After hours of debate at a Feb. 9 meeting, League City City Council on March 9 narrowly approved rezoning land to make way for an apartment development near Big League Dreams Parkway and Brookport Drive.

As a result of the council’s vote, the parcel will be rezoned from mixed-use commercial to multifamily residential on the condition one of the development’s corner buildings be developed into a retail property within 18 months. Developer CityStreet Residential Partners plans to build a 339-unit apartment complex known as Pinnacle Park Apartments on the land.

Had the land remained mixed-use commercial, the ground floor of the development would have been required to be commercial properties, such as restaurants and retail shops. The rezoning allows the entire complex to be residential, which perhaps hundreds of residents voiced opposition to.

Dozens, if not hundreds, of residents spoke at the Feb. 9 meeting or wrote the council to voice almost unanimous opposition to rezoning the land, citing increased traffic, property values and quality of life as major concerns. However, city staff supported the rezoning, noting that retail shops would be built near the apartment building.

Council members hardly discussed the item March 9 before voting, having debated the topic at length Feb. 9.

Council Members Nick Long—who originally proposed the motion to approve the rezoning—Justin Hicks and Andy Mann voted against the motion. Council Member Chad Tressler abstained, as he recused himself from the process because he accepted campaign donations from someone related to the deal.

In other business

League City City Council on March 9 also approved increasing park fees from $2,000 to $3,000 per residential unit.

When developers want to develop in League City, they have to pay a park fee per each residential unit. The money is set aside for park maintenance and related projects.

Council voted 7-1 to increase the fee $1,000. Council Member Larry Millican was opposed. Millican said increasing the fee will slow development, but Council Members Hank Dugie and Nick Long thought otherwise.

Dugie said League City residents are not in favor of using sales tax dollars for parks and recreation but capital projects, such as streets and drainage projects. The park fee is one way the city can continue to collect money to make attractive parks, Dugie said.

If the city builds another 28,000 residential units before the city is built out, raising the park fee by $1,000 would result in an extra $28 million for new park infrastructure.

Furthermore, by increasing the park fee, League City will attract developers who value parks, Long said. Additionally, multifamily developments, like Pinnacle Park Apartments, will “have to pay its share,” he said.

“I feel this is a very fair way of approaching this,” Long said. “We need this money to develop out properly.”