SOUTHLAKE – Cutting the housing density, widening surrounding roads, and addressing drainage issues were among demands being made by Southlake residents troubled by plans for the 285-acre Carillon development.
Officials from the development company, Hines Interests, said their plan won’t have some of the negative effects claimed by the residents.
Hines has asked for a zoning change to allow construction to begin, and Tuesday night was to be the first of two readings required before the Southlake City Council can decide whether to grant the change, but the matter was tabled until Sept. 16. Four people spoke in opposition, but at least 25 others were present at the meeting who were against Hines plans.
Houston-based Hines Interests plans the mixed-use development for 285 acres on the northwest corner of White Chapel Boulevard and Texas 114.
Major components would be retail, office, hotel and residential. The plan also provides room for a performing arts facility.
In the residential component, 455 upscale homes would comprise a little more than half the project. Ninety-five of the homes would be single-family, attached homes similar to townhomes and the rest would be free-standing, single-family structures.
Parks, trails, lakes and other open space make up about 70 acres of the project, according to Hines Interests filings with the city.
The project abuts residential areas of single-family homes on large lots to the north and west, and some homeowners are raising objections. Katie Simpson, a homeowner organizing an e-mail and fax drive against the plan, said recently that the neighbors don’t oppose developing the land; they just want to see some aspects of the project changed.
Some neighbors said they don’t like what they consider higher-density housing than in the surrounding area. Karen Whitaker, who lives at 505 San Juan Drive, does not live in an abutting neighborhood, and said the higher- density housing is a bad precedent for the city. Hines Interests has put housing density for the whole project at 1.6 homes per acre, but residents said the actual number is considerably higher.
“I think we should require a plan that coincides with what we have in our existing development,” Whitaker said.
White Chapel Boulevard and North Carroll Avenue North will need widening, and neighbors say there needs to be green belts around the perimeter to buffer the surrounding neighborhoods.
Some homeowners have had flooding problems, and they expect things to worsen with this development.
The development will drive up area school populations.
What the developer says
Hines Interests officials said many of the residents’ concerns have been addressed. Jeff Kennemer, senior project manager, said runoff basins will be ample, and that traffic will not increase more than 9 percent. The development will add about 400 students to the Carroll school district, Kennemer said. In terms of density, at 455 homes the project represents a reduction from an earlier plan for 600 units, Kennemer said.
Three people besides Hines employees spoke in favor of the development.
“Development of this nature further enhances our city,” said former Chamber of Commerce president Randy McCauley.
With the tabling, the first reading will continue on Sept. 16. The earliest that a second reading and council approval on the zoning could occur would be Oct. 7.