Tomball City Council approved a reduction in building setbacks July 1 for the Winfrey Estates development located on the west side of FM 2978 at Winfrey Lane.

The breakdown

The project’s developer, CHTA Development, sought this amendment to accommodate a new housing design featuring rear courtyards.

The amendment to the area's Planned Development District will decrease the minimum building setback in the rear yard of the homes from 14 feet to 9 feet across a portion of the development, according to the ordinance.

This will leave 18 feet between each house with a center fence, said Roland Ramirez, a broker for CHTA Development.

Receiving backing from a previous Tomball Planning & Zoning Commission public hearing—during which concerns and benefits were weighed—led to council approving the amended ordinance 4-1.

The details

Approximately 63 lots, about half of the lots planned for the development, will be affected by the amended ordinance.

Ramirez clarified that 16 homes have already been completed or are under construction, with more expected pending zoning adjustments.

Council members said, while amendments are necessary to accommodate market trends, adherence to zoning regulations is important.

Quote of note

Ramirez said the change in the ordinance would allow for the city to gain more tax revenue.

“Tax base retail sales, our average [home] price right now is heading towards $500,000. That's a significant tax base for the city times 113 lots,” Ramirez said. “I will tell you, by the time we get to the south side, we're going to be well past $500,000.”