By Charlotte Aguilar
After more than five hours of testimony and deliberations that stretched into early Friday morning, West University’s Zoning Board of Adjustment voted 4-1 to overturn the city planner’s interpretation of a zoning ordinance that allowed AT&T to load and unload trucks in a special parking district that is zoning for the construction of homes. Some nearby residents claim the loading and unloading had turned AT&T’s facility at Academy and Ruskin streets into a dangerous nuisance.
Robert Grossman – who lives across the street from the property and who resigned his seat on the ZBA in order to fight the city – clapped and cheered with a small group of supporters. They had joined him in providing photos and passionate arguments to board members that instead of following the guidelines for parking that was permitted on the property, AT&T was instead accepting deliveries and loading and unloading massive amounts of equipment and trash.
AT&T representative Reid Wilson – a West U resident – told Instant News West U “I don’t know what will happen” to how AT&T conducts business at the site, and City Planner Debbie Scarcella gave the same response.
At issue was six residential lots that had been granted a special exception in the 1970s to be used as parking for what were then Southwestern Bell employees who worked at the largely business and service facility. The first building at the site opened in the 1930s, growing in the 1950s.
Residents showed photos and provided accounts of how the large lot, which includes those properties facing Ruskin, was now being used for what they said had morphed into a “warehouse” facility, with scores of commercial vans and trucks coming and going six days a week to deliver Uverse and Direct TV equipment.
They complained of the traffic, noise and trash and expressed safety concerns for families along Academy, Ruskin and Cason streets.
We’ll have more on the meeting later today.