A request to rezone land near Red River Technology Center off of Bois D’arc will go before Duncan City Council tonight. If approved, the plot of land will become home to Duncan Area Economic Development Foundation’s new business incubator.
Just two years ago, DAEDF’s first request failed to pass Duncan City Council after the Planning Commission gave the go ahead. The request included rezoning a 48-acre plot of land behind Cameron University, according to DAEDF documents. Now, the proposition has changed, and President for DAEDF Lyle Roggow said they’re only asking for the rezoning of 4.61 acres, which is just enough land to fit the incubator.
The rezoning request, if approved, will change the land to I-2. It’s already passed Duncan’s Planning Commission with a 4-2 vote.
“It would be the exact same thing that occurs as Red River Technology Center,” Roggow said. “But in the incubator, we have to be zoned differently than Red River.”
Roggow said the reasoning DAEDF and the incubator needs the rezoning is so they can take care of future businesses that need a place to kick off their work.
“You never know what type of business or entrepreneur is going to walk in and need assistance or what their model is going to look like,” Roggow said. “So that’s the reason for the I-2 status. If you want to build something or manufacture something, doesn’t make any difference what it is, you just need to be in a position that you can foster the growth and help them out.”
Common concerns raised amongst community members, specifically those in the neighboring area of where the incubator would be if approved, include increased traffic flow and proper disposal of chemicals.
With regards to traffic, Roggow said DAEDF’s incubator won’t draw in near as much traffic as CU-Duncan or RRTC and should only be a count around 25 vehicles.
“Our numbers are very, very small and probably much smaller than if you were to put in a residential area back in that same location,” he said. “We just should not be a huge concern for those individuals because we have such a small traffic count.”
As far as disposing of chemicals or other hazardous materials, Roggow said businesses and other companies are trained to handle proper disposal, just like at any other location.
“You can’t dump any chemicals down your sink, and you have to keep very strong records of any chemicals you may have on your M.S.D.S. (Material Safety Data Sheet) and where they are stored,” Roggow said. “I don’t see that we’re going to have anything out of the ordinary. There is a possibility we won’t even have a chemistry lab in this facility but we want to be able to work with one if it does come in.”
Roggow said one of the biggest benefits from this project is locating the incubator close to both RRTC and CU-Duncan so students can become involved while also encouraging more companies to start up in Duncan. He also eliminated the idea of the building selling later down the line.
“We want this to become a campus because of the collaboration with Red River and Cameron University so we would never sell this because this building is designed as an incubator needs to be designed,” Roggow said. “The building we are looking at is designed to help each individual business as they continue to grow and whatever their needs are.
“We live in a society today where students want to create something and build upon what they have. They have an idea and they want to grow with that idea ... I think it’s a really good partnership.”
The facility will be located two football fields in length from the street, Roggow said. The elevation also puts the incubator “down gradient” from surrounding neighbors, Roggow said.
The incubator would be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and according to DAEDF documents, “past tenants include government contracting, aviation, transportation/logistics, engineering services, manufacturing component, chemistry products/services and professional services.”
Duncan City Council meets at 5:15 p.m. today in City Council Chambers.