Northeast Tarrant

Angry residents didn’t back down. Now there won’t be apartments in this neighborhood

Watauga zoning protest heating up

Watauga residents are surprised and upset over a planned development that would bring over 400 apartments and town homes to their single family home neighborhood.
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Watauga residents are surprised and upset over a planned development that would bring over 400 apartments and town homes to their single family home neighborhood.

A developer withdrew a request to rezone land for the proposed Hightower Commons after residents launched a campaign to oppose the plan for townhomes and apartments.

The city announced Friday that all scheduled public hearings related to the project were canceled, but there was no reason given why SunScope Development withdrew its request. The development would have been on the north and south sides of Hightower Drive and the southeast corner of Whitley Road

City manager Andrea Gardner did not return phone calls seeking comment.

Lauren Partovi, a representative for SunScope could not be reached.

“Our reaction spoke volumes,” said Jennifer Cooper, who helped organize the opposition. “We weren’t going to give up.”

Another resident, Lindsey Neal, said she helped create a Facebook group, Say No to Rezoning in Watauga, which quicly grew to nearly 1,000 members in less than three weeks.

“This blind-sided us,” she said. “People need to pay attention. Now I hope we will have a new generation of people who will participate.”

A crowd of about 500 residents showed up at a City Hall on Tuesday for the Planning and Zoning Commission hearing. None of the residents in attendance spoke in favor of the proposed development, and the commissioners voted 4-2 to deny the rezoning request.

Councilwoman Sandra Bush said Watauga has a history of fighting back.

“People come here because they refer to it as a residential city,” she said. “They want to maintain that because they like the fact that it is a little paradise in the middle of a giant Metroplex.”

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