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Flower Mound council OKs pared-down Southgate plan

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Southgate, a proposed 108-acre mixed-use development slated for Gerault Road and FM 2499 in Flower Mound.
Southgate, a proposed 108-acre mixed-use development slated for Gerault Road and FM 2499 in Flower Mound.

The Flower Mound Town Council on Monday unanimously approved a master plan amendment and rezoning for Southgate, a proposed 108-acre mixed-use development slated for Gerault Road and FM 2499.

The conceptual plan limits total dwellings to 475, including both single family and apartment dwellings, explained Doug Powell, executive director of development services for the town. Specifics on how many single family and how many apartment units were subject to the 475-dwelling limit, he said.

 

The proposal, which will feature trails throughout the project, will limit only 50 multi-family units to be built before 300,000 square feet of commercial is completed, town officials said. A 35,000-square-foot indoor shooting range was included in the proposal, similar to one in Frisco with a retail store but not a restaurant.

The proposal initially was proposed with 970 apartments and 270 single-family residences for a total of 1,240 dwelling units.

Stephen Williamson, president of Beverly Development Corporation, had asked Planning and Zoning Commissioners to go ahead and pass a zoning change with the understanding they would reduce the density before taking it to the town council.

The project, with privately built and maintained parks, will be available for public use. A total of 7.3 percent of the land with 11 total parks were proposed in the project.

Designed in a similar fashion to the River Walk at Central Park and Lakeside DFW, the project will feature a pedestrian-friendly atmosphere, said Robert Dollack, project engineer with G&A Consultants, Inc.

“We feel like we’ve done a good job in preserving the areas,” Dollack said referring to preservation of trees. Mayor Tom Hayden queried the large number of trees that would be removed even with the additional trees expected to be planted.

Planning and Zoning recommended approval of the master plan amendment but recommended denial on the rezoning, both of which required a super majority vote by the town council.

The council voted 5-0 to approve a master plan amendment change the land use designation from campus industrial uses to campus commercial uses on approximately 28.03 acres of land.

The council voted 4-1 to approve rezoning Southgate from planned development no, 47 with commercial district-2 and industrial district-2 to planned development no. 134 with both non-residential and residential uses in compliance with the campus commercial land use designation within the Lakeside Business District Area Plan.

Michael Walker, who voted against rezoning, talked about remanding the project back to the Planning and Zoning Commission to review the new proposal due to significant changes.

Mayor Tom Hayden said he did not like the multi-family component of the project.

Councilmember Bryan Webb queried whether any multi-family builders were creating 50-unit apartments, adding it was his gut feeling they were not.

“There’s going to be 300,000 square feet of commercial before there is multi-family,” he said.

During the public hearing, Flower Mound resident David Vaught suggested working with a developer to shape a project, adding that the apartments were reduced 75 percent from what was initially proposed.

Brian Rountree told the council that while the project was interesting, he believed the high density would impact traffic at a major intersection in Flower Mound. “We’re going to start backing traffic up before we get to the Grapevine pass,” he said. “I wish it was happening at a different time in our history.”

Kevin Bryant questioned having a gun range at the location.

Emily Strittmatter said she agreed with letting Planning and Zoning Commission have another look at the plan due to the significant changes to the plan.

Patsy Mizeur said she was disappointed with the move to go with more single family residences, rather than higher density to support the commercial.

“Sometimes I think we’re shooting ourselves in the foot,” she said, adding the density at the main corridor would drive commercial in an area where the town has invested millions.

Sherilyn Flick: “In the beginning I hated this project and was completely against this project because of the density. But now I’m at a maybe,” Sherilyn Flick. “I really like the commercial aspect of the project. I think it’s great.”

Flick said she didn’t like the apartment component and was on the fence on the single family component. She added that townhouses might attract the young professionals.

“Traffic is a concern there,” she said. “Anything that adds traffic at the most trafficky corner in Flower Mound is a concern.”

Carol Kyer listed several positives about the proposal. ” I like this idea for a number of reason,” she said, adding she liked something smaller that would allow people to downsize while staying in Flower Mound.

In earlier hearings, some residents indicated Flower Mound needed more areas for young professionals.

Questions about Southgate have primarily centered on traffic movement along FM 2499, the ability of pedestrians to cross the major thoroughfare and the desire to see a mixed-use development with less density centered as an attractive gateway into Flower Mound from neighboring Grapevine.

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