it into a business area, anything else can come after that,” said Alex Aragon, chairman of Planning and Zoning.
Rivera has 20 days to appeal the decision to the City Council. He said last week that he hadn’t decided whether to appeal.