The developers of the large Verandah subdivision that is being built just outside of the Royse City city limits want to add 69 acres to the municipal utilities district (MUD) which was created to serve the neighborhood, City Manager Bill Shipp informed the city council during last Thursday night’s workshop.

According to Shipp, the agreement under which the subdivision is currently operating entitles them to increase the MUD by an additional 20 acres, but the plot of land that they want to add to the MUD is a total of 69 acres, which will require them to seek approval from the city council for the additional 49 acres over the limit.

As some members of the city council have voiced dissatisfaction with the original agreement made with the Verandah developers, James Branch suggested using the opportunity to renegotiate the terms of the agreement altogether.

“Yeah, I’m definitely in favor of opening this back up,” Branch said. “They’ve had a free ride and they’ve made a bunch of money out there.”

Shipp stated that he would not be in favor of using the request to open up the entire agreement, but said that the city might consider instead asking for further regulations on just the one plot of land that was being added.

Of chief concern to members of the council were the type of homes that could be expected in future construction on the site as well as the collection of impact fees for the added demand placed on Royse City infrastructure.

Branch and Brooks Williams both stated that they wanted to see the city being able to collect some sort of impact fees if the agreement was revisited.

Stephanie Modisette, director of administrative services for the City of Royse City, advised the council that the city was currently able to collect $300 per lot for roadway maintenance fees.

Branch also stated concern for the effect of new development on the school district. Branch stated that he had been told by administrators at the Royse City ISD that the “break even point” for enrolling a child in the school district was a taxable home of at least $175,000.

Both Shipp and EDC President Larry Lott advised the council that whatever decisions would be made as far as adjusting the agreement between the city and the development should be limited only to the 69 additional acres that would take Verandah over its MUD limitations.

On Tuesday night the city council was expected to award a bid for the construction of a new city water tower located in the Verandah development. Construction is expected to begin in mid-November. Results from that meeting were not available at press time.

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