After hearing testimonies from concerned residents, Leander City Council denied a rezoning request for a 1,100-unit master planned community known as Chapman Parks.
The project would have been located on 317 acres of land northeast of the intersection of Mesa Vista Drive and County Road 280. The proposed development featured a variety of housing types, parks, trails, local commercial and local office space, according to a presentation council received from Stantec Consulting Feb. 21.
The property is currently zoned single-family rural, and the request for the project included zoning such as single-family suburban and single-family urban, which allow for denser housing than single-family rural zoning.
Leander City Council voted unanimously against the rezoning request at a meeting March 21, during which several residents of the Greatwood Estates neighborhood—which borders the proposed development—showed up to express concerns.
Mary Richardson, who has lived in the neighborhood for the last two years, said Greatwood, which is zoned single-family rural, is a community of homes on 1-acre lots. She said she was concerned that there was not enough transition from the denser homes in Chapman Parks to the rural properties in Greatwood Estates.
She also said she was concerned that people in the denser development would cut through Greatwood to get to their homes, causing safety concerns.
“Our biggest concern was really traffic,” Richardson said. “We all do it; if it’s faster to go through the neighborhood, we’ll go through the neighborhood.”
This is the second time Chapman Parks has submitted an application to build this project in Leander. In March 2018, the City Council unanimously turned down the rezoning request, after residents of the Greatwood Estates neighborhood cited concerns about increased traffic and the project’s density.
Since the previous application, the project had been reduced from 1,200 to 1,100 homes. The planned unit development documents for the second application also stated that the development would not begin until two lanes of San Gabriel Parkway and Lakeline Boulevard were extended to the boundary of the property.
Council member Shanan Shepherd said she thinks the Chapman Parks itself is a good development, but not the right fit for the location.
“It’s a fabulous project,” Shepherd said. “But for somewhere where the surrounding homes are more compatible.”