Mansfield News

Mansfield could annex 36 acres to include future Somerset homes

A reader writes that taxes should always be based on the purchase price.
A reader writes that taxes should always be based on the purchase price.

The Somerset development is already one of the largest single-family construction projects in Mansfield, with 1,200 lots planned at the southeast tip of the city.

Now, Hanover Property Co. plans to expand the project by 97 lots to include land just outside the city limits. In conjunction with that project, Mansfield officials have proposed annexing the 36-acre site so the entire Somerset development is in the city limits.

The land already abuts the city limits on Ellis and Hardy streets. It’s owned by Larry and Teresa Stagner, who will keep their existing home on the land and are under contract to sell the remaining 34 acres to Hanover for the neighborhood.

The City Council got its first look at the project March 5, voting 6-1 to initiate annexation proceedings and announce the dates on which they will vote on the annexation. Councilman Cory Hoffman was the lone no vote.

Ben Luedtke, executive vice president of Hanover, said this additional land will become the third or fourth phase of Somerset and will not be developed in the immediate future. These homes will be part of the same homeowners association and will have the same size lots and homes as what’s already established in Somerset.

The zoning change for the 97 lots will go to the Planning and Commission on March 19. The commissions recommendations will go to City Council for the required three ordinance readings, on March 26, April 9 and April 23. There will be public hearings at the first two meetings.

The land is already in the Mansfield school district, but the proposed addition of 97 homes was not part of the demographer’s last report. The district is in the process of redrawing attendance boundaries for elementary, intermediate, middle and high school in response to the growth in the southern portion of the district. The next attendance zone committee meeting is March 22 at the district administration building.

As Mansfield gets closer to build-out, more developers are finding raw land just outside the city limits to build on. In 2016, Mansfield annexed 158 acres for the Oak Preserve neighborhood on Lillian Road and West Broad Street in southwest Mansfield. That site has 163 homes planned.

International Business Park

The Mansfield International Business Park needs roads and utilities before it can attract new businesses to town. The council took the next step toward developing the 170-acre tract on Easy Drive by hiring engineering firm United Properties Southwest to design the infrastructure.

The Mansfield Economic Development Corp., which owns the land, will pay $462,000 for the services, funded by the MEDC’s half-cent sales tax.

The work includes planning for a new public road, street lighting, a traffic analysis, a storm drain system and traffic lights.

Old retail center could get a face-lift

The 33-year-old strip center that features Rent-A-Center and H&R Block at 2000 Farm Road 157, just north of Moore Road, could get an updated exterior. The council got its first look at a proposed zoning change that would allow the owner, Christopher Tran, to redo Walnut Plaza with modern stucco and masonry stone.

The council approved it 6-1 on the first of three votes. Councilman Terry Moore voted no.

The project will return at the next council meeting March 26, and the council wants more details on the parking lot and landscaping plans.

The building is 80 to 85 percent occupied, and the tenants are looking forward to the face-lift, Tran said. The name and address will be displayed more prominently when completed.

New traffic signal

The four-way stop at Matlock and Ragland roads will be replaced by traffic lights. Mansfield will hire Durable Specialties to install the traffic signals at a cost of $320,000. The project was approved unanimously along with other routine items on the consent agenda. During rush hour, the intersection backs up, making it difficult for residents on Chretien Point Drive to turn out of the neighborhood.

Durable Specialties was the only bidder for the project. The finished project will have four new traffic signals and wheelchair-accessible ramps on the crosswalk.

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