Residents at the Sept. 6 Missouri City City Council meeting voiced opposition to rezoning a 95.31-acre tract of land for single-family housing. The measure did not receive a supermajority of council votes, marking the third time a development proposal for the property failed.

Known as the Briggs Tract, the land lies southwest of the Creekmont subdivision and north of the Newpoint Estates subdivision. The prospective developer, Ashton Woods, asked the council to rezone the land from suburban district use to planned development district use in order to build a 278-lot subdivision named Shipman’s Cove.

“Any of the land that we are developing is not in the flood plain,” said Stan Winter of Jones|Carter Engineers. “The 26 acres that is on the lower portion of the site that we will preserve as open space is the area of this site that is in the flood plain.”

Jones|Carter Engineers was working with Ashton Woods, Winter said. Residents who spoke against the proposal cited drainage and security issues around increased traffic flow in the area as their primary concerns.

“My clients' concerns are real,” said Charles Irvine, an environmental attorney for the Creekmont and Newpoint Estates homeowners association. “They’re not opposed to development of this tract; they just oppose this type of development.”

Sienna Plantation resident Jeffrey Beicker said he has a 156-acre agricultural property west of the Briggs Tract that would be vulnerable to drainage overflow. Creekmont resident Mary Ross said her neighbors have not received enough information about the development proposal.

“To be honest with you, there’s been very little transparency about what’s happened here,” Ross said.

According to city documents, this is the third attempt to develop the Briggs Tract for housing. Ashton Woods originally submitted a proposal to rezone the property to an R-2 single-family residential district, and before that, KB Home had submitted a request in October to rezone the land.

Mayor Allen Owen said he received 35 letters from residents protesting the most recent zoning proposal. Neither Owen nor Jennifer Thomas Gomez, interim assistant director for the city's development services department, said whether they expected the proposal to be resubmitted.

New chief chosen

Also at the meeting, the council approved a new city Fire and Rescue Services chief. Starting Sept. 7, Eugene Campbell Jr. officially replaced former Chief Russell Sander, who resigned in February.

Campbell was previously fire marshal and deputy chief of fire prevention and administration for the city of Pasadena, California.

“I understand adaptive leadership—sometimes staff will need to be coached, and sometimes I will need to listen,” he said in a statement. “I stress collaboration in all areas, and I am determined to always listen, empower and know my staff fully understands our plan of action.”