But that decision at City Council's Oct. 19 meeting came after two-and-a-half hours of deliberation and a high volume of resident input spanning months.
Developer Sunrise Partners LLC collaborated with the Estates of Oak Run Home Owners Association to build the Beverly Grove subdivision, a luxury residential community. As planned, Beverly Grove consists of 33 residential and four open space lots on 11.38 acres at 1301 Rufe Snow Drive, according to meeting documents.
The city mailed out 49 notices to all property owners within 300 feet of the proposed development Aug. 3, meeting documents stated. In order to build the development, a zoning change from retail to residential had to take place. The Keller Planning and Zoning Committee approved the change Aug. 24 with various conditions, such as a landscape buffer for residents who were concerned about privacy.
By the time of the City Council public hearing Sept. 21, city staff had received multiple letters and emails of opposition, according to the documents. Several residents spoke in opposition of the development during the public hearing, citing issues with the development’s size, destruction of trees, potential for increased traffic and reduction of privacy along with claims that the developer had changed its original plans and was not heeding resident concerns.
Keller City Council Members Ross McMullin, Chris Watley and Shannon Duberly were among those especially concerned about the development due to the high amount of resident opposition. The number of opposition letters totaled 16.53%, which was shy of the 20% supermajority, Julie Smith, Keller Community Development director, said at the hearing. But residents said that some letters had not been counted, so the council voted to table voting until its Oct. 19 meeting.
At the Oct. 19 meeting, 11 residents spoke in opposition of the development. But even with two missing letters now accounted for, they totaled 18.6%, Smith said.
After public comment and lengthy discussion between council members and Beverly Grove representatives, Mayor Pro Tem Sean Hicks made two separate motions to approve the zoning change—but neither received a second motion.
It was not until the Beverly Grove representatives agreed to additional conditions to meet resident concerns—which included making garage doors uniform, changes to access points, removing proposed sidewalks and adding live screening—that the council passed the zoning change unanimously.
“For the residents—we’ve, hopefully, illustrated how much we care about trying to get this project right,” McMullin said.