These Texans filed a lawsuit to stop townhomes in their master-planned neighborhood

Twenty residents of the master-planned Walsh development in far west Fort Worth have filed a lawsuit seeking to stop the construction of townhomes in their area.

The group filed the lawsuit May 21 in Parker County District Court.

The Walsh development, which is currently home to fewer than 300 residents but in the coming years could be a neighborhood of 50,000 people in the Fort Worth/Aledo area, is a high-end development that straddles the area where the Interstate 20/30 merge in Parker County.

The suit alleges that Republic Property Group, which is overseeing the 1,700-acre development, intended all along to build single-family town homes that shared walls in the first phase of Walsh — even though its representatives told prospective buyers the first phase would only be for single-family, detached homes.

The plaintiffs were all among the very first buyers to build homes in the Walsh development, beginning in 2017. The residents said it wasn’t until late 2018 that word began to leak out that townhomes would soon be added to the area, which otherwise features single-family, detached homes priced from the high $200,000s to nearly $1 million.

The lawsuit alleges the defendants committed fraud by hiding those plans from the public, and asks the court for a temporary and permanent injunction to keep Republic from moving forward with those townhome plans. The lawsuit also asks for unspecified exemplary damages.

Officials from Republic Property Group, which is overseeing the 1,700-acre development, downplayed the lawsuit in a statement sent by email Wednesday evening.

“Our focus remains on what’s best for the long-term future of Walsh and the greater Fort Worth community. Our vision has always been to create a great neighborhood that families from all walks of life can be proud to call home,” said Seth Carpenter, Republic vice president of construction. “It’s unfortunate; the claim raised by a small group is without merit and defies the spirit of Walsh.”

Several of the plaintiffs spoke with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in February about their concerns that they were misled by Republic Property Group and its affiliates. They said the matter was made worse when Republic canceled a planned community meeting to address residents’ questions and concerns.

One of the residents, Brent Nicewonger, said in an affidavit that was an exhibit in the lawsuit that he and his wife did extensive research for two years before moving into the area because they wanted to avoid living near multifamily housing. They consider townhomes a form of multifamily housing.

“Each builder representative that we talked with had the same answer for us and even provided maps saying that any townhomes, multifamily, or apartments would be located down by the highway in areas that did not align with the first-phase area,” Nicewonger wrote.

The Walsh development bills itself as the “next great neighborhood of Fort Worth,” with features that include an athletic club, village market and “makerspace” that includes tools for metal and wood work, and 3D printers.

In addition to Nicewonger, plaintiffs listed in the lawsuit include: Adib Asrabadi; Jeffrey Jesus Davis; Sarah Elizabeth Huffman; Bobby Mayfield; Kristel Mayfield; Brian Meadors; Charity Meadors; Mark Thomas Moorman; Melissa Moorman; Kathryn Oppold; Tim Still; Barbara Still; Don Titus; Jennifer Titus; Brian Uhlmer; Nickoel Uhlmer; John Wawrzeniak; Tricia Wawrzeniak; and Aurora Kamimura.

Defendants in the lawsuit include Republic Property Group LTD; RPG, LLC; Walsh Ranches Limited Partnership; Quail Valley DEVCO I, LLC; Quail Valley DEVCO II, LLC; and RPG QVR, LLC.

Gordon Dickson joined the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in 1997. He is passionate about hard news reporting, and his beats include transportation, growth, urban planning, aviation, real estate, jobs, business trends. He is originally from El Paso, and loves food, soccer and long drives.