By Nicole Jones
After much debate, the Friendswood City Council last week approved 4-3 the second reading of a measure that would allow the developer of Avalon at Friendswood.
Discussion focused on the 156-acre tract off on the future Friendswood Lakes Blvd between West Ranch and Friendswood Lakes subdivisions. The developer is seeking a change from single family residential and planned unit development to a revised planned unit development — which would allow smaller lot sizes than the city’s standard 90-foot lot.
Councilman John Scott spoke at length against the measure.
“I’m a business guy. I get it,” he told fellow council members. “If I have to put 270 houses on a piece of property and I can get by using a (Planned unit development) so a third of the property can remain as green space and count in the density requirement and put all the homes on two thirds, then I save money and I make money.”
From the city’s perspective, however, the rules should be enforced evenly.
“If we don’t like our ordinances we as a governing body are in the perfect position to go back and say we are going to change these requirements,” he said. “But when we sit here and say we are not going to make (developer) meet our requirements, in this case as it applies to lot sizes, then everything is gray.”
Scott said he doesn’t blame any developer for trying to maximize profit, “but when there’s rules, you have to abide by the rules.”
Councilman Robert Griffon agreed.
“We’re rewriting an ordinance book when we approve a PUD. We’re all rewriting it and we’re all becoming engineers,” he said. “Let them build under the terms and conditions of what we have in our book.”