After facing criticism for its reluctance to build a fence, Saltgrass Steak House had a change of heart, living by the old adage that good fences make good neighbors.
The steakhouse will build a 7,240-square-foot restaurant at 1770 N. U.S. 287, just south of the Baylor Emergency Medical Center. Construction could start in the first or second quarter of 2018 and could open in the second half of the year.
As part of the project, Saltgrass will build an eight-foot, board-on-board fence on the rear property line, screening the restaurant from the property owners on Forest Park Circle.
The lack of a fence was the biggest sticking point for the City Council the past two meetings as neighbors in Auburn Park raised concerns about safety, noise and light.
On Monday, the council praised Saltgrass for adding the fence and meeting with the residents. The zoning change was approved unanimously on final reading.
"I want to thank Saltgrass and your company for getting with the homeowners," said Mayor David Cook.
Councilman Darryl Haynes echoed those thoughts just two weeks after expressing frustration that Saltgrass wouldn’t invest in a fence.
"The neighbors are very happy. I appreciate you going the extra step," Haynes said.
Neighbors also wanted assurances that there would be no overnight trash pickup and that deliveries will be done during the day.
The smell of steaks and other foods cooking was also a concern. Engineers from Kimley Horn, on Saltgrass’ behalf, addressed that by saying the smoke and smells will be filtered through ventilation and will dissipate in the air.
Saltgrass is owned by Houston-based Landry’s.
Trail construction will start soon
Construction on the North Main Street Trail will start early next year, connecting downtown Mansfield to Town Park and the Main Street Lofts.
The council voted unanimously to hire Klutz Construction Inc. for the job at a cost of $2.3 million. The contract will be contingent upon the Texas Department of Transportation giving their stamp of approval.
The project includes 10-foot-wide trails on either side of Main Street, ornamental fencing, street lighting and other park amenities. Main Street will still be four lanes but they will be narrowed to allow for the trail and calm traffic down as it enters downtown.