Lewisville City Council denied different requests Monday night, blocking the construction of new townhomes in Old Town and a new RaceTrac gas station that would have been located off Business 121 and Vista Ridge Mall Drive.
Council denied a zone change for two properties located at 411 and 419 Milton St. in Old Town that would have had the current properties torn down and 16 attached townhomes built instead.
Citizens expressed opposition before the council meeting. Two residents from the surrounding area expressed concern about having such townhomes built in the middle of a neighborhood at a planning and zoning meeting, and city staff received two letters in opposition to passing the zoning change.
At the council meeting, only support was shown for the public hearing item. Five people spoke in favor of building the townhomes, including Terry Bohn, who resides at 419 Milton St., one of the properties under discussion.
“I think it would be beneficial to pursue the project,” Bohn said.
Staff did not give a recommendation to the item before the meeting, instead seeking direction from the governing body. Richard Luedke, city planning director, presented more information about the item to Council.
“Staff is concerned on what impact this zoning change would have on the neighborhood,” said Luedke.
Before Council voted to approve the item, Councilmembers TJ Gilmore and Neil Ferguson both said they would be voting no.
“I just don’t think this fits here,” Ferguson said. “We have streets far more appropriate.”
The motion to approve the item failed 4-1. Councilmember Brent Daniels voted yes.
Council denied a special use permit for a 2.026 acre triangular property on the corner of Business 121 and Vista Ridge Mall Drive, on the east side of the intersection where Edmonds Lane becomes Vista Ridge. RaceTrac Petroleum wanted to build a gas station on the land.
Council did approve a zoning change for the lot, which will be needed by the city in the future. Luedke presented staff opposition on this item, saying the development does not fit into the vision for Lewisville’s 2025 plan.
“[This] does not meet the intent of 2025,” Luedke said. “[Our] goals do not support this proposal.”
Andrew Malzer, the applicant, and Brad Williams, Malzer’s attorney, argued their case for the gas station after Luedke’s presenation. Malzer claims he kept asking the planning staff how they could fall in line with the Lewisville 2025 plan, but did not get a positive response back.
“We did make our best efforts to get everybody on the same page,” Williams said.
“Thinking of RaceTrac as a service provider, we’re meeting this plan,” Malzer said. “We want to make sure we fall in line with this plan.”
Property owner Bobby Payne said there’s been multiple offers from other gas station companies to buy the land over years, yet none go through.
“I don’t know how we’re going to sell this,” Payne said. “We believe retail use is the best use for this property.”
Ferguson claims there’s not a shortage of gas stations in the area. There are about five gas stations within a one-two mile radius of the land.
Gilmore asked Malzer if he updated any information in his presentation since speaking to the planning and zoning committee. Malzer admitted it was the same, but said he didn’t see how trying to convey the use of RaceTrac was “particularly damaging.”
The motion to deny the special use permit was passed unanimously.
During the public comment segment of the meeting, Castle Hills District 1B Representative Patrick Kelly requested Castle Hills elected representatives be involved in any impending annexation discussions. The district’s annexation into Lewisville has been planned since 1996. It appears the time could arrive within the next two years.
Council unanimously passed a zone change request and six variances to city code to approve the proposed Mill Street Lofts, a five-story development with restaurants on the ground floor and condos above. The proposal also includes a second condo building to the west in between the proposed development and the existing neighborhood. The property for this proposed development is on the west side of Mill Street running the entire block between College and Stuart streets.
In regular hearings, Council denied an application from the electrical utility company Texas-New Mexico Power to raise its rates within the Lewisville.
The proposed rate increase, which would’ve raised customer rates by an average of $12.21, had previously been suspended in June to allow the city time to research the proposal.
According to background material, Lewisville is part of a coalition of cities called TNMP Cities that negotiates rates with TNMP. The coalition’s attorneys reviewed TNMP’s filing and found “numerous unreasonable expenses” which increased the utility company’s costs. As such, the coalition’s attorneys recommended all members adopt resolutions denying the rate increases. There is a pending settlement between TNMP and TNMP Cities that includes a significantly reduced proposal from the utility company.
The consent agenda, which was passed unanimously, included approval of a $453,285 economic agreement with Teague Nall and Perkins to design the Holford’s Prairie Road Project, a variance to allow the Edmonds Lane Bible Chapel to add four classrooms and an item authorizing the city to make agreements with Community Development Block Grant recipients. The city is expecting $699,808 in CDBG funds this year, which will be used for city improvement.
The last item presented at the workshop session, which reconvened after the meeting’s finished, was about an upcoming Lewisville community resources expo.
Claire Swann, assistant city manager, and Ashleigh Seryan, grants specialist, said they want to create a “one-stop shop” for residents who need the help.
“Our main goal is show residents there are sources for them so they don’t feel like they’re on their own,” Seryan said.
The first expo will be 9 a.m. to noon Nov. 3 at the Next Steps Center in Lewisville, located at 1305 TX-Business 121.
Lewisville City Council meets every first and third Monday of the month, pushing to next week when that falls on a holiday. These meetings are at 7 p.m., usually with a 6:30 p.m. workshop at which most of the discussion takes place, at City Hall, 151 W. Church St. in Lewisville. These meetings are open to the public.