Midlothian City Council denies three-story multi-family residential SUP

Apartment rendering

Back To The Drawing Board

MIDLOTHIAN – It is back to the drawing board for the applicant and architects who applied for an ordinance granting a Specific Use Permit (SUP) for a multi-family residential development at Tuesday evening’s City Council meeting. The Planned Development No. 146 is in the Westside Preserve area located on Highway 287 and Old Fort Worth Road on 17.35 acres.

It was not a matter of the proposed multi-family development being approved; it was previously approved, as Midlothian City Attorney Joe Gorfida reminded council Tuesday night. The original Planned Development was approved in a 4 -1 vote at the December 14, 2021, City Council Meeting.

Per the Planned Development Ordinance, the development of multi-family apartments is allowed on the subject property with the condition that a Specific Use Permit be reviewed by City Council.

“There was some confusion about the area and how it has been previously approved,” Gorfida explained. “This area has already been approved for multi-family with a SUP, so you have with the SUP or the community retail by right. You have allowed multi-family in here with an SUP so go back to the basics of what is the purpose of the SUP. The purpose of an SUP is to control secondary effects that you have with businesses (such as Drive-thrus). And we look at traffic, parking, secondary affects and then we put conditions on that SUP to permit the underlying zoning or we will put variances.  That is the purpose to give flexibility from that base zoning. If you start with base zoning, then you have the SUP.”

Council Discussed The Height & Concerns Over Parking

The purpose of the SUP in this case was to allow for three-stories versus two, which is currently in the ordinance as well as an additional 10-feet in height.

Apartment rendering

Currently the ordinance also requires 264 attached, 132 detached and 132 tuck under garages. The applicant was proposing 78 carport spaces, 78 detached garages and the remaining spaces being used for surface area parking.

Planning and Zoning had voted 4 -1 to approve the SUP, pending the applicant met the requirements for parking. Staff recommends approval of the proposed Specific Use Permit (SUP), per staff comments.

1.Staff recommends that the applicant meet the parking requirement of 264 attached, 132 detached, and 132 tuck under garage spaces for the development.

i. The applicant is requesting to provide 375 Uncovered, 78 Carport, and 78 Detached Garages.

The reason the developer requested a variance making the development three stories vs. two, “to better approach the density and intended unit per acre ratio of the site, while remaining within the 302 max unit count designated for the CRMF18 site, as well as to better coordinate with the appearance and character of the other
multifamily-zoned site in Westside Preserve.”

They also stated, “a three-story apartment design also allows the proposed layout to retain more open/green space by designing vertically, compared to more spread out 2 story buildings, which would result in a greater amount of impervious coverage over the site.”

Midlothian Mayor Richard Reno said he had problems with the building height change.

“By my count you are talking about 100 units difference, which will affect the ratio,” Reno said.

Place 4 City Council member Clark Wickliffe said he didn’t like the idea presented due to the breaking of the parking ordinance.

Mayor Pro Tem Justin Coffman said he agreed with both assessments.

“I can’t get behind it personally,” Mayor Pro-Tem Coffman said and added he was struggling with multi-family in general.

The architect of record from Cross Architects representing the developer was in attendance and said the original proposed renderings presented to staff and Planning & Zoning had met original requirements.

“Staff wanted to see something different,” the architect explained. “We want to make sure we are bringing something amazing to the city that is taking into account the screening you are talking about, the parking that is required, and not taxing the school systems.”

Council denied the SUP unanimously. Now, the question is what SUPs will be approved. Can the council continue to refuse any proposal and then will the area become commercial retail, which is also part of the development plan?

City Council Votes 6-1 To Make Focus Daily News Official Newspaper of Record

The last item on the council’s agenda was “Consider and act upon a resolution designating The Midlothian Mirror as the official newspaper and The Waxahachie Daily Light as the alternate official newspaper of the City of Midlothian.”

At the previous City Council meeting the owners of Focus Daily News requested the city consider them to be the official newspaper. During this week’s meeting a representative for the Mirror and the Waxahachie Daily Light spoke to council and asked them to continue with them.

After some discussion, a motion was made by councilmember Hartson to make Focus Daily News the official newspaper with the Ellis County Press as the alternate. Councilmembers asked more questions about the alternate and Hartson amended his motion to make Focus Daily News the official newspaper with The Waxahachie Daily Light as the alternate, which passed 6-1 with Councilmember Sibley voting against. The resolution is effective immediately and the first legal notices from the City of Midlothian will be published this Sunday, November 20, 2022.

Focus Daily News has newspaper racks in Midlothian outside Midlothian Donuts, in the parking lot of the donut shop next to Villa Italiana and in the Midlothian Plaza shopping center in front of Caroline’s. E-edition subscribers receive the paper every day of the year that we publish, you can subscribe on our website. All e-edition subscribers can also stop by our office for a printed copy with coupons at no additional charge. You can also find all legal notices on texaslegalnotices.com and on our website.