City trades out ETJ, arranges buffer

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Pearland City Council on Monday voted to “adjust” the city’s future boundaries and opt out of involvement in a proposed development near Arcola.

About 400 single family residences, priced at or below $180,000 and “likely to primarliy consist of government subsidized rental homes owned by the developer,” would be located southwest of the city, west of the Lakes of Savannah.

At first, Pearland officials had tried to work with the developer to ensure a certain standard of quality.

“Those efforts were not productive, to say the least,” city attorney Darrin Coker explained.

The council met in a closed session earlier in the year about a petition for a proposed MUD that would serve the development. The MUD would be located partly in the City of Arcola’s extra-territorial jurisdiction, or the area set to be annexed by the small neighboring city in the future – and partly within Pearland’s own ETJ.

“Given the quality of the development, or lackthereof, this will likely be a development the city would not desire to annex in the future due to the high cost of service,” city staff wrote in the council’s backup documents. “From a cost perspective, the city would be expected to provide fire/EMS services to its ETJ, but the city would not receive any revenue from the properties.”

“I think it’s a positive move for us,” Mayor Tom Reid said. “I don’t think we want that type of subdivision in our city and it provides us with a buffer that we want at this point.”

In an agreement reached with Arcola’s attorney, boundaries would be amended so that the future development would be entirely within Arcola’s ETJ, and in return, Pearland gains commercial frontage along State Highway 6 to its ETJ.

“That would get the MUD located completely within their ETJ moving forward,” Coker told the council.

A separate agreement calls for a detention pond on the east side of the development to act as a buffer to the Lakes of Savannah, along with required trees and landscaping.

Story by Nicole Jones

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