The Rowlett City Council unanimously remanded a proposed development for affordable housing to the Planning and Zoning commission on June 1.
The proposed development is located west of Wilson Road and north of Woodside Road.
The proposed development would hold 33 single-family lots with a minimum dwelling size of 1,300 square feet. The majority of the homes will be two story with resident option for two or three bedrooms.
The homes would also have entryway garages offering the choice of one or two ports for the garage. While residents may choose how many cars their garage holds, only 25% of the lots will be able to have two-car garages. Prices would range from $175,000 to $245,000.
The proposed development was denied by the Planning and Zoning commission with a 5-0 vote and one abstention because it fell outside the city’s requirements for a single-family development.
Rick Sheffield, director of the Rowlett Housing Finance Corporation, said the current median cost of a house is $310,000, and the average salary to afford an apartment in Rowlett is over $100,000. While the houses do not meet the criteria of the Rowlett development plan, they are primarily to provide affordable housing to essential workers, local employees for incoming businesses, single parents and seniors, among other residents who are unable to afford their current housing because of the economic impacts of COVID-19.
“Changing times require us to change in order to meet changing demands,” Sheffield said.
Sheffield appealed to the strategic plan, which called for affordable housing despite the proposal not meeting the city’s codes.
In order to meet the incredible housing demand, we have to get creative – smaller homes, smaller lots, lots of open space at affordable prices.”
The housing is proposed to be the first of its kind to provide housing for incoming businesses who need local employees, graduating students looking to move out of their homes, single parents and other residents who need affordable single-family housing.
“We need to work together to meet the needs of all of our residents,” Sheffield said.
The council wanted tweaks made to the neighborhood like maintained landscaping and better size allotment to ensure the neighborhood is well kept and large enough to constitute a quality single-family development.
“I really believe in the spirit of this development, but I also have a duty to ensure we are building quality developments,” Councilman Blake Margolis said. “We’re close, but I think there needs to be some adjustment made to get this where it needs to be. I appreciate the intent of coming to us with a product of single-family homes that is hard to find for people looking for an affordable range. It's worth having the conversation”
After the needed changes are made to the proposed rezoning, it will be revisited by the Planning and Zoning Commission.