Wolf Ranch development gets conditional consent for utility district

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City Council approved a resolution giving its conditional consent for the developers of the Wolf Ranch proposed master planned community to seek creating a municipal utility district, or MUD, for the development with in the city limits.

City Councilman Steve Fought, who had originally motioned to deny the resolution, said he would vote for the conditional consent resolution if the developers understand that the council still has concerns about the proposal and could later vote to deny the MUDs creation.

Other council members also expressed concern over the projects plans.

Hillwood Communities, the projects Dallas-based developer, has proposed a 750-acre primarily residential master-planned community.

The idea of MUDs seems fine, Fought said. I could not vote in favor of a residential development. I could vote for the MUDs very easily if this was entirely commercial or [the project had]much greater commercial in that area.

Hillwood Senior Vice President Brian Carlock said he did not believe the project could be entirely retail.

What we do know is that quality roof tops drive quality retail. It cannot happen the other way, Carlock said, adding that he would be willing to come back to council to discuss in more detail residential and commercial uses for the property. It is our professional opinion that this project cannot be entirely commercialcertainly in the next several decades.

The conditional agreement will allow the developers to begin working with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the state agency responsible for creating MUDs. More definitive agreements, including the final consent agreement that will outline the citys terms for the MUDs creation, such as development standards and the MUDs property tax rate, must be approved by City Council at a later date.

For me, the main principal of this is to let you know we have a certain level of concerns. We are intrigued by the project, but we want to leave you with the notion that a lot of the items we have discussed or have been submittedwe are far apart still, Councilman Tommy Gonzalez said. Im not opposed to letting you move forward at this point, as long as weve talked about a lot of these issues that we are having.

Gonzalez requested that the developers continue to meet with city staff to discuss the propertys highest and best use before coming back to City Council.

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