After many heated public meetings and a tie-breaking vote decided by the mayor July 10, the Willow Park City Council has given a go ahead for the city’s first major apartment complex development.
Contingent on a developers agreement to be agreed to by the city and developer, a site plan for The Villages of Crown Park was approved by Mayor Richard Neverdousky and council members Gene Martin and Amy Podany, with council members Bernard Suchocki and Dan Stalling voting against.
Dumped for a 26-acre property north of Interstate 20 and bounded by the Clear Fork of the Trinity River near Crown Road, the $18 million project will have more than 200 units.
The project is expected to a gated, upscale complex with two-story buildings and a tennis court and game rooms.
“Our amenities are so far beyond what is in Parker County,” developer Kyle Wilks said in May.
Developers have put millions of dollars towards the long term project, as well, which they hope eventually includes a medical center owned by Trinity Health Resources and retail development in the area. To facilitate the project, Jim Martin said last year he put $2 million towards water, sewer and a roadway, plus nearly $2 million in an escrow account to fund a Texas Department of Transportation project moving the relocating the westbound interstate exti, thus making nearby developments more accessible. Martin also put $250,000, approximately the cost of drilling one water well, in escrow for the city.
However, rezoning the land and getting the council to approve a plat and site plan for the apartment project has been a long, heated road.
After approving a rezoning change for the property about a year ago, the council initially turned down the final plat for the project in May before reconsidering and eventually approving it by a vote of 3-2 in June.
The council denied a motion to approve the site plan in June and, leading up to the regular July 10 meeting, held a special Friday night work session to discuss the project and work through issues with the developer.
After the city council was told Tuesday night that there had been no developement agreement worked out, Podany asked why the city did not have an agreement and stated that she had a problem with that.
After a motion was made to accept the site plan contingent on the completion and authorization of a developement agreement, she voted with Martin in favor, with Suchocki and Stalling voting against and Mayor Neverdousky breaking the tie in favor.
Suchocki said he believed it was not in the best interests of the city and, despite the fire chief’s statement otherwise, didn’t believe the Willow Park Fire Department could adequately protect the safety of the residents.
Stalling also voiced concerns at prior council meetings with safety and that the project would attract lower income residents.