Argyle Council reconsiders small development, adds conditions

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A digital rendering of a proposed commercial development in Argyle, along the east side of the CVS and Kimzey’s businesses (image courtesy of the town of Argyle).

In an uncommon move, on Tuesday night the Argyle Town Council reconsidered a decision it made last month about a proposed small development. After much discussion, the council eventually decided to re-approve the development, but with some additional conditions.

During its Nov. 27 meeting, council voted 4-1 to approve a zoning change request by Waterbrook developer Terra Manna for a nearly 4-acre tract of land is located east of Hwy 377, just east of CVS and Kimzey’s Coffee, on the north side of FM 407. The concept plan for the property included commercial/retail space along 407, with a two-story office/lab behind it. Terra Manna already has the tenant lined up for the office/lab, an oil industry business that would be relocating its headquarters from Southlake. Before approving, council asked Terra Manna Founder Bret Pedigo if he could move the parking lot in the middle of the concept plan to the north end to save some majestic trees, and Pedigo agreed. They also asked for at least 8,000 square feet of the retail space to be used for family-friendly restaurant(s), and Pedigo agreed to that as well.

But in the days after the meeting, some council members were having second thoughts.

Mayor Don Moser wrote a letter to town leaders on Dec. 3 that said two council members had express concern to him about the zoning change request that council had just approved, and Moser said he shares their concerns about the potential uses within the approved zoning designations of Village Center Mixed Use and Transition.

The town attorney explained during Tuesday’s council meeting that under state law, if the mayor doesn’t sign the approved ordinance and returns it on or before the fourth business day a statement of objection — which Moser did — the governing body shall reconsider it.

Council Member Alex Vukasin said that when council approved the zoning change, “something didn’t feel right.” He believed there were some things included in the request that should have been separated from a zoning change request.

“I don’t want to rescind approval,” he said Tuesday night, “but just review and make sure all Is are dotted and Ts are crossed.”

Council Member Ronald Schmidt said he didn’t believe the office/lab building fit in the Village Center zone, as the town’s Comp plan defined it.

They also expressed concern that there was a neighborhood close to the property, and they didn’t want hazardous materials to be that close to homes. While Pedigo had assured them that the materials to be used in the building were safe, they worried that the building might be bought by a different company in the future that would not need approval to use more dangerous materials.

The council ultimately decided to add some conditions to the request. No hazardous materials with the lowest NFPA standard would be allowed and the town would conduct an inspection no less than every six months to confirm that, and to have any hazardous materials would require a Special Use Permit approval from Town Council. Also, when the developer brings the site plan for approval, they would also have to have their plan for the exterior of the office/lab building.

With those conditions, council voted unanimously to approve the request, again.

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Mark Smith

Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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