Church requests rezoning for academic center

Published 10:06 am Wednesday, May 11, 2016

By Dawn Burleigh

Pastor Demetrius Moffett, of Church of God, spoke to the Orange City Council concerning rezoning the area of the church on 16th Street in Orange.

“Five and a half years ago, I came before you with a vision and a goal,” Moffett said during the citizen comments section of the meeting.

Texas Open Meetings Act prohibits the council from responding to comments for items not on the agenda.

Moffett said the rezoning request was for building a better quality of life for the citizens of Orange by permitting James Hope Academic Center to operate on the campus.

The council conducted a public hearing during the meeting to receive comments concerning amending the Land Use Matrix of the Zoning Ordinance to allow day care centers to operate in the C-S “Commercial – Special” zoning district by special exception.

By considering an ordinance to amending the zone, the council approved the Board of Adjustments to look into the possible rezoning.

The center currently employees ten persons and would be open to children from the ages of four – 12 years of age.

“This would allow children extra learning and love,” Jacklyn James, owner of James Hope Academic Center, said during the public hearing. “It will also offer parenting classes. A community has to grow on young people growing up.”

Council member Larry Spears Jr. said he was in support of the center.

“We need to do whatever we have to do to make it happen,” Spears said.

Pullen agreed with Spears.

Council member Essie Bellfield was concerned with the proximity of the area to the traffic on a busy 16th Street.

Director of Planning and Community Development Kelvin Knauf said that would be something the Board of Adjustments would consider.

James said that under requirements of the State of Texas, a fence would be built for the center.

At this time, the council has approved the consideration for rezoning allowing the Board of Adjustments to take the matter under consideration.