Plans to redevelop North Heights neighborhood on pause

What needs to be done before the city revisits the plan

VIDEO: North Heights rezoning plan on hold

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Efforts to rezone 814 acres of land in the North Heights neighborhood have been tabled.

You can view more of the rezoning plan here.

Amarillo’s planning and zoning commissioners decided to hold off on the rezoning because they want the North Heights Advisory Association (NHAA) to do more intentional education with the community over the next few months before there is another vote.

“I think with the tabling, it was kind of discouraging because we had put so much time and work into it; But at the same time, we understand that the process was kind of rushed and that we need to do more intentional education of the community. And I think that’s the way we’ll get the buy in. The more that we educate them about what we’re going to do and what benefits that has to it, I believe that we will build more people who will be in support of this initiative,” said Melodie Graves, part of the rezoning committee for NHAA.

“I think they generally agree with the larger vision of the project and want to be able to support it, but they felt like more outreach needed to be done for specific property owners and business owners. And if staff can bring it back in smaller pieces, it’ll be more manageable,” said Emily Koller, economic development and neighborhood revitalization manager for the city of Amarillo.

The proposal the Association has been working on is broken down into 11 recommendations.

Some of the primary ones include redeveloping the older part of the St. Anthony’s hospital into senior apartments and using that complex as a catalyst to build a new urban neighborhood around that with housing options, job opportunities and services all within proximity of each other.

The rezoning will be pretty much everything from McMasters all the way to the Dumas Highway and from 24th all the way to 3rd Street.

“I think it’s a holistic thing that we have to work on. So, you have to make sure that people are healthy, you have to make sure that they’re empowered to own their own homes and their own businesses. And then you have to make sure that it looks nice. You have to make sure that it gives the look for somebody to be proud of,” said Graves.

Some goals they have to help develop the neighborhood include adding subdivisions, nice apartment buildings, businesses, walking trails and more. Their hope is to develop on the many vacant fields throughout the area with things that can benefit the community.

“Everyone that participated understood the importance of focusing on this part of Amarillo and that this is something that’s needed. So, I think everybody is working towards the same goal, we just need a little bit more time to get there,” said Koller.

Next steps include more outreach to the community, local businesses and property owners before it is presented to the commissioners again.

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