The Waxahachie Planning and Zoning Commission gave its approval this week for the development of a veterinary clinic at 309 N. Grand Ave. However, an issue relating to whether the five-acre tract will have to tie into city sewer or be allowed to continue the property’s historical use of a septic system remains pending a decision by the city council.
Dr. Christopher Gleason, who acquired the property in 2018, told the commission that the location provides much potential for his practice to expand its services as it has an existing barn and covered arena.
He hopes to utilize these structures to provide large animal services and, once the new facility is up and running, he intends to turn its operations over to his son, who is in veterinary school. He said he purchased the property with the help of his friend, John Bailey.
Bailey noted that, as Waxahachie continues to grow, the need for additional veterinarian care services becomes more significant. He said Gleason’s expertise will help to fill a gap that has been left by others who have retired from the profession.
“He wants to build a state of the art veterinarian clinic and surgical center,” Bailey said. “He has got the acreage to do it. The only issue that we have is the requirement of the staff for the property to tie into the city sewer system.
“It is not that simple,” Bailey said. “The property has had a water line but it has never been serviced by city sewer. The former house that has been demolished and the barn were serviced by a septic tank. That is the only reasonable solution.”
The nearest manhole to the property is 350 feet away and is connected to a 6-inch line, which Bailey said has inadequate capacity to support a veterinarian clinic. He also said it’s unreasonable for Gleason to agree to the open-ended cost of connecting to city sewer in return for replatting two lots into one.
“Chris has already got the engineering done,” Bailey said. “He has bids on the septic system for this specific use for under $10,000 vs. a potential cost to the city for manholes and lift stations that could reach $100,000. I am asking you to approve the plat as submitted without having to tie into the city sewer.”
City engineer James Gaertner disagreed, saying the existing line has enough capacity to accommodate the clinic when it opens up for business.
At one time there was a clause in the ordinance that would have allowed for an exception but that has since been removed, commission chairman Rick Keeler said, telling Bailey the commission would like to do everything in its power to get the clinic but that it doesn’t have the authority to override an ordinance. That decision would have to be made by the city council, he said.
The item was approved by the six commission members present with the provision that the clinic connects to the city sewer line. Absent from the meeting was vice chairman Melissa Ballard.
In other business, the commission:
• Approved a preliminary plat of the fifth phase of Clift Estates.
• Approved an extension of preliminary plat approval for FirstLook, as represented by Vernon Witherspoon.
• Approved a replat of one lot into two lots in the Whispering Meadows subdivision.
• Approved a replat of two lots into six lots in the Americase Business Park.
• Approved a specific use permit for a rooftop solar panel system at 1565 Reserve Road and 129 Liberty Way.
• Approved a request from Aspen Community Development for a site plan review of the Cottages on Cantrell development at 865 Cantrell St.
• Approved a zoning change from commercial to planned development single family residential three at 500 Dunaway.
• Approved a replat of one lot into eight lots in the Bullard Addition.
• Denied a request for a specific use permit for outside storage within a commercial and light industrial one zoning district at 100 W. Sterrett.
• Approved a zoning change from future development to planned development commercial with a detailed site plan at 3502 N. U.S. Highway 77.