City has disagreement over zoning last tract of land in Stafford’s Primary Corridor
By Karen Daniels
Setting up Stafford’s zoning ordinance took the Planning & Zoning Committee and City Council four years to establish, spanning 2007 to 2011. A discussion to amend Chapter 102 of the Code of Ordinance from Primary Corridor to Single Family Residence was on the agenda at last week’s P&Z meeting. The 9.865 tract of land is in the Promenade subdivision, and according to Stafford’s City Engineer, Charles Russell, it is not the last tract of land, but “one of the last big tracts left of the very few in Stafford…south of the railroad tracks.”
An extension of property is being made to add 35 lots to the already 18 lots zoned, and plat the 53 new homes at one time. The Promenade subdivision is located south of Highway 90A, beyond the driving range, and west of FM 1092. None of the land being considered borders the frontage roads of 90A or 1092.
Committee President, Auturo Jackson, opened the public hearing for residents to voice their opinions. All five that spoke were in support of the addition of homes to the Promenade subdivision. Carl Stephens, owner of Westin Homes (and one of the five), reminded the committee that this land has been vacant since 1969. John Rose, past City Councilmember and current Stafford business owner, said that “all the residents he’s spoken to are in favor of the change to SFR because it brings more value to Stafford.” Residents also mentioned that SMSD would benefit from the homes, and that currently, there are “enough vacant commercial buildings in Stafford” to handle new businesses.
Mayor Leonard Scarcella spoke to the committee and he does not see the “value” from additional homes. There are no city property taxes in Stafford and the difference between Primary Corridor and SFR would effect Stafford’s bottom line. “For the City to relinquish prime real estate is taking a major step down the wrong path,” the Mayor said. “The City has invested over 100 million to enhance and improve the area. We did not do this to entice homebuilders.” The counter-point made by homebuilder Stevens was that commercial businesses would not open in the subdivision because of limited visibility and access from the major highways. The committee vote was 4 to 2 against, and the request was denied. There is another chance for Promenade’s subdivision at Wednesday’s (6/19) Stafford City Council meeting.
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