Dozens of residents—largely from the Bohls Place neighborhood adjacent to the proposed development site—submitted public hearing letters in opposition of the rezoning proposal and spoke before council during the public comment portion of the meeting. Residents also cited a petition that had circulated the Bohls Place neighborhood and received 222 signatures opposing the proposal, accounting for a majority of neighborhood residents.
“There is no other issue that will matter to me more than my family and my home," Bohls Place resident Erin Snider said while speaking in opposition to the proposal. "Tonight is your opportunity to prove who you represent.”
Bohls Place resident Jeff Lopez, also in opposition to the proposal, said the entire notification process had been disingenuous to residents living in the site's surrounding neighborhood. According to city of Pflugerville's Planning Director Emily Barron, homes within 200 feet of the proposed development received rezoning request notifications—but, as residents reiterated, many neighboring homes lie approximately 1,000 feet from the proposed distribution center, outside of the required notice boundaries.
Major concerns expressed by residents during the Jan. 28 meeting included heightened traffic along Pecan Street, noise levels bleeding over from the development to adjacent neighborhoods, pedestrian safety and adverse effects to residents' quality of life.
Neil Ochs, a Bohls Place resident, said the heightened traffic of trucks and other employee vehicles related to the distribution center will not only affect traffic patterns on SH 130, but on the western portion of the city as well.
"You need to look at the whole picture," Ochs said. "It’s not just one neighborhood that you’re going to be affecting.”
Following the public hearing portion of the discussion, council spoke with applicants related to the development, including Jonathan Stites of Seefried Industrial Properties and Amanda Swor at Drenner Group PC. Stites said the distribution center will work in accordance with the city's noise ordinances, as well as utilizing infrastructure to help mitigate noise and light pollution and prevent it from extending into surrounding neighborhoods.
Ahead of council's vote, Council Member Rudy Metayer said, if nothing else, city staff needs to reconsider the perceived "disingenuous" nature of the rezoning notice process so residents can be better informed on potential developments coming down the pipeline.
Council Member Jim McDonald, ahead of council's vote, said when considering the future of the city as a whole, the proposed development would help diversify the city's tax base and commercial property tax values.
“I think this is going to benefit our city in the future, especially with the growth we’re faced with and with new state laws that inhibit our ability to generate revenue,” McDonald said.