The Denison Planning and Zoning Commission denied a replatting request that would set the stage for the extension of Deer Run and the creation of a new subdivision Tuesday amid opposition from neighboring property owners. The request drew more than 20 people to Tuesday’s meeting, with many voicing their opposition to the project and the extension of the road for further development.
Following nearly an hour of discussion on the topic, the commission unanimously voted against the project, with multiple members voicing concern on the impact it would have on the neighborhood. Commissioners also noted that there was a deed restriction in place for the neighborhood lots that prevented future replatting.
“I think what we are challenged with is if we go against what the original authors of these codes had intended,” commissioner Matt Looney said, referring to the deed restrictions.
Under the plat request, applicants Rex Reddick and Peter Ang, who owns an empty lot at the end of a cul-de-sac at the end of Deer Run, would dedicate a right-of-way for a new street that would effectively extend the road to adjacent property. Reddick, who owns this property, wished to create a new three-lot subdivision named Grace Oaks.
Reddick said he decided to extend Deer Run in order to access this property due to cost restrictions that would make other options unfeasible. Reddick said in order to reach the property via Belle Avenue from the south would require him to sell about 10 lots in the addition due to expenses related to a creek and bridge.
City staff noted that the street currently does not follow city guidelines for the maximum length of dead-end streets. While there are side streets off of Deer Run, staff noted that they are also dead ends and it does not have connectivity outside of Deer Run itself.
Current guidelines call for a maximum of 600 feet of dead-end roadway, but without the proposed addition of another 140 feet of roadway, Deer Run already nearly doubles this, P&Z Manager Steven Doss said.
Despite this, as traffic is not expected to be impacted, staff ultimately recommended approval of the request.
Doss noted that the city received four disapproval notices from property owners within 200 feet of the property in the request. With close to 60 percent of applicants disapproving of the request, Doss said the vote to approve the request would require a four-fifths vote.
Among those who opposed the project was Pat Clutter, who noted that there are restrictions on the deeds for the property that are enforced by a homeowners’ association and should prevent these changes to the lots.
“No one I have spoken to is in favor of this plan and I would ask you not to approve,” Clutter said to the commission.
Pottsboro Independent School District Superintendent Kevin Matthews, who also lives in the neighborhood, also spoke out in opposition. In his comments to the commission, Matthews said he felt that Deer Run was never intended to be expanded, and the current end is where it should stop.
“I know there is a plan for three new homes,” he said. “There was no plan for three new homes 15 years ago. What will be the plan in 10 years?”
Kerrie Hunt, who has five children, said she chose the neighborhood because of how quiet it is and how low the traffic on the roads is. With this expansion, Hunt said she was concerned where this would ultimately lead the neighborhood.
“I am not much concerned with adding three homes, but I am concerned of adding a city street and what will come of that,” she said.
Following the conversation, multiple members of the commission voiced their concerns with approving the replat. Commissioner Charles Shearer note that the commission is not responsible to hold the requirements of an HOA agreement.
“Even though we can’t let the deed restrictions be a part of our decision, I can’t help but let it be a part as I feel this is a disservice to those who developed homes here,” he said.
Meanwhile Looney said he felt it would be better for the neighborhood if the extension was instead made from Belle Avenue. With extending the road on Deer Run, Looney said it would ultimately benefit three lots while being a detriment to all the others.
Despite not being a part of Deer Run, if the Belle Avenue option was explored, he noted that similar architecture could keep the same feel of the neighborhood.
“I think the harmonious action would be to come up Belle,” Looney said. “I think you can still build that style even with building across the traffic, to use that term.”