The city of Friendswood decided to make changes to the drafted 2021 future land use map based on public comments. Director of Community Development Aubrey Harbin presented these changes to the City Council on Sept. 13 after conducting public outreach throughout the month of June.
The land use map was last updated in 2008, according to city officials. The version presented to residents was the August 2021 draft.
“In updating this map, our purpose is to plan for areas of commercial development where they are along the thoroughfares hopefully to have the least impact possible against residents,” Harbin said.
Residents were able to leave public comments through scanning a QR code posted in the Friendswood Public Library. The city received four emails and 24 public comments, Harbin said.
Despite comments from residents calling for less retail space, the city is planning on changing 9.88 acres of low-density residential land—located near Sun Meadow Boulevard—to retail use to further align with their long-range plans. This will prevent residents of Friendswood from being burdened with the costs of the city, according to city documents.
“We need to diversify our tax base; we just need to put it into the right places,” Harbin said.
Another change was to add a commercial designation along the future Friendswood Lakes Boulevard extension, located near Janet Lane.
Finally, the city opted to create a new category and color on the map to differentiate garden home development from high-density residential due to confusion over the two. Garden homes are detached single-family residences that allow for six units per acre, as opposed to the six to 12 units per acre and attached multifamily housing that high-density residential properties allow for, according to city documents.
The city plans on hosting public hearings, recommendations and ordinances throughout the rest of the year to stay on track to finalize the land use map.
“You can just tell how much [work] y’all did on it and all the outreach that was done on it,” Council Member Robert Griffon said.