Both readings had previously been postponed during the regular May 24 meeting of New Braunfels City Council due to significant public objections to the projects.
The first reading of an ordinance to rezone and apply a special-use permit to 49.5 acres of land located at 614 and 720 W. Zipp Road to allow for a mix of residential and nonresidential development died during the June 14 meeting as no motion was made by city council members.
According to the city, 16% of property owners bordering the property within 200 feet of the proposed development responded in opposition to city notifications to property owners, and numerous residents voiced concerns during the council meeting.
Board members for the homeowners association of the Ridgemont neighborhood, which borders the land, conducted a survey of residents in the neighborhood.
The survey garnered 70 responses, all of which expressed opposition to the area being rezoned to MU-B High Intensity Mixed Use and the inclusion of an apartment complex, said Glen Young, homeowners association board member and resident.
“The survey results show that one of the residents' primary concerns with MU-B zoning is a wide array of businesses that are allowed,” said Jamie Young, resident of Ridgemont. “We’ve been given very little information about what the developer plans to build there, which is very concerning to us.”
In late May, residents of Ridgemont met with HMT Engineering & Surveying, the developer for the project, and voiced concerns about zoning changes that would bring commercial and high-density development to the area.
“On top of all this, there seems to be no plan to improve the main roads, which are Walnut [Avenue] and FM 725, that leads to these properties, both of which are already very congested,” Jamie Young said. “We want to raise our kids or retire away from the hustle and bustle of big businesses.”
The developer's plan includes expanding South Walnut through the property to connect from West Klein Road and West Zipp Road, an arterial that is part of the city’s thoroughfare plan.
Thor Thornhill, president and CEO of HMT, said the road expansion through the land narrows the property owner’s options for developing the land.
The property owner will not be permitted to submit a rezoning request for one year after no action was taken on the item during the meeting.
The second and final reading of an ordinance to rezone 48 acres of land located in the 2200 block of FM 1102 to become a high-intensity mixed-use district was approved by council.
According to the city, the property is in close proximity to proposed future employment and market centers and is located along FM 1102, which the city has identified as a transitional mixed-use corridor.
Thornhill, who is also the engineer for the project, shared that the property owner is considering a variety of development options including multifamily and retail.
City Council voted in favor of the second reading in a 5-2 vote. Council members Lawrence Spradley and James Blakey voted against the rezoning.