The well sites, frack ponds and compressor stations north of the Mansfield ISD Center for the Performing Arts could be removed and remediated so new homes can be built there, according to a new plan by a housing developer.
Charles Dibrell, director of D/FW for Terra Associates, said he’s an reached agreement with Summit Midstream Partners to decommission the natural gas compressor station after months of negotiations. The gas will be rerouted to another nearby compressor.
Terra Associates had already reached an agreement to purchase the two pad sites and frack ponds from Eagle Ridge Operating and shut in the wells.
All of the sites with contaminated soil will be removed in accordance with Texas Commission on Environmental Quality regulations, Dibrell said.
On Monday, Dibrell will present the new plan for the 81-acre Dolce Vita neighborhood to the Planning and Zoning Commission. The proposal could go to the City Council for consideration in May.
Dibrell has been working on Dolce Vita for a year and a half, negotiating with two homeowners associations, the city, natural gas drillers and midstream companies to reach a consensus.
“It feels like we’ve accomplished mission impossible,” Dibrell said. “We’ve got all these players with input in what we’re doing. It’s a unique opportunity where everybody’s needs have come together.”
Noise and emissions from the compressor station were a constant annoyance for Mansfield residents in the nearby Woodland Estates and Villages of Park Hill neighborhoods. Residents opposed the Dolce Vita project because it would clear out the trees that currently shield them from the compressor station in addition to adding to the traffic and noise a new neighborhood brings.
Plus, neighbors said the new homes would be at risk being so close to natural gas operations.
“Getting rid of the industrial uses are huge to our quality of life,” said Tamera Bounds, a Woodland Estates resident who led the fight against developing homes around the gas sites. “This development will now produce revenue that will infiltrate our local economy for potential new businesses, jobs and much needed sales and property tax into our city coffer to pay for our growing city needs.”
Now, most of their concerns are gone.
“We’re going to remove them, they’re going to remediate the environmental issues and then we’re going to build the neighborhood,” Dibrell said. “We’re going to clean it and test it to make sure it’s clean before putting any houses in there.”
Buying the drill sites and compressor station means the development will have more homes, about 284 lots compared with the original plan’s 163. The proposal has lot sizes ranging from 6,300 square feet to 8,400 square feet.
Dibrell said he’s in talks with D.R. Horton to be the builder for the neighborhood.
If zoning is approved by the council over three readings, Dibrell said construction could start in about a year.
Another source of contention for Woodland Estates in the original plan was a proposed extension of Meriwether Drive into Dolce Vita. In the latest plan, Meriwether doesn’t connect, at least for now.
“We are leaving it there with the right-of-way so it can be built in the future as a city project,” Dibrell said.
Bounds said extending Meriwether would cost millions of dollars because it has to cross Hogpen Branch Creek and would require drainage and flood water studies to deal with shoreline erosion.
“Not connecting to Meriwether is another major point,” Bounds said.