Colleyville’s council chambers were filled as the creation of a 19-lot neighborhood, called The Bluffs at Colleyville, was discussed by Colleyville City Council.

Council denied the proposal without prejudice in a 6-0 vote at its Feb. 21 meeting. Council Member George Bond was absent from the meeting.

The proposal was to rezone an almost 14-acre area from agricultural to a single-family estate residential neighborhood located at Pool Road along Big Bear Creek. The area is privately owned and is located just south of Big Bear Creek, which is also the Colleyville and Grapevine city limits, according to city documents. The neighborhood's homes were estimated to start at $2 million, according to the development's planning objectives.

Council held its first discussion on the rezoning proposal at its Jan. 5 meeting.

More than 500 letters of opposition to the proposed neighborhood were received by the city, according to Community Development Director Ben Bryner. Speakers in the meeting’s public comment portion cited concerns for preserving the trees in the area, drainage issues and runoff into the creek.

Curtis Young with Sage Group represented the owner of the property. He said the developers can meet requirements for trees, drainage and slopes.

“No plan is probably going to make everyone happy, but perhaps there is a middle ground here that can work,” Young said.

Vicki Heminger, the first speaker in public comment, said opposing the neighborhood goes beyond disagreements on the house's setbacks or drainage.

“Saving Colleyville’s Cross Timbers forest is our obligation,” Heminger said. “We can’t replace these trees. We can’t simply plant new ones.”

Per the urban forestry chapter of Colleyville’s Land Development Code, Bryner said a minimum of 50% of trees in area must be preserved. For this lot size, the required preservation is 5.894 acres. The development plan included 6.221 acres, or 53%. The addition of the neighborhood’s floodplain could bring this up to 60%, according to the meeting’s presentation.

Speakers in public comment also cited the Colleyville Citizen Survey which showed residents wanting to preserve open space in its natural state.

As council denied the rezoning request without prejudice, the applicant does not need to wait the 12-month waiting period to file for a similar zoning change.

“The development [could] come in with a series of different plans that could look at different densities ... or different preservation options,” said City Manager Jerry Ducay.