A planned 22-lot housing development in Keller was denied by City Council during a July 2 meeting by a 4-2 vote.

The item was tabled from the June 18 meeting and ultimately voted down. Council members Shannon Dubberly, Greg Will, Chris Whatley and Tag Green voted to deny a zoning change from commercial to planned development with patio homes. Mayor Pro Tem Ross McMillun and Mayor Armin Mizani were the two votes against the denial.

An amendment to request a future land use plan was also denied by council, 6-0. That rezoning was asked by the owners Huynh and Viyapon, LLC and applicant Garabedian Properties to allow the residential development into a portion of the land earmarked for retail development on US 377.

The background

The zoning request change was for just the residential development as the owner did not have a retail plan in place yet, according to Curtis Young from Sage Group, an architectural business in Southlake.

The plan for Whitley Springs was to develop 4.33 acres of the 6.02-acre lot with patio homes at 1212 Whitley Road.

The Keller Planning and Zoning Commission recommended denied the zoning request change, 4-3, on May 28, according to the presentation. The city got 50 letters about the development, 47 of which were in opposition to the project, according to city documents.

“There is very much a market and need for this in Keller,” said Michael Garabedian, owner and founder of Garabedian Properties.

He estimated the houses would be in the $800,000 range.

What to expect

McMullin saw some merit to the project, but stated his belief that if the owners came back with another proposal, he would like to see a plan for the commercial portion of the development.

Mizani questioned Garabedian if the lots could be altered.

“It is a good project, but I have concerns,” Mizani said.

The projected lot sizes were 5,122 square feet, just above the minimum of 5,000 square feet to fall in the patio homes category, according to documents. Mizani said he would like to see the lots mirror nearby neighborhoods with large sizes. Garabedian stated there is a lot of interest in the Keller and surrounding areas in smaller lot sizes now.

Mizani suggested maybe a different layout of the houses and perhaps fewer than 22 proposed houses could make that work in the future.

“I would be OK with the commercial changes if it meant increasing the square footage to what is comparable in that area,” Mizani said.

McMullin and Mizani were both stated they voted against the motion to deny, citing a preference to table in order to modify the planned development. However, with a motion made by Whatley, a vote had to commence on his request to deny.

Also on the agenda

A new Dodge Heavy-Duty Ambulance was purchased for $506,707 through the Houston-Galveston Area Council cooperative purchasing program for the Keller Fire Department. The 2024 Dodge Ram 5500 Diesel 4x4 chassis is coming from Grapevine Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram and costs $68,982. Houston-based Frazer, Ltd., will complete the ambulance for $437,725. The anticipated delivery of the completed ambulance is within 16-18 months, according to documents.

In addition, council passed a resolution to adopt the official population of the city at 47,476 as of Jan. 1. The number, provided by the North Central Texas Council of Governments, showed a 2.5% increase from the 2023 count.