Rowlett P&Z denies rezoning request

During the June 23 Rowlett Planning and Zoning Commission meeting several public hearings were held including one for a rezoning request by Adam Shiffer of the Skorburg Company.

The company is asking the city to rezone the property from single-family residential (SF40) district to planned development (PD) district for single-family residential (SF-5) to develop the site with 88 single-family homes and three common area lots.

The 19.89-acre site is located on the southeast corner of Rowlett Road and Miller Road and spans two properties. It contains seven existing structures including one primary residential structure and six accessory structures to the east.

According to Tara Bradley, land use administrator, the site has about 946.5 feet of frontage along Miller Road and 997.5 feet of frontage along Rowlett Road. This site is encumbered with 3.764 acres of floodplain traversing from the northwest to the southeast of the property along Long Branch Creek, which bisects the site.

Based on the Comprehensive Plan, the Future Land Use Plan designates this property for estate residential to the east and retail/commercial/office uses to the west. These designations are separated by Long Branch Creek through the center of the site. Estate residential is defined as lots being over 20,000 square feet.

According to the presentation, the proposed development is classified as medium-density residential, having lots of less than 7,000 square feet. The proposed development does not include a retail or commercial component. Therefore, the proposed request does not complement the Comprehensive Plan and the Future Lane Use Plan.

If rezoned, the opportunity for commercial uses is lost on the western portion of the site.

Bradley stated that the applicant is proposing the following deviations from the base SF-5 zoning: reducing the minimum lot size requirement from 5,000 square feet to 4,800 square feet; eliminating the secondary entryway area and entryway medians for both the primary and secondary entryways; decrease the minimum lot width requirement from 50 feet to 40 feet; increasing the maximum height from 35 feet or two stories to 36 feet or 2.5 stories; decrease the minimum rear yard setbacks from 25 feet to 10 feet; decrease the right-of-way width from 60 feet to 50 feet; and eliminate the alley requirement and provide front loaded garages.

In terms of traffic, Bradley said there’s access along Rowlett Road that is limited to only right-in and right-out turns. The proposed concept plan does not make use of the existing open median located to the southwest of the site.

There’s also one point of access along Miller Road that is limited to only right-in and right-out turns. The second point of access along Miller Road allows for both right and left turn ingress and egress.

According to the presentation, the 2015 Master Thoroughfare Plan classifies Miller Road as a Type A six-lane divided road within a 110-foot right-of-way and Rowlett Road as a Type B four-lane divided road within an 85-foot right-of-way.

The applicant would be required to dedicate right-of-way on both Rowlett Road and Miller Road to accommodate a 250-foot by 15-foot merge lane respectively, plus 100-foot long transitions on each road.

A Traffic Impact Analysis would also be required at the time of Development Plan Submittal to address traffic concerns.

Public notifications were sent on June 5, and within the 200 foot legal notice area staff received six letters of opposition and two in favor; and within the 500 courtesy notice area, staff received three in opposition and none in favor.

Staff recommended denial of the request to rezone the property as the proposed development and associated deviations from the base zoning district are not compatible with the existing built environment or the Future Land Use Plan, which denotes commercial/retail uses for the portion of the property abutting Rowlett Road. Additionally, the applicant has not provided sufficient information to fully evaluate the potential traffic movements into and out of the development onto Rowlett Road.

After much discussion and hearing from residents on this matter the commissioners voted unanimously to not recommend approval to City Council.

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