More homes coming to Keller cleared a hurdle at the City Council meeting Oct. 17.

Keller City Council approved an ordinance approving a planned development zoning change from retail to planned development single-family 8,400-square-foot minimum lots for planned development Bella Casa, according to city information.

The development will consist of 31 residential lots and 1.6 acres of open space on 10.9 acres of land, and it will be located at 1300 Rufe Snow Drive, near the southwest corner of the Rufe Snow Drive and Rapp Road intersection, a City Council agenda memo stated.

The background

Jim Tchoukaleff, representing Contour Real Estate and Development LLC in Dallas, submitted an application to request a planned development zoning change for Bella Casa, according to information from the city. The development has been designed to take advantage of the adjacency to the Shady Grove Linear Park and city’s existing trail network. A trailhead leading to the linear park is proposed in one of the open spaces, city officials stated. All lots are at minimum 8,400 square feet with an average size of 9,300 square feet, the memo stated.

Zooming in

City staff sent a letter to 56 property owners within 300 feet of the development, and the town received two letters of opposition from property owners within the 200-foot buffer and one email of support from another resident.

What they’re saying

Many council members commented on or had questions about the project. Council member Tag Green said he thought the applicant did an “incredibly beautiful job” with the proposal and said he appreciated that the park feel was preserved along the park trail to “the greatest extent [he thought] was possible.”

He said, though, he likes to see a diversity in building materials used for residential construction. The minimum square feet size will be 2,000, and houses can go all the way up to 4,000 square feet, council heard.

Mayor Armin Mizani said this project is a new iteration of the original plan as it had been pitched in the last year, and he said it is a “vastly improved” project that matches what is found in the surrounding area and will be a “quality product.”

A closer look

Green made an amendment to modify the materials requirement, which would allow any kind of masonry materials for the development, and that the development would not have to adhere to a Keller Planning and Zoning Commission recommendation. Commissioners recommended a percentage of masonry to be used on home facades by encouraging 70% minimum of brick or stone with 30% of other finishes, such as stucco and cementitious fiber.

But Green’s amendment was voted down 4-3 with council members Chris Watley and Sean Hicks voting for the amendment and Mizani and council members Jessica Juarez, Ross McMullin and Shannon Dubberly opposed. Council then voted on the item as presented, and it passed 7-0 with two recommendations from the planning and zoning commission. One condition called for the applicant to place a 6-foot sidewalk along the south side of Rapp Road to meet the Keller Unified Development Code requirement along thoroughfares. The original proposal was a 5-foot sidewalk, the council agenda memo stated.

The other request called for the applicant to consider addressing the above mentioned percentage of masonry to be used on home facades. The original proposal did not include percentages, the memo stated.