Lamesa citizen petition forces second council vote on property sale for new One Guy restaurant

Updated: Jun. 16, 2021 at 4:42 PM CDT
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LAMESA, Texas (KCBD) - An effort to bring a One Guy from Italy location to Lamesa has cleared a crucial hurdle thanks to a citizen-led petition that required the city council to vote again to sell a piece of property after it initially was voted against over the issue of alcohol sales.

“The vote to deny the sale really sat ill with the people because it’s been a really positive shift toward development in the future of Lamesa,” Mayor Josh Stevens said. “The citizens felt like that vote didn’t really coincide with what we’ve been doing in the past.”

The Lamesa Economic Development Corporation voted unanimously in May to sell a piece of property on the downtown square to Lamesa native Cody Sandlin, who is working to build the One Guy restaurant. The city council gets a final vote on the sale but next door to the property is a church, which prompted apprehension by some councilmembers.

“The plan is to put a brand new, entire building: structure, roof to the ground, but there’s a church next door, and they were hesitant to sell me the property because on a potential that I may or may not sell alcohol,” Sandlin said. “The alcohol decision, it’s been a touchy one.”

Stevens said a variance had already been approved for alcohol sales within 300 feet of the church and further approval was not the city’s responsibility but rather the state’s. However, the property sale was voted against four to three.

“The citizens of Lamesa were upset because they didn’t realize that [councilmembers] were only supposed to vote for the [property] sale and that alcohol sales is a completely separate matter at this time,” Stevens said. “So, the petition was filed.”

The petition required 250 signatures to force the council to reconsider. It obtained 486 verified signatures.

“I think they had gotten the message,” Carter Schildknecht said. “I heard that their phones had rung off the hook since the last time they voted. I think they were a little surprised at the number of supporters. As I carried a petition around, I did not have one single person who said I’m not in favor of it.”

Tuesday night the council voted six to one in favor of the property sale.

“I still want to be a good neighbor,” Sandlin said. “I think it’s going to take all of us downtown on that square of working together to bring it back.”

Sandlin says he has no ill will toward anyone and looks forward to helping revitalize downtown Lamesa and make his hometown a better place to live.

“At first we were met with a little resistance,” Sandlin said. “But, with with construction and the way things are, I’ve got plenty of time. I felt like this was the right thing to do and to keep pushing and not give up.”

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