Manvel city council held the first of two public hearings and authorized approval for a proposed change to the zoning classification of 73.65 acres located at the south east corner of CR 48 and CR 58. The city’s Planning, Development & Zoning Commission (PD&Z) favorably recommended the change which moves one step closer the development of NewPort Lake Estates, a “fairly high-end lake front community of about two hundred homes” as described by its developer, Joe Watson.
NewPort Lake Estates is designed as a natural waterfront community encouraging neighbors to build bonds with each other and to interact and enjoy the lakes, trails, athletic facilities, and many neighborhood parks. The development is within easy walking distance to AISD schools: Don Jeter Elementary and Manvel Junior High School at Rodeo Palms. As previously described to council late last year, forty-four percent of the lots will offer premium lakefront views at over 10,000 square feet with sizes of 70 x 150. The balance of the off-water lots will be 60 x 110. Home sizes are expected between the low 2000 to high 3000 square foot range and prices are projected at $350,000 to $450,000. Gehan Homes and Chesmar Homes are the selected builders for the project.
The primary entrance will be from CR 58 and the design calls for scenic views of lake and park areas as residents and guest come and go from the development. The lakes to be excavated for the project will differ than the customary water detention areas seen in most developments in that the edge of the waterline will front directly the back yard property lines of the lake lots. There are three lakes spanning 10 acres. Envisioned by the developer are boat docks and piers so that property owners can access their own water crafts and float around to visit friends and neighbors or the community amenities. The lakes will be stocked with edible fish though there will be a catch and release program.
There are several parks planned throughout the development and a main Community Center will be available for public gatherings and a play area for kids and will include a small marina for visitors to launch and/or tie up their various water crafts. Also planned is an area designed more for middle school and high school aged children and adults. It will be set up with nearly one mile of trails with individual exercise stations, a regulation sand lot volley ball court, and a badminton/croquet court.
Smaller “pocket parks” will be spread around the development providing different themes. One will contain a regulation junior soccer field with bleachers. Others include a hummingbird theme, one appealing to various bird species, and a butterfly park will be located near the west entrance on CR 48 which is expected to be used for easy access to the nearby elementary and junior high schools. The planned parks do not meet the city’s current park ordinance but as the preliminary plat for the project was approved previously under different rules the development plan enjoys grandfather status.
Clearing and grubbing of the property has commenced and excavation and filling will likely begin soon after the second public hearing is held and approved at the next city council meeting in April. The developer expects lots will be available for builders later this year.