Mixed-use development nixed

City Council unanimously rejects Montclair Heights plan on U.S. 287

Bill Spinks
Waxahachie Daily Light
A mixed-use development on a 188-acre property on the north side of U.S. Highway 287 West was unanimously denied by the Waxahachie City Council during Tuesday night’s meeting.

A large mixed-use development in the northwest quadrant of the city was unanimously denied after extended discussion during Tuesday night’s semi-monthly meeting of the Waxahachie City Council.

A development agreement for the Montclair Heights development, which was tabled by the council during its Dec. 21 meeting, failed 5-0. The action followed a 5-0 denial recommendation by the city Planning & Zoning Commission on Jan. 12.

The development plan consists of more than 188 acres, of which about 38 acres are in city limits and the remainder in the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction.

In a series of votes, the council separately denied a development agreement and voluntary annexation request for the remaining 150 acres as well as the ordinance that would have approved the development agreement.

The development would consist of 28.6 acres of commercial development along the U.S. Highway 287 frontage road and adjacent to the main entrance, with buffer zones between commercial and residential.

The development is located east of Black Champ Road and north of U.S. 287, or generally across the highway from Waxahachie High School.

Developer Felix Wong told councilmembers the park space in the development is centrally located, and the main arterial serving the development would skirt it on the west and north. Wong also said the choice of lot types presents a diversity of residential choices. The number of lots served by alleys had been reduced from the original plan.

Concern from public speakers touched on the density of the project as well as the safety of the earthen dams on the west side of the project. Developer Terrance Jobe said the entire development averages out at three dwellings per acre, which he said is not dense as defined by most authorities, and touted the potential of the commercial development. Nevertheless, the council voted down the development.

Also carried over on the agenda from Dec. 21, a zoning change from Multiple-Family Residential to Planned Development-Multiple-Family Residential was approved for a property located near the southwest corner of Park Place Boulevard at Garden Valley Parkway.

The planned development calls for the construction of 184 multi-family residential units on about 12.9 acres. Amenities include a two-story clubhouse, office lounge area, a conference room, fitness center, pool area and a dog park, city planning director Shon Brooks told councilmembers.

Tuesday night’s meeting was postponed a day from its normal Monday schedule because of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day national holiday.

All councilmembers were present.

Other items

• Waxahachie Fire Chief Ricky Boyd presented a letter of commendation to Officer Austin Rollins for his life-saving actions during a major accident on the afternoon of Jan. 9.

• Mayor David Hill presented a proclamation declaring this Tuesday, Jan. 26, as Bessie Coleman Day in the city. In 1921, Coleman, who grew up in Waxahachie, became the first Black woman and first Native American to earn an aviation pilot’s license.

• Specific-use permits were unanimously approved for accessory buildings greater than or equal to 700 square feet at 616 Dunn Street, 115 Country Drive, and 409 Lakewood Drive.

• A bid was awarded to Holland Right of Way, LLC for code enforcement abatement mowing and general site cleanup services.

• Councilmembers passed an ordinance ordering an election to be held for the purpose of electing at-large councilmembers Places 4 and 5 and contracting election service with the Ellis County Elections Administration. The terms of Mayor Pro Tem Mary Lou Shipley and councilmember Chuck Beatty expire in May.