Lake Arlington plan approved with some property owners unhappy


The City Council voted Oct. 10 to approve the Planning and Development Department’s Lake Arlington Phase I and Phase II project. The first phase is property generally bounded by Lancaster Avenue, Lake Arlington, Metro Drive and Loop 820. The second phase is property generally bound Metro Drive, Lake Arlington, Interstate 20 and Loop 820. The council voted on several zoning changes being made to conform to the recent Lake Arlington Master Plan.

The decision was met with some controversy, largely from business owners in the area who did not want their property rezoned.

The area has been the focus of planning since 2004. The most recent Lake Arlington Master Plan proposes redevelopment from under-used parcels and low-density industrial developments to higher-density residential and development with the protection of Lake Arlington as a recreation and water source.

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The site is about two square miles and includes vacant land, gas wells, residential, commercial, and industrial lots.

“Lake Arlington is a body of water that is a hidden gem that will open a door of economic development on Fort Worth’s east side,” said Councilwoman Gyna Bivens, who represents District 5 and is heading the project.

“It allows companies to stay there. No one is saying move,” she said of the zoning changes. “I think that motion shows an effort for compromise.”

Not all property owners agreed. Some were also unhappy with late notification that a vote they thought was going to be postponed was instead held.

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The zoning changes will allow for themes in the Lake Arlington Master Plan, such as:

· Creating a mixed-use urban village along East Berry Street from Loop 820 to Lake Arlington.

· Designating areas along Loop 820 for mixed-use and highway-oriented commercial development.

· Preserving natural vegetation and features along the shoreline and its 100-year floodplain to protect water quality in Lake Arlington.

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· Supporting the provision of new housing and multiple housing choices in areas not already developed with low-density single-family subdivisions.

· Providing for higher-density housing to accommodate new population while conserving open space needed to filter storm water, and protecting water quality in Lake Arlington.