A developer got the green light to move forward with building a gated community that includes affordable housing units despite protests from residents who crowded into the council chamber.
Council members voted unanimously on April 24 to allow Gardner Capital to build the 96-unit Provision at North Valentine, which will include apartments for those on limited incomes.
Construction will start later this year on 5.67 acres at 263 Bedford-Euless Road, west of Miguelitos Mexican restaurant. The new apartments will be finished in 2019, said John Palmer, senior vice president of business development for Gardner Capital.
Mike Campbell, who lives on Valentine Street, was not pleased with the vote.
“It isn’t right,” he said. “I am going to be affected big-time by traffic, and Harrison Lane Elementary is overcrowded,” he said.
“This is a beautiful setup, but it’s in the wrong place,” said Pennie Black, another resident.
Other residents worried that criminals and drug addicts would move into their neighborhood and questioned whether the drainage plan would prevent flooding along streets such as Valentine.
Palmer said the new apartments will give people who already live in Hurst an opportunity to have better housing. Gardner Capital owns and manages its properties and conducts background checks on prospective tenants, he added.
Gardner Capital will have apartments that rent at the market rate, as well as units at rents starting at $423 for a one-bedroom.
“There are some people in this community who need to pay $423 in rent, [like] an elderly widow or a returning veteran,” he said.
Council members said that although they understood residents’ concerns, Gardner Capital met all of the necessary zoning requirements to build the apartments.
“We understand how you feel, but there is the law we also adhere to,” said Mayor Pro Tem Henry Wilson.
“This is a plan for land that is already zoned for this kind of use,” he said.
Last December, the council denied Gardner Capital’s request to build the apartments, but the company submitted a new plan with fewer apartments and not developing the land behind the complex. The apartments will have one or two bedrooms, and the buildings will be two stories instead of three.
The apartments will also have amenities such as energy-saving appliances and granite counter tops, Palmer said. The complex will also have a swimming pool and clubhouse.
Gardner is investing $18 million in the project, which will lead to more tax revenue for the city, more jobs and more people shopping in Hurst, he said.