The neighborhood, named Hawkwood, has 11 lots with average lot sizes of 34,505 square feet, according to meeting documents. The project was given initial approval during City Council’s April 2 meeting.
Maykus originally proposed a gated 14-lot residential neighborhood with smaller lot sizes in October. But City Council denied his request then, arguing the development would be too high in density and the development would be inconsistent with lower-density neighboring subdivisions.
Plans have since been revised to make it a public neighborhood, increase lot sizes and reduce the number of lots, according to meeting documents.
There were also forms submitted supporting the development from residents who did not wish to speak. But many residents submitted forms and spoke during public comment to oppose the project.
A neighbor directly south of the development said she would like to see a reduction in the number of lots due to its high density. She said she is also concerned that water will creep onto her property despite promises that the developer will work to offset drainage issues.
Hawkwood’s plans include a drainage easement for the existing creek and relocation of an existing pond to help alleviate drainage issues, according to meeting documents.
A few residents also took issue with Maykus’ variance request to waive open-space requirements.
The size of the lots and the property make it difficult to add open space to the neighborhood, Maykus said. But there is a strong tree-conservation plan in place.
The city and City Council members would be at high risk of lawsuit from the owners of the property if this request is denied because of property owner rights, Mayor Laura Hill said.
“I don’t care what developers ask me for. I only care about what the citizens ask me for, but there comes a point in time when the law is the law, and land[owners’] rights in the state of Texas are one of the most important rights that we have,” Hill said.
Hill said she is not afraid of litigation and developers, but to deny this project would come at a high cost, and the outcome is not promising.
Southlake may not have a strong enough legal argument to win a potential lawsuit, and it would cost thousands of taxpayers’ dollars, Council Member John Huffman said.
“This has nothing to do with fear of a lawsuit,” Huffman said. “It has everything to do fiduciary duties and our obligations to the citizens of Southlake—all of them—and the taxpayers’ dollars that we were elected to be fiduciaries over. When the city attorney makes it clear that a no vote is flushing millions of dollars down the drain, we don’t have a choice anymore.”
City Council approved the project with a 6-0 vote. Council Member Shahid Shafi abstained from the vote.