Fort Worth city council to consider replacing truck lot with homes in Echo Heights

Fort Worth leaders are poised to replace a truck lot in the city’s southeast with single-family homes, the latest step in a long-running campaign to undo industrialization in the area.

The proposal to rezone 4812 Parker Henderson Road comes fresh on the heels of a months-long battle to block a 7-acre warehouse complex just a mile north. Residents of Echo Heights and surrounding neighborhoods have long lobbied their representatives to rein in trucking companies they blame for polluting their communities and damaging local infrastructure.

“It should have never been zoned [industrial] in the first place,” said Letitia Wilbourn, an Echo Heights resident and one of the neighborhood’s leading environmental advocates. “I don’t know why the city thought that was a good idea.”

Parker Henderson, one of Echo Heights’ main thoroughfares, stitches together the neighborhood’s clashing parts. To the west, parks and stores, churches and homes. Across the two-lane street to the east, a sprawling patchwork of warehouses and truck yards encased by freeways.

Wilbourn moved to the neighborhood in the 1980s, before, she says, industry significantly expanded its footprint.

“It used to be a really beautiful community,” she recalled. “We used to have a rooster that every morning used to wake me up.”

Fort Worth urban planners designated Echo Heights an “Industrial Growth Center” in 2000; its proximity to major highways, they reasoned, made the area ripe for commercial growth. Sustained neighborhood push-back compelled city leaders in 2023 to revise its planned zoning classifications for several Echo Heights properties, including 4812 Parker Henderson.

Trucks first began parking on the newly targeted industrial lot around 2003, according to satellite imagery. Texas freight company Abrams Expedited now houses its fleet on the land. Abrams did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

A thin white metal barrier separates the lot from the backyards of Tahoe Drive, Wilbourn’s among them. The top halves of cargo containers leer over her house when trailers back up to the fence. Wilbourn says she’s filed countless complaints with city officials about the noise and fumes emitted by her eighteen-wheel neighbors — to little effect.

“You can’t utilize [your backyard] for anything — no family functions, no planting, no outdoor activities,” she said.

She’s unsure if or how the zoning change, if approved, will yield immediate improvements.

The City council voted unanimously May 21 to rezone industrial land behind Eugene McCray Community Center for multifamily residences, effectively blocking the construction of a planned trucking warehouse. The prospective facility’s owners called the move “unconstitutional” and, citing state development regulations, say they plan on moving forward with the project anyways.

Council members will vote on initiating the rezoning process for the Parker Henderson lot on June 11.

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