Friendswood City Council recently voted in favor of rezoning a parcel of land near FM 528 from residential to commercial—a move that aligns with the city’s goal of increasing commercially zoned property in Friendswood.

The gist

On May 6, Friendswood City Council held a public hearing for residents to voice their thoughts and concerns about a request to rezone nearly 6 acres of land in the Burgess subdivision, which borders FM 528 and includes single-family residential to neighborhood commercial zoning.

The zoning change would comply with Friendswood’s future land use map, which includes a goal of increasing the percentage of commercially zoned property in the city, according to agenda documents.

On April 11, the Friendswood Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approving the proposed rezoning.

What they’re saying

Council member Steve Rockey, the only council member who voted against rezoning the land, said rezoning the property to commercial was unfair to nearby homeowners who had purchased their homes with the expectation of having other homes next to their properties, not commercial development.

“To change the zoning to commercial I believe is unfair to the homeowners,” Rockey said. “They did their due diligence. They understood that what might be there were houses, and now we’re going to shift the goalpost here.”

Council member Joe Matranga, who said he listened to the planning and zoning commission discuss the rezoning and visited the property, said he would vote to grant the request because he didn’t think the owner would ever be able to develop the property for residential use due to a 50-foot drainage easement near the land.

“You’ve got a homeowner that’s trying to do something with their property,” Matranga said. “Who would want to live there as a single-family residence? ... I couldn’t see anybody doing that.”

One more thing

Mayor Mike Foreman said he supported rezoning the land because it aligned with the city’s future land use map and felt the areas near FM 528 should be developed for commercial use.

“We have a future land use map for this reason so that people can realize what’s coming [and] what the planned uses in the city are,” Foreman said.