Friendswood City Council turned down a request to rezone 134 acres to allow a residential development off FM 528.
“I’m really torn on this, because I’ve heard strong opinions on both sides,” Councilman Pat McGinnis said before the vote. “That this is a unique piece of property, that it will be 30 years before it will ever be built out commercially, that what is being proposed is a great use for it right now.”
FM 528 is designated as a commercial corridor in the city’s ultimate plan, which would take the burden off its residential taxpayers. But whether or not to hold out for commercial development on parcels that might be difficult to develop at all proved a hard question for the council.
The proposed project at 3801 FM 528 was discussed at length in the November meeting. The developer had proposed 20 percent commercial, Councilman Jim Hill emphasized.
“Here, we have a developer who has actually come to us with a plan,” he said. “It is going to be a very difficult piece to work with – he thinks he can make a project work over there with 90-foot lots which we like. He’s got 20 percent commercial, which we like. I just think we ought to give him opportunity to develop that property.
“I’ve heard of these phantom commercial developers for years, but they never have stepped up and put any money on the table. This man here says he’s ready to go,” he added.
The final vote on Dec. 3 was 2-5 to deny the request, with only Hill and Councilman John Scott in favor of approval.
The resolution would have rezoned the property from planned unit development to 123 acres of single family residential, with the rest zoned as a shopping center.