Mansfield News

59-house project gets second nod from council

A new 59-lot neighborhood could be coming to Matlock Road.

On Monday, the City Council voted 6-1 on second reading to approve Cypress Crossing, a 15.4-acre project on Matlock Road just south of Debbie Lane. Councilman Brent Newsom voted against the project.

The zoning change will return for a third and final vote Jan. 23.

The majority of the homes, 80 percent, will be a minimum of 2,000 square feet with the remaining being no less than 1,800 square feet.

The neighborhood will have one entrance on Matlock Road and will connect to the Walnut Hills neighborhood to the south.

Solar proposal rejected

The council denied a proposal for solar panels on the front of a home at 405 Forest Ridge Drive.

Homeowner Steve Owusu-Ansah wanted to put 27 solar panels on the roof of his house, including seven panels facing the street. The system would be capable of producing nearly 9,366 kilowatt hours of electricity per year.

The panels in front of the house would be facing south, so they would be in the best position to harness the sun. But Mansfield zoning doesn’t allow panels facing a public street, which prompted the request.

After a brief discussion, the council voted 4-3 to reject the proposal. Mayor David Cook, Councilmen Cory Hoffman and Newsom and Councilwoman Wendy Burgess voted against it.

The council asked whether Owusu-Ansah could use panels that blend into the roof better.

James Thomas, an energy consultant with Solar City, said Solar City doesn’t make angular panels. He added that Solar City does have solar shingles coming out, but they will be more expensive and won’t be available until 2018.

After the vote, Owusu-Ansah said he will have to go back to the drawing board. Installing the system without the street-facing panels would produce about 3,000 fewer kilowatt hours of electricity per year.

Slow down on U.S. 287

The speed limit on U.S. 287 in southeast Mansfield could go down 10 mph as construction on Texas 360 intersects the highway.

The City Council voted on first reading to lower the speed limit to 55 mph until the construction on the Texas 360 main lanes is completed in 2018. The item must pass two more readings before it’s finalized.

The change would affect U.S. 287 from Lone Star Road to the southern city limits.

The Texas Department of Transportation requested the speed limit be lowered for the safety of construction workers who will be working on the Texas 360 toll lanes in that vicinity.

The council will vote to raise the speed limit when the tolled highway opens in 2018.

Homebuilder strikes sales tax deal

Mansfield’s housing boom will generate even more sales tax for the city.

Typically, homebuilders pay sales tax for the building materials in the city where they purchase them.

The council approved a partnership with Bloomfield Homes where the company will pay sales tax to the city of Mansfield for materials used to build homes in the city. That means Mansfield gets a share of the sales tax for wood, shingles and nails purchased in other cities, as long as the home is built in Mansfield.

In return, Bloomfield gets 40 percent of the sales tax back in the form of a grant.

Mansfield could receive more than $175,000 over 10 years. Bloomfield could get more than $117,000.

A similar agreement is in place with First Texas Homes.