The city is currently weighing out a request to change the property's zoning from agriculture to a planned unit development, or PUD, comprising CL4 and CI zoning. CL4 zones are limited commercial districts that apply to urban districts, while CI zonings indicate commercial industrial developments.
Amanda Swor, senior project manager at Drenner Group, PC, spoke on behalf of the project application Jan. 14. Swor referred to "Project Charm" as Amazon once before reverting to identifying it as "the project" or "Project Charm" for the remainder of the discussion.
"One of the questions that was asked is, with regards to taxes and incentives and Amazon—the company is not seeking any incentives or tax rebates from the city," Swor said.
City officials and the Pflugerville Community Development Corp. have not yet publicly confirmed the company behind the project, citing a nondisclosure agreement as its reasoning.
Dozens of residents from neighboring communities, including Bohls, Cambridge and Gatlinburg, spoke before council and submitted comments during the public hearing portion of the agenda item. Residents present at the Jan. 14 meeting largely opposed the proposed distribution center, specifically highlighting effects on traffic, safety for surrounding neighborhoods and potential impacts on quality of life.
“I want Pflugerville to grow and develop," said Erin Snider, a Pflugerville resident, during the Jan. 14 public hearing. "I expect it to happen. It comes down to what we want Pflugerville to grow into.”
Mark Gibson, a Pflugerville resident, said he loves the growth within Pflugerville and is in favor of the economic potential this proposed development could bring to the city.
"There’s really no stopping this momentum," Gibson said.
Jonathan Stites of Seefried Industrial Properties is affiliated with the project and spoke before council Jan. 14, mentioning traffic impact analyses and environmental analyses would be conducted to help mitigate any potential effects of the development on neighboring residential areas. Stites also said the company behind the project is willing to contribute approximately $9 million in infrastructure improvements and traffic management near the proposed site.
Council Member Doug Weiss, ahead of entertaining a motion to approve the first reading, commended the applicant's efforts to listen to residents' concerns and help provide solutions to alleviate any potential effects on the greater Pflugerville community.
"Frankly, it’s very impressive that they’re willing to do as much and listen as much for this project," Weiss said.
Mayor Victor Gonzales commended residents who came out during council's meeting to share their concerns with the city, adding it is council's responsibility to weigh residents' investment into the Pflugerville community while also evaluating projects that increase quality of life and not taxes. Council will revisit the agenda item for a second public hearing and ordinance reading for the rezoning request at its Jan. 28 meeting.
“I think there are a lot of elements that we, as a council, have to take into consideration," Gonzales said.
Editor's note: this story has been updated to provide more context to the agenda item's discussion.