Plans for a 24/7 poker room folded last week when Fort Worth City Council members rejected plans for a gambling facility in Hulen Pointe Shopping Center.
Earlier in the month, the Fort Worth Zoning Commission gave its unanimous approval to a conditional use permit that would have allowed the facility to open in the strip center off South Hulen Street and Hulen Bend Boulevard in Southwest Fort Worth.
The strip mall is surrounded by apartment complexes and near the Hulen Bend and Wedgwood neighborhoods.
Boaz Advnary spoke in support of the poker room, saying it is not just a gambling room but more of a meeting place.
“It is members only, a private club,” Advnary said. “There is a restaurant and bar inside. It is more like a meeting place with an option to play poker — this is not a game room.”
Many Fort Worth residents in the Hulen Mall area spoke against the poker room, saying it was inappropriate for it to be in their neighborhoods.
Stephen Morrow, president of the Hulen Bend Homeowners Association, said that its board was “steadfast” at opposing the case.
“We ask to deny the request given the proposed location is inappropriate for any adult entertainment business,” Morrow said.
Fort Worth council member Jungus Jordan, who represents District 6 where the poker room would have been located, objected to the plan.
“I opposed this use in a family-oriented shopping center and nearby family-oriented residential neighborhoods,” Jordan said in a statement. “I reached out to neighborhoods, listened to their concerns and encouraged residents to let their concerns be heard at council.”
The case was disputed at the city council meeting on April 13. Speakers from both sides of the dispute made their best case.
Dr. Jared Williams, a city council candidate for District 6, was among hundreds of residents who signed a petition against the poker room opening at Hulen Pointe.
“I’m here to urge you to deny the poker room with prejudice,” Williams said.
“Over the past few weeks, I’ve had countless conversations with my neighbors across Fort Worth,” Williams said. “We are dismayed that this process was not transparent and did not engage our neighbors in a meaningful way.”