At its Dec. 9 regular meeting, Katy City Council denied a proposed planned development district for a 46.4-acre, mixed-use development located at the intersection of Morton and Katy Hockley Cut Off roads.

Council members voted 4-0, with Jenifer Stockdick absent, to deny the proposed plan—which requested a zoning change from single-family residential to a PDD with residential and commercial components—citing concerns about the commercial development and drainage.

According to the city of Katy website, a PDD encourages mixed-use development that has a comprehensive plan and unified design. The city has eight existing PDDs.

Representing the project's developer—Katy-based JPSPS Development LP—at the meeting, Rick Lawler said he would return to JPSPS Development to see if the owner would consider modifying the plans to remove some of the commercial aspects.

The proposed PDD would build Silver Oak Estates, a 34.9-acre single-family residential community, which includes roadways, a recreation area, detention ponds and pipeline easements. Lot sizes start at 9,660 square feet, and Lawler said the homes would be in the $400,000-$500,000 range, though a builder has not been selected yet.

Because the PDD was denied, the home lot sizes will decrease to 8,625 square feet, City Planner Anas Garfaoui said.

The proposed PDD also includes plans for building 25K Morton Park, an 11.6-acre commercial-retail business park. It includes a 2.1-acre parcel that would have a one-story office building designed to look like a residential home, Lawler said. Renderings were not available.

“If it means that [the 2 acres] has to go away and has to be residential to that 2 acres, this gentlemen who owns the property wants to develop it, he’ll modify his thoughts if that’s what it takes [to get this development approved],” Lawler said.

However, meeting documents state the developer was not interested in making this change as of Dec. 5.

Project’s history

JPSPS Development purchased the property from Rosebrook Holdings in 2016, according to the Harris County Appraisal District. Both companies were registered by Pankaj H. Patel with an address in Katy, according to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

Rosebrook Holdings had bought the property from Bell William S TR in 2008, per the HCAD. The property has a 2019 appraised value of $1.8 million, according to HCAD.

JPSPS Development first submitted a PDD to the city in February 2018, according to meeting documents. However, in March 2018, the developer delayed the PDD submission due to concerns about drainage from council and the public.

The developer completed a drainage study in July, which was reviewed by Costello Engineering, which issued a no-object letter to city staff, per meeting documents.

The Katy Planning and Zoning Commission approved the PDD in a 6-3 vote on Nov. 12, per meeting documents.

“The minority vote wanted to add sidewalks along Morton Road and Katy Hockley Cut-Off and to have the northern 2.1-acre commercial reserve converted into residential lots,” per the documents.

At the Dec. 9 Council meeting, Council Members Frank O. Carroll III and Janet Corte as well as Mayor Pro Tem Chris Harris also expressed concerns about the commercial development plans.

“When you start to zoning things commercial then it becomes easier to zone things commercial ... and then it moves down that way and then Morton Road becomes a commercial zone,” Carroll said. "I believe and I promised—and I think a lot of people up here promised—to keep our residential areas residential and our commercial areas commercial."

Council Member Durran Dowdle posed several questions to the developer’s engineering team regarding the drainage plan, and during the public hearing, three members of the public spoke, expressing concerns about noise and drainage from the project.

Lawler said the developer has made many efforts over the years—including spending about $68,000 for the drainage study—by adjusting the plans to accommodate the city and the community.

"As you can see from the changes we've made from very beginning of this process, we've listened to pretty much everybody and come back and modify the plans, address those issues," he said.