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Football_Bat 1, City Hall 0, first inning

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Football_Bat, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    So far so good.

    I am in a planning and zoning dispute with my town. There is a string of vacant lots behind my house that a developer wants to build duplexes on. The problem is, the road along which these runs has a 90-foot easement for future expansion, and the land between my fence line and the proposed duplex has another 10-foot easement for an alley.

    These vacant lots are zoned single-family and the local P&Z wants to rezone them two-family. Last night, I and several of my neighbors made the case that we were already taking it in the shorts on property values, the duplexes would change the character of the neighborhood, the proposed alley would create a shortcut to the elementary school and be a safety hazard for local kids, the storm drainage in the area is iffy enough already, and that we can't be guaranteed the quality of the new construction (that is, they could put in $50K crackerboxes if they wanted to).

    The P&Z voted unanimously (6-0, one member absent) to recommend denial of the zoning change to the City Council.


    The battle is just beginning, though. The Council still has to take it up at the next meeting, and the developer will be back, I'm sure.
  2. Blair Waldorf

    Blair Waldorf Member

    Not to rain on the parade - but development of duplexes isn't totally bad ... just they alley.

    Any new duplex is not going to be occupied by low-rent people. In fact, it's probably going to be a townhome-style building that appeals to Yuppie couples.

    You're going to have to compromise with the developer, because he wouldn't continue fighting this if he didn't already have buyers. Ask to see the purchaser demographic and find a way to do away with the alley that you are worried about. Ask that the area be turned into a community greenspace of some sort.
  3. Blair Waldorf

    Blair Waldorf Member

    Also, in Texas, any new construction that will be occupied increases your existing property value. Especially in any form of previously master-planned community.
  4. Dirk Legume

    Dirk Legume Active Member

    Congrats FB. But your title is correct. The city and the developers are going to get their at bats. I have seen the city council and board of supervisors in my neck of the woods overturn unanimous planning commision votes on several occasions. Almost all of them concerning developers who had some sort of relationship with a member of the council (which you would think would make the council member want to recuse themselves...you would think)

    So you may not be done with the fight, but it's impressive that you have gotten as far as you have.
  5. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    That's the thing. The future road expansion restricts driveway access by city ordinance, and that means two things: 1) the easements limit the footprint of what can be constructed on the lot because the city has lot-line requirements on top of that, and 2) an alley is required for ingress and egress.

    And again, there's no guarantee what the developer will put in if the rezoning goes through. I live in a quiet neighborhood where there's a lot of pride in ownership and that'll change if rental properties are added.

    They may put in some really nice townhouses in the end and it'll be all good, but until I get some satisfaction that this'll happen, I can't afford to take that chance. There are some new duplexes in this town that have trucks up on blocks in the driveway, if you get my drift.
  6. I Should Coco

    I Should Coco Well-Known Member

    I see you, too, have been to a few city council meetings, Football Bat. Many times, a developer seeking a zoning change will butter up the council with a great site plan, promises of high-end condos, plenty of landscaping, etc...

    Then the economy turns sour and they don't build. Five years later, another developer comes along with plans more objectionable to the neighborhood. But since the zoning already was changed, they don't have to have a public hearing. The building permit's approved with no fuss and little, if any, public input.

    I'm glad you and your neighbors won round one, but as said, it's a long fight. And the zoning change is absolutely the key here.
  7. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    How deep is your pitching staff?
  8. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    He has the Nats bullpen that began the season.

    Better hope he's got nine in his arm.
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