Council is set to hold a final ordinance reading at a Jan. 28 meeting on “Project Charm,” a proposed 3.8-million-square-foot distribution center along Pecan Street. Following an hour-and-a-half long discussion at council’s Jan. 14 meeting that was standing room only, some residents have outwardly questioned the impact on safety and traffic congestion, while others have said the proposed distribution center could help bring long-term economic prosperity to the city.
Erin Snider, a resident of the Bohls Place neighborhood adjacent to the proposed site, spoke against the proposal at council’s Jan. 14.
In a Jan. 24 phone call with Community Impact Newspaper, Snider elaborated on some of her concerns regarding the proposed development. Snider said based on the flow of traffic already on Pecan Street, she does not allow her son—a student at Pflugerville Elementary School—to walk to school, despite living just down the road. If a distribution center is greenlit, she said not only would that provide safety issues for elementary school walkers, but also for teenage drivers heading to Weiss High School or pedestrians crossing Pecan Street.
Snider also said, from her perspective, that a distribution center would not be able to provide living wages for its workers, affecting employees’ ability to live in Pflugerville as well as impacting their quality of life.
“I want to see Pflugerville grow into a place that is family-oriented, that has places for people to have careers,” Snider said. “That people can be able to come here and find an amazing place to work, and that you can afford to be able to live here too.”
Cristine East, a resident in the Bohls Place neighborhood, spoke before council Jan. 14 in opposition to the rezoning request and proposed distribution center. Citing the location’s close proximity to downtown, East said it could impact non-residents’ perceptions of the city.
“I also have some struggles with the idea of a 3.8-million-square-foot warehouse, 1.5 miles from downtown,” East said. “I feel like the proposed site is going to forever change the landscape of Pflugerville.”
Some residents at council’s Jan. 14 meeting said that while they were not in favor of the increased traffic that would likely come from a distribution center, the financial benefits the development could bring to the city should not be ignored.
“The jobs that this project could bring, the exposure it could bring, the additional businesses, the supporting services—everything that goes with such a thing would contribute greatly to Pflugerville’s future development and overall, to the city’s property values and future,” Christa Neumann, a Pflugerville resident, said during council’s Jan. 14 meeting.
In a phone call with Community Impact Newspaper Jan. 24, Bohls Place resident Richard Flores said that while he wishes Pflugerville could remain the same size, commercial development is an essential part of developing cities.
“I wonder what Round Rock would be if they had denied to build their Dell operation,” Flores said. “Something was eventually going to go in [Project Charm’s] property. At least it’s not 1,000 apartments.”
In a comment posted to Community Impact Newspaper’s Facebook page, Round Rock resident Brent Meshier said the city would benefit from larger businesses that could help diversify the city’s tax base, increasing property values and the number of jobs.
“Increased commercial diversifies the tax base, lowering the burden on residential property taxes,” Meshier said.
Despite some of the potential financial impacts the site could have to the overall community, the brunt of its effects, Bohls Place resident Jeff Lopez said Jan. 14, will be felt by those living next door.
“It’s not all glamour and glitz once they get there,” Lopez said. “There are real repercussions that happen.”
Editor's note: This post has been updated to clarify residential input.