Bartonville P&Z recommends denial of zoning request for Ladera

The Bartonville Planning and Zoning Commission voted 3-2 to recommend denial of a zoning change request to the Comprehensive Land Use Plan for the development of Ladera, a proposed senior retirement development.

The vote recommended denial of a request to change from residential or RE-2 zoning to planned development or PD-2 zoning.

About 60 people filled the Bartonville Town Hall with 23 people speaking before the commission. A majority of the comments were in opposition to the proposed development, town officials said.

The commission’s vote followed a decision on Aug. 6 to hold a second public hearing on Tuesday regarding the development. At the August meeting, commissioners had requested additional information from the town engineer and fire marshal on sewer services and fire suppression.

The request for a zoning change will go before the Bartonville Town Council on Sept. 18 during a special called meeting at 7 p.m. at the Lantana Fellowship Community Church at 2200 E. Jeter Road. Due to the turnout Wednesday, town officials decided to reschedule the zoning request hearing and vote from the regular Sept. 16 town council meeting to a larger location on Sept. 18.

To override the recommendation by P&Z, the council would have to approve the zoning change with a super majority vote or three-fourths of all town council member seats. A total of four council members would have to vote in favor of the zoning change as statutes require counting the vacant seat.

If approved, Ladera will be built behind Bartonville Town Center and will include 220 individual homes ranging in size from 2,157 square feet to 3,755 square feet including two-car garages, patios and porches.

Values are estimated at between $270,000 and $600,000 for the 180 courtyard villas and 40 larger hillside villas.

The gated community would feature an activity center, fitness trails, two lakes, streams, wildflower meadows and groves of trees, said John Delin, partner of Integrity Group LLC, a family-owned business that recently opened a similar community in Keller.

The density with 220 homes on an estimated 80 acres would be 2.75 homes per acre, a consistent metric used by all municipalities in Texas, according to G&A Consultants, which is working with Integrity on the proposed development.

The proposed housing development was touted as being the tipping point for the second and third phases of Bartonville Town Center to be built, according to Bruce Monroe, president of Denmiss, LLC, which owns the center.

“There’s a lot of positive to this,” Monroe said of the proposed development on about 80 acres behind the town center which will cater to adults ages 55 and older.  Monroe, who owns the property proposed for the housing development, said the development could add an estimated $160,000 in ad valorem taxes to the town’s coffers as well as supply daytime foot traffic for the businesses within the town center.

“On less than two percent of the land mass (in Bartonville), we can increase tax revenues by 50 percent,” he said, adding that older homeowners likely would stay within the community to eat and use services, which would bring additional sales tax revenues.

Both Monroe and John Delin, partner of Integrity Group LLC, said they began meeting with homeowners in neighboring developments before approaching town officials to get feedback on what concerns might arise and how they could tailor the development to fit in with existing neighborhoods.

A large portion of the property, once used for sand and gravel excavation, will be redeveloped into lakes with meadows sloping into them, Delin said, adding that currently, the property has a 70-foot drop into an existing pit.

With an older demographic, the proposed development will fill a gap in business for existing retailers at the town center, he said. Many living in Bartonville and Lantana leave during the weekdays to jobs outside of the area, he said, while homeowners in Ladera would be more likely to stay close and spend money at local businesses.

That, he said, is why he believes the proposed housing development could well be the catalyst for developing the second and third phases of Bartonville Town Center, which opened in 2003 and now is more than 95 percent occupied.

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