Monday, September 25, 2023

Flower Mound P&Z recommends denial of proposed warehouse development

The Flower Mound Planning & Zoning Commission voted unanimously Monday night to recommend denial of the proposed warehouse park next to Canyon Falls.

Hundreds of residents attended the meeting and many spoke against the proposed Cross Timbers Business Park because of its proximity to Argyle High School and the Canyon Falls subdivision. The proposed development will go to the Flower Mound Town Council for consideration on April 18.

Usually, when P&Z recommends denial of a project, it would then require a supermajority of Town Council — four out of five — to approve the project. But that’s not the case with the Cross Timbers Business Park, according to Melissa Demmitt, Flower Mound’s communications director.

“The supermajority requirement occurs when you’re rezoning property from one permanent zoning to another permanent zoning,” Demmitt said.

The land at hand, however, has never been zoned, so it will only need a simple majority of council to approve it.

Image courtesy of Crow Holdings and the town of Flower Mound

Crow Holdings’ site plan proposal for the Cross Timbers Business Park, a 10-building warehouse park on 263 acres in the northwest corner of FM 1171 and Hwy 377, has drawn a lot of opposition from area residents. The proposed buildings would total nearly 3.3 million square feet with some buildings as tall as 60 feet, on land directly adjacent to the Canyon Falls subdivision and Argyle High School. Crow is asking for the town to zone the land for Planned Development District with Campus Industrial and Industrial District uses, as well as some building exceptions.

The land has been classified Interim Holding, a temporary designation given to land after it is annexed, since the town annexed it in 1999. The land must be zoned by Town Council for it to be developed for any purposes other than Agricultural uses. The town’s Master Plan designated commercial and industrial uses for the land in 2001. The Master Plan was amended in 2008 to allow for the development of the Canyon Falls and Trailwood subdivisions in 2008 and 2015, respectively, but the land at hand has been left alone in the Master Plan for over 20 years.

Crow has said the completed and leased project would generate about $2 million a year in tax revenue for the town of Flower Mound and $7 million for Argyle ISD.

Supporters of the development point to the potential tax revenue and the fact that the proposal is aligned with the town’s Master Plan. Opponents say the area has changed a lot since 2001, and the Master Plan needs to be updated to facilitate development more appropriate for the area.

Crow introduced residents to its plans for the land in September 2021 with some presentations in Canyon Falls. At those meetings, some residents were baffled that Crow thought this was the right location for a warehouse park that would have a lot of tractor-trailer traffic. Many expressed that they are not opposed to the land being developed, but this would be one of the worst ways to do so. Seemingly all were in agreement that they don’t want a huge warehouse park in their backyards, and they immediately began calling and emailing Flower Mound Town Council members to express their opposition. More than 1,400 people have joined a Facebook group called NoMo FloMo WAREHOUSES. Many residents have spoken during public comment sections of recent P&Z and council meetings — before the development had even come to them for consideration.

Last week, the Argyle ISD Board of Trustees approved a resolution of opposition to the proposed development because of “increased 18-wheeler traffic, air and noise pollution, safety concerns on roads leading to school campuses, overcrowding conditions of the area, long-term health of families and students, and concerns regarding the negative impact on property value that may be consequences of the construction of this warehouse park.”

Hundreds of opponents of the proposed development attended Monday night’s P&Z meeting, most of them wearing white T-shirts with their “No Warehouses” message. Town staff gave a presentation and answered questions for about 30 minutes before Crow Holdings representatives began their presentation and fielded questions, which lasted about an hour. The public comment period lasted about an hour-and-a-half, and the overwhelming majority of comments were against the development.

At one point late in the meeting, Will Mundinger, founding partner and senior managing director of Crow Holdings Industrial, said that Crow and the potential tenants intend to be “good neighbors,” drawing a sarcastic laugh from the crowd.

P&Z commissioners unanimously recommended denial of the item. This one item lasted over 3.5 hours, ending after 10 p.m.

Another large crowd is expected to attend the Town Council meeting on April 18 to speak out against the development before council members considering approving or denying the proposed warehouse park.

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

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