Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

May 17, 2013

Webb to city: Let's find a replacement for Lon Morris

City, meanwhile, rezones some properties purchased from LMC

Ben Tinsley
Jacksonville Daily Progress

JACKSONVILLE — Would it be possible to replace Lon Morris College with another educational institution?

That question was posed by Jack Webb, owner of 11x17, as more aftereffects from the recent LMC bankruptcy estate liquidation manifested this week.

The Jacksonville City Council on Tuesday rezoned several former LMC areas of town  recently acquired from the LMC estate by Webb, local businessman William Adcock and Austin Bank.

Webb said Thursday a person or party has contacted him specifically about replacing Lon Morris. He added he was not at liberty to really elaborate but wishes to entertain ideas about the subject.

“All I can say is, there is someone interested and supposedly the qualifications are there,” Webb said. “If anyone has any leads, let's follow them through for the good of the city.”

Webb's Tuesday rezoning request to the council was specifically for acquired properties at 625 College and 707 College. On them, he wishes to construct a wedding chapel with a reception and meeting hall.

The council unanimously agreed to make that possible by voting  to change his zoning from planned development to special use.

Webb said he will now get working on the chapel. He said other properties he acquired from LMC will probably require rezoning at some point.

“We are essentially fixing up everything Lon Morris neglected in there,” he said. “We hope to have the wedding chapel open before very long.”

Anyone wishing to contact Webb about his idea, meanwhile, can reach him at 903-541-0100.

Another set of former LMC properties rezoned by the council this week belonged to local businessman William Adcock, Jr., and his business partner Stephen Allman.

Allman appeared before the council Tuesday to ask them to change the zoning on their particular patches of former LMC property from planned development to family dwelling district.

The change was needed so the homes can be sold, Allman explained.

The council unanimously granted the request.

This property includes the former LMC chaplain's home at 409 Tilley; the former alumni and student Center at 502 Devereux;  former rental property at 523 Shipman; property at 706 College; the former college security offices at 708 College; a rental property at 721 Brown; former student housing at 906 College; and an unaddressed portion of property.

Austin Bank representative Russ Gideon also appeared before the council Thursday and asked them to change their patch of zoning also from planned development to family dwelling district.

Austin Bank, a creditor in the LMC bankruptcy hearings, acquired the property through foreclosure.

The Austin Bank property includes 301 Devereaux, 604 Dever-eaux, another, unspecified area of Devereaux, 813 Brown Street, and 1001 Brown Street.