UPDATED: Fulshear City Council approves zoning change, paving way for new business development

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UPDATE, Aug. 10 at 2:33 p.m.: Council member Lisa Kettler Martin said she voted against the zoning amendment because she felt the developer’s intentions could be done without changing zoning for the location. She added that she felt that the city’s zoning ordinances could be examined to see if they were in need of updating, but would prefer to look at them comprehensively instead of piecemeal.

Originally Posted at 8:33 a.m., Aug. 10

Fulshear City Council met jointly with the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission Thursday evening. During the meeting, the council approved a zoning change for a 4.99-acre tract of land located at the northeastern corner FM 1093 and Syms Street from a downtown district to a commercial use zone.

The measure was approved with a vote of four members in favor and two against. Lisa Kettler Martin and John Kelly voted against the measure.

Mayor Pro Tem Kaye Kahlich said she had spoken with residents of nearby properties and no residents she spoke with had any problem with the zoning change.

“They are all very much in favor of this going forward,” Kahlich said. “I haven’t heard anything from anyone who lives right near this property being concerned about it.”

Anderson Smith, a partner at Capital Retail Properties who is developing the site, said the change in zoning was necessary to ensure that the site could be viable for the company as new retail tenants were considered.

“Right now if we went in for certain uses, we would have to get a special permit for every single tenant going in there,” Smith said prior to the council’s vote to change the ordinance.

Diagrams provided by the city indicate that the site will have more than 25,000 square feet of retail space and a one-acre detention pond. The pond will be located on the north side of the property.

Getting city approval for the development, including the zoning change, has been difficult, Smith said. He estimated that he had met with city representatives about 15 times for this change. Requests for exemptions to the downtown district requirements, which are written to preserve the feel of downtown Fulshear, would be burdensome and impractical, he said.

The council also approved a water and wastewater master plan which determines how the city will develop its freshwater distribution and wastewater treatment in the city and its extraterritorial jurisdiction through 2036. The plan includes expanding the Cross Creek Ranch wastewater treatment plant, constructing two wastewater treatment lift stations and 12 miles of wastewater lines within the next five years. A regional wastewater treatment plant would also be constructed and expanded over the next 30 years as the city’s needs grow, according to city documents.

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R. Hans Miller
R. Hans Miller joined the Community Impact team in June 2017. He is a recent graduate of Texas State University's College of Journalism and Mass Communication, a U.S. Army veteran, husband and father. He is originally from Montana. He has written for VoiceBox Media and the San Marcos Daily Record, among others. He covers city government, emergency services, local business development and other topics for the Katy area.
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