A task force crafting design standards for new development in the Fort Worth Stockyards postponed action Wednesday night on proposed building height restrictions, instead devoting most of its meeting time to hearing residents’ concerns about the future of the historic area.
The Historic Stockyards Design District Task Force has met several times with various groups tied to the Stockyards since the City Council charged the group in December with recommending a design ordinance for future development.
Creation of the task force was spurred by a $175 million, 1 million-square-foot redevelopment proposal by Fort Worth’s Hickman family and California-based developer Majestic Realty. The design ordinance will apply to all new development in the 925-acre Stockyards-North Side Tax Increment District set up by the council to promote development and pay for new infrastructure.
More than 100 people attended a July 14 meeting to hear Majestic officials unveil conceptual plans for their development, which includes 70 acres owned by the Hickman family.
Although Majestic vice president Craig Cavilleer reassured that crowd there were no plans to tear down exiting historic buildings, more than 80 residents showed up again Wednesday night to urge the task force to do more to protect the historic character of the area.
By the time more than a dozen speakers had their say, the 16-member task force had exceeded its two-hour meeting schedule, prompting member Carlos Flores to ask that the height restriction discussion be postponed until the panel’s next meeting on July 29.
Flores also asked Majestic representative Josh Wheeler to bring the task force more detailed drawings to help members visualize how the project will fit into the existing neighborhood.
The task force, which initially was asked to make recommendations to the council by the end of June, now is scheduled to wrap up its work by the end of August.
But task force chair Eric Hahnfeld conceded that the group might have to ask the council for another extension to allow more time for public input and deliberation by the group.