Business owners threatened by city of Houston to relocate fireworks stand in Spring

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by Alice Barr / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on July 2, 2014 at 11:29 PM

SPRING, Texas -- The 4th of July is that time of year when a little explosion is a good thing. It’s Zach Nagle’s favorite time of year.

"I love all the kids coming up and saying I want that, I want this,” said Nagle.

But he just found out his fireworks stand in Spring has to go because of where it sits.

Most of Spring is not incorporated into any city, but because of a limited annexation agreement between the local water utility, Tatter Road Municipal District, and the city of Houston, the small pocket around Nagle’s stand has to follow certain Houston rules, including no fireworks.

It's a limited annexation for commercial properties only city services in exchange for property taxes. But it's how Tatter Road Municipal District chose to enforce the rules, and that got folks there really fired up.

"If he doesn’t move, they’re going to have our water disconnected to the whole property," said Dr. Debra Garrison, owner of Treaschwig Veterinary Clinic.

That's the notice she received, along with all the other businesses in the Cypresswood Plaza Shopping Center where she’s a tenant. Her neighbors include a donut shop, restaurants and a hair dresser, all of which need running water to function, and the deadline when the water would be cut off is Thursday morning.

"I said what,” said Dr. Garrison. “I had no idea what he was talking about."

That’s because the shopping center owner, not the individual businesses, let the fireworks stand move in.

“I don’t want people losing money in business, or for that matter can’t put food on the table because I’m here, that’s not fair to them,” said Nagle.

So Nagle's planning to pack it up, even though he stands to lose up to $15,000 in sales himself. It's too late to find a new spot before the holiday, and even though he says he's done everything right.

"If the address is in a non-fireworks zone, why am I given a permit for it,” asked Nagle. “Why is the fire marshal coming out here and telling me yeah, go ahead?"

But Tatter Road Municipal District told KHOU 11 News the property owners should have known better. They say they had the same problem with those owners two years ago. The owners did not return KHOU's calls for comment. The district said this time they have to send a message.

But it’s a message the impacted businesses say threatens their independence, just in time for the 4th.

“The reason why we work and live up here is to get away from the city of Houston and get away from the excess regulations," said Dr. Garrison.

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