Monday, October 18, 2021

Argyle Town Council rejects zoning change for Avalon

Senior Planner Randi Rivera of G&A Consultants provides information about the proposed Avalon at Argyle development to the Argyle Town Council. (Photo by Dru Murray)

The Argyle Town Council unanimously rejected an amended version of a requested zoning change for the Avalon at Argyle development expansion last night.

In its earlier denial on Feb. 7, the Planning and Zoning Commission said the plan for the eastern expansion of the approved original Avalon development didn’t transition well with the existing adjacent residential developments to its east.

No less than 40 citizens and non-residents lined up to express concerns about the plans for the proposed additional 300-acres. Objections included: construction of an emergency access road through Forest Trail; the effect upon traffic patterns; increases in school populations; and, their general dislike of the entire project. Many bemoaned the development they believe will change their lifestyles.

Bobby Dollak, senior project engineer with G&A Consultants, initiated his presentation by stating: “We appreciate the P&Z not tabling the project;” referring to the commissions’ denial, allowing the time-sensitive council presentation on Feb. 28.

In his discussion on the flood plain, he said the developer would make a total of $30 million in improvements and maintain Avalon at Argyle’s public park for eight years. Maintenance of the public park has been a point of contention between the developer and the town, which wants a longer agreement from the developer and Avalon HOA.

Senior Planner Randi Rivera of G&A Consultants, representing Centurion American Acquisitions, gave an extensive presentation to Argyle citizens and council members that included visuals of the landscaping and residential lot sizes. She mentioned that they anticipate a 10-year buildout.

Citizens of Argyle crowded into the town council meeting at which a zoning change for Avalon at Argyle was denied. (Photo by Dru Murray)

Among those objecting to the zoning change was Argyle resident Pam Minick who told the council, “Let’s not lose sight of why you moved here. Most of the homes on estates on [FM] 407 are larger than the lots in the proposed Avalon.”

Carolyn Stanford stated, “We all moved here for a rural atmosphere. It will all basically impact our lives and our police department and fire department.”

Fourteen-year-old Paige Pakebusch said, “We will turn into just another crowded Keller. People say you can’t stop growth, but that’s not true. You, our town council, can stop it.”

Another young protester, Emma Martin, 12, was upset because she blamed the town’s growth for the greater influx of students at Argyle Middle School, saying in a sad tone, “We just got a drug dog at our school.”

Lori Camille, a resident of The Settlement neighborhood for 24-years, explained her objection to Avalon at Argyle: “We have a marvelous little community within the marvelous little community of Argyle. We want to retain our lifestyle.”

“I totally trust this council,” said Mayor Peggy Krueger following the 5–0 vote.  “They are looking out for the best for the citizens. They did their homework and listened to the citizens.”

Property owners Randol Mill Capital, LLP, Centurion American Development Group and Ronald McCutchin, owner of the 300-acres in question, requested that the town council approve the change in zoning for the planned mixed-use development from Community Retail (CR) and Planned Development (PD-001) to RC-H-MU or Regional Center Neighborhood, Transition and Highway Mixed Use Districts. The new zoning would have provided Avalon with an additional 300-acres, bringing the total to 434-acres.

Dollak said, “We will get with the developer, come up with a new plan and come back to the P&Z.”

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