Friendswood City Council voted to approve a zone change at its May 6 meeting, allowing for the development of Avalon at Friendswood.
While the development would typically fall under the single-family residential guidelines the city has set, the city approved planned unit development zoning for Avalon, as the development does not meet the city’s typical threshold for 90-foot lots. This particular subdivision has caused dissension on the council, as only 7% of homes have the 90-foot lot that the city traditionally requires.
“I don’t understand why we allow single-family residential developments to circumvent the requirement of lot size,” Council Member John Scott said. “For eight years, we have told every developer but one to go away and come back when there is 90-foot lots, including one very recently, and they accommodated our request.”
Avalon at Friendswood is a single-family residential gated community that will build 206 homes in the city with lots ranging from 60 feet to 90 feet. Avalon’s fruition is contingent on the Friendswood Lakes Boulevard construction.
The purpose of the 90-foot lots is twofold: to allow privacy for residents and to use the residential space the city has remaining sparingly, Scott said.
Representatives for the Avalon development presented at the April 1 meeting, and they said they could accommodate the 90-foot lot size by taking out some of the amenities the community plans to offer and by increasing the number of homes in the community.
While Council Members Robert Griffon and Carl Gustafson were of the same opinion as Scott, other council members argued the pros of having the Avalon subdivision in the city.
“What I gathered from calling and talking to people was that the ordinance was there to reduce density. So, if I understood this correctly, if they follow just 90-by-130-foot lots and forgot about the lake and forgot about other things, there would actually be more houses than what they are proposing right now,” Council Member Trish Hanks said.
The council voted 4-3 to amend the zoning map for this development with Mayor Mike Foreman and Council Members Hanks, Sally Branson, and Steve Rockey in favor of the decision.