Architect James Gleason and builder John Ed Justice addressed the Waxahachie Planning and Zoning Commission on Wednesday, discussing their plans to build “environmentally-friendly” residences.

Describing their work as “durable, healthy, energy-efficient and friendly to the environment,” an informative flyer about their “green solution” notes, “This home, during and after construction, will reduce the overuse of natural resources while protecting our environmental air quality. This home will be constructed to last three times longer than a conventional home and reduce homeowner maintenance.”

Construction is under way on the first home they said they are building to a green standard. The 1,559-square foot residence is located on Jasmine in Enchanted Gardens III, with Gleason and Justice saying they intend to open the home up for tour.

“We want to use every bit of a home to its best efficiency,” Gleason said, defining “green” as “protecting and preserving our natural resources.”

In other business, the commission approved a specific use permit for the Rogers Hotel to open a retail winery. After a several-month discussion, wineries were recently approved as a permitted use in the central business area, contingent upon the city’s approval of a specific use permit for any specific proposal and with the applicant meeting any state and or federal licensing requirements.

“Thank you, it means a lot to the hotel,” co-owner Kevin Harper said after the commission unanimously approved the permit.

The commission also approved a specific use permit for Waxahachie Preparatory Academy, which has opened a second location for grades nine through 12 at University Assembly of God Church on Solon Road.

School board chairman Barry Moore said about 50 students will take classes Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the church. The school’s kindergarten through eighth grades will continue to meet at Waxahachie Bible Church, he said, noting growth has dictated the need for more space.

The school, which is a university-model program, opened in 2001.

City planner Clyde Melick updated the commission on proposed changes to the city’s multi-family zoning that could affect such categories as garages, parking, stairways, windows, masonry use, architectural features and amenities. This was an informational item only with additional discussion and action after the first of the year.

An agenda item relating to a proposed motel at RVG Parkway and U.S. Highway 287 was tabled until the commission’s next meeting, Jan. 9. Commissioners decided to cancel their next regularly scheduled meeting, Dec. 26, due to its proximity to the holiday.

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