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Parker council reveals settlement offer for disputed development

by | Apr 24, 2024 | Area News, Latest

A marathon five-hour meeting of the Parker City Council ended Tuesday night without a vote and residents vowing to continue opposition to a proposed development just east of Southfork Ranch.
More than 100 people jammed into the council chambers designed for 45 as councilmembers recessed for a two-hour closed-door executive session to discuss a deal with Restore the Grasslands (RTG), which had proposed building 666 homes between Parker and Murphy in what’s called Parker’s extra-territorial jurisdiction or ETJ.
RTG, owned by family trusts of developers Donald and Phillip Huffines, won permission from the state to build a sewage treatment plant on the 103 acres after both Parker and Murphy refused to provide service. The permit would allow the plant to discharge up to 200,000 gallons of treated effluent into Maxwell Creek each day.
Following the council’s executive session on April 23, attorney Art Rodriguez read terms of the proposed settlement. He said RTG would abandon plans for the wastewater plant and reduce the size of the development from 666 to 255 single family homes at least 2,200 square feet, 90% masonry, on one-quarter-acre lots or about 2.5 homes per gross acre plus amenities. There would be five, two-acre lots in a narrow strip inside the city limits.
Ingress and egress to the development would be through a boulevard to Hogge Road on the east with no access via Gregory Lane or Rolling Ridge Drive.
In return for the proposed 45-year “run with the land” development agreement, the city and individual protestants would drop their opposition and allow creation of a Municipal Utility District or MUD and the city would provide sewer and water service.
Rodriguez said the proposal, which was not put to a council vote, could prevent RTG from petitioning to remove the property from Parker’s ETJ, giving the city no control over the tract.
A succession of angry residents, hearing the terms for the first time, spoke in turn for another two hours, outlining their opposition to the plan and expressing frustration with the city’s lack of transparency during negotiations.
Since no action was taken on the proposal, the Parker City Council would be unable to hold a vote until after elections on Saturday, May 4. Early voting has already begun for two council seats and the mayor’s office.
Meanwhile, RTG has not reposted its MUD application, which could allow more opponents to file protests once it is submitted.

For more on this story see the April May 2, 2024, print, or digital edition of the Murphy Monitor. Subscribe today and support local journalism in your community.

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