A mixed-use development near Carroll Avenue and Southlake Boulevard was approved with a supermajority vote by Southlake City Council during a meeting May 21.

Council voted 6-1 to approve a zoning change for a 9.6-acre development from agriculture district and single-family residential to transition zoning district. That would allow for an office property called The Overlook and a housing development behind it called WillowTree Gardens.

Place 3 council member Francis Scharli was the dissenting vote against the development.

The background

With opposition from 39% of residents within 200 feet of the proposed plans, above the 20% needed to require a supermajority vote, council could only approve the project with six out of seven affirmative votes.

Two surrounding neighborhoods' homeowners associations, the Foxborough HOA and Southview Estates HOA, both have sent letters to council in opposition of the project.

According to city documents, within 300 feet of the area, there were 10 responses in favor of the project and 109 against it. During the planning and zoning review of the property, 178 formal oppositions were filed, and 18 were in support of the project during the March 21 meeting.

Council passed the first reading of the development, The Overlook, which is an office building, and WillowTree Gardens, a housing development, on April 2. The second reading on April 16 was tabled, and the hearing was not held in the May 7 meeting due to a medical emergency at the council meeting that led to the issue being tabled a second time.

The details

Developer Travis Franks, owner of WillowTree Custom Homes, initially said 26 houses would be in the project.

However, that number was cut to 23, and during the approval on May 21, council said no more than 20 homes would be allowed.

Houses that will back up to Owenby Lane will not be allowed to have windows in the back of the house, as part of the agreement. There will be 15 houses inside a gated community and then five houses outside of the gated community with a masonry wall.

The residential portion will be a mix of houses and villas.

A closer look

Council added some requirements to the development that would be needed. City Attorney E. Allen Taylor Jr. said the final plan would have to be approved by council to review the locations and access points into the housing development.

Another caveat was a cul-de-sac on Cross Street, and, finally, the gate entry into the housing development would have upgraded technology that will not include keypad entry for resident-only access, rather a fob or license plate reader.