Modified street plans are part of an approved amendment by Keller City Council on Aug. 1 to a mixed-use development.

Council approved—in a 6-1 vote with Chris Whatley opposing—an ordinance approving a planned development amendment for Center Stage, an existing mixed-use planned development, on an approximately 38-acre property located directly northeast of the North Main Street and Mount Gilead Road intersection.

Sam Pan, development partner with Realty Capital, the developer, spoke at the meeting and answered questions about the amendment.

The Center Stage Planned Development was approved in January 2020 as a mixed-use development that included a variety of residential and commercial uses in a phased approach and included a regulating plan, concept plan, street plan, and a parks and open space plan, according to documents. Amendments and modifications to those requirements are required to be approved by City Council, with a planning and zoning commission recommendation.

“Proposed amendments are related to approved site plans, engineering and transportation access/circulation,” a council agenda memo states. “With the reduction in access from Mount Gilead there was a necessity to rearrange the internal street network that triggered a rearrangement of building sites, dumpster location, open space/tree save areas and the amount of single-family homes/parking. Requirements within the approved [planned development] have not changed, but the method of achieving is being modified to stay compliant within the approved PD.”

Among changes are a modified street plan, including a reduction of the number of access points into the development off Mount Gilead Road from three to one, and a reduction of single-family homes from 57 to 43, which would reduce the amount of parking proportionally at a ratio of two spaces per dwelling unit.

At the meeting, just two residents spoke, and each of them spoke out against the amendment during a public hearing, with Linda Taylor opposing it for various reasons, including her concerns about which businesses and restaurants were coming to the development. She said what has developed there now does not resemble drawings that emerged when the project was conceived.

She said the development looks like a “giant apartment complex with carports and garages” and that it has “very little” green space and no speciality retail shops or restaurants. She also complained about the development having non-sales-tax-generating tenants. She also opposed the medical office building, whose site plan was approved in another agenda item. After Taylor spoke, Debbie Bryan said retail and restaurants need to be opened before constructing the medical office complex. She also had other reservations with the project, such as sidewalk accessibility and construction issues.

“The citizens did not want this project,” Bryan said. “At least make sure it gets planned and built properly since we are stuck with it.”

She suggested denying the amendment or tabling it until city staff can make it better than what is being proposed by the developer.

Council asked questions on a number of matters with the development, such as parking, with Pan explaining that parking will exceed requirements but that that issue will be dealt with at the site plan application level.

Council Member Tag Green said he wants the development to succeed but said he had concerns about the changes occurring, such as building additions and reconfigurations, occupancy levels of the multifamily and commercial components, and parking availability.

Pan told council about some businesses coming or negotiating to Center Stage, such as a doughnut place, restaurant, dental group, veterinary group and boxing gym.

“What I have seen in 20-plus years of doing retail real estate is that often, when you’re creating a new trade area that doesn’t exactly really exist, it takes some time for people to see it, feel it, touch it,” he said, adding that for months there was not much activity but that there has activity in the last couple of months.

He mentioned some other businesses interested in coming to the site and some restaurants planning to set up operations.

Mayor Armin Mizani liked the updated concept plan.

“I think this creates more of an opportunity for what you’re trying to do,” he said.