Update for May 16, 2013
Approval of heavy industrial zone paves way for Martin Asphalt
By William Hoover
Hondo City Council on Monday, May 6, held a public hearing before approving a request from the city for a zone change from Airport Overlay Zone to Heavy Industrial for the 25.855-acre parcel of land being purchased by Martin Asphalt.
The company plans to build a new asphalt blending and distribution terminal on the property southwest of the proposed extension of Carter Avenue, approximately 1,000 feet north of the Union Pacific Railroad right-of-way at the South Texas Regional Intermodal Park.
Code Compliance Officer Gilbert Contreras briefed council on the City of Hondo’s zone change request to accommodate Martin Asphalt’s industrial operations at the STRIP.
“The city is currently in negotiations with Martin Asphalt for the sale of this property,” said Contreras. “The zone change the city is requesting will also provide a means for city staff to enforce building compliance and zoning issues for future construction and platting of the property.”
“The Heavy Industrial District is intended to establish and reserve industrial areas for heavy manufacturing use, which by nature may not be compatible with commercial or other manufacturing purposes,” he said, noting the Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of the zone change request. “Within this district, you may also have characteristics of a noxious nature along with the imposition of reasonable standards for the protection of adjacent uses.”
Mayor Jim Danner asked Gene Chew, Martin Asphalt’s Vice President for Supply and Marketing, if he had any additional comments before council voted on the zone change.
“I’ll just say Martin is looking forward to coming to Hondo,” Chew told council. “We are a very reputable company and will put together a first class terminal. We will be very good neighbors.”
Place 4 Councilwoman Ann-Michelle Long offered the motion to approve the zone change to Heavy Industrial for the approximately 26-acre lot being bought by Martin Asphalt. The motion passed unanimously after a second from Place 2 Councilman Sammy Nooner.
“We are looking forward to having Martin Asphalt as one of our corporate neighbors and wish you the best of luck,” Danner told Chew.
At the April meeting of the P&Z Commission, Chew said Martin Asphalt operates four asphalt terminals located in Beaumont, Port Neches, south Houston and in Omaha, Nebraska.
“This would be our fifth terminal,” he said last month. “We are very experienced in this business. We are not a fly-by-night operation or some newcomer. We’ve been in the business for quite a while and are a very large supplier of asphalt in the State of Texas.”
“This region around Hondo and Medina County is sorely lacking in asphalt supply,” he added of the company’s decision to build a terminal facility here. “The area is supplied by us out of Houston, Big Spring, Fort Worth, Corpus Christi. The need for better local supply is one of the reasons we want to come here—to fill that void.”
Martin buys asphalt products from refiners and blends them together to Texas Department of Transportation specification for use in road repairs and new construction statewide, according to Chew.
“We are not coming here to refine asphalt,” he told the P&Z. “It is already refined. We are here to blend it to TxDOT specs to make different grades of asphalt for the different requirements of different types of roads. It is a blending operation.”
“We have a large rail fleet,” added Chew of the company’s operation nationwide. “We will gather asphalt from all over North America and bring it in here. It will come through the Hondo railroad into our tanks. After it is blended, it will be loaded onto trucks and go out to the different contractors who will mix it with aggregate and lay it on the roads.”
• In other zoning action, council unanimously approved a request from applicant Charles Rothe and North First Street Properties to again replat the remaining portions of the old Wal-Mart store property, known as the Wal-Mart Subdivision. The replat to four lots was needed to facilitate the sale of the commercial property, according to North First Street Property Attorney Tom Rothe.
“We hope this is the last time we have to come back here,” attorney Rothe told council during the public hearing. “We’ve done this in fits and starts and this is our third attempt. Each time we thought we had a hard buyer for the main portion. We were waiting to make the buyer happy with the way the property was platted and finally decided to have it done first so the buyer knows exactly what they are buying.”
Thank You for Visiting our Website! If you have any
questions or comments concerning the design or function of this website, please email us
Hondo Anvil Herald