The land in question is located between South Loop 4 and Robert S. Light Boulevard. The current zoning ordinance is light industrial, meant for business parks, light industry work or office warehousing that will not generate noise or heavy traffic in the area, according to the city’s unified development code. The desired zoning ordinance of urban residential would have allowed for multifamily residential homes, or in the case of applicant Gehan Homes, LTD, for-sale townhomes.
“The vision for this is a continuation of the Harvest Meadows residential property,” said Peter Verdicchio with SEC Planning, LLC, who presented the proposal.
The hope was to extend the existing Harvest Meadows parks, facilities and amenities for a cohesive neighborhood.
However, the council had concerns over the limited amount of land left in Buda and how to best utilize it.
“I’m not anti-residential. I just am struggling with taking the bit of land away that we currently have that I think probably needs to be utilized as industrial,” Council Member Ray Bryant said.
Council member Matt Smith noted that in the presentation, it was stated the land has been studied for close to two years, alluding it cannot come as a surprise that it is still zoned as light industrial.
“It’s a really nice picture that’s put together here. ... I’m confident that even if it takes another 20 years that we’re gonna find a light industrial developer that’s going to come in, ... and it’s going to be overall much better for the community and a better fit for Buda,” Smith said.
Smith added among the issues discussed in regard to projects like these, besides traffic and pressure on the current infrastructure in place, is a diverse workforce and job creation. Council Member Terry Cummings said with the small amount of land left, the city needs to be able to provide support to bring in businesses so that they may employ the residents.
“We don’t want to be a bedroom community that is only taking people and housing them here, and then they ship off to go to work,” Council Member Evan Ture said. “It’s the wrong place, product and time.”