Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Flower Mound Council tables residential developments on LISD land

On Monday night, the Flower Mound Town Council considered and tabled two residential developments on land that Lewisville ISD is looking to sell.

One tract called Emerald Place is about 22 acres on Wager Road near Vickery Elementary School, and the Spinks tract is about 76 acres located at FM 2499 and Spinks Road near Shadow Ridge Middle School. Both tracts were purchased with voter-approved bonds that are subject to additional legal restrictions, making their sales more complex.

Lewisville ISD purchased the land back when it was one of the fastest growing school districts in the state to potentially use for future school campuses, but growth has slowed and there is no longer a need for new schools there, so Lewisville ISD is looking to sell.

Toll Brothers, a home builder with many subdivisions in the area, has made an offer on the Spinks property, and Rembert Enterprises “is in the final stages to purchase the Wager Road property,” according to the district. Both needed Town Council to approve Master Plan amendments and rezoning requests.

A proposed development plan for LISD property at FM 2499 and Spinks Road, image courtesy of the town of Flower Mound

The Spinks Road property is zoned for agricultural district and the request was for single family district-15, low-density zoning with 132 lots. Toll Brothers has a couple different concept plans for different lot placements and park land, and the estimated home value was over $1 million. The Planning & Zoning Commission recommended approval of the requests unanimously. A few residents and a school board member spoke in favor of the plan.

Most council members seemed open to changing the Master Plan for such a high-end development — Councilman Adam Schiestel said Master Plan amendments for residential developments must meet a “high bar,” and this one does so. But Councilman Ben Bumgarner wasn’t convinced, and he wanted to meet with the developer before approving, so the council agreed to table the requests.

A proposed development plan for LISD property on Wager Road, image courtesy of the town of Flower Mound

Then came the Wager Road proposal, which was for a medium-density small subdivision. P&Z unanimously recommended denial of the plan, which meant that a super-majority of council would have to vote in favor of it for it to be approved. Many residents spoke out against this plan because of the project’s density. Some said they didn’t want Flower Mound to become like “neighboring cities” with by approving this plan with an estimated home value of $800,000. Some said they were worried about a significant increase in traffic caused by the 54 new lots. Nearly all said they wanted single family estate zoning on the property.

Dr. Kevin Rogers, LISD superintendent, said that both properties were put up for bids twice, and no bids were submitted for commercial developments. Regarding the Wager Road development, Rogers said the district will hear bids one more time to try to get a plan that neighbors and Town Council would like. He said that if the town does not approve a residential development plan for Wager Road, the district may decide to use the property as a bus barn for its school bus fleet. Rogers then added that some people take that comment as a threat, and he said it’s not, which drew some laughter from the audience.

It wasn’t looking good for the Wager Road project, as the residents continued to campaign against it and Rogers declined to comment again on it. Then just before 11 p.m., council began discussing it and some hope came back for Rembert Enterprises and the district. Council member Ann Martin said she didn’t want to deny it, she thought they were “so close” to finding a development that worked for everybody. The council asked the district officials and Reginald Rembert if they were willing to work toward a new concept plan with less housing density, and they all agreed to do so. Council voted 4-1 to table the requests, with Shiestel voting against.

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

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