Sugar Land commission requires major change to housing proposal

A builder seeking to construct a housing development near Constellation Field will need to address garbage collection in the proposed neighborhood before the plans can move forward.

The Sugar Land Planning and Zoning Commission last night reviewed plans for a 60-home development that includes a narrow one-way street, on which homes would be packed close together with lots on both sides of the 15-foot-wide street.

After viewing the site plans from engineering firm Jones | Carter, Commissioner Carl Stephens pointed out that garbage trucks in Sugar Land collect trash by picking up curbside refuse barrels with a mechanical arm attached to one side of the truck, then turn around and collect refuse from the barrels on the opposite side of the street, an impossibility on a one-way street.

“They don’t have guys on the back of the truck anymore,” Stephens said.

Jones | Carter representative Stan Winter and Shay Shafie, general manager of Johnson Development, whose companies submitted the plans, offered suggestions, such as requiring all refuse bins be placed on one side of the street, or allowing garbage trucks to drive the wrong way down the one-way street to collect the other side’s trash.

Neither idea was well received by the commission.

“I don’t see how you can tell residents not to drive both ways if the garbage trucks can do it,” Commissioner Sue Sanchez said.

Commission chairwoman Kathy Huebner told the applicants, “I think you have to go back to the drawing board and revisit that.”

The 15.2-acre site is located at the southeast corner of Imperial Boulevard and Stadium Drive. Plans call for 15 of those homes to sit on 6,600-square-foot lots on approximately half the site. The other half of the site is earmarked for the other 45 homes that would be nestled together on much smaller lots along the proposed one-way street that runs the length of the development like a spine.

“This adds to the diversity of the different types of homes that been developed in Imperial,” Winter said.

Other business

The commission also reviewed a request for a conditional use permit that would allow a developer to build a one-story office building next to a residential neighborhood off Hwy. 6.

The permit is required because the parcel of land abuts a residential neighborhood, sharing property lines with single-family homes on Merriweather Street.

Commissioners had few complaints about the structure or the site plans; however, they did ask architect Jim Lawless to add details to the plans that would ensure floodlights in the proposed parking lot would not bother residents of the neighborhood while still illuminating the office property and lot.

The land is zoned for general business uses (B-2), and no zoning change is required to build the structure.

The site is located on the north side of Hwy. 6 just west of Frost Pass.

Architectural renderings call for a 4,7000-square-foot structure with a brick facade and room for two tenants. The site includes room for 22 parking spaces.

The half-acre site is vacant land and sits behind a small auto repair facility. A storage facility is under construction just east of the repair shop.