WAXAHACHIE — A contested infill development that has already divided residents and a developer was finally approved by the Waxahachie City Council after the proposed project underwent a significant change before its third go-around.
The approval of the development that will add 15 lots to a two-acre tract in the 500 block of Royal Street came during the Monday night session of the council.
Monday marked the third time the council has considered the project led by Brad Yates, after first denying the then-25-home project on Oct. 17, 2016, and again March 20. The site for the proposed development was the previous location of Greenwood Nursery, which has since been demolished and is currently a vacant piece of land.
During the previous meetings, several residents voiced objections to the number of homes, most stating that they were not against the project, but did not feel comfortable with the density.
“We are proud of our little neighborhood. We go to First United Methodist Church. We enjoy having the school administration building across the way, and it is a beautiful old building. People move to Waxahachie because of the community. People come here because of the neighborhoods, and they love the big trees and the wide streets,” said West Parks Avenue resident, Ernest Barker, at the Oct. 17, 2016 meeting. “If we approve this plan for 25 homes it will completely change the area. It will never be the same again. You are going to double the amount of people in the same amount of space and it is going to add so much more density to our neighborhood.”
According to documents found in Monday’s city council packet, Yates plans to build “cottage-style homes to match the style and sizing of other existing and newly constructed homes on surrounding streets.” The homes would have a minimum square footage of 1,000 square feet and would be limited to two stories. The development would also feature an open space with park benches.
Throughout the process of assessing the number of homes that the tract of land would allow, Yates stated that he talked with residents about the development.
“Putting in streets and putting in infrastructure, as we all know, is an expensive process. So you have to maximize the number of lots and homes to make that happen. I am asking for a maximum of 15 lots,” Yates stated. “All that space will ever have is 15 lots. It maybe 10, 11 or 12 but that I will leave that up to minds greater than me to determine by in how to lay that out.”
Yates added that these homes would fit the style of the neighborhood.
West Parks Avenue resident Bob Robertson stated that, while he wished for a better outcome, he is going to lend his support to Yates to make it a successful development.
“I am not going to be negative. I have lived in this house for 30 years. Now all I can do is hope the city will come back and take care of the street. We will support him. It never has been a problem with the quality of the homes. It was always the numbers,” Robertson said. “I hope it works out well for everybody. I hope that it helps all of our property values go up. I am not negative. I am really not. I just wish it were not quite so many houses.”
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