LUBBOCK Texas- Lubbock City Council voted in favor of reclassifying the proposed expo center location from an residential one (R1) area to an Interstate Heavy Commercial (IHC) area.
The motion passed 4 to 3. Council members opposing the rezoning included councilman Juan Chadis and councilwomen Shiela Patterson-Harris and Latrelle Joy.
Residents from the Hillcrest Country Club showed up to express opposition and submitted a petition with over two hundred names.
The petition said the proposed site location for the Lubbock County Expo Center would affect their quality of life because of traffic and noise and also adversely affect their property values.
Milton Lee of Lubbock NAACP proposed the council consider changing the expo center location to the South Plains Fairgrounds to promote more economic growth in the area.
Those who voted in favor of changing the zone included Mayor Dan Pope, Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Griffith, and councilmen Steve Massengale and Randy Christian.
Councilman Steve Massengale said there was a large emotional response from both sides.
“I feel like a lot of citizens were there thinking it was the city’s decision of where the location of the expo center was to go — when in fact that was not the case,” he said. “The case was a zone case like we see every meeting at city council meetings.”
Randy Jordan, chairman of the steering committee for the expo center, said he was pleased with the council’s decision and that he can’t wait for the second and final vote on zoning to take place next month.
“We are excited because last night was just the next step in the long process we have been working on for two years for the Lubbock county expo to come to life,” he said.