P&Z politely declines cottage homes

During its regular Nov. 04, 2021 meeting, the Forney Planning & Zoning Commission met to consider Multi-Family and Light Industrial rezoning requests, Bellagio Ph. 1A, Gateway Ph. 4(watch official video)

  • Held Public Hearings -
    • Denied 3-1 (McGee nay) an Ordinance rezoning 12.239 acres of land from Planned Development (Fox Hollow South) to a Planned Development with a base zoning of Multi-Family Residential-15 District and Neighborhood Service District. The property is located northwest of Monitor Boulevard and northeast of F.M. 741.
          Mr. Dixon said this is for concept plan for cottage style development, underlying PD zoning is SF11, Comprehensive Plan defines no use.  Similar to MF development - gated access at 2 points, leasing office, amenity center.  It has open, covered and garage parking.  Received 2 emails, 5 calls in opposition, 2 emails in favor.  Ms. Schlensker asked how many homes could be on it with current zoning - 50+.  She asked what the Neighborhood Services (NS) would be - Mr. Morgan said that is a light version of retail, such as Kickapoo Center.  Mr. Dixon said typically office, retail, daycare.  Chair Bingham asked if could use a CUP if was zoned GR - Maybe.  Chair Bingham said this is close to Bellagio, with how many MF? About 600. 
          Ms. Schlensker asked: what other similar zonings? Mr. Dixon said Ovilla Ridge.  She asked what percentage of the remaining land is assigned this use? Mr. Dixon said only one, Gateway, no other areas would allow this without rezoning.  Chair Bingham asked about the HOA letter in support, if it required action from the board? Mr. Morgan wasn't sure the board took action, and applicant is here with a presentation.
          For Developer Grey Dove: Mr. Randell Curington said they've worked on this for 18 months, a lot of things happened during that time.  This is irregular shaped property.  They are increasing number of units, but not sq ft, it does increase property value.  They contacted Fox Hollow HOA, will meet all PD construction requirements, but HOA did not want them be part of the amenities.  They will pay a large exit fee - they will provide their own amenities and pool, keeping pressure off the Fox Hollow amenities.  The adjacent church supports them.  These are not apartments.  At 10 units / acres, not 15 as allowed.  There was to be a driveway to the church, the 0.83 acres NS is designed along that road, with the 5 acres already zoned NS.  The 110 cottages increases value (about 5 million), will pay more to FH maintenance PID.  They will build masonry walls along Monitor, which the PID will not maintain.  These are single story units, a few duplexes.  Non-repeating elevations, same architectural standards.  This is for "renter-by-choice", priced at 20% over normal apartments.  Expect 30% to be senior citizens, as all maintenance provided.  Will have private pool, dog park, secured entrance.  10' ceilings, all hard surface flooring and counter tops, covered patios, private storage area, fenced rear yard.  Their NS strip lines up with Swisher Road cut in Monitor. 
          They don't back up to any homes.  The zoning is one lot for all homes; there can not be individual sales.  The roof lines look like SF homes.  They all have washers, dryers, full amenities.  This is not apartments, it is a SF rental development.
          Ms. Lemons asked where the retail would be - on the corner, 5 acres already as NS at College and Monitor, their south 60' strip lines up with the existing median cut.  Ms. Schlensker asked about average rent - 1900, 1200-2500, about $1.91/sq ft, 25% over.  She asked about fencing for each unit - they haven't decided whether to go with wood or wrought iron.  Wood causes problems for grass, due to the amount of shade it causes.  Having irrigated grass is the best option, but some people prefer wood fencing.
          Resident Mr. Thomas Rozmarich said development sounds good, his concern is infrastructure, especially traffic, at 5 pm.  Likely need traffic light on each end of Monitor, should be part of development instead of waiting for a fatal accident. 
          Mr. Zook said Bellagio is corresponding with TxDOT about a signal there, city is pushing for one there before sales begin.  The TIA for this project doesn't warrant a signal, but 741 alone might warrant a signal.
          Ms. Schlensker asked about 50 houses vs 100 units - there was discussion about more people than bedrooms, which may be regulated by city code.  They will have restrictions in leasing contract.  Any lessees must go through background and finance checks, each adult would need to be on the contract.  Ms. Lemons said it's a great concept, but she's not for it due to the size, city already has so many apartments, and Bellagio.  Mr. Curington asked to not be thrown in with Bellagio, they've really worked on this.  Chair Bingham said he can see they have done more work than most, he voted against Bellagio, but he also can't vote for this.  Others have proposed similar products, and sadly Bellagio is here to stay.  Mr. Curington said social media has not lit up against this.  Ms. Schlensker said this is a win for Fox Hollow, but not for the city - despite liking the product, she's also against it.  Chair Bingham said he would like to reward good (developer) behavior; Mr. Curington said they've done everything were asked to do.
    • Approved 3-1 (Lemons nay) an Ordinance to rezone 68.394 acres of land from Agricultural District to a Planned Development with a base zoning of Light Industrial District. The property is located East of S. Gateway Boulevard and south of the DDX7 Addition.
          Mr. Morgan said this is near first Amazon, for a distribution center, similar to adjacent uses.  N. of this is Amazon DDX7, E. of this is SF neighborhood, partly in city limits.  Will have 3 buildings, 154k + 421k + 421k sq ft.  Developer did a sound study, will have a 12 ft masonry wall with 50 ft buffer before the fence.  This will also have truck stacking denied on public right-of-way (ROW).  No responses to public notices.
          Chair Bingham asked about drainage and detention: will the runoff mitigation be enough to protect houses.  Mr. Zook said they have reviewed to make sure wont affect residents. 
          There was no public input.
          Ms. Lemons said this is a great product, but backing up to homes, she would be unhappy.  Trucks are loud, no one will be monitoring that the trucks don't backup into the streets.  Mr. Morgan said sound study considered trucks, stacking has not been a problem to date.  PD is aware of truck traffic.  Mr. McGee said when this part went into the TIF, there's been no desire to develop retail, the only other use for this land is more homes.  This use is a win for FISD - value without more students.  Must make sure buffer along homes is taken care of.  Chair Bingham agreed distribution centers come in clusters, it's good the developer made sure to be a good neighbor with sound study and drainage.  Ms. Lemons asked: in Gateway area, have an agreement with city on taxes, does that include FISD? No.
    • Approved an Ordinance rezoning 80 acres of land from Light Industrial District to a Planned Development with a base zoning of Light Industrial District. The property is located East of Ridgecrest Road and North F.M. 548.
          Mr. Morgan said this is S of Steve Silver, N. AMC, been zoned LI a long time, rezoning requests have been denied recently.  800k, 168k 137k buildings, similar to area along Gateway & 80.  Oct 19 city Council approved 380 agreement w/ Lovett for Ridgecrest Extension.  FEDC providing support for infrastructure costs.  The reason for going to PD is for unique conditions to develop.  Comp Plan suggests TH and MF, but those have been denied by council. 
          There were no comments to public notices.
          Chair Bingham said previously had retail along 548; Mr. Morgan said applicant has 4 lots that could be retail.
          Rep Mr. Bill Dahlstrom showed some slides, which does show some retail.  Ridgecrest will extend to Reeder, there will be a driveway to Steve Silver.  Ms. Schlensker ask about retail - about 4 acres, Lovett will not develop that.  Mr. McGee asked if this backs up to proposed park - Mr. Thatcher said it's close, but not adjacent.
          There was no public input.
    • Approved a replat of the RideNow Forney Addition.
          Mr. Morgan said this is an expansion, this is just for a fire lane; this came for a CUP in April.  This almost doubles size of building.
          No responses to public notices, or public input.
    • Approved a replat for Forney PW Storage Addition, located south of the intersection of Kaufman Street and Mesquite Street.
          Mr. Morgan said this provides for easements.  No responses to public notices.

  • Approved a preliminary plat for the Seefried Addition, located East of S. Gateway Boulevard and south of the DDX7 Addition.
        Mr. Morgan said this is same property as discussed earlier, does comply with zoning and PD ordinances.
  • Approved a site plan for the Eastgate Logistics Center. The property is located East of S. Gateway Boulevard and south of the DDX7 Addition.
        Mr. Morgan said this is same project, shows 3 buildings, 154k, 421k, 421k sq. ft. distribution center use.
  • Approved a site plan for Lovett Industrial, located East of Ridgecrest Road and North F.M. 548.
        Mr. Morgan said this was discussed earlier, 3 buildings 800k, 168k, 137k sq. ft. and includes extension of Ridgecrest Rd.
  • Approved a final plat for the Bellagio Addition Phase 1A, located Southeast of Forney High School and south of F.M. 741.
        Mr. Dixon said this will establish lot lines and easements.  PD was established in Jan, preliminary plat approved by council in March.  Phase 1A includes 63 lots in "Area A" plus one open lot.  Mr. McGee asked about agreements for retail before homes - Mr. Thatcher said must develop lagoon before can do any residential in ph 2, but nothing about retail.  Ms. Schlensker asked how many homes in ph 1 - about 400, from areas A,B,C.  Area A are min 5k lots.  Ms. Schlensker asked when Ph. 2 might start - Mr. Thatcher did not know.  Ms. Lemons asked if there would be MF or retail - Mr. Morgan said concept plan and zoning show some around the lagoon; if developer changes that, will have to bring it to P&Z.  Ms. Schlensker suggested there is no guarantee about retail - correct.  Ms. Lemons asked if there would really be retail - staff can't answer that question.
        First vote to approve failed by a tie (Schlensker, Bingham aye; Lemons, McGee nay).  Mr. Thatcher said if it fails, they must state a reason.  Ms. Schlensker asked if they were wasting their time denying - Mr. Thatcher said staff reviewed, it meets requirements, this is administerial duty.  Ms. Schlensker asked if there was something that didn't match; Mr. Thatcher said if anything doesn't match, developer has a chance to remedy any issue.  Chair Bingham urged staff to be sure follow to a T.  Mr. Morgan said when they review, takes at least a month for them to inform developer what does not conform, and the back and forth.  If they are presenting it, it has been through a lengthy review.
        Second motion to approve passed 3-1 (McGee nay) - Mr. McGee said he saw a huge conflict of interest on this item, there was a huge conflict of interest when it passed, he can't vote for anything on this project due to conscience.
  • Denied a revised site plan for 607 East Main Street.
        Mr. Dixon said this was to convert from SF residence to a barber school.  Was rezoned GR in 2000.  Changes are: handicapped ramps, parking spaces.  Landscape plans do not meet requirements, have not provided photometric plans or dumpster screening plans.  Mr. Dixon said it's likely that reviews are taking longer to be processed by applicants.  Mr. Thatcher said must state reason for denial, can be what staff mentioned, or could consider a conditional approval, which allows staff to forward it when items are met.
  • Approved a final plat for Park Trails, Phase 5.
        Mr. Dixon said to establish boundaries for SF development, Park Trails was approved by council July, 2003.  Base zoning is SF8, but all lots exceed these requirements, most are over 10k sq ft..
  • Approved a revised preliminary plat for Gateway Phase 4, located East of North F.M. 548 and south of North Gateway Boulevard.
        Mr. Dixon said this is to align driveways, recently got approval for smaller area, ran into problems during design, bought more land to fix it.  Zoned MF15 which allows under 24 units per acre.  Adjacent to completed MF units.  Park fees in lieu will be 199k.  Ms. Schlensker asked about retail - Mr. Morgan said developer is planning on putting restaurants near 548, and the pond. 
  • Approved a final plat for Gateway Phase 4, located East of North F.M. 548 and south of North Gateway Boulevard.
        Mr. Dixon said this was for lot boundaries for MF on 14 acres.  They will have to pay park fees before can get plats recorded.
  • Approved a site plan for Gateway Apartments Phase 4, located East of North F.M. 548 and north of North Gateway Boulevard.
        Mr. Dixon said this is for MF plans, amendment in 2018 allows up to 24 units / acre, so these 330 units are allowed.  Parking is 389 uncovered, plus 36 garage spaces.
        Ms. Schlensker asked if was similar to existing - Mr. Dixon said like Post and Cedars, Pine is more like town-homes.
  • Comprehensive Plan Update
        Mr. Morgan said council approved engaging Halff Assoc, in contract negotiations now.  Kick off meeting before end of year.
  • Adjourned at 2025.
Thursday, 2021, November 4