City Council hears progress of Stockyards task force

Stockyards presentation during an earlier meeting. 

A previous version of the article incorrectly stated that Task Force members would be able to meet property owners and interested parties individually.

Finalizing the standards and guidelines for the Fort Worth Stockyards redevelopment has been a long, challenging process in the hands of the Historic Stockyards Design District Task Force.

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price agrees.

“It probably has to have been the most trying task force that we’ve put together in the last year or two,” she said.

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After a series of public meetings that have stretched out over the course of several months, task force chair Eric Hahnfeld gave an update to the Fort Worth City Council on Tuesday. Craig Cavileer, executive vice president of Majestic Realty, also gave a condensed presentation of the Majestic-Hickman master plan, which had previously been presented at the task force’s public meeting in July.

Council member Sal Espino said he appreciates the draft’s comprehensiveness, but the task force needs to start making decisions.

“With the diversity of that task force, all of the folks that have different opinions on the Stockyards are well-represented,” he said. “[That] also contributes to some of the challenges in achieving a consensus.”

Probably the biggest issue before the task force is voting on height restrictions for new developments, Hahnfeld said.

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Getting the task force to agree “has been a challenge,” he said.

The task force plans to review the final draft of the standards and guidelines on Aug. 19, and the final public meeting will be held on Aug. 26. In early September, the task force plans to vote on the final document.

Deputy planning director Dana Burghdoff wrote in an email that she, along with Laura Voltmann of the Urban Design Commission, will be available to meet individually with property owners and others who may be interested in the draft.

The Historic Stockyards Design District Task Force was assembled in 2014 to draft the standards and guidelines for new development in the Stockyards, as well as drawing the boundaries of a temporary zoning overlay district. Formation of the task force occurred after Majestic Realty and Fort Worth’s Hickman family proposed redevelopment of the Stockyards, receiving a $175 million incentive approved by the City Council.

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Although drafting the standards and guidelines has been difficult, Price said she has confidence that the task force will come to a decision in a timely manner.

“[They’re a] great group of people serving with huge hearts,” she said.