The New Braunfels City Council denied the rezoning request for 8.4 acres of agricultural land to be changed to a zero-lot line home district during a regular meeting March 13. The same item was initially approved in its first reading during a Feb. 27 meeting.
Tyler Epstein, the owner of the property, said he estimates 46 to 50 homes could fit on the property once developed, depending on drainage considerations. He plans to keep the existing home on the property.
“Staff is recommending this proposed zoning because it is consistent with Envision New Braunfels and is also consistent with the development of the adjacent neighborhood,” said Jean Drew, planning and development services assistant director for the city.
Over 20% of the owners of properties located within 200 feet of the zoning request are in opposition to the new development, which required six of the seven council members to vote in favor of the ordinance to pass.
Christine Kulcheski, the homeowners association president for Pecan Crossing, spoke at the first reading of the item at the Feb. 27 meeting and said residents were concerned about the extra traffic the development may bring to County Line Road.
“Our neighbors are still very concerned with the traffic patterns,” Kulcheski said. “TxDOT does not have any sort of expansion, nor have we heard of the city expanding either the [traffic] light timing or County Line itself.”
Mayor Rusty Brockman said Kulcheski spoke at the last City Council meeting and said the HOA approved the zoning request but only for about 35 to 40 units to be built on the property.
“I think it's important to note that the work that’s gone on between you and the neighbors, as difficult as it has been; I think that both parties have enjoyed some conversation about the fact that we can compromise and we can come to a consensus on what might happen,” Brockman said. “But I also realize ... things have to be done first before you take the next steps.”
Steven Hark, a resident who lives near the proposed development, said adding additional housing to the area would not be sustainable due to the conditions on County Line Road.
“I’m just going to tell you right now, as one of the 20% in opposition to this, this property is not ready to be developed ... because we do not have the infrastructure to support the traffic, to support everything that goes into making this property to match our subdivision,” Hark said.
District 1 Council Member Andres Campos made a motion to approve the rezoning request but received no second, causing the item to be denied.