Westlake Town Council approved zoning changes for a new housing development near The Plaza at Solana during is Oct. 9 meeting. The proposed project, called Solana Hills, offers 55 single-family detached homes on 32.88 acres of land.

The land, located between Sam School Road and Hwy. 114, was originally planned for commercial development but the planning and zoning commission approved the change to residential development. Any commercial development on the property would be difficult to achieve without significant changes to the land, according to an agenda document. However, with the residential development, the natural topography can be maintained with open space preserved in a more natural way, according to an agenda document.

Zooming in

The proposed plan was developed by the Sage Realty Group. Curtis Young with the Sage Realty Group spoke at the Town Council meeting about what is planned for this development.

“We really feel [like] this is going to be something that will develop and has an open area that the whole town can enjoy,” Young said.

Young said the new development will have homeowners association-operated and -maintained amenities along with open space, drainage infrastructure, private streets, a guard house at the front, publicly accessible natural areas and a pedestrian trail network.

The plans for the development include 55 units ranging from 11 townhomes at around 3,200 square feet to 27 estate homes that will be nearly 10,000 square feet. The development also includes plans to construct 12 patio homes that will be roughly 5,000 square feet.

A closer look

The property originally had a 2.5-acre gas well pad site on it, but Planning and Development Director Ron Ruthven assured council it is no longer in use.

“[The land has] always been undeveloped, save for the 2 1/2-acre gas well pad site that’s on it,” Ruthven said. “The site was drilled a little over 10 years ago, but there was never any production on the site. There was never a pipeline attached to it or anything. So, it’s been capped, plugged and abandoned, and it is no longer a gas well pad site, nor will it be.”

The abandoned pad site contains approximately 2.4 acres and is connected to Sam School Road via a dirt drive. The pad site is where some of the smaller homes will be built, according to an agenda document.

What they're saying

Although the planning and zoning commission approved the zoning changes, its members had numerous concerns about the development.

Adam Coffey, chair of the planning and zoning commission, was present at the Town Council meeting to talk about some of the commission’s concerns.

“[Planning and zoning] had concerns about density, lot size, overflow parking, the size of the roadways in the community, the steep grade of this particular site and the extensive use of retaining walls under road utilities—which didn’t work very well in Southlake—the setback from the freeway and then the viewing corridors from the freeway,” Coffey said.

Construction on the development will likely start in the summer or fall of 2024 and will probably not be ready for new home construction until sometime in early to mid-2025, Ruthven said.

Next steps

The planning and zoning commission agreed to pass the zoning change on a few conditions. Those conditions include the land be used for a maximum of 55 residential lots; they must have open space, private streets, drainage facilities—including retention and detention ponds—and a guard house.

"This has been a rewarding process for us to get the kind of input that we have got along the way here and really feel that it's helped the project, and we're hopeful you feel the same way," Young said.