The ongoing effort to regulate commerce using overly restrictive codes is doing far more harm than good.
HALTOM CITY, TX, October 27, 2023 /24-7PressRelease/ — Research shows that urban neighborhoods succeed when a wide variety of small businesses can succeed. Yet Haltom City leadership has been using overly restrictive codes to try to influence the economics of commerce — a strategy that is doomed to fail.
The members of the Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) have been expressing concerns about this and other issues for several years. They’ve spoken at public hearings, submitted a list of ideas to the city council, drafted a Concept Plan as a starting point for discussion and much more. However, no action has been taken to address their concerns to date. The current council and the city’s employee and self-appointed spokesperson Jason Steele have stated many times that business owners who don’t live in the city have no seat at the table on ordinances. This disconnect is what has caused vacancy rates on one section of Denton Hwy to spike to close to 30%.
In an effort to call attention to the issues and help educate citizens about the need for change, the Make Haltom City Thrive Again (MHCTA) campaign created a series of videos. Each video is brief (5-10 minutes) and focuses on a specific issue of concern.
In one of the videos, HUBA founder Ron Sturgeon talks about the city’s failed strategy. “Some cities are trying to regulate commerce and control economics of a city” by deciding which types of businesses they want. What they fail to realize is that “the law of supply and demand will bring the businesses.” Citing the debate over whether more strip centers are needed, Sturgeon says “You know who will make that decision? A smart investor. He will not build a new strip center unless he thinks he can get tenants.”
Sturgeon also takes issue with the city’s irrigation requirements. “Every day we hear on the news about water shortages,” yet every day the city is requiring that new irrigation systems be installed. If someone proposes succulents or something that can live without irrigation, they’re told “nope, can’t do that,” you’ve got to have irrigation.
As to the fact that business and property owners who don’t personally live in the city can’t serve in any leadership or advisory capacity, he suggests Haltom follow the example set by Kennedale. Kennedale’s seven-member economic development committee recently added two non-voting advisory positions which can be filled by any state resident who owns a property or business in Kennedale.
The full video series is quite informative and can be found on the Make Haltom Thrive Again website.
About Haltom City
Haltom City is a diverse, majority working-class city located between Dallas and Fort Worth in Tarrant County, TX. Haltom City is minutes from both the DFW Airport and Downtown Fort Worth with direct access to major highways including I-820 and SH-121. Due to an outdated and restrictive use matrix that discourages new business and deters growth, several areas of Haltom City have seen a decline in small businesses which provided goods and services and were a significant source of jobs, including the once-thriving automotive industry. However, Haltom City can reverse this trend and should prioritize development of inner-city land and vacant buildings, particularly in the major corridors close to the city’s center. The city is financially healthy with a capable manager and staff who would like to see diverse business development occur and need the support of the City Council to make it happen.
About Haltom United Business Alliance
Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) wants to give members of Haltom City’s business community an advocate and to keep those businesses informed about issues that affect them. They want to make sure Haltom City is business friendly and nurtures small business growth, including automotive businesses in the industrial districts, and bring more restaurants including breweries and eventually a major grocery store to the city. New businesses and growth in existing businesses will create a stronger tax base which will allow the city to pay its first responders wages that are competitive with surrounding cities while improving Haltom City’s facilities and infrastructure. HUBA believes that the southern and central parts of the city need a revitalization plan, to prevent further degradation in those areas, and wants that to happen before the inner-city experiences increased crime and more blight. As retail and office uses are in decline, it’s more critical than ever to attract new businesses. They believe that such a plan requires a strong relationship and support of the business community. Anyone who owns a business in Haltom City is eligible to join HUBA. Dues are $20 annually or $50 for a lifetime membership, and membership is 100% confidential. To join, contact Joe Palmer at (682) 310-0591 or by email at [email protected]. Visit the group’s Facebook at Haltom United Business Alliance.
About Make Haltom City Thrive Again
Make Haltom City Thrive Again is a movement to return prosperity to the older parts of South and Central Haltom City by luring the small businesses that have left over the past decades back to Haltom City. A vibrant business community not only allows for greater employment and choice of goods and services, but also can ease the tax burden on residents. The movement is led by local entrepreneur and business owner Ron Sturgeon. For more on Sturgeon’s ideas and background, check out his book, Keeping the Lights on Downtown in America’s Small Cities and watch the videos on his Facebook page. Ron is also the founder of the Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) which represents existing business interests in Haltom City and promotes growth of diverse businesses. HUBA is not a political action committee and does not endorse candidates. If/when Ron endorses candidates, he will do so on his own via the Make Haltom City Thrive Again organization.
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