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Rhome City Council denies plat for townhomes; Ownership question leads to denial

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, September 15, 2018
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On the advice of their attorney, the Rhome City Council denied the preliminary plat for the Morris Street Townhomes Addition Thursday night.

Due to a question of ownership of a small parcel of the 3.736-acre property on Morris Street, the attorney offered the opinion.

“There’s a question of ownership, and we’re not able to approve,” said Rhome Mayor Michelle Pittman di Credico. “At this point the application is closed.”

di Credico said the applicant, Steve Free, could submit a new application for the multi-family project.

A letter to Free from attorney Scott Hickey, who was representing adjacent property owners Edward and David Wright and Gary Mack Hurst was read at the meeting. In the letter, they claimed a 0.37 acre triangle of the property was not correctly deeded to property’s former owner David and Janice Wilson.

Attorney Skip Leake, who is representing Free, said in the public hearing that the letter was nothing more than an “allegation.”

“The record title does, is and remains of record in Rhome Townhomes LLC with an insured title policy. There’s been no court order or anything else saying Rhome Townhomes LLC does not own that property,” Leake said. “Until that happens, Rhome Townhomes LLC is the legal owner of that property and is entitled to have this plat approved.”

The council also previously denied a plat for the property due to an ownership question and the need to bring taxes current.

Several Rhome residents Thursday spoke against the plat for the 60-plus unit development, which has been the subject of their ire since it was introduced in May 2017.

Gail Rother questioned the council on what Rhome meant to them in her protest about the development.

“Old Town Rhome is not the place for this kind of development,” Rother said. “We’re here fighting for our homes, our neighborhood and especially our city, so this will never happen again. It’s just a small group of us, but we’re going to fight. That’s what we intend to do. So damn the torpedoes ahead, and we’re going to keep fighting.”

Council members agreed with their attorney’s recommendation that the ownership question needed to be resolved before they could approve the plat.

“It sounds like a case for the courts as to who owns it,” said councilman Sam Eason.

The council approved the replat for 5.64 acres south of Texas 114 and the plat for 10.08 in the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction by Socomore-North America. The company is planning to build the Dysol manufacturing facility to produce carbon fiber products for aerospace companies.

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