In a 5-1 vote, the Waxahachie Planning and Zoning Commission gave its recommendation to approve a zoning change for the Cypress Creek apartment complex at its Tuesday night meeting. The proposed complex looks to be built northwest of Post Oak Drive at U.S. Highway 287 Bypass.

Cypress Creek will have eight apartment buildings that will range from two to three stories tall and one clubhouse type building. The development will contain 65 one-bedroom units, 64 two-bedroom units, 32 three-bedroom units and four units with four bedrooms. There will be 168 detached garages and 150 standard parking spaces. Some of the amenities include a sports court, laundry room, fitness center, conference and business center. The complex will have a connection to the city’s hike and bike trail.

Resident Ronald Thedford expressed his concern that the apartments would negatively affect the area.

“What I came here for is to talk against these apartments. My home is paid for and this is going to bring the price down,” Thedford said, noting also the location of the apartments to a nearby creek can create a danger for children during a raining event with the rising water levels.  

The city received eight letters of opposition for the proposed development.

William Crawford wrote the city that the development would be too close to the schools and said the area is already congested with the entrance and exit to U.S. Highway 287 Bypass and Brown Street nearby.

Frederico Palafox said he would prefer the land being used for new retail stores or single-family residences.

In his letter, Johnathan Owens cited a lack of infrastructure in the area and that the development would lead to a major increase of congestion to an already congested area.  

The motion to deny the request was made by commission member Eric Test. Due to a lack of a second, the motion died on the floor.

A new motion was then made by commission vice chairman Melissa Ballard to approve to recommend the item, which was seconded by commission member Betty Square Coleman. The measure passed 5-1, with Test dissenting. Commission member Jim Phillips was absent from Tuesday’s meeting.

The commission denied a request from Caliber Collision, which was looking to build a new auto body repair and paint shop in the North Grove Business Park on U.S. Highway 77. The North Grove Business Park contains such businesses as Three Rivers Coffee, Branded Burger and Cancun’s Amerimex Restaurant.  

James Pool, who was representing the developer, said they have worked with the city to address any concerns with this type of business going into an area that is traditionally retail.

“We have changed our building prototype and our site plan to limit the impact that it might have on any of the surrounding uses,” he said. “The site plan that you see in front of you now the building only has openings for service on the southside, which opens toward the creek where there are no other neighbors.

“Originally, we had screened along the right of way and we have moved that per staff comments,” he said. “We swapped that with masonry fencing and have added landscaping to try to cover the building up as much as we can. We think that it is a good-looking building.”

Poole stated they have worked to screen all of the storage parking and the operation activities from any public view with fencing and building orientation. He noted that this is not your old type of body shop where it is loud. Most of the work will consist of ordering and replacing parts.

Brett Hess, who was representing the property owner, told the commission that when they were approached by Caliber they were concerned about this type of use going into the development. Hess said he found that while Caliber has some older locations, it also has new ones located inside similar developments like North Grove. One location, he noted, was close to a Saltgrass Steak House restaurant.

Hess said he spoke with the owner of Cancun’s Amerimex Restaurant and was told they didn’t have a problem with the use.

Ellis County resident Ryan Anderson addressed his concerns about the business and said there would be noise generated because of the work involved.

With the closure of the public hearing, the commission voted to deny the request.

Director of planning, Shon Brooks, presented several proposed amendments to the city’s zoning ordinance, including the definition of accessory buildings used as dwelling units, not allowing metal shipping containers to be used in the construction of residences, boat dock requirements, uses for exterior storage and to have solar panels approved at the staff level rather than going through planning and zoning and city council. The commission gave its recommendation to the changes, which next go to the city council.

Brooks further noted there were no changes in the proposed amendment on the zoning that regulate political signage. The city will maintain the existing political sign requirements per the current ordinance, he said.

In other business, the commission:

• Continued a public hearing on a zoning request from Michale Martin to the Jan. 28 meeting.

• Recommended approval of a plat for Arbors Two for 125 residential lots.

• Recommended approval of a plat for Grayson Ceballos that would make one lot into two lots in the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction.

• Recommended approval of a replat for Dalton Bradbury.

• Recommended approval of a special use permit for Amy Carlisle for a rooftop solar panel system at 110 Broken Arrow St.

• Recommended approval of a special use permit for Rostin Javahery for a rooftop solar panel system at 510 Timber Drive.

• Recommended approval of a zoning change for Chris Acker for a property at 110 Lucas St.

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