City Council Approves Re-Zoning Request For Woman Hoping To Cash In On New BU Stadium

Wannika Muhammad
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WACO (February 20, 2013)- Construction at Baylor's new football stadium has many people in Waco excited. But when it comes to economic impact, "The House that RG3 Built" has many people seeing dollar signs.

This includes Wannika Muhammad, who owns a vacant lot near the stadium.

"Let's say it's game day. If people want to park on my lot for a small fee, then I should be able to reap those benefits," Muhammad said in an interview last December.

In December of 2012, she coughed up $350 and applied with the City of Waco to make her residential lot a commercial lot.

Muhammad said she wants to be able to pave her lot, park her trucks on it, provide parking for future Baylor fans, and possibly open a restaurant in the future.

But towards the end of January 2013, Muhammad's request was denied by The City of Waco's Plan Commission.

"When we look at zoning changes from residential to commerical C-3, we have to consider all permitted uses in the C-3 district," Waco's Planning Services Director, Clint Peters said.

"That could range from a bar, to a restaurant, and to general retail. We have to look at that and ask if it's appropriate to be in the middle of a neighborhood."

Muhammad's case was reviewed by The Waco City Council Tuesday night.

They granted her wish, and approved her application. Her vacant lot, is now a commercial lot.

"I feel good about the City Council recognizing the fact that the area will be changing," Muhammad said.

"The citizens here have a right if they want to change with it too."

Real estate agent Bland Cromwell says Muhammad's zone change could increase her property's value, but that it was too early to tell.

"There's a lot of factors that get into value. How that property will access Baylor's new stadium, the size of the property, and what zoning she gets are just some," Cromwell said.

"You can't just throw a dart and say I'm guaranteed an increase in value because you have a commercial lot."

Either way Muhammad just wants to keep an eye out for opportunity.

"If the Waco economy is trying to grow and expand, then the citizens who pay taxes should have that same access," Muhammad said.

Residents near Floyd Casey Stadium, Baylor's current football stadium, can sometimes make $2500 a season just for providing parking on game days.