A divided Haslet City Council recently ditched a developer’s request for a zoning change on a 155-acre site on the south side of east Blue Mound Road.
The Council on May 19 voted 3-2 in opposition of Fort Worth-based Lackland Holdings’ request for half-acre minimum zoning for a proposed 195-lot residential subdivision. The main sticking point for Lacklands’ The Heights subdivision was drainage infrastructure.
Lackland President Tim Fleet favored bar ditches and natural drainage features rather than curbs and gutters. He said curbs and gutters are not financially feasible for the hilly, flood-prone site.
Councilwoman Kathy Hopper and new Councilman Rick Groesch said they weren’t willing to compromise on the city’s curb-and-gutter standard for half-acre sites.
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Hopper said numerous residents sent emails voicing concerns with the site. "[Residents] said they didn’t like the feel of this development," Hopper said. "And if this topography doesn’t support curbs and gutters, maybe this is the wrong place to put it. We’re taking a step back if we don’t stick to these guidelines."
Councilman Mitch Hill said he needed more evidence from the developer that curbs and gutters posed a significant financial burden. "There’s not enough detail behind it," Hill said.
Mayor Pro-Tem Warren Robb, who favored the rezoning proposal, said the Lackland Holdings site had unique features that required a different approach than was taken with subdivisions Ashmore Farms and The Meadow.
"The property to me is just not curb-and-gutter friendly," Robb said.
Councilman Harold Williams said the proposed gated subdivision had a rural vibe that would’ve blended well with the multi-acre spreads that surround the site. Williams said of the proposed drainage ditches.
Robb warned the Council that rejecting opportunities to grow will send the wrong signal to quality developers. The city, he said, needs rooftops to support its tax base and to draw more commercial growth to this semi-rural section of the fast-growth Alliance corridor.
"Other developers are watching what happens here," Robb said.
Prior to the vote, Fleet reminded the Council that he doesn’t need rezoning to develop the site. Fleet said current zoning allows him to build one-acre home sites with fewer amenities than The Heights would have featured.
"To me, that doesn’t make sense," Fleet said. "That’s a bad trade."