The City of Fate Planning and Zoning Commission vetoed a proposed change to the Williamsburg development plan after residents spoke out against the change during the meeting.
The amendment to the comprehensive plan, zoning application and concept plan, if approved, would allow 141 acres of land in the Williamsburg development to house a maximum of 700 single family residential lots and up to 375 apartment units. This is an increase in lots and the type of lot from the existing site plan, which was zoned for nearly 320 single family residential lots.
Most of the residents at the meeting were against the zoning change and concept plan that would bring higher density housing and apartments to a single family residential area. A number of residents present, like Beverly Rager-Bouknight, talked about the opposition to the apartments in the area.
“I live on 13 acres and every bit of that acreage is right up against those apartments,” Rager-Bouknight said during the public hearing portion of the meeting. “I’m not happy about that. My sunset went away when a two story house was put up across my way.”
The 141 acres the proposed amendment would change the zoning and development plan on the eastside of South FM 551, between Charleston Lane and Smith Acres Drive. Original zoning for the acreage was for 148 lots at 6,000 square feet each, 133 lots at 8,000 square feet each and 36 lots at 10,000 square feet each. The proposed change to the development plan is to make the area “marketable” since larger lots are being sought less by potential home buyers, according to a presentation at the meeting.
Residents at the meeting raised concerns about increased traffic, the potential for increased crime in more densely populated areas and congestion with increased lots and apartments. Residents at the meeting, many who have lived in Fate since the mid or late 2000s, cited these concerns.
Michael Drayovitch, Jr., who has lived in Fate since 2005, was one of the residents who spoke. He lives in one of the larger lots on the street adjacent to the area in question and the higher density housing would lead up to his backyard.
“In the area you’re talking about increasing the lots, those lots are supposed to be complementary to the large lots where I’m living at because it backs up to our backyards,” Drayovitch, Jr. said. “I’m a little upset they want to go from three cul de sacs and 100 foot wide lots to 40 foot lots. I don’t like seeing three to four houses behind my house and we have quite a few lots that have that issue. They’re going to increase the lot number tremendously with this situation.”
Following the public hearing portion during which more than 20 residents spoke against the project, planning and zoning commissioners discussed the project. Commissioner Scott Kelley expressed his own concerns which echoed those expressed during the public hearing with the proposed project including traffic, alleyways and apartments.
“The other piece I’m really struggling with is the urban development piece,” Kelley said, referring to the apartments. “I’m okay with development in the city in the right areas but to put it in the middle of a residential area, surrounded by houses - I struggle with that piece.”
Commissioners denied the amendment to the comprehensive plan, zoning application and concept plan that would allow the higher density housing with smaller lot sizes and the apartment complex in the Williamsburg development. Now the topic will go before city council at their next meeting Oct. 7 at 6 p.m. at Fate City Hall with the commission’s recommendation to deny the change to the Williamsburg development plan.