Council votes on Randol Mill Road zoning change that splits neighbors in area

As Fort Worth grows, more housing is needed. However, not everyone wants more houses in their neighborhood.

This was at the heart of a zoning dispute at 7429 Randol Mill Road, which was settled at the Dec. 6 Fort Worth City Council meeting as members approved a zoning change to Planned Development A-75, One Family for a single-family development.

The site, owned by Two Ponds Inc., was formerly zoned for Planned Development/Specific Use with an emphasis on a variety of subjects, including clothing/Western apparel sales, recreational vehicle parking, and a rodeo arena. It is considered a neighborhood connector.

The case was continued from an August meeting to allow more time for the applicant to address the lot size with the neighborhood, and to discuss with staff flooding concerns and development of Randol Mill Road. The applicant provided information on the layout and appearance of the homes.

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Some neighbors have discussed a Planned Development zoning with a site plan and some development standards. The applicant indicated that he was willing to go to the A-7.5 zoning for the slightly larger lots. (75 or 7.5?)

The case was considered and approved by the City Council on Oct. 10. After neighbors voiced some concerns, the case was reconsidered on Oct. 17 and reheard on Dec. 5. At that meeting, those for and against the decision were heard.

“We support this. We like the idea of new houses,” said Ben Robertson, who said he was speaking on behalf of the Mallard Cove Community Group.

Resident Mary Kelleher did not agree.

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“We’re happy with the current zoning. We’d be thrilled to have a rodeo arena. It’s more compatible with the neighborhood,” she said.

“We want horses, not people,” said fellow resident Bob Willoughby. “We’d rather live next door to horses.”

A major item of concern with the new zoning request was the minimum house size of 2,000 square feet gross area. Dana Burgdoff of the city’s planning and development department said that in her 18 years with the city it had never limited the size of a residential dwelling.

“This would set a dangerous precedent for us, and we recommend against it,” she said.

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Councilwoman Bivens approved the zoning change but pushed to exclude the minimum size requirement. Her recommendation was the one ultimately approved.

“For once I see community property ‘for sale’ signs all over District 5,” she said. “That lets me know people are looking this way.”

The property is adjacent to the Trinity River. Drainage requirements must be addressed in the platting process before a plat of the property will be recorded by the city and before any building permit may be issued.