Rhome development moves forward

By Racey Burden | Published Wednesday, August 16, 2017

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A public hearing concerning a zoning change for the future site of Rhome’s Prairie Point subdivision laid out preliminary plans for the development’s future.

Connie Cooper of Ion Design Group explained at the meeting they anticipate building 80 single-family homes a year on 50-foot wide lots. More than 1,000 homes are planned for the 312-acre development, which includes 102 acres set aside for commercial zoning and 16 acres for multi-family homes.

At the public hearing Aug. 10, however, the only zoning change sought was to switch the area from agricultural to planned development.

“A planned development ordinance really allows the city to get a more creative place in the development pattern, and one that works better over a period of time,” Cooper said. “This is not a 50-lot subdivision that can be done in 18 months. This is probably something that will be developed over a period of a decade.

“A planned development ordinance gives you a master plan of what’s envisioned for the area.”

Council member Sam Eason asked what market values were driving the single versus multi-family homes and smaller lots.

“As we sit here land value increases extremely and all of a sudden that house that we could build for $200,000, the value of the land takes a much greater proportion than the value of the house,” Cooper said. “It’s not that you get a better house. You pay more because the value of the land has increased.

“Looking five, six, seven years down the road, we find that there are people who would like to get into homes near the same price, but they don’t want to pay one-third of the price of their house for the lot.”

Cooper then laid out details for other plans within the development – a 10-acre, city-owned park, a 14-acre lot set aside for a Northwest ISD school, an amenities center and access to Texas 114.

Robin Holmes, who lives in a neighborhood that will connect to the proposed development, said she was concerned commercial buildings would bring down home values on her street, and she suggested a buffer of trees be left between her neighborhood and Prairie Point. Other citizens spoke up to agree. Developer Jim Briscoe said they committed to a buffer in the last planning and zoning meeting.

Another citizen asked how long the building process would take, and Briscoe estimated around 18 months for phase one, saying he wanted to begin as soon as possible.

The council approved the zoning change request, marking the area as planned development.

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