Written by Phil Cerroni
By Amanda Casanova
The Coppell City Council voted on Jan. 8 to approve a zoning change that would bring in a kayak business to the city.
With the unanimous City Council vote, Trinity River Kayak Company is able to open a convenience store and canoe and kayak rental / sales business at 1601 E. Sandy Lake Road, the former site of the longtime, but now shuttered Harrington’s Bait Shop.
“Kayaks are very popular,” Pam Varnell, co-owner of the business, said. “No company exists on the river that can provide guided tours, shuttle and rental service like this.”
Varnell said her family bought the Trinity River property in summer 2012 with intentions to only open a retail business. However, the family took a couple kayaks down the river, launching from the property and decided to open a kayak business.
“We really thought differently about the property and what it could be used for,” she said. “We wanted to preserve the nature and the beauty of this area.”
Council’s approval was conditional and among a range of stipulations, the company will have to meet fire code standards, improve landscaping and set up screens around the property.
“I ask myself questions when it comes to these decisions,” Councilman Marvin Franklin said. “Will it attract people from outside of Coppell and will it benefit the city? And this does.”
The business will offer two-to-six hour trips and prices could be about $100 to $200 for a family of four. The convenience store will cater to anglers as well as kayak and canoe enthusiasts and will also sell hunting and fishing licenses.