Missouri City approves contentious zoning proposal

Missouri City City Council approved zoning for new home construction.

Missouri City City Council approved zoning for new home construction.

Despite protests from neighboring landowners, Missouri City City Council approved on Tuesday the zoning for 95.34 acres near Watts Plantation Road, months after a legal mix-up resulted in the Council changing the minutes of a prior meeting.

A Sept. 6 vote by the council on whether to rezone the land for a housing development was deemed “failed” at the time because City Attorney E. Joyce Iyamu said a supermajority of votes was needed to pass. Then, on Dec. 19, Iyamu said advice from outside legal counsel hired by Missouri City prompted officials to determine only a simple majority was needed, and the Sept. 6 vote actually should have been considered “passed.”

Neither Iyamu nor the council explained what prompted the further review, nor did they identify the outside legal counsel hired by the city.

The Sept. 6 meeting minutes were changed on Dec. 19 to state that original vote had passed.

Tuesday’s ordinance passed 5-2 with council members Chris Preston and Yolanda Ford dissenting.

Known as the Briggs Tract, the site was proposed by Ashton Woods for single-family homes adjacent to the Creekmont and Newpoint Estates subdivisions. The developers proposed a detention pond and recreational area to provide drainage, however surrounding residents have argued the new construction will cause flooding in their neighborhoods.

“There have been many comments, questions and accusations about the decision to put this item back on the City Council agenda,” Iyamu said Tuesday. “But I just wanted to state unequivocally that this decision was not made by the City Council lightly or maliciously, nor were the recommendations provided by staff lightly or maliciously.”

After the ordinance was tagged during the Dec. 19 meeting, changes were made to the ordinance to make it a zoning—rather than a rezoning—ordinance. While the land is already zoned to “suburban district,” the council said that was the default classification given to the land when it was annexed in 1987.

Charles Irvine, an attorney representing residents in Creekmont and Newpoint Estates, spoke Tuesday against the proposal and asked the council to explain the changes.

“These changes should have been discussed during the open session,” he said. “This is all about transparency. The people here are frustrated about the goings on behind the scenes without explanations.”

After the vote, Mayor Allen Owen said litigation was still pending from both the developers and the residents.

“The city did what was right and we did legally what we needed to do,” Owen said.

Residents complained that flooding is an issue in their subdivisions and that the developers have not provided a drainage study for the proposal. Owen said drainage is not factored into zoning decisions.

“What council and what [the] Planning and Zoning [Commission] is faced with is, ‘is that an appropriate use of the property?’”

 


MOST RECENT

FBISD chose Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates following presentations from three search firms during a March 3 special meeting. (Community Impact staff)
Fort Bend ISD board of trustees selects search firm to conduct hunt for next superintendent

FBISD chose Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates following presentations from three search firms during a March 3 special meeting.

This month, the Greater Houston area will mark the anniversaries of its first confirmed COVID-19 cases as well as the first deaths attributed to the pandemic. (Courtesy Pexels)
Share your story: Have you lost anyone to COVID-19?

This month, the Greater Houston area will mark the anniversaries of its first confirmed COVID-19 cases as well as the first deaths attributed to the pandemic.

People wait in line to receive a vaccine at an Austin Public Health vaccination site. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas offers COVID-19 vaccinations to school, child care workers

Educators, school staff and child care professionals are qualified to receive coronavirus vaccines effective immediately.

In response to Gov. Greg Abbott's March 2 announcement that Texas' statewide mask mandate and COVID-19-related business restrictions will be lifted as of March 10, the Texas Education Agency released updated public health guidance March 3. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Updated Texas Education Agency guidance allows individual school boards to determine mask policies

"Under this updated guidance, a public school system's current practices on masks may continue unchanged. Local school boards have full authority to determine their local mask policy," the release reads.

H-E-B will continue to require employees to wear face masks until further notice. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
H-E-B to require employees, ask customers to be masked despite upcoming expiration of governor's mandate

H-E-B officials announced their employees and vendors would still be required to be masked while on the job, and customers would be encouraged to wear masks while in stores.

A mandate will remain in effect for the time being requiring all riders to weak masks on vehicles run by the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, officials announced March 3.  (Courtesy Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County)
Mask mandate to remain in effect for all METRO vehicles, properties

The announcement comes one day after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott rescinded his mask order for the state.

Design on a transportation project to extend Soldiers Field Drive in Sugar Land is nearing completion. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Design of Soldiers Field Drive extension in Sugar Land nearing completion, construction to follow

The city of Sugar Land expects construction on Soldiers Field Drive to begin in fiscal year 2021-22, following the completion of the Hwy. 6 road widening project.

Fort Bend ISD officials hope to bring the names for two new district schools before the board of trustees for approval in April. (Courtesy Nathan Colbert)
Fort Bend ISD seeks community input on names for two new district schools

Fort Bend ISD officials hope to bring the names for two new district schools before the board of trustees for approval in April.

Photo from inside a movie theater
Alamo Drafthouse files for bankruptcy, closes theaters in downtown Austin and New Braunfels

Most theaters will remain open under an asset purchase agreement to the company's senior lending partners.

Torchy's Tacos is planning to open a new location in Stafford near Sugar Land and Missouri City. (Amanda Feldott/Community Impact Newspaper)
Torchy's Tacos to open first Stafford, 18th Houston-area location in coming months

The new location is expected to open in late spring or early summer.

Fort Bend County Judge KP George is encouraging residents to continue wearing masks to stop the spread of COVID-19 despite a new executive order repealing the statewide mask mandate. (Screenshot courtesy of Fort Bend County)
Fort Bend County judge: Wearing masks 'highly' recommended despite end to statewide mandate

Fort Bend County Judge KP George is encouraging residents to continue wearing masks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 despite a new executive order issued by Gov. Greg Abbott that repeals the statewide mask mandate.