Saddlebrook plat gets nod from P&Z

New development on east side of city to be built in phases

Bill Spinks
Waxahachie Daily Light
The entrance to the existing Saddlebrook Estates on U.S. Highway 287 on the east side of Waxahachie. The city Planning and Zoning Commission approved a plat for what will be an almost 3,000-home development with the same name.

Two development projects took up most of the time of the Waxahachie Planning and Zoning Commission during Tuesday night’s meeting.

A massive 2,973-lot plat of Saddlebrook Estates covering almost two square miles on the east side of Waxahachie along U.S. Highway 287 was approved by the commission. The plat derives from a zoning change to a planned development that dates all the way back to 2005.

Senior planner Chris Webb said although the plat of the entire subdivision was being approved, the new neighborhood will be built in phases. Webb said any specifications for residential building materials in the PD have been voided by a state law passed in 2019 that prevents cities from mandating them.

The majority of the PD will be single-family development, but Webb said there is some language in it to allow for some duplexes, multifamily housing and commercial as well as two school sites and parkland.

Webb said the Waxahachie City Council will make the final approval for the plat, but that staff did recommend approval with a waiver for a 60-foot right-of-way for an arterial that calls for an 80-foot right-of-way in city plans.

Commissioner Betty Square Coleman questioned the renaming of Parks School House Road through the development, but Webb and city director of planning Shon Brooks both explained that the discontinuous nature of the road today would create confusion that could affect emergency responses. Coleman also objected to granting a waiver for the 60-foot right-of-way.

The final vote was 5-1, with Coleman casting the lone “no” vote. All commissioners were present except Melissa Ballard.

The other highly-discussed item in Tuesday’s meeting was the granting, by a 6-0 vote, of a specific-use permit to allow Central Kubota to build a new main building for its dealership at 507 North Interstate 35E. The property is zoned Light Industrial but will be storing and selling heavy equipment, necessitating an SUP.

The dealership is proposing to build a 12,000-square-foot structure. Three metal buildings on the site will be demolished, and the existing office building will remain and be utilized for storage.

Discussion centered around the requirement for a sidewalk at the location. No other businesses are in the area currently, so a sidewalk for the SUP was waived.

Commissioners also probed the design of the new building, which is mostly metal and glass with little masonry. Staff recommended adding the condition that as much masonry as possible be added to approach the city’s 60-percent requirement.

Other items

• A request for a zoning change from Commercial to Light Industrial for a property just north of 1800 West Highway 287 Bypass was continued to July 27. Also continued to that same date was a request for a zoning change from Single Family-1 to Single Family-3 at 401 Ovilla Road.

• Also, a request for a specific-use permit for an accessory building at 124 Kaufman Street was continued to Sept. 14. A zoning change request for a planned development at 502 West Parks Avenue was withdrawn.

• A site plan review for a PD at 509 North Highway 77 was approved. The site is currently occupied by the Texas Quitters Club vape shop. City planning director Colby Collins said the existing structure will be demolished and replaced by a 3-unit building of 3,655 square feet. Collins said the site meets all requirements except the rear setback, which Collins said was the result of the location. A pole sign at the location will be grandfathered-in.

• Accessory buildings for five properties at the corner of North Rogers and McMillan Streets were approved. Each accessory building would be located in the rear of the property and would be two stories in height, with 3-car garages on the bottom floor, and would be accessible by a shared alleyway.

• Brooks announced that Webb has been promoted to senior planner on city staff, and Zach King will joining the planning staff. Brooks had previously announced that Collins has been promoted to planning director.