Two additional land-use definition amendments were approved Monday to correct the perceived “density gap” between the current Medium [minimum 10,000-square-feet lots] and High [under 10,000-square-feet lots] Density residential terms.
The density gap issue was initially raised as part of the Highland Court rezoning request, which was approved by the Town Council in April 2015. And, during a May 2015 Strategic Planning Session, the Town Council directed staff to review the issue with the Planning and Zoning Commission; a follow-up session was held in November 2015.
The new Medium High Density [7,500-square-feet lots] and High Density Single-Family Detached (High SFD) [minimum 3,000-square-feet lots] are the new categories. The new High SFD restricts the property from being zoned for apartment development without a Master Plan amendment.
The revised definition for High Density residential will include five units per net acre, including duplexes, townhomes and garden apartments.
The P&Z Commissioners recommended approval, five to one; Brian Ruthrauff voted nay.
This item will be on the Nov. 21 Town Council agenda for consideration, as will the amendments to the town Tree Ordinance sections 94-34 and 94-37.
The vote for the Tree Ordinance amendments was four to three, with Chairman Claudio Forest casting the tie-breaking approval vote. This follows denial from the ECC (Environmental Conservation Commission) during its Nov. 1 meeting.
Section 94-34 concerns tree removal permits being handled by the town staff, rather than the ECC and Town Council, while the Section 94-37 change hastens the timeline for developers, which is desirable, the notification for public review is a concern.
The commissioners also approved the Parker Square replat and site plan for the satellite campus of Midwestern State University of Wichita Falls. It will be housed in the 3.5-acre far east section in the two-story, 31,325-square-foot “Building 100.” A deceleration right-turn lane and additional parking spaces will also be featured.
The project was originally announced in August 2016, in partnership with the two-year NCTC campus, which anchors the westernmost side of the property. The new four-year degree facility will share its science labs, while NCTC will share its library facility.
Construction is scheduled to begin in early 2017 to be ready for classes in the 2017 fall semester.