Council Report: Multifamily zoning passes for TCU area plan

After some dispute, at Tuesday’s meeting, the Fort Worth City Council approved a zoning change at 2100 and 2116 Lowden St., 2828 Townsend Dr., and 2837 Frazier Ave. for proposed multifamily use.

Southside City Church of Fort Worth owns the property at the northwest corner of Lowden Street and Townsend Drive. The property is located within the TCU Mixed-Use Growth Center and is within the TCU Residential Overlay near Paschal High School.

The case was continued at the Sept. 10 council meeting to allow more time for the applicant to meet with the neighborhood. At Tuesday’s meeting, several changes to the proposed project were presented, including limiting the height to two stories, no rooftop terraces, no balconies facing Townsend, no units more than three bedrooms, and parking to allow for one space per bedroom.

And while the project was approved District 9 Councilwoman Ann Zadeh, in whose district the project lies, added one other request.

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“Everything has been laid down on a site plan, so there are no surprises. With all the changes that have been made, I’ve gotten to a point where I’m comfortable,” she said. “I’m going to ask the developer to figure out a way to configure having an additional five parking spaces above the number of bedrooms.”

Zadeh also requested these spaces be off street, “So we’re not adding to the parking that’s on the street. If that means reducing the number of bedrooms, that’s fine.”

The proposal passed by a 7-0 vote. District 5 Councilwoman Gyna Bivens and District 6 Councilman Jungus Jordan each abstained.

The zoning did not come without controversy, however. During the zoning commission hearing, opposition raised concerns with traffic density, noise, and property values. The motion failed with a 5-3 vote. Five people spoke in opposition, along with 11 letters and 37 signatures opposing. One person spoke in support.

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Several also spoke in opposition in Tuesday’s meeting.

“You can see how this guy parks out, that way nearly every day, cuts two lanes down to one,” said J.D. Barnes, showing a slide of a pickup sticking partly into the street. “Students are losing their parking at the church, so they’re going to be parking deeper on Lowden.”

To which Stephen Williams added, “Not a day goes by where there isn’t somebody racing down the street, and that’s not just the students, it’s the parents who pick them up. Not a day goes by when there aren’t people illegally parked. Not a day goes by when there isn’t gridlock. It’s chaos on the street.”