Flower Mound P&Z denies Southgate zoning request

Despite cutting the number of residential units for Southgate, a proposed zoning request for the 108-acre mixed-use development slated for Gerault Road and FM 2499 was denied by the Flower Mound Planning and Zoning Commissioners in a 4-2 vote Monday.

The denial followed a recommendation last month to table a request for rezoning from Planned Development No. 47 with Commercial District-2 and Industrial District-2 uses to Planned Development District No. 134 with both non-residential and residential uses in compliance with the Campus Commercial land use designation within the Lakeside Business District Area.

At issue was the proposed 970 apartments and 270 single-family residences, which commissioners said were too many to approve and send on to the town council for consideration. The new proposal called for 870 apartments and 246 single-family residences – a 10 percent reduction.

“I’m extremely opposed to this development,” said P & Z commissioner Itamar Gelbman. “I just don’t think high density is good for us.”

Gelbman said it takes 45 to 50 minutes to drive three miles along FM 2499. “If I wanted that kind of traffic, I would have stayed in L.A.; if I wanted that density, I would have stayed in L.A.”

Gelbman added that as a man in his mid-30s with a family, he moved to Flower Mound specifically for the rural atmosphere. With a development background, Gelbman said of several mixed-use projects he worked with, only two were considered successful in central L.A. while others languished. 

Commissioner David Johnson said the commission had asked for lower density but he did not feel the developer proposed what they were seeking. One commissioner suggested setting a limit of 800 residential units.

Two commissioners said they believed the project was at a location that would serve the town well.

Commissioner Don McDaniel, who mentioned apartments would becone the new gas well issue in town, said he believed the location was the right spot for a mixed-use development. “We do need a mix of residential in this town and this is a good place to put it,” he said. “People don’t want high-density residential next to their homes. But this isn’t next to any houses. It’s not displacing single-family development or next to single-family homes.”

At the beginning of Monday’s meeting, 39 residents spoke against a proposed high density development off Rippy Road – a development that has generated a repeated stream of residents speaking out against more apartments in the community at recent public meetings.

During a presentation by Doug Powell, executive director of development services for the town, a chart showed the number of existing apartments at 1,115 including 222 at Archstone Lexington, 248 at Marquis at Lantana, 348 at Tinber Ridge and 307 at River Walk at Central Park. The number of apartments approved for zoning include 849 at River Walk at Central Park and 1,952 at Lakeside DFW. The number of apartments either existing or approved for zoning totals 3,916. 

Concerns brought up during the meeting ranged to available open space and the preservation of trees.

The project called for 7 percent open space, 41.8 percent residential and 50.9 percent non-residential development.

Dan Quinto, president of Roaring Brook Development, told commissioners he would take the proposal to the town council. Approval by the town council would require a super majority vote.

The project, which would be developed by Beverly Development Corporation, is proposed to include a business incubator to provide entreprenurial opportunities as well as a mix of commercial, retail and the residential.

The idea was to create a mix that would attract millenials to Flower Mound in an area with close proximity to major thoroughfares as well as the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.


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