The Waxahachie Planning and Zoning Commission met Wednesday afternoon with Rogers Hotel co-owner Adlai Pennington updating members on plans and renovations for the historic building.

“As you may know by now, there are some changes at the Rogers Hotel,” Pennington said of the work under way.

He compared the project to what he and his partners have already done in Arlington, where they renovated a 55-year-old skating rink into a multiple-use concept that includes a restaurant and boutique winery, which he described as a “mini-winery approach.”

The multiple-use concept also is being applied to the Rogers, with Pennington saying an open house is planned next week to showcase the work being done at the hotel, including the reopening of the restaurant and lounge, along with other amenities. He said the hope is to have the boutique winery open in November.

“I think what we have is a new/old Rogers Hotel,” he said of “We’re committed to this and we’re anxious for the Rogers to be what it once was. … It needs each piece to carry some of the weight and the winery is part of that.”

The hotel was booked solid this past weekend and is almost booked through the end of the year, he said.

Boutique wineries require a federal and state permit and are stringently regulated, Pennington said, noting one restriction is at least 75 percent of the wine must be produced from Texas-raised grapes.

After Pennington’s address, the commission adjourned for an executive session, with city director of building and development Sanford Smith addressing members upon their return to the council chambers.

Smith expressed several concerns relating to potential locations of boutique wineries and suggested the commission look into placing some restrictions on such businesses.

“This is something that needs to be looked at,” Smith said, nothing the boutiques are similar to sexually-oriented businesses in that they can’t be prohibited - “but we can control them to some extent.”

“I think you need to be as restrictive as you can by the law,” he said.

In other business, the commission approved:

Commissioners James Ranton and Betty Jefferson to continue as chairman and vice chairman, respectively. A specific use permit within a light industrial zoning district to allow a facility to include repair shop for construction equipment and outside storage for equipment. The property is located at Interstate 35 near Solon Road. Melick said concerns expressed during the commission’s previous meeting have been addressed. A final plat for 221 residential lots within the Arbor at Willow Grove phase one at U.S. Highway 287 North at U.S. Highway 77. The property includes 65.864 acres. A replat of two blocks bordered by Cantrell, Dillion, Turner and Dunaway streets into two lots. A final plat for 118 residential lots and a tract dedicated to the city as a park within Mustang Creek phase two at U.S. Highway 287 North and Farm-to-Market 813. The property includes 41.91 acres. A final plat for 154 residential lots within Settlers Glen phase two at Ovilla and Marshall roads. The property includes 32.846 acres. Final plat of an amenity center at Garden Valley at Park Place Boulevard and Garden Valley Parkway.

Commissioner Jim Cooper asked Melick to provide additional information with members’ packets as to the specific siting of any request being made. Several commissioners also expressed disappointment that recently approved regulations are not applicable to some of the matters coming before them. Those projects were already under way before the regulations came into effect, it was noted.

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