A large tract that will add hundreds of new homes in South Temple is now going through the rezoning process after initial delays in its annexation into the city.
Temple City Council members voted unanimously to approve the 95.27-acre tract’s rezoning request on its first reading at their recent meeting. The proposed development seeks to add up to 400 new single-family homes to the city.
Brian Chandler, director of planning and development for the city, said the tract is located along FM 93 and is east of the Alta Vista neighborhood that was built by the same developer.
“Their intention is to effectively expand their Alta Vista neighborhood to the other side of the railroad tracks and provide a similar product along FM 93,” Chandler said.
A larger tract of 103.24 acres, which includes the land being rezoned, was annexed into the city in early June.
Officials voted to annex the land twice after a portion of the nearby Union Pacific Railroad was not included the first time.
While the developer of the project, WBW Land Development, requested single family two zoning, the Council approved single family one zoning. Officials, who were concerned about the property’s population density, suggested the altered zoning, which requires larger lot sizes.
Chandler also pointed out that the proposed subdivision, and a proposed community collector road, would only have one exit for the many proposed houses.
“The sole access would be to FM 93,” Chandler said. “So, staff has been concerned about that level of density, 5,000-square-foot lots compared to 7,500- square-foot lots.”
The increased traffic on the road was a large concern for the city, especially with a connection to FM 93 needing to be reviewed by the Texas Department of Transportation.
Chandler said the city was still waiting on a traffic impact analysis, which is done by a consultant and reviewed by the state department.
The analysis, which would be needed for the project to move forward, would look at FM 93 and if it could support the increased traffic generated by the development.
Officials said the first phase of the development is estimated to include a maximum of 150 homes, with additional structures or phases to be added later if TxDOT approves of the plan.
Chandler said that even if the state agency did not approve the current state of the road for the collector, they usually suggest mitigation measures that could be made to allow for the development.
These measures include acceleration or deceleration lanes or a center turn lane.
Councilwoman Susan Long, who represents South Temple, expressed concern for the development during the meeting.
“I am left in a quandary,” Long said. “I am certainly pro-growth, but what if we approve everything tonight and the traffic impact analysis says … it can’t support the proposed collector?”
The council is expected to vote on the second reading of the rezoning request during a 5 p.m. meeting Thursday at City Hall, 2 N. Main St.