Council voted 4-1 to deny the zoning request, with Council Member Claudio Forest casting the sole dissenting vote.
The 122-acre property is presently zoned as Planned Development District No. 31, which allows campus commercial uses. The developers of Lakewood requested to have the property rezoned to Planned Development District No. 163, which would have added both residential and non-residential development to the uses permitted on the property.
According to the development’s concept plan and renderings, Lakewood—if the rezoning were approved—would include 170 single-family detached homes and 850 multifamily apartments.
“If all this residential is a heartburn to some people—I get it; I really do,” Forest said. “My biggest concern is how this property will get developed if we say no. To say no to this project, I think, is going to have some dire consequences that I’m really not willing to live with.”
The concept plan, created by planning firm TBG Partners Inc., also shows that Lakewood would have had a hotel, six buildings with 46,000 square feet of retail space, four buildings with 23,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space, and eight buildings with 244,800 square feet of office space. The development would also have included an ADA-accessible trail system and multiple open space areas surrounding an existing lake that bisects the property.
At the meeting, Lakewood’s representative said the developers worked with a horticulturist and an arborist to create a comprehensive plan for tree conservation surrounding the lake. The representative added that the plan did call for the removal of some invasive Mesquite trees because other types of trees on the property would otherwise be threatened.
Council Members Ben Bumgarner, Jim Pierson and Sandeep Sharma all cited concerns that adding residential uses to the development would exacerbate traffic on FM 2499, Silveron Boulevard, Lakeside Parkway and other surrounding roads.
A traffic impact analysis showed Lakewood was not projected to have a negative effect on traffic on Lakeside Parkway, and FM 2499 and Silveron Boulevard are projected to operate at “failing conditions” with or without the development.
Forest, who dissented, said he believes traffic along FM 2499 will continue to get worse simply due to the growth in the region. He also said that he believes Lakewood would be an asset for all Flower Mound residents.
“I think it’s a good use of this property,” he said. “There’s a lot of open space, a lot of amenities for the town.”
Three residents spoke during the public hearing before the vote. Two of them shared council’s concerns about how the project would affect traffic on roads surrounding the development.
One resident asked council to approve the rezoning request, saying it might be time for change as the property has remained undeveloped for 20 years under its current zoning. She said she also supported Lakewood because it would add significant value to Flower Mound’s property tax revenue.
Pierson said he was not concerned the property would be developed in an undesirable way if council were to deny the rezoning request.
“I just cannot see this occurring the way it’s presented,” he said. “I’m not concerned that PD-31 is going to generate flop houses, a crappy restaurant or a poor grocery store. That’s not going to happen. Come on.”
Before he cast his vote to deny the rezoning request, Pierson said he would be okay with the property remaining as it is—undeveloped.
“I’m hearing ‘urban,’ [that Lakewood is] an 'urban' design—I don’t think of Flower Mound as being urban,” Pierson said. “I think about it as being suburban, a bedroom community. I don’t expect to see this much development in that area … It’s just too much.”