An apartment complex of one-bedroom apartments will not be built—at least not soon—after neighbors pushed back against the proposed development.
The League City City Council on July 23 unanimously voted against WRH Realty Services’ request to rezone a south side parcel the company owns from general commercial to multifamily residential to build two apartment buildings with a total of 78 one-bedroom apartment units.
The parcel in question in the 1000 block of FM 517 is between two existing apartment buildings, one of which is the Bahia Cove complex WRH owns. Neighbors who live in single-family residences near the parcel showed up to the meeting to almost unanimously speak against the parcel being rezoned and developed into additional apartment units.
Residents said the new apartments would lead to traffic issues, additional crime, elevated flooding risks and more trash concerns. Neighbors said all of these problems exist now but would be worsened with new apartment buildings.
WRH representatives said the apartment buildings would not be new stand-alone complexes but additions to the Bahia Cove complex. The complex has two- and three-bedroom units, but there is a demand for one-bedroom units WRH wishes to meet, representatives said.
The project would generate tax revenue and fees for the city, they said.
“Our project would bring many economic and fiscal benefits to League City,” said Stephen Zuloaga, a developer with WRH.
Mayor Pat Hallisey and Council Member Hank Dugie both said apartments might be the best use for the parcel but that neighbors have to buy into WRH’s plans before the council can approve it.
Council Member Nick Long said the decision to deny WRH’s request was easy. Houston is known for its lack of zoning and the possibility of any building being built anywhere.
“I think we all live in League City because we do not want that to happen,” he said.
Hallisey told the developers to not give up and see if they could show residents the merits of the project.
“You have to convince the surrounding neighbors first,” Dugie agreed.
IN OTHER BUSINESS
The League City City Council on July 23 unanimously approved various changes to the city’s flood ordinances to bring them in line with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s new flood plain maps, which will be officially adapted Aug. 15.
Under the new maps, much more of League City is considered within the 100-year and 500-year flood plains.
League City is about 33,941 acres in size, including land and water. Based on the 1999 FEMA maps, 8,191 acres, or 24.13% of the city, is within the 100- or 500-year flood zones. According to the 2019 maps, 17,097 acres, or 50.37% of the city is within the 100- or 500-year flood zones.
“That’s a big change,” League City Engineering Director Chris Sims said.