September 22, 2021

Rezoning request for affordable housing stirs up Abilene residents, nearby night club | KTAB

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Abilene residents near South First Street and Eplens Court are voicing their concerns over a new development that wants to build low-income housing near the Tequila’s Night Club.

Club managers and nearby residents are worried that potential noise complaints will hurt the business. 

“When Tequila’s first started going up, there was a noise issue,” said Sally Frederick, nearby resident. 

The planning and zoning board is looking at changing land near general commercial to multi-family residential. 

Betco Developing would like to build low income to affordable housing. 

“$10,920 dollars on the low end, and the high end of the affordable units it would be $45,520,” said Michael Beard, Betco representative. 

They want to build in the open lots surrounding the night club. 

“We chose this building because it’s far enough away from the houses, now they are trying to build up to it, there’s no way we can keep the noise down any lower than it already is,” said Johnny Avila, Tequila’s manager.

Avila is worried about people in the homes that are 40 feet away from the club complaining about the noise. 

“There are materials that we can use to reduce the noise,” said Beard. 

While developers say they can try to address the noise issues during the build, nearby homeowner Sally Frederick isn’t sure it will work.

“I live across the street, and I have triple-pane windows and we still get the noise, so I’m not sure being 40 feet up against Tequilas Night Club is going to make it even better,” said Fredrick. 

Tequila’s owner Jason Sanchez says he’s worried about receiving more noise complaints than they do now. 

“They start complaining to the police, the police come, they only give you so many warnings. So are they going to help me pay that ticket?” said Sanchez. 

If they do receive citations from police, Sanchez says they can also get one from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC). 

“They are at risk for losing their liquor license and that’s just not fair,” said Susan Weber, local resident. 

So while residents have complained in the past about noise, they are now more worried about safety if they build a family development behind the club. 

“We have security, we have a good relationship with the police, but how do you address living that close to it?” said Avlia. 

Some residents say they would rather keep the land commercial and see a business there. 

Attempts to reach the development company for further response were unsuccessful.

While the planning and zoning board approved the request, it still has to face city council. 

The first hearing is scheduled for July 29, and the final vote will be August 12.