The developer behind the project, Sezka Limited Partnership, approached the city about the land being voluntarily annexed, a move that would allow the city to provide water and sewer connections. Following the annexation, the city would also earn property and sales tax revenue from the development, which City Manager Austin Bleess described as a "win-win" at the Jan. 18 meeting.
The property will developed according to city ordinances that dictate what building materials can be used and signage requirements, Bleess said. The property would be zoned in a way that aligns with the future Village Center development, including enhanced landscaping at the western and northern property boundaries, he said.
"Since this will be at the corner of the entrance to the Village Center, staff feels strongly we need to make sure that the corridor matches as best as possible with the requirements listed in District D,” Bleess said, referring to the zoning district for the Village Center.
The property in question, two parcels totaling roughly 4 acres outside of city limits, is currently on well water and a septic system. The city would extend water and sewer lines at its own expense, Bleess said, but it would not spend any money on annexation or utility expenses until after ground breaks and construction starts, he said.
Mayor Andrew Mitcham said he supported the agreement because it will allow the city to extend the Village Center aesthetic down to FM 529, which he said will introduce the area to Jersey Village.
"I think that’s going to be a big plus for us," he said.
The city will also provide fire and police service to the property.
Council Member James Singleton, who has spent time volunteering with the Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department, said gas stations tend to see more calls than a typical business because drivers often use them to park during emergencies.
"It will be a negligible increase, ... [but] it will be an increase," Singleton said. "Because we are going to be able to pull that Village Center look from the north all the way down to FM 529, I am definitely still in favorable of this."
Annexation on the south side of Hwy. 290, where much of the land is already in the city's extraterritorial jurisdiction, has been considered part of the city's long-term plans for years. In 2017, a tax increment reinvestment zone covering 274 acres was set up in the area.
Because the city is only annexing the 4-acre tract, Council Member Bobby Warren said he believed the benefits would outweigh the costs of providing services to the area.
"I’m just kind of jazzed about Slurpees being in the city," he said at the Jan. 18 meeting.