The Sherman Planning and Zoning Commission recently made changes to the final plat approval for West Canyon Creek Estates, which will be located adjacent to the city’s Shady Oaks subdivision.

The commission agreed to amend the final plat approval for the new subdivision, which will be located in the 2700-2800 blocks of Shady Oaks Lane and the 3300-3600 blocks of Canyon Creek Drive, because surveyor Brockette/Davis/Drake Inc. found some dimension errors in the plats recorded in August. But before the commission unanimously approved the changes, Shady Oaks resident Sylvia Hema asked several questions about plans for West Canyon Creek Estates.

“This is the first I’d heard about this,” Hema said of the planned subdivision. “Shady Oaks Lane is a pretty narrow street, so I have street concerns there. I’m trying to understand, when I look at this, there’s a park and a housing development as well and why are they together?”

Commission Chairman Joe Gilbert said the city is planning a large project in the Shady Oaks area that will include infrastructure improvements and an extension of Canyon Creek Drive.

“We’re expanding Canyon Creek (Drive) all the way to Lamberth (Road),” City Engineer Clint Philpott said. “We’ve got a part of Shady Oaks that we’re expanding and repaving with the increased traffic to the proposed park.”

In July, Sherman purchased 26.333 acres of land off Canyon Creek Drive for a sports field expansion to Pecan Grove West Park. The Sherman City Council was told the land, which is north of Carriage House Estates subdivision, west of Shady Oaks Lane and adjacent to Pecan Grove West Park, could be used for four multiuse baseball/softball fields built on the park’s west side, a 425-space parking lot on the east side and four multiuse soccer fields in the middle, with a biking and hiking trail on the outside perimeter of the park, though Sherman’s plans for the land have not yet been finalized.

Philpott then explained that the plat Brockette/Davis/Drake civil engineering associate Jim Riley was presenting to the commission only had a few areas that are going to be existing lots and the other large tracts will be subdivided at a later date.

“Most of us all live on at least an acre or more,” Hema said of her Shady Oaks neighbors. “We’re real concerned about the density that can keep coming in. All of Carriage Estates is larger lots as well.”

Gilbert explained the city minimum for a residential lot is 6,000 square feet and the West Canyon Creek Estates lots were in excess of 10,000 square feet.

“So they won’t be as high density as they could be,” Gilbert said. “They could be approved, without us being able to do anything, for 6,000 (square feet). And it’s a subdivision that’s going to be curbed, guttered and sewer versus septic tanks. If it was a rural subdivision, then it would be required there be an acre or more and septic tanks, but it’s not as much of a rural subdivision as a city subdivision.”

Hema then inquired whether the West Canyon Creek Estates’ final plat approval would mean plans for the proposed park would definitely move forward. Philpott stopped short of a guarantee, but explained the city’s plan for the area.

“For any of those areas to be subdivided into individual lots, it would have to come back through P&Z,” Philpott said. “The city’s intent is to build a park there. They can’t get in the development business where they buy a property and then subdivide it.”

Philpott also said the city plans to keep an eye on the speed limit for the extension of Canyon Creek Drive after Hema remarked that “lots of people that travel that road at a pretty high speed.”

“I think the city of Sherman is taking some initiative in building this park and is really going to improve the area with the street and the sidewalks and the park,” Gilbert said.