UPDATED: Magnolia City Council approves ordinance to rezone property for convenience store on Nichols Sawmill Road

The zoning change would allow a convenience store on the corner of Nichols Sawmill Road and Hanks Road, despite community concerns. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
The zoning change would allow a convenience store on the corner of Nichols Sawmill Road and Hanks Road, despite community concerns. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

The zoning change would allow a convenience store on the corner of Nichols Sawmill Road and Hanks Road, despite community concerns. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout to clarify the April 13 vote was to approve a required ordinance as the zoning was approved Feb. 8.; at least 20% of residents living nearby opposed the rezoning instead of supported it; and city officials said the convenience store will sell only beer and wine.

Magnolia City Council voted unanimously to approve a required ordinance to rezone property on Nichols Sawmill Road to accommodate a proposed convenience store at an April 13 City Council meeting. City Administrator Don Doering clarified in an April 14 email that City Council voted to approve the rezoning of the property at a Feb. 8 meeting.

The convenience store will also have a gas station and will be on the corner of Nichols Sawmill Road and Hanks Road, city officials said. The property is owned by SM Dada Enterprises, according to the agenda packet.

The sign posted on the property says a convenience store, gas station and liquor store is planned. However, Doering said in a phone call April 14 the owner and city have agreed the store will only sell beer and wine.

"The property owner’s representative has assured the city that the convenience store will only sell beer and wine, but no liquor that has a higher alcohol content," Doering said in an April 14 email.


Members of the community expressed concerns about a convenience store that will sell beer, liquor and tobacco products within walking distance of schools. Other concerns residents raised April 13 concerned the noise and lights the store would bring, being so close to residential neighborhoods.

“You council people are responsible to the citizens; you are not responsible to the mayor,” resident Frank Parker said during the public comment period of the April 13 meeting.

Planning Consultant Tana Ross read a petition signed by 20% of residents who live within 200 feet of the area who opposed the rezoning of the land and the convenience store going in. With that petition, Ross said council needed four votes to approve the required ordinance for the rezoning.

According to a copy of the petition provided by Parker on April 14, the petition states it includes the names of at least 20% of residents who live within 200 feet of the area. Parker claims the petition in opposition includes the names of 100% of nearby residents.

According to the agenda packet, the tract of land the convenience store is proposed for was originally zoned as Neighborhood Conservation 2. The council voted to change it to the zoning designation of suburban village, which allows construction of the convenience store with a gas station to occur.

Neighborhood Conservation 2 zones are for single-family dwellings on one-quarter-acre to one-acre lots, whereas suburban village zones are for neighborhood convenience uses as long as the building size and site design are compatible and fit in with adjacent neighborhoods, according to Magnolia’s Unified Development Code.

The change in zoning is possible because the tract of land backs up to suburban village-zoned properties, according to city officials.

James Elmore, representative for SM Dada Enterprises, said this zoning change will allow the property to create tax revenue and serve the community.
By Kayli Thompson

Reporter, Houston

Kayli joined Community Impact Newspaper in February 2022 covering the cities of Tomball and Magnolia. She graduated from Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Journalism in December 2015 with a dual Bachelor's degree in journalism and Political Science. She moved to Texas from New York where she reported for The Ithaca Voice, The Cortland Standard, Syracuse.com, The Stand, The Lansing Ledger, Dryden Courier and Groton Independent. She enjoys spending time with her daughter, reading, and finding any excuse to be near water.