Monticello neighbors raise concerns over proposed development

Posted Monday, Jun. 10, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Editor's note: This story has been corrected to reflect the correct average lot size of the planned development.

Developers of The Overlook at Big Bear Creek introduced the planned housing subdivision at Tuesday night’s Colleyville City Council meeting.

Wilbow Corp., the developer, told council members it hopes to build about 70 homes on 53 acres off of Pleasant Run Road just south of Southlake’s city limits. The homes would be priced from $600,000 to $1 million on lot sizes that average 16,000 square feet.

The land is just north of the Atlas Resource Partners gas well site. Developers removed five lots from the plan to meet a city ordinance that prohibits residences from being built within 300 feet of a gas well head and other equipment. The closest home would be 320 feet away.

Neighbors Lanese Turner, Wesley Chang and Bob Tuttle from the nearby Hills of Monticello neighborhood told the Council they were opposed to the plan and wanted to see the gas well site perform to its full potential.

“People want to see the results of expanded drilling and fracking,” Turner said.

Atlas is fracking at the site but is not yet collecting gas. Upon leasing their mineral rights, Monticello residents and the Home Owners Association received a check and will receive a percentage of monies from the gas that is drawn.

Chang, who has lived in Colleyville for more than 9 years, said he projected he would receive about $30,000 from the life of the gas well site and fears a new neighbor could halt the drilling process.

“I don't have any problem with development going in,” he said. “My problem is if someone purchases a new home, and they deem the gas drilling to not be in their interest that they could some how block that, or have legal recourse to dispute the fact that there is an active gas well going on next door.”

Atlas has a contract with the city to drill 14 wells by November 2015.

Chas Fitzgerald, Wilbow’s president, said the development would also include trails and 17 acres of meadow and woodland.

“We put a lot of value in nature, a lot of value in trees, and a lot of value in common areas in our communities,” he said. “Trails are the number one request from home buyers for community features.”

He said the developer had considered connect the development’s trails to Monticello.

James Spisak, president of the Monticello Homeowners Association, said the neighborhood’s residents wanted to keep their trails separate, and stressed consistency between the two neighborhoods in terms of minimum lot sizes and rod-iron fencing to separate the two areas.

Monticello resident Neal Wetzel seconded the desire to keep private trails separate.

“The key word is private,” he said.

Residents also voiced concerns about keeping Harrison Lane an emergency road rather than opening it up as a corridor.

Mayor Pro Tem Mike Taylor said he believed some resident concerns are part of a growing community.

“This is a constant give and take, ying and yang, as we build out the community,” he said. “We’re getting out of the comfort zone you have had for 20 years and quite honestly, that’s the biggest part of it.”

The Council will have a second reading on the rezoning request with a possible vote at a future meeting.

Dustin L. Dangli, 817-390-7770

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