Council declines zoning change for townhome development

by | Apr 7, 2021 | Latest

The Murphy City Council at its Tuesday meeting turned down a request for a zoning change at a location that would have been used for a new townhome development.

Councilmembers expressed concerns about the location, FM 544 and North Maxwell Creek Road, legally described as the Murphy Marketplace-East Addition. The zoning change sought was to move the property zoning from Planned Development-Retail to Planned Development Single Family-Attached for the 8.07-acre site.

The two-story townhomes would have had a minimum lot size area of 1,650 square feet, with homes ranging between 1,300 and 2,000 square feet in floor area, city officials said. The average price would run around $300,000.

The primary access to the homes would have been through Murphy Marketplace and North Maxwell Creek Road. Several people spoke in the public hearing about the proposed development, with many patrons against it, and one of the chief complaints was traffic that would be caused by the new development.

Mayor Scott Bradley said the city has worked for a decade to find something to fill that space where the proposed 68-townhome development would have been built. In October 2007, the city was approached about a movie theater being built in that location, but the developer withdrew its application a few months later, said Jared Mayfield, director or economic and community development for the city.

While some councilmembers disliked the quality of the townhomes’ appearance – Ken Oltmann used the word “junk” in his critique – Mayor pro tem Jennifer Berthiaume said the appearance of the townhomes didn’t bother her, but did say this location didn’t work for development. She thought the development could be viable in another part of the city.

Also Tuesday, the council declined to take action on the installation of a traffic signal at North Murphy Road and McMillen Drive. Bradley said the city needs a “longer-term strategy” for the intersection and sees the value of having a light at the intersection but as part of a bigger project. The proposal will probably be discussed again during the next bond election when officials discuss repairing or updating McMillen Road, city secretary Susie Quinn said in an email Wednesday.

By Don Munsch [email protected]

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